Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Winter Solstice 2017

Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice, also known as Midwinter and Yule. No matter what you call the observance, it represents the day the sun’s maximum elevation in the sky is at its lowest. It will be the shortest day of the year with the longest night. More significantly, this is a celebrations of the transition in seasons. After Winter Solstice, the days will begin to gradually get longer.

This increase in daylight is cause for celebration! As we enter into winter and the coldest months of the year, it is important to honor the light as the new solar year dawns. This time of year offers a lot of new beginnings.

Once upon a time, these seasonal transitions would signify specific events to ensure our survival as human beings. Astrological events would let people know when the animals would mate, when to reap the final harvest and ensure the food reserves are appropriately full.

This time of year was an occasion of abundance. The last of the harvest had to be preserved or eaten as well as the livestock. There was often wine and ales that finally finished their fermentations and ready to be consumed. The winter months provide struggles for survival, but also a celebration of life and light.

There are many traditions surrounding this celebration and general time of year. Although everyone goes about their customs slightly differently, there is also a lot of overlap. In general, we recognize the celebration of light with festivals, gathering, feasting and our own unique rituals to honor the changing of the seasons.

Symbolic acts and ritual give meaning to life and enrich our lives. Nature is in a continuing cycle from dark to light. I am very fond of symbolism, so I love the tradition of lighting candles. This is the time of year to recognize the rebirth of the light as the days begin to lengthen and bring light back into your home and your life.

The next couple months are still going to be dark and cold, but this tradition gives us a unique opportunity to focus on our own lives and find the light in ourselves. I enjoy taking time to reflect on the past year and realize how far I have come in my own personal journey. This is a chance to accept the transitions I have undergone in the past year and figure out where to go next. I try to release all of the fear holding me back and move with the flow of constant transformation.

Then it is time to set an intention. By renewing my perspective and my goals, I can continue to achieve and grow in my personal journey. This is a great time to start something new and a chance to simply enjoy the wonder of being alive.

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