The Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year and the true beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, beings this coming Monday, December 21st at 8:49 pm PST. Solstice means ‘standing still sun’. It is the turning point of our two major seasons – summer and winter. The Winter Solstice celebrates the rebirth of the sun and the return of light. Throughout the year there is the dance of dark and light, and at the winter solstice this dance is at its most intense and pronounced – with the longest period of darkness and the shortest period of light.

Our ancestors, without the advantages of electricity, looked to light to provide a reminder that winter would end and the rebirth of spring would once come again. Bonfires, hearth fires and candles reminded them that light would return. Cultures all over the world over centuries have been celebrating the rebirth of the sun that occurs on this day.

We exist in a universe that is a matrix of consciousness. This universe is composed of an infinite number of patterns, cycles or dualities such as: birth/death, day/night, inhalation/exhalation. The winter solstice and the celebrations of the sun’s return are festivals of light that remind us of this vital spiritual principal. We come and we go. We descend and we ascend. We inhale and we exhale. We give and we receive. But we are always seeking the point of equilibrium, of stillness, of balance and self-awareness.

The Winter Solstice is a powerful time to create new intentions – an excellent opportunity to mindfully and powerfully release old baggage that no longer serves us; habits, ways of thinking, dark and stuck energies. It is said that the next six months represent a very potent spiritual period. As we move into the expansion longer days and more light, we can let the energy of this expansion feed the seeds of intention that we plant at this time. 

I encourage you to take some time this coming weekend to slow down and make some space for reflecting on your past journey and where you want to go, especially in the next 6 months. Here are some questions to help:

  1. Take a review of the last six months and all that you have planted since the summer. Affirm what has transpired and feel what is still also growing and becoming – which can also be part of the unknown and the transition point. And taking a moment in sacred review – write down what has transpired over the last 6 months.
  2. As we head into the next 6 month period, what new growth are you committing to? What do you feel is the real important focus for you in these next 6 months in a general way?
  3. On the level of your body, are there any habits to be released? Any patterns that are affecting your health, affecting your vibrancy in this next 6 month cycle. What is thriving and what is calling for your continual attention and care. What wants to be cleansed and what wants to be enhanced?
  4. Are there any shadow tendencies, thought-waves or patterns that you really need to be aware of to sustain the power of the flow that you are generating? Please listen and see what arises.
  5. What are the new ways of seeing and being that are asking to be nourished at this time?

And finally, it is very beneficial to create a Solstice San Kalpa. This is a dedication that you offer at the beginning of your practice or a journey. So write a San Kalpa for the next 6 months – inspired from everything that you have written, please cultivate a solstice intention that you will take with you as you move into the fullest expression of light and potential within. You can take this paper and tie it to a tree, bury it under the snow or in the ground, or offer it to the fire. Find the right ceremony for you that helps to seal this sacred intention and help you move forward on your new path.