A Magical Darkness
The darkest day of the year comes with a lot of magical meaning. In the past we’ve absolutely arrived here and said, “Okay this is the shortest, darkest day of the year, let’s get it over with!” Que the wine or weed at noon to avoid the SADS and pass the hours till the sun sets. We’d be lying if we said that those feelings haven’t lingered in 2020. That said, the more we learn about the meaning behind this day, the more we want to savor every minute of it.
So! What is it? Why’s this solstice so special? Well, the winter solstice is first and foremost, a turning point. Arriving here means that we’re nearly done with a year that has undoubtedly been challenging for all of us. We pass the shortest day of the year and gradually move back to longer, brighter days. AKA spring flowers and sunny summer days, we see you!
The history of this day being a celebratory affair goes back to some of the first Indigenous peoples to walk to this planet. Many cultures have long seen the winter solstice as the “rebirth of the sun.” The darkest day brings the renewal of the light and signifies moving back to warmth. To mark the importance, tributes were resurrected and can still be seen at world wonder sites like Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat and The Temple Of Karnak. This winter solstice is even more unique as Jupiter and Saturn will be closer than ever. So close that on the solstice they may appear to be one big planet or two plants ‘kissing’. Astrologers believe that these special conjunctions hold further psychic meaning. View the conjunction by going outside an hour after sunset and looking towards the southwest skies.
With that in mind, the emotional and mental meaning behind this day is of utmost importance. The winter solstice is a time of deep self-flection and digestion. A time to reflect on the good and bad, not in a heavy way but in a way that celebrates living through all of it and coming out stronger. A time to lean into the darkness for whatever it may hold. Just like the sun, we have the opportunity to ‘rebirth’ ourselves. We can do this by allowing space for reflection and that reflection paves the way for new perspective as we sail on into the new year. This ritual feels incredibly meaningful this year as we all have SO much to digest. A new leaf can unfold if we are willing to welcome new energy and release old, unwanted energy.
If you can, plan a slower paced day that allows space for doing something you love. Bask in the non to-do list, where the focus is on just being still and appreciating silence. Surroundings for this can include:
- Welcome the fire. Gather your near and dear around a bonfire or write down the things you want to let go and burn them. Fire provokes reflection (Witchy but we call it therapy!)
- Solace in Nature (as always). That cold crisp air can be wonderfully invigorating to the senses. Even better if you can find yourself around water (stream, lake, ocean).
- Cozy nook in your home. A place where you don't hang often and isn't associated with work. Think about it as your “hibernation cave.”
You’ve got the tools and the meaning so now it’s your time to take your victory lap. Reflect on your wins this year and give them the stage they deserve. Digest what you need to let go, set your intentions and create new traditions with a ‘brighter days ahead’ mentality.
Happy Solstice Friends!