WINTER SOLSTICE Thursday, December 21, 11:29 am EST
The WINTER SOLSTICE is that point when the axial tilt of the Earth is farthest away from the Sun. In the Northern Hemisphere this corresponds with the first day of winter; in the Southern Hemisphere, with the first day of spring.
Note: In both hemispheres the progression of the signs of the zodiac – underlying the ambiance in the atmosphere – is identical, so the ritual for maximizing the time periods remains the same.
The Winter Solstice ushers in the predominance of the energies of the final signs of the zodiac: Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. These signs strive to organize society into a cohesive whole that is working together to ensure survival for all.
Capricorn is organizing others toward a practical goal, that when reached, insures the security of physical survival for everyone involved. Aquarius is outreaching beyond the immediate circle to include humankind as a whole. This sign is concerned with adding an objective viewpoint and showing others how to cooperate as a group to attain mental accord and cohesion. Pisces is concerned with connecting to a Higher Power to insure survival and blessings for themselves and everyone around them.
Thus, the Winter Solstice ushers in a time for retreat and working on things in a “behind the scenes” kind of way. It is a time for harnessing your resources and going in directions that further your personal goals—they may be a business desire, developing a creative talent you have, or participating in accomplishing an aim that has been important to you.
It is a time for standing back and seeing the bigger picture – for reflection on your life and on the larger truths of common denominators between you and your peers. It is also a time for inner growth – taking the time for meditation and prayer, connecting with a Higher Power that you can turn to for comfort, support, insights, and protection in times of crisis.
Best use of this time: Spend some time by yourself, organizing your life priorities and your time. Look at the important goals you have reached up to this point in your life and plan for the goals you would like to accomplish in the year ahead. It’s a time for rest, reevaluation, and aligning your priorities to suit your values at this stage in your life.
HONORING LIFE ON THE DAY OF THE WINTER SOLSTICE: Thursday, December 21, 11:29 am EST
Timing is everything. By taking advantage of opportunities when the larger timing is right, you achieve a success. For example, when the tide is out in the ocean, it’s not a propitious time for the sport of surfing. The rules we’re shown daily by mother nature are self evident. By cooperating with that larger timing, we can fit into the natural world and use its cycles to our advantage.
By using the principles of natural timing, we cooperate with life and know when to pull back and when to press forward for success. The times of moving forward can be used for initiating new directions that are important for us. The times for pulling back can be used for reinforcing our position, organizing our lives and growing stronger within ourselves. The times of balance open the opportunity for consciously enjoying our lives and the people in our world.
This is a time of sacrificing qualities in your past behavior that are no longer useful to you. Ask for a blessing from a Higher Power to continue into the next year of your life, leaving the characteristics that no longer serve you behind. If possible, do this ritual with at least one other person. A larger group will increase the power for all.
On this day, make a list of three qualities you would like eliminated from your habitual pattern of being. For example, gluttony, greed, selfishness, feeling isolated from others, lying, stealing, procrastination, not speaking up for yourself, or whatever habitual response to life that has undermined you. After carefully considering your list, choose ONE of the three qualities of character you would like your Higher Power to remove from you.
On a piece of paper, write down that behavior and list FOUR instances when it has gotten in your way. This is a day to leave that quality from your past behind you and not take it with you into your future. To demonstrate your resolve, if you are in a suitable environment, make a bonfire and burn your paper. If you don’t have access to a safe fire, tear your paper into pieces and flush it down the toilet symbolically releasing that quality from being part of you.
Notice over the next three days whether or not you are exhibiting that quality you have resolved to leave behind. If so, allow yourself to cease doing it. Just being aware of it can wake you up to releasing it permanently. Your resolve will create a new habit.
On the day that signifies the beginning of each of the four seasons of the year, throughout history people have gathered together in groups to celebrate bringing in the new cycle. The Honoring Life ritual suggested for bringing in the new cycle can be done alone or as part of a group that can empower the new cycle through shared celebration!