What is the Winter Solstice?
The winter solstice, also known as the shortest day of the year, is an astronomical phenomenon that occurs when the Earth's North Pole is tilted furthest away from the sun. It marks the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the start of summer in the Southern Hemisphere. With it being the darkest day of the year, it is important to remember the light and what guides us in our life. Below you will find a history of this important day and a ritual to help you seal in its magic with a meaningful practice to honor the solstice!
When is the Winter Solstice?
In 2022, the winter solstice will occur on Wednesday, December 21st.
History of the Winter Solstice
This date has been celebrated for centuries by many cultures around the world, and has been marked by traditions and rituals that honor the natural cycles of the Earth.
In ancient cultures, the winter solstice was seen as a time of great significance and was often celebrated with elaborate festivals and ceremonies. The ancient Egyptians, for example, marked the winter solstice with the Festival of the Re-birth of the Sun, in which they celebrated the return of the sun's warmth and light. Similarly, the ancient Romans celebrated the winter solstice with the Festival of Saturnalia, a week-long celebration in honor of the god Saturn that involved gift-giving, feasting, and other festivities.
In many Native American cultures, the winter solstice was seen as a time to honor the natural world and give thanks for the blessings of the year. The Cherokee people, for example, celebrated the winter solstice with the Green Corn Ceremony, in which they gave thanks for the crops they had harvested and prepared for the winter months ahead.
In modern times, the winter solstice is still celebrated by many cultures around the world. In the United States, people often mark the occasion with holiday traditions such as Christmas and Hanukkah, while in other parts of the world, such as in the UK, people celebrate the winter solstice with festivals like Yule and the Burning of the Clocks.
Why celebrate the Winter Solstice?
Overall, the winter solstice is a time of renewal and a celebration of the natural cycles of the Earth. It is a time to honor the past and look forward to the future, and to give thanks for all that we have been given. And as I always say, gratitude is magic!
Ritual to honor the Winter Solstice
The winter solstice is a time of reflection and gratitude, and there are many ways you can celebrate this special occasion at home. Here is a simple gratitude ritual you can try:
- Find a quiet and comfortable space in your home where you can sit or lie down and relax. You may want to light some candles or incense, or put on some soothing music to create a peaceful atmosphere.
- Take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to fully relax and let go of any stress or tension.
- Close your eyes and bring to mind all the things you are grateful for in your life. This can be anything from the people you love and the things you have to your health, your home, and your job.
- Spend a few minutes focusing on each thing you are grateful for, really taking the time to feel the appreciation and gratitude in your heart.
- When you are finished, take a few more deep breaths and slowly open your eyes. You may want to write down your list of gratitude in a journal or on a piece of paper to keep as a reminder of all the blessings in your life.
- Build a winter solstice altar by gathering items that are sacred to you this time of year, maybe they are pieces of the earth fallen leaves or pieces of pine trees, cones, persimmons etc. or your favorite crystals representing the type of energy you are hoping to call in during this time.
You can do this gratitude ritual anytime, but it can be especially meaningful on the winter solstice, as it is a time to honor the natural cycles of the Earth and give thanks for all that we have. By focusing on gratitude, we can cultivate a sense of abundance and positivity, even during the darkest days of the year.
Let me know in the comments how you will be honoring the solstice this year!