What Is The Winter Solstice?
December 21 marks the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the shortest and darkest day of the year.
During this time of the year, nature’s energies draw us inward toward rest, introspection, the void, death and personal contemplation. (Quite the opposite of the shopping rush that is going on right now, I know.)
You may also find a rise in thoughts that might seem “dark” : questioning, self-judgment, insecurity, negativity, projections onto others, anger, etc.
It’s helpful to be aware that the rise in darkness within us is not our own personal thing, but a natural shift within all of us at this seasonal juncture. Nature is taking us inward.
Since ancient times, people have been gathering at solstices to celebrate darkness. Today, we can definitely recognize when we look at the affairs of the world, that the darkness is very much at play all around us, and that darkness serves a purpose.
Darkness is part of life, and part of ourselves. It is the part of us which transforms us through pain, through contraction, through contrast, through challenge, through chaos, through the mysteries of the unspeakable. Darkness takes us to our depths and strips us bare of the unessential. It is merciless, destructive, uncontrollable, awesome, and ultimately, creative.
In the realm of self-transformation, if we only want to stay in the light (our expansion, our good health, our fun, our prosperity, our niceness, our good moods), we are really missing half the spectrum of human existence, which is the part operates under different rules entirely.
At this time of solstice, if you are noticing a rise in negative thoughts within you — self-judgment, insecurity, negativity, projecting onto others, anger, etc — don’t take any of it too seriously. Keep your daily meditation practice, and use the darkness for introspection. Ask yourself: are these thoughts really real? What is it that I really want?
Most of the time, you will find that what your mind tells you one thing and your body and heart tell you something entirely different…
You can tune in at home with your own winter solstice celebration by lighting a candle, setting aside time for quality rest and introspection, and, in your own family gatherings, by bringing forward your own light in whatever way you wish.
Enjoy your holiday season…