You may already feel that we have entered the winter months, but officially next Tuesday’s winter solstice marks the beginning of winter with the shortest day of the year.
Many of us are already struggling with the sun going down so early in the evening, but rest assured that the winter solstice also means the days only get longer after December 21st.
Winter solstice is technically just another astrological event that occurs in a few moments where our hemisphere is tilted as far away from the sun as it can be, but solstice also has cultural significance across the ancient world as the honored seasons change.
I often think of Newgrange in Ireland, Stonehenge in England and Machu Picchu – all of these different civilizations developed monuments that gave them clear indications of the changing seasons.
One thing you can do yourself to see the effect of solar eclipses is to stand outside at noon on December 21st and notice your shadow. It will be the longest shade you will cast all year. You can do this again on summer solstice and notice that you have almost no shade at all.
The word ‘solstice’ comes from the Latin word sol ‘sol’ and ‘sistere’ – which means to stand still. I see the winter solstice as a reminder to be quiet, walk inward, stay warm, and be more contemplative. It’s an invitation to slow down as we enter the next cycle of the season. We do this after planting in the spring, working in the summer and harvesting in the fall. We deserve this time to rest.
Here are a few suggestions on how to look or get an appointment for antique items:
1. Get ready during the full moon (Cold Moon) this Saturday, December 18th, by meditating and removing negative energy from your mind and your home. I like to burn cedar wood in my house to purify the energy and also give my home a welcoming winter scent. Journal of what you have achieved this year and set new intentions for 2022.
2. Share some classic folktales about the winter solstice with the kids. Instead of the worn out stories of Rudolph and Frosty, your little ones can enjoy a new folk tale like “The Deer Mother”.
3. Become skilled by making some winter solstice paper lanterns, a symbol of light that continues to shine even through the darkest days. Or try making orange pomander decorations for your tree or for resorts.
4. Create a Christmas altar in your home. You can use any room – a table, a shelf, a cloak – and decorate it with beeswax candles. holly, evergreen, seasonal crafts and deer antlers if you happen to have them.
5. Hold a winter solstice party by candlelight and invite your loved ones. Visit your local farmers market to find fresh ingredients for a winter soup and some fresh bread. Ask your guests to bring a solid dish to share. Red wine or hot spicy cider is a great holiday drink for this special occasion.