Up until six years ago, I used to lament the coming of winter and its darker days. Born in June and raised in Florida, I’m a child of the sun. But six years ago I decided to embrace the winter solstice with ritual and a personal retreat. The objective was to restore, replenish and call back the energy that was sent in a million directions over the year. Driving down into the coastal redwoods along the ridgeback of King's Mountain, I began to feel the majesty and mysticism this land held.There was a veil of afternoon fog allotting for about 50 feet visibility along Skyline Drive as if to say, "almost, but not yet".
Upon entering the retreat center there were stones lining the path carved with individual messages, "How far down the rabbit hole are you willing to go?" To my delight I was the only one visiting the retreat center with the exception of a few staff members inhabiting the office during the day. I padded around with the entire place to myself. Wandering through the great hall with its 25-foot ceilings, large stone hearth, a baby grand piano (which I played badly) sat before giant windows looking generously out over the misty redwoods. I headed down to the cozy library filled with every book about spirituality you could imagine. I meditated, I soaked, I steamed and sauna’d, I hiked, I swam, I rested, the hit repeat for two more days. Heaven before the holidays!
I haven’t done that since, but I do acknowledge the winter solstice now as a time for deep reflection and to receive clarity about the coming year. I leave you with solstice snippets from my favorite wisdom leaders in hopes to inspire (in-spirit) you during the darkest, yet most nourishing days of the year.
Sandra Ingerman from Transmutation News
“The big topic of conversation in America and many parts of the world has to do with how to create unity out of the division so many are feeling globally....So the conversation turns to, 'Now we must heal the division and create unity.'
But the ego does not know about true unity. For the nature of having an ego is that it feels separate. The ego tends to be divisive by nature. If we want to experience true unity we must go beyond the ego and recognize our authentic self which is spirit. It is our spirit that experiences a state of oneness and unity.
We have been going through a long initiation which will continue. The road is filled with twists and turns. Sometimes we think we have arrived at the bottom only to find that we can sink deeper. But when we surrender to our inner spirit it always carries us through when we surrender to it. Our inner spirit is like a giant sunbeam, star, or moonbeam that lights our way.
The more we can drop into the light of our spirit the more we can step out of a place of division and the more our path is lit that shows us how to walk out of the depths and ride a wave of grace.
What will matter at the end of our lives is how does the Earth perceive our love and actions toward her. How does the Earth perceive you? How have you touched her and connected with her?
We talk about wanting to protect and defend the Earth. There are many paths we can take. We can become activists. We can also integrate our spiritual work into the activism work we do. And some people will focus more on the spiritual work. It all joins together to make a difference.
But ask yourself the question: Have you opened your invisible eyes, ears, and inner sense of feeling to communicate with the Earth? The more you do this the stronger your psychic senses become whether you become more clairvoyant, clairaudient, clairsentient, or a combination of these. As I shared in the past when you strengthen your psychic senses the stronger the work you do on all levels becomes. For you are guided in ways that are beyond the rational. When the veils part between the visible and invisible miracles can and do happen.
As you do this you connect more deeply with the Earth and the web of life. At the end of your journey here the Earth will remember you as one who loved, honored, respected, and protected her. The Earth is alive and has a spirit. She knows when she is being loved.”
From Naima of Climbing PoeTree
“we’re gonna need to get organized
live beyond boundaries
soften our hearts
talk to each other
“we’re gonna need to leave behind our baggage
relinquish our comfort
release our control
“we’re gonna need to give up our addictions
confront our pain
ask for help
give more than we take
“we’re gonna need to dream bigger
“we’re gonna need to remember
we’re gonna need to forgive
we’re gonna need to let go
we’re gonna need to let go
“we’re gonna need to feel fully
revive our intuition
make up our minds
“we’re gonna need to look at ourselves
reconcile our ignorance
“we’re gonna need to need less
“peel away the nonessential
break a sweat
we’re gonna need to heal our fears
tell our secrets
share with our enemies
“we’re gonna need to study existence
refine our dreams
mediate our shadows
cure our disbelief
“we’re gonna need to practice magic
we’re gonna need to cherish water
we’re gonna need to grieve
we’re gonna need to move on
“we’re gonna need to stay focused
we’re gonna need to be strong
tend our commitment to beauty
fuel our devotion to truth
“we’re gonna need to pray
we’re gonna need to follow through
we’re gonna need to
we’re gonna need to trust
“we’re gonna need to give light
we’re gonna give light
we are light
Lena Stevens of the Power Path
"December 16-22: This is a time frame to work on relationship. Relationship with your body, with yourself, with your masculine, with your right work, your right action, with your unique personality and with your personal environment. Have you had enough gratitude for yourself and your life lately?
Stay close to home and pay attention to the details that may come up during this time that require your attention especially in the area of your personal environment. This is the time that supports fixing, changing, refining and improving what you can and have the power to do. Instead of worrying about what you can’t change, focus on what you can.
Mercury goes retrograde on the 19th to support even more focus on detail and clear communication. Set good boundaries around your time and energy and work on eradicating the habitual energy leaks that tend to surface around perceived obligations at this time of year.
December 21: Winter Solstice is Wednesday, December 21 at 3:44 AM. Solstice time is always a good reset and transition time. We move from the darkest time of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere) to the first day of bringing back the light. Especially this year, the significance of bringing in more light is palpable.
Honor this solstice by anchoring something you are transitioning into. It could be a new relationship, project, practice, or way of thinking. There is much that remains the same as we enter into a new cycle but what can change is the foundational patterns underlying all the judgments of the past. The way we see and perceive the world can be radically different if we allow it to be. This is the bigger picture that wants to seduce us to be more inspired, more creative and more hopeful. It is all possible.
December 23-31: The focus of this time is on clarity. Clarity of truth, clarity of what brings you joy, clarity of your direction, clarity of what needs to be complete and what needs your attention. This is a good time of year to make an inventory of anything that just does not feel right and decide what you are going to do about it. Watch for health issues around joints and bones during this time as the main “structures” supporting your body.
Part of your inventory should include an assessment of all the structures in your life and whether they are supporting you in ways that serve you or not. Structures are also containers and you might find that some have leaks, some are too small and some don’t hold together because they are just not meant to be. The categories are anything from relationships to work to study to personal environment to new projects, old projects, health support, where you get your knowledge and information and who you go to for any kind of support. When you find something lacking, instead of getting upset or self-judging about it, practice the compassion of the month and be kind to yourself and to others that you perceive to have “let you down”.
The New Moon on the 28th will be a good time to make choices and commitments and set goals about how you will be changing what needs to be changed."
"We are born from chaos. Life and the process of its becoming is nothing if not unpredictable. Messy. Chaotic.
This moment in history is no different.
We are being asked to rebirth ourselves. Personally. Collectively. Globally. We are being asked to see the divisions. To see the places where we might still connect. To do the hard work of walking around, amidst and through what has been broken. Internally. Communally. Globally. To see the pain that is present and to be informed by it instead of reacting defensively to it. We are being asked to become more attuned to our own suffering and the suffering of those around us. We are being asked to see the unlimited potential in ourselves and in everyone else around us. We are being asked to do our part. Fearlessly. Humbly. With great determination. We are being asked to find our way through the chaos.
Into the center. Into the eye of the storm. Into the heart of the matter.
Out of chaos comes great things."
Wishing you all a beautiful solstice & bright new year*