The beautiful Winter Solstice is the darkest time of year, expressing extreme Yin. For many around the world, both ancient and modern, Winter Solstice is a time of deep spiritual connection that weaves us into the greater cycles of nature. Nature is beckoning us to slow down, release, pause, and reflect on the past so we can move gracefully into the future.
Simple Ways to Sanctify and Celebrate the Winter Solstice
Clear Your Space
This is the time of year to clean out the clutter to find your lost sacred things, the objects that have been put away for a long time. Or those special things that have been spread out around your home or office and placed in the wrong place. It's time to reconnect with the items you're not actively using and decide if they should stay or be released.
Take your time to clear, clean, dust, and declutter those spaces and those objects. Move things around, wipe them down, polish them, and wash them. It's important to release some items that have real-world value too. This helps to clear your body, mind, and soul.
I have a cedar chest that holds many of my special items from past Red Tent ceremonies I held. I found an old cut glass prism in the chest that used to hang in my window years ago. This prism has been in the darkness for years. I found it, wiped it off, and hung it in the living room window. That action is symbolic of rediscovering our lost abilities. That prism could not cast its rainbows in the dark. It needs to be in the light for its abilities to work. In the right conditions and proper alignment, its powers are activated, the light amplifies them, and the living room mirror multiplies them.
In other words, dusting off and moving a simple object reveals, amplifies, and multiplies its abilities. That is what we are doing as we master our lives. We reveal, amplify, and multiply our abilities. All we need are the right conditions. Sometimes we have to look in the dirty dark places to find our lost treasures.
That's what this Solstice is asking us to do. It's asking us to go to those dark and forgotten places of our lives to reveal our gifts. Reveal it, revere it, heal it, amplify and multiply it, share it, merge with it, let it move, and guide you. Listen in the darkness with all your heart, body, and soul. This becomes the wisdom of your body.
Remember Your Roots, Ancestors, and Lineage
Another significant aspect of the winter solstice is the need to look back and see where we came from and how we got here. It's time to remember our roots.
Here's another real-life example. Based on our expected life span, and when anthropologists believe humans first existed, we've had approximately 2,300 mothers. That means that our mothers, mothers, mother... goes back about 2,300 generations. I know you could imagine being in a room of 2,300 people. And get this, all of those generations except ours, our mothers, and maybe our grandmothers lived to survive. They did not have choices as we have now. They did not choose who they were married to, if they would have children or not, or how they would be educated. They lived to have children and to take care of the family. They lived to survive.
We are the dependents of those bloodlines. We are the results of their choices, actions, and quest for a better life. Modern women are in an unprecedented time that our foremothers have never experienced. We can choose the type of relationships we want to have. We can choose if we will have children and our kind of education. Women are making more empowering decisions and are more financially secure than ever before in recorded history.
Acknowledging our foremothers and thanking them for their sacrifices to teach us is important to heal our past and our future. We are at the front of the line. We have 2,300 mothers behind us. We are the first ones facing the future, facing the unknown. Of course, it's scary. No one has ever done this before. There is no framework set up for it. That's why self-actualized women are literally creating their own destinies. The choices we make today can perpetuate the struggle and the suffering of our foremothers, or they can heal ourselves and our lineage and heal our children.
We are also a part of the lineage of wisdom keepers, for example, a midwife, herbalist, martial artist, and a qigong practitioner. I have a long list of mentors and teachers who gave up so much in order to teach me. This time of year asks us to send them gratitude and healing for their sacrifices and commitment to the healing arts. Because of their teachings, their legacy continues.
Here's a real-world example of how we honor our lineage. As we complete each Qigong session, we bow to our teachers, our teachers, teachers, and the teacher within. I love this practice because it honors and respects our lineage of wisdom keepers and our own inner knowing.
Celebrating, Releasing, and Becoming
The Winter Solstice and the end of the year allow us to take an honest look at our past year. We have to look backward to move forwards. Let's look at what we can celebrate, release and become.
Celebrating your small wins and biggest accomplishments, acknowledging and asking ourselves what we are most proud of in our lives is an important practice. I invite you to journal or make a list of wins and accomplishments you have done so much over this past year that you can be proud of!
I'm curious about your life; what are some of your biggest wins? What are you the proudest of? Let us know in the comments!
Learning From Your "Mistakes"
When you acknowledge your wins, you must reflect on your biggest lessons and mistakes. Even though these experiences may leave an unpleasant feeling in your heart, they are the waste products that need to be released and let go of. What makes the best garden soil? Manure. The waste products become the best mulch for our new life-affirming experiences to grow in.
Qigong practice teaches us how to sift through the manure and find the gold. Every challenge has gold. That is the art of alchemy, as qigong practitioners cultivate the conditions to turn manure into gold.
How about you?
What were your big life lessons this past year?
Who You Are Becoming?
As I mentioned earlier, you are becoming the result of the 2,300 foremothers who passed on their legacy. What you are becoming is unprecedented. Who you are becoming can be career and lifestyle-related, or it can be something a little different.
Let's talk about what could be different. What I'm referring to is on a soul level. Who we are becoming is not a perfect person. For example, I've heard this time and time again. To attract your soulmate, you have to work through all your relationship problems before you can attract love into your life. That is, like saying you are not lovable until you don't have any problems.
Or, if you are striving for success in the business world, you will not be successful unless you are a high achiever, well-polished, independent career woman.
That says your value is in your performance. Your self-worth is in your job.
Yes, we all want a career and to earn more. But now, we must create a livelihood that aligns with our core values. And one that serves and supports others while making the world a better place. It takes a person who understands their value to do that type of work in the world.
So, let me ask you, who are you becoming? How do you source your self-worth?
Nourishing Self-Care Practices For The Winter Solstice
Doing this type of life-affirming work takes a lot of energy, stirring up emotions. My biggest suggestions for taking excellent care of yourself are:
Drink lots of water
Get moving, dance, stretch, breathe, take a hike
Eat healthy greens and take Chlorophyll
Journal, share with a friend, laugh, cry, and sing
Light candles, have a ceremony, ring bells, or build a fire
These are all great ways to support the cleansing and releasing process and help restore and nourish your body.
This time of the year can be confusing and artificially busy as we prepare for the holidays. I hope you get the opportunity to carve out the time it takes to fully clear your space, honor your lineage, celebrate your wins, learn from your lessons, and allow yourself to embrace the woman you are becoming. This important work supports you in moving gracefully and fearlessly into the next chapter of your life.
Happy Solstice and Holidays!
Hugs and deep bows of gratitude to you and your practice!