“Solstice” comes from two Latin words: sol meaning “sun” and sistere meaning “to stand still” in earlier times we humans noticed that at mid-winter it appeared as though the sun and moon had stopped moving across the sky.
This longest night of the year, followed by a renewal of the sun, demonstrates the cyclical order of the cosmos. In this way, celebrating the solstice can be a beautiful remembrance that our lives are part of a larger order, always changing, always renewing.
I am off to celebrate and give a personal meaning to the solstice by attending a local woman’s circle tonight as a touchstone to help me cultivate an attitude of receptiveness and appreciation that will carry me through the darker months where I tend to turn inward and seek comfort. Whilst it is going to be beautifully magical to mark the longest night with other women by gathering in circle, not everyone can do so.
I invite you to create a simple ritual around reflection and renewal by making a promise this winter to spend more time listening, watching, and honoring the slower, quieter rhythm of the season. On the solstice today (or a day or two around 21 June is perfect too) you may choose to:
VISIT a place outdoors that is your special place or that speaks to you and nourishes your essence. A place where you feel grounded and at peace.
WATCH the sun rise or set from your place in the world.
WRITE a poem.
MAKE a list of loving wishes for friends, family, coworkers–even people you don’t know that well.
LIGHT a candle or BUILD an altar made of items of nature you have found. REFLECT on your aspirations for the coming months.
SILENCE is another beautiful way to celebrate the shortest day of midwinter. Reflect the stillness of the day by cultivating stillness in yourself. Consider honoring the threshold of solstice with an hour of intentional silence for you and your household.️
Throughout history, celebrating the solstice has been a way to renew our connection with each other and with the divine through acts of goodwill, special rituals, and heightened awareness.
This winter solstice may you circle within to honour yourself.