The Winter Solstice is the darkest day of the year, which also means the beginning of longer, more light-filled days to come. Whether you celebrate the solstice in community with others, as a time to turn inwards and reflect, or perhaps a little of both, here are some of the rituals, readings, and explorations we’re spending time with.
“I was born on the Summer Solstice and, perhaps as a result, have always been acutely aware of how the light shifts from the longest day to the shortest. I think that watching the light slowly fade out of the sky at the end of the day does wonders for our circadian rhythms, and is a way to celebrate winter instead of hiding out indoors and shutting out the dark months. So many incredible historic sites were built around this exact phenomenon. This month, in a travel restricted world, during the coldest and darkest days, I am grateful to observe this ritual in the evening from the warmth of my living room.”
—Xan, Creative Producer
“I take an herbal bath and set intentions. For the winter solstice, I might include lavender and rose because they smell so good and also they support calming and tuning into my heart. I always include the elements, water (bath), fire (candles), earth (stones), wind (feathers, leaves, etc). Then flowers/plants all around! During winter, I include pine, poinsettias, holly, and lilies. Winter solstice is, of course, the darkest night of the year, so we are sitting with the darkness, acknowledging it, letting it show itself (this could look like acknowledging your shadows). And then letting go/reframing that darkness and bringing in more light. So setting intentions for what will bring you more light. How can your shadows serve you? This is where I will also meditate for my ‘word of the year’ by following the questions: ‘What do I need?’ ‘What’s in my way?’ ‘What needs to go?’”
—Nikki, Customer Care
“Some friends of mine in Sunshine Canyon always host a Solstice party with a potluck, and then do a naked run around a tree on their property.” 😯
—Amy, Package Designer
Connecting inwards and outwards:
On Being’s Midwinter Gathering offers ritual, poetry, and reflection, a lovely way to sit with the solstice.
Immerse Yourself in the Sunrise:
Observe the Solstice sunrise at Newgrange virtually (as recommended by Xan!) without needing to put on pants.
Sip on sunshine:
Our enlivening Super Happy Sunshine blend supports us in welcoming more light into our life. Make it into this Lemon Cookie latte recipe for an uplifting treat.
Learn the importance of solstice in Indigenous Culture:
In Indigenous cultures, celebration of the solstice reconnects folks to the patterns of the natural world.
Nourish yourself according to the season:
Whether you’re cooking with warming spices or eating root veggies, JamHaw's guide helps you connect to the season through deep nourishment.
Marvel at the world’s beauty:
Why is it so beautiful? See the world through the eyes of an indigenous botanist (& author of Braiding Sweetgrass) and imbue yourself with a piece of music inspired by her book.