We have all heard of the winter solstice which this year was on 21 December 2020 and represented the shortest day of the year. A day where daylight is shorter than any other time, but also a time when the sun rises and sets in the same place over 3 days.
For us in the 21st century December is predominately aligned to the Christian calendar of the birth of Christ celebrated as Christmas – a busy month of planning, preparations and buying. It certainly has a very different feel to how our ancestors marked the Winter solstice and its 7-6 week cycle.
Even though Christmas was very different this year for most of us due to the co-vid restrictions I expect the lead up to Christmas day was probably still full on and possibly quite stressful.
So what is the true meaning of the Winter solstice and what can we learn from it in our modern lives? For our ancestors the Winter solstice meant stillness, a time to slow down and rest. The harvest had been gathered, food stored and planting of new crops wouldn’t be taking place until the Spring Equinox. So for them this meant restoration, retreat and a time to conserve energy.
Is this something that we could bring into our lives? I feel we can because in one way the weather encourages us to snuggle in at home and spend time with family (especially if we weren’t under co-vid measures!). We may find ourselves resting and sleeping a bit more, making use of the darker evenings. We can also consciously slow down, take time to listen to our bodies, accept that is OK to sit and read or watch a film in the afternoon. Slowing down can be difficult for some people as it also creates a space to think, to allow thoughts and memories to come to mind and that may be painful. However, accept them in, don’t judge or try to fix, just allow the thoughts to come in and know that they will pass.
As we move through the Winter solstice we recognise that this is also the time for the returning of the light, a time when the Sun very gradually returns in length within our days. This year more than ever I feel the return of the light is not only physically manifested but also symbolically. For as we go through the Winter solstice we are hoping for a very different succeeding year – a year of hope and light as we come to terms and accept what we have all been through. Over the next few months we know that the Sun is coming back to us and sharing with us its beauty and power just as it did for our ancestors thousands of years ago.
Whether you are a winter lover or not take the opportunity to slow down or snatch bits of time to do absolutely nothing, you deserve it and your body needs it!
If you feel you need some extra help is slowing down I invite you to book a distance Reiki session. From the comfort of your own home, receive healing that invites deep relaxation, peace and balance of harmony within your body.