Tuesday 6 December 2016

Celebrating the Winter Solstice.

It's that time of the year again.

Do you feel it?

The stillness in the cool morning air, the anticipation. Mother Earth loosing pale misty sighs and preparing herself for her long winter sleep. Final leaves droop from their branches backlit by the watery Sun.

We are creeping towards the shortest day of the year which, in 2016, falls on the 21st of December in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Solstice is a simple moment in time, 10.44am.  The North Pole is tilted the furthest (23.5 degrees) away from the Sun, making this day an incredible eight hours shorter than its sister, the Summer Solstice. As and from 10.44am, the tilt will decrease and Mother Earth turns her face more and more towards the Sun and we lucky inhabitants gain a few more minutes of precious light with each passing day.

It's a magical time of year with everything ahead of us.

Previous winter solstices have seen me attend ceremonies in St James' Church, Piccadilly, a wonderful old church designed and built by Sir Christopher Wren. Here I saw in the light, accompanied by my two sisters and a crowd of like-minded individuals. There is drumming and chanting, darkness and light. It is rather wonderful.

But this year, as my shamanic background has come more to the foreground, I'm taking my children and some friends to the woods--those of you that are friends of mine on Facebook will have seen the photos I can't help taking of these ancient woods--where we are going to d̶a̶n̶c̶e̶ ̶n̶a̶k̶e̶d̶have a small ceremony to give thanks and appreciation for the love and light in our lives. This year, special thanks are going to the Water Protectors for protecting our sacred land.

To the accompaniment of the Sunset we will sing, drum, rattle and give glorious thanks for our bountiful lives. Call on the Spirits to join us to offer wisdom and courage. Possibly dance, heck, who knows (all depends on how private we manage to be).

We'll celebrate our dark sides and embrace our shadow selves (don't be letting your imagination run away with you here ;) ) at 15.54pm as the sun sinks under the horizon.

Written on a piece of paper, we will have the things of which we want to let go, whether they be emotions or physical things (for instance, I'm letting go of my previous home). When darkness falls across the land (Thanks MJ!) we will stand in silence and contemplation, respecting the year that has been and letting go of things we need not take further with us on our journey.

A small flame will light a main candle, which will light each participant's smaller ones.  I hope to have a small fire (as does my oldest as she wants to toast marshmallows...ancient tradition, anyone?) in which we then burn our writing and allow the ashes to return to Mother Earth.

We will honour the Celtic deities; the Dagda, and Brighid, daughter of the Dagda. Brighid taught the art of fire-making and forever blazed brightly through the dark Winter nights. She is my hero.

Having let go of what we don't need, there is more space for peace, love, harmony and increased happiness.  I believe with all my heart in reciprocity and promise the bringers of these gifts that, to the best of my abilities, I shall share where're I go.

All very simple, but all very life affirming. The Winter Solstice has been celebrated since Neolithic times and it feels right to be engaging in these ancient traditions. My soul sings...and on a dark winter night, what more can I ask for?

I'm interested--how do you celebrate? Come to the woods...

Love and blessings to you all in the run up to the Solstice.


  1. To be honest I've never celebrated Winter Solstice before - I am loving how the later sunrise means I see such beautiful views on my way to dropping my daughter off at school though. Cold, crisp and the air full of promise.

  2. The late sunrise is a very beautiful one. Starting the day off with beautiful views is such a wonderful way to start the day. Who was it who said 'people should see or hear something beautiful, or something untouched by man everyday'? Off to Google...I also love how during misty days and mornings, you can see the perfect orb of the sun. Very lovely. Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

  3. I wish I could go. That sounds so wonderful. My bestie and I used to go to the beach for release of negativity. I find water as calming as your woods.

    1. Beaches are wonderful too, rivers, waterfalls and oceans! All perfect to ground you. Have a wonderful Solstice!