Winter Solstice is a time of paradox. It’s the turning point, where the light returns and the days begin to grow longer once more. It’s also the official start of winter, ushering in the coldest, most snowy months of the year.
This is the height of the winter holiday frenzy, and in less than two weeks, the tree will be hauled outside, all of the faerie lights will be packed away, and the parade of cookies will be over. Here in Maine, spring is but a faint glimmer on the horizon.
Celebrating the winter holidays with family and friends is certainly fun, but my favorite part of Winter Solstice, and the weeks to follow, is turning inward.
True hibernation isn’t an option, but cozying up in your creative cave makes a lot of sense.
Here are some ways to nourish the spark of light within you, which will then begin to burn brighter and brighter as the sun returns.
Playing. What does “play” mean to you? What activities light you up and allow you to relax? There’s no need to be productive in every waking moment – in fact, it’s not good for you to try. Sure, wintertime play is different from summer; my love of being in the water in warm weather will have to wait a bit. Find your favorite winter leisure activities and do them, whether it’s cross-country skiing or knitting by the fire.
Studying. Life-long learning keeps your mind healthy. Research a Goddess or mythos you’re curious about. Take an online course. Learn how to make something. Watch how-to videos on YouTube. What have you been wanting to try? Make a list, and then pick one thing to study this season.
Dreaming. Pay more attention to what you dream at night. Write down your most significant dreams and work with them. If you can’t recall your dreams, then make time to daydream, and notice what images and feelings come up. Explore the symbols, places, and creatures that populate your imagination.
Releasing. Before we move fully into the waxing time of the year, perhaps during the waning moon, let go of something that no longer serves you. It might be a habit, an attitude, or some clutter in your home. Releasing that which you no longer need makes space for new energy as the sun begins to strengthen.
Visioning. What are you called to do in the coming year? How will you be of service to your community? What work are you meant to contribute to the world? What do you long to create? When you’re curled up on these long winter evenings, write some of your ideas in your journal. Listen within, and see what your heart says. Sometimes we get stuck in thinking we have to do things the way we’ve always done them. There’s always a fresh new start available to you. All it takes is listening inward to see what your soul is calling you toward. Once you know that, you can begin to take the inspired actions that will put things in motion.
This Winter Solstice – or after the winter holiday festivities have ended – make time and space for yourself and your inner world.
The world outside will wait. As the snow falls softly over the land, curl up in your favorite cozy spot and nurture your creative soul. Embrace the present moment. Dream like the trees.