Your Winter Solstice Guide: Out With the Old
Do you have the Winter blahs? Some people have them before it even begins. That’s normal and called being human. You’re not alone. Psychology Today says that as many as 10 million Americans have diagnosable Seasonal Affective Disorder, and as much as 10 percent of the population has a mild form of it.
If you have the blahs, you are not alone. I won’t try and tell you to “cheer up and just be happy.” I can help you find a way to go through these feelings with slightly more optimism, and dare I say, “holiday spirit,” than you may have now. Today then, we are going to go through an “out with the old” Winter Solstice Guide.
What is the Winter Solstice?
Each cardinal sign launches a season with a Solstice or an Equinox. For Capricorn, it’s the Winter Solstice. This is an important time of year for your soul, because like all other living things on this planet during Winter, you undergo a period of rebirth, whether you know it’s happening or not.
It’s no coincidence that the Northern Hemisphere has rituals and traditions such as “New Year’s Resolutions” around the same time that the Winter Solstice begins. Earthlings are ready to start fresh when January 1 comes. This is precisely what the Winter Solstice is about, and Capricorn is the leader of the pack.
It’s also no coincidence that an earth sign is the leader of the pack. Think of what happens to vegetation during the Winter season. It gets packed down, dampened, and left to cultivate until warmer weather can arrive. When warmer weather arrives, and cardinal sign Aries leads us into the Spring Equinox, blossoms appear soon after.
The earth signs are our gardeners. Think of all the earth signs you know, they likely have some connection to spring and summer gardening. Because they are earth signs! So Capricorn leads the way into Winter for a very important reason.
What happens to blossoms during the Winter? They are in a period of dormancy and rest, and also preparation. The Winter Solstice means that the Sun is out in the world for two more minutes every day. Vegetation uses this extra sunlight every day to literally vegetate before the Spring thaw.
December 21 is the shortest day of the year. Then, on December 22, the days lengthen. What that means is that the Sun is out longer every day, by exactly two minutes. The Sun rises one minute earlier the next day, and another minute earlier than that the next day, and so on and so on.
The Sun sets one minute later on December 22, and another minute later than that the next day, you get the picture. Every day you get one extra minute of Sun, in the morning, and again at night. What does this mean for YOU and your means of navigating this seemingly seasonably blah period?
Well, although we are getting more Sun now, we can still experience our own sort of spiritual Seasonal Affective Disorder. Most northern areas get more snow and wintery conditions after December 21, so although we have more Sun, we also have more Winter. It can be depressing.
What is happening to other forms of life during this season? When you know the answer to that, and apply it to your own life, you have essentially created your own Winter Solstice Guide.
All other forms of life are laying under the top layer of snow, permafrost, and mulch, in preparation for that beautiful time when Aries will launch the Spring Equinox. Until then, there’s a period of growth that happens underneath the surface we don’t see happening. That is what you want to focus on for your own soul as you celebrate the Winter Solstice. Yes, celebrate it.
The Spiritual Significance of the Winter Solstice
This is a time of rebirth. Think of how you want to blossom in your life come the Spring. You need to do some preparations for that. In Winter, that means out with the old to make room for the new blossoms. The more light that you have in your day, the more you can follow that light and grow your soul and reach your soul’s purpose, little by little, every single day.
The extra light every day symbolizes more hope in your day, and, your life. This is what every Winter Solstice ritual is about – growth and rebirth. First, before you do that, you must get rid of what is no longer serving you. Sometimes in our gardens we put leaves over top of our plants and flowers-to-be as a mulch product.
It would be unwise to put ALL of the leaves from the yard into the garden. That would just create a big mess, so what do we do? We throw out the leaves we don’t want, and keep a fine layer on top for mulching. That’s how you gain rebirth for your soul during the Winter Solstice as well – out with the old. Make it dead to you like those leaves that fell in Autumn.
Not sure how to do it? Every major culture has a Winter Solstice ritual. Here are some ideas.
Winter Solstice Rituals You Can Start Right Now
Winter Solstice rituals are designed around the ancient ones from the Mayans and the Romans where loved ones gathered around and enjoyed big feasts that took place before the long, Winter months when the harvest was impossible and food became scarce. You may have already had one of those rituals if you celebrated Thanksgiving this year.
We do the same thing at Christmas too! Or, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s, and the like. Every culture has their own way of celebrating the Winter Solstice feast before scarcity, whether you realize it or not. Here are some more ways of celebrating this “out with the old” mentality. You may already be doing some without even realizing it!
• Watch a sunrise: When you start your day embracing that extra minute of sunlight, it’s invigorating. Check the times and dates of your daily sunrise and crawl out of bed to watch it happen. In Stonehenge, England, thousands gather every year to watch the first sunrise at the Winter Solstice, a tradition that has been happening for thousands of years.
When you start your day in the light, the day continues in the light.
• Take a candlelit bath: Baths are purifying. When you take a Winter Solstice bath, add light around you with candles. Imagine the water is purifying you. Go under the water like the plants go under the mulch, and rise out of it anew. If you make wishes or set intentions when you rise above, even better.
• Declutter: Time to clean out those closets that are collecting things you no longer use. They are taking up space, and when space in your closet or home is used for things you no longer use, you disrupt your spiritual energy flow. That’s why you always feel better when you clean out your closet. The energy is flowing again! Out with the old.
• Stay in the light. The more light there is in your day, the better. This really works to defeat Seasonal Affective Disorder, caused by a lack of light. The tradition of Christmas lights or holiday lights originated around the festivities of Saturnalia and Winter Solstice.
Saturnalia is the Saturn return. It’s no coincidence that Saturn is also entering Capricorn this time of year, this year. Add light to your day, and when you do, you add hope. Put twinkling Christmas lights of hope in every room if you need to!
• Yule logs are a common Winter Solstice tradition because they celebrate the vegetation of the Earth, through the log, with the celebration of light. Light a yule log, or simply put the Yule Log channel on. Light is light no matter the source! The hoisting of the yule log into the fire or the hearth was originally a Norwegian tradition that’s made it into North American traditions as well.
Now you know it has a purpose. Burning a log, or symbolically appreciating this from a Yule Log channel on TV, represents the burning of things no longer working in our lives.
• Celebrate the holiday tree. The holiday tree or Christmas tree as it is often called is another ritual that stemmed from the Winter Solstice celebrations. Again we celebrate the Earth and earth sign Capricorn by bringing in vegetation from the outside and then decorating it beautifully to celebrate.
A little blessing for your tree every day when you put the lights on is a very special Winter Solstice ritual.
As the cardinal sign of the earth signs launches Winter with the Winter Solstice, you too can celebrate this special time of year, no matter what holiday you are celebrating right now. As more and more light enters our day every day, you can maximize this symbol of hope by setting the intention for your soul to honor the light, and cast into darkness what is no longer serving you.
Keep an eye on your Daily Horoscopes and Weekly Horoscopes for your day by day action plans. What are your Winter Solstice intentions?
Related Article: 7 Ways to Reduce Stress Over the Holidays