Image Artwork by Susan Seddon Boulet
In the Northern Hemisphere, December 21st marks the Winter Solstice and the dark night of the soul.
Traditionally the Winter Solstice has been a time to honor darkness and to journey deep within to reflect, restore and nourish from the inside out.
Every living being on this planet is a reflection of dark and light. As beautiful as a rose is when it’s in full bloom, it too still needs to die and wither away into the darkness in order to be reborn. Just like the petals float away and the bud closes for the winter in order to regenerate, we too follow a similar process.
Nature is always providing us clues as to the cosmic energy around us and where Mother Earth is directing her attention. By following the rhythms and cycles of the Goddess Mother Earth, we too can bring harmony and equilibrium to our own state of being.
The Winter Solstice also represents the Sun shifting into the 10th sign of the zodiac, Capricorn. Capricorn energy is practical, grounded and forces us to really assess and reflect on our lives and the energy we are putting out into the world.
This year, the Winter Solstice also falls at the same time as Mercury Retrograde, which means that we are all going to be given a glimpse of buried thoughts, feelings and emotions.
Seeing as Mercury will also be travelling through Capricorn at this time, it is important for us to look at things in a practical and almost black and white manner. Perhaps this dark night of the soul is one that we have to approach using our masculine, logical side of the brain.
Perhaps we have to allow ourselves to see who we truly are without running, without hiding in our emotions and without judgement.
Celebrating the darkness is not about celebrating evil. Celebrating the darkness is about celebrating the depths of who we are, and honouring that we all have parts of us that the light is yet to touch.
Celebrating darkness is about celebrating the seeds of potential that live within us all. When your soul came to this earth, it came equipped with everything it needed in order to achieve what it needed to achieve.
The seeds are buried within you, and only by acknowledging them, nourishing them and giving them time to grow in the darkness, will you be able to bring them into the light.
On the Winter Solstice, it will be time for you to travel through the soil of your own soul and see what needs to be tended to. This is your time to go within, silence your mind and travel deep to the place where your soul meets your body.
In the Southern Hemisphere you will not be experiencing the dark night of the soul, instead you will be experiencing the Summer Solstice. This is a time to reflect on your light and to get out into the world to shine!
Just like the flowers will be in bloom, those living in the Southern Hemisphere will also be feeling this energy and will be encouraged to start taking action, making plans and turning their creations into realities.
It is interesting that we can be experiencing both of these energies on the same planet. But really, there is no separation to these energies as they are one in the same cycle.
No matter where you live, the Solstice is a beautiful and magical time to tend to your needs, nourish yourself and support yourself in the best possible way moving forward.
It is also a time to celebrate the end of the year, and just how far you have come. Your soul, your body and your mind and have all made it through this year stronger, wiser and more beautiful than ever before. And this is worth celebrating.
Want to celebrate with a ritual? Here are some ideas for both the Summer and Winter Solstices.