This year, Winter Solstice falls on December 22nd. This day will see the shortest daylight and longest night time of the entire year. We celebrate Winter Solstice when our part of the Earth is furthest away from the light, and warmth, of the sun. Some consider this day to signify the start of winter, while others view it as “mid-winter”. Astronomically, the Winter Solstice signifies the days changing from primarily dark, to increasingly lighter.
There is also a much deeper spiritual meaning of Winter Solstice. Religious, spiritual and skeptical people alike take part in rituals that make the most of this magical night.
The Spiritual Meaning of Winter Solstice
During this time of year, we celebrate endings and beginnings. Some believers associate the Winter Solstice with the birth of Jesus. Others consider the day to have been the “birth of the sun”. There are also similarities between the spiritual meaning of Winter Solstice and this time of yearly transition.
Embrace the Darkness
At this time of year, the darkness seems to be unavoidable. For most of us, we start and end our days in the dark, even if we’re only on a 9-5 schedule. It’s no wonder that moods drop during the winter season.
The Winter Solstice, in fact, signifies the end of darkness and the slow hike to days of light. After this spiritual night, the number of daylight hours we see will grow longer. The spiritual meaning of winter solstice is in its symbolism for “darkness” and patiently waiting for “light”. The Winter Solstice signifies the final moments of peaceful solitude we might have before the busier season of Spring arrives.
We are encouraged during this time to enjoy the stillness while we have it. The spiritual meaning of Winter Solstice is based on beliefs we all already hold – it is the concept behind the phrase “it’s always darkest before the dawn”.
Wait for The Light
If one half of the spiritual meaning of Winter Solstice is the darkness, then the other is the light. This current moment might feel far away from any spring-time sunshine, and an eternity from long summer nights – but it’s not.
Winter Solstice is the shortest day we’ll experience. We know that, though it may only be by seconds at first, more light is on its way. Patience is practiced at this time of year, the sunshine will return, we simply have to wait. During this time, we develop our ability to have faith that better things are on their way.
This is reflected in nature as animals go into hibernation during the darkest parts of the year. They wait patiently for the light to trickle back into their lives. Just as the darkness symbolizes both physical and spiritual “endings”, the spiritual meaning of the light is new beginnings.
Spiritual people use this time of year to look into their future and plan what fresh starts they will enjoy in the new solar year.
How to Embrace the Spiritual Meaning of Winter Solstice?
The best way to embrace the spiritual energy of Winter Solstice is to accept the light and the dark and relish them both. The benefits of one do not have to be the downfalls of the other. They will both allow you to grow, just in different ways.
If you’re searching for a way to connect to the spiritual meaning of Winter Solstice, some suggest taking 15 minutes either side of the sunrise to look inwards and reflect first on the year gone by, then on the year to come.
When the sun rises during the Winter Solstice, a new solar cycle begins. The sunlight finally brings the year’s longest period of dark to a close. New beginnings are what come to mind. Spiritualists encourage rituals based on light during this phase.
If you aren’t looking to get too involved, you could light candles or even a bonfire. If you would like to embrace the full spiritual meaning of Winter Solstice, you could burn tokens of your troubles or past you’d like to leave behind. Be it pictures, or old notes, or even thoughts written onto paper, by tossing them into a fire, you’re allowing the light to take away your darkness.
Take advantage of the few daylight hours we have on the days over the Winter Solstice. Spend time outside, connecting to nature no matter the weather. Sunlight, even through clouds, it beneficial to our mental and physical health, not just our spiritual well-being.
Embrace the Dark
When so much of our days are spent in the dark, we have to find ways to thrive no matter the light. A component of the spiritual meaning of Winter Solstice is your inner light.
As well as using candles, fires and lamps to light your space, take a moment to notice the light you spread yourself. Is it bright, or dim? Winter Solstice is the perfect time to practice brightening your own inner light, and to share it with others, to brighten their darkness in turn.
Embracing the darkness can also be applied literally. We spend most of our time avoiding the darkness and flooding ourselves with artificial light. As the spiritual meaning of Winter Solstice includes darkness, you could take these few days as an opportunity to get comfortable without light.
This could be turning off the lights and close the curtains. In total darkness, you can use your own senses to connect with the world around you, just as you would when meditating. You could also stay away from screens and anything which creates artificial light, allowing yourself to be governed by the sun and moon all day instead.
Winter Solstice is a very spiritual time. With a few rituals or moments of reflection, you too could start a transition from darkness to light. You can learn to tune into your own interpretation of inner light and inner darkness. During the Winter Solstice, focus on controlling and embracing what both have to offer.
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