As the Winter Solstice approaches on 21 June, many souls will be showing reverence during the shortest day and the longest night of the year in the Southern Hemisphere. And why do so many people create and perform rituals at this time of the year? Because of the symbolic and spiritual significance of the solstices.
The Winter Solstice represents to many a rebirth of the sun, and can be a contemplative time bearing its own magic and medicine. The return of the light symbolises renewal, rebirth, and gratitude for its illuminating presence.
Find your own way to celebrate the solstice. Winter Solstice is certainly a time for facing inward, tuning into your own deep intuition and turning into the depths of the as yet unknown. This is why it is said to be the time of the ‘yin’ (divine feminine aspect) and of receptivity.
It is also the perfect day to perform a ritual of letting go. You may choose to create your very own ritual, but here are some ideas based on what people have done through the ages.
A really effective way of letting go would be a steaming with indigenous herbs at home, or going to a sweat lodge. The sweat lodge is a religious ritual of ancient origin used by Native Americans and has become popular around the world as a means of detoxification – both on a physical and energetic level. And so, it is tremendously effective to facilitate letting go of what is ready to be released. Here are two methods of creating a sauna in your bathroom. Add indigenous herbs to the bathtub for that medicinal effect, and to aid in detoxification.
Light a fire and let go
Winter is a time of releasing the old, and inviting the new. Let the beginnings of winter allow deep reflection to unlock a new layer of wisdom within you. While we celebrate this darkness for what it brings, during the winter solstice we start to invite the sun back into our lives. Lighting a fire inside is symbolic of this invitation.
Light a fire in a fireplace, outdoor fire pit, or other safe place. You can invite friends to share in this ritual with you, or do it alone. Meditate on what it is you would like to release, e.g. limiting beliefs that don’t serve you, toxic emotions or relationships, etc. Take your time with this, there is no rush, and write each thing you intend to release on pieces of paper. Throw each piece into the fire, while speaking out loud what you are releasing into the darkness. You may even have a chant (your own or one you’ve found) you’d like to say at the end, to seal off this ritual. Our intentions hold a tremendous amount of power as we are all creators – we create both from positive and negative spaces. The more we focus on mindfully creating from a positive space, the more we align with our souls’ desires.
Buddhism-Inspired Ritual for Release
Each Buddhist ritual has a clear beginning, middle and end. You can open this ritual by, for example, lighting a candle, sitting on a mat on the floor, ringing a bell or lighting/smudging with incense (we suggest using frankincense incense resin as it is good for opening and clearing unwanted energy). Or all these things! Then set an intention, e.g. “May I release anger around *insert person or situation*” and repeat several times. For the middle part, sit in silence and observe the breath, symbolising letting go energetically. You might want to focus your gaze on the candle or close your eyes. Traditionally in Buddhism, you will close off by expressing your wish that all beings may find peace and happiness. You end it all off as you began, by blowing out the candle, ringing the bell, smudging with incense (myrrh incense resin is very good for closing a ceremony), or bowing to signify the finality of this release. Or all of the above.
May ALL beings be happy.
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