As we come up to our winter solstice in the southern hemisphere, and the summer solstice in the northern, we wanted to share a simple, beautiful ritual with you to make the most of this special time.
On two moments each year, called solstices, the Earth's axis is tilted most closely toward the sun.
The hemisphere tilted most towards the sun, sees its longest day (summer solstice), while the hemisphere tilted away from the sun sees its longest night (winter solstice).
Having the shortest day means the winter solstice is also the longest night of the year, and one of the original traditions was rooted in candlelight—both for the needed light, and to celebrate the sun's return in the coming months.
The solstice is a time to celebrate the natural world, take some time to meditate and go within to connect with Self in contemplating the year that has been and the second half of the year to come:
What do you wish to make of this time, goals, your focus, dreams?
A lovely solstice tradition to establish is meditating on the above with the soft candlelight.
A mini ritual to meditate, relax, unwind and connect within.
Here is a short but enjoyable meditation for you to enjoy as a simple way to light up and go within...
Firstly, create a quiet moment in your day or night, turning off the phone and ensuring there will be no interruptions. Have a glass of water, journal and pen or paper handy next to you.
Light a candle and have it sitting safely in front of you just out of reach but close enough to “see” the flame with your eyes closed as though the candle is the Sun.
Choose either silence or gentle music softly playing in the background.
Sit comfortably upright with a straight back or lying on the ground, comfortable and cosy.
Begin to breathe in through your nose and out through the mouth, gentle, even circular breaths.
After a minute, allow your in-breath to draw down deeper into your belly, holding it there for a count of 5 seconds, then let your breath out slowly through your mouth, pushing out every bit of air with your belly.
Repeat for 10 breaths.
Look at the flame. Is it steady or dancing? Just observe, continuing your breath in through the nose and out through the mouth, flowing in and out evenly, allowing the breath to fill deep into your belly, and float out to empty your lungs.
There is nothing to think about or do but breathe and observe the candle flame.
Observe and breathe for 3-5 minutes.
After about 3-5 minutes, close your eyes gently and still “see” the flame, bright, yellow-orange, warm.
Feel the warmth of the flame moving into your mind, filling the space where thoughts are. But notice you have no thoughts (or if you do, you gently release them as they come up), but you feel the warmth of the flame.
The warmth then flows down into your heart, a lovely flame burning brightly in your heart, the warmth flooding through your chest. Still no thoughts, just the feeling of warmth.
Warm like the sun.
Every time you start to think or your mind tries to be active, come back to the warmth, the flame and no thoughts, just feelings of warmth and the vision of the flame.
After a while of being here for 5, 10, 15 minutes (or more), open your eyes and reach for the paper and pen.
Begin writing freestyle without trying to control or censor the words or flow.
Whatever word comes into your mind first, write it down, then allow words to connect and come one after the other.
If a drawing comes first, draw freely without trying to control what it is you are drawing.
Continue until the words or pictures stop or when you find yourself thinking about what comes next. There is no thinking, just flowing from a quiet, open mind. So when you start “trying” to think of words, or trying to make it all make sense, then it’s time to stop, have a drink of water and read through your flow.
It doesn’t really matter what you draw or write, the time is to allow your subconscious to come to light or into the light :)
It may mean something to you, or it may not.
It may rhyme, or not.
The drawing may be lovely, or not.
It doesn’t matter what is there. What's important is to free your mind from structured thought and allow your Self to connect within and allow flow.
It is very cleansing, de-stressing, fun and enlightening!
Do you have a special ritual you follow during various times of the year? Or would you be interested in giving this one a try? Let us know in the comments 💛
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