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Winter Solstice: From Darkness to Light

Jennifer Mulholland
December 21, 2016

As we head into the festive holiday season and wind down the year, we have a unique opportunity to reflect on the learnings and growth we have been gifted. With the Winter Solstice in play, we have the perfect opportunity to review and renew. Known as a pivotal day of transition, the Winter Solstice has been celebrated by thousands of cultures and communities across the globe since the beginning of time. The shortest day and longest night marks this magical moment and invites humanity to move out of darkness and into the light.

The Winter Solstice is one my favorite times of year when I rise early to meditate, reflect, journal, release, and set my intentions for the year to come. It is also the day that I prepare to lead an annual Winter Solstice Ceremony for the Park City community, something that has brought me deep joy over the past eight years. This evening we will welcome idealists, leaders, visionaries, entrepreneurs and dreamers from around the globe to connect, learn, and inspire one another to make massive positive change, individually and organizationally. 

However, since many of you don’t live in Park City, or are not able to attend this year's sold out ceremony, I wanted to share other ways you can harness the power of the Winter Solstice no matter your location. You can do these on your own or with others. You can choose a ritual below to follow, or even get creative and make up your own. There are many resources on the web that will give you ideas. Just remember that the primary elements of the day are focused on release and intention:

1) Releasing what no longer serves you.

2) Setting your intention to manifest what your heart desires in the year to come.

Winter Solstice Rituals and Reflections

1. Set Space 

Setting space (internally and externally) is an imperative step to connect with your intentions.

Create a peaceful environment with music and privacy. Sit in a comfortable position and light a candle.

Close your eyes and begin to focus on your breath. Notice how it feels to inhale and exhale. Quiet your mind by focusing only on how it feels to breathe.

Invite your higher power - whatever that Source may be for you (God(s), Universe, Nature, Science, etc.) to be present with you. Open your eyes whenever you feel ready.

Candle Lighting Ceremony

With family or friends gathered around a table, place a large white candle in the center, surrounded by smaller candles for each person present. With the candles unlit, turn out the lights and take a moment to connect with the darkness in silence. Invite everyone to reflect on the times of the year where darkness showed up – within themselves or in their environment. Then light the larger inner candle to honor the return of the light. Invite everyone to light their own candle and share their intention, hope or prayer for the coming year.

Fire Releasing Ceremony

Build a small fire (either in your fireplace or in a contained bowl.) Cut pieces of paper that you can write on and have a journal and pen by your side.

Ask yourself: What beliefs, behaviors, and relationships no longer serve me? Write them down on separate pieces of paper. Review them and ask yourself, “Am I willing to let these go?”

Make a pile of the papers that you are willing to release. Sit with them and thank them for giving you the wisdom you needed to grow. If you’d like, you can use the technique called, Ho’Opono Pono, (I am sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you.) Then, when you are ready, take each one (individually or all at once) and burn them in your fireplace or a bowl – releasing their energy into the ethers.

Manifestation Letter

Write a letter to yourself and date it, December 21, 2017.

Start the letter with “As I look back on 2016, I am so grateful for….” and write down all of the things you’re grateful for experiencing (as if they have already occurred), and the person you are grateful for becoming. Be specific and allow your passion to come out. Emphasize how you FEEL, for it is the feeling that attracts the experience.

With your manifestation letter complete, place it in an envelope and self address the envelope (put your name and address in the return address place too). Seal the envelope and place it in a safe place where you will remember to retrieve it a year from now. Or, you can give it to a friend that you trust who will send it back to you just before December 21, 2017.

Gratitude Feast

Honoring the abundance of that which we desire and that which we’ve been gifted is a simple act of creating more to be grateful for. Through celebration, gathering of loved ones and food, we can bring attention to our resources now and in the future.

Host a gathering and ask each guest to bring a dish that symbolizes what they are most grateful for in 2016. At mealtime, ask each guest to share their dish and story. When we bring awareness to what we are most grateful for, we invite more to be grateful of. This is a wonderful way to set the course of abundance for the year to come.  

During this magical time of year, may you embrace the darkness and step into the light inviting your inner flame to illuminate all that you desire and all that you intend to become.

May you know that you are Plenty.
You are enough.
You matter.
Hope needs help.
And hope needs you.

We wish you a wonderful Winter Solstice and healthy, happy holiday season.

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