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A Long Cold Night: Healing with the Winter Solstice

Winter solstice

Here’s a riddle for you:

When is growing dark and disappearing light a reason to give thanks?

When the sun moves south toward the Tropic of Capricorn and the shortest day of the solar year arrives in the Northern Hemisphere—in other words, the winter solstice.

This annual planetary event—which comes this year on December 21—has been celebrated for its spiritual importance since ancient times. The days grow shorter and the nights longer until the solstice.

At the winter solstice, the balance of dark and light tips, and the sun begins a return trip that promises such good things as new life, new growth, increasing warmth, and those bright spring blossoms that gladden your heart! Whether your longest night is truly frigid or just chilly, those hours of darkness are a gift and a time for special spiritual reflection.

Are you ready to pause for a prayer of gratitude for the gift of another year of life and love?

As a spiritual teacher and energy healer, I invite you to celebrate this seasonal cycle by creating your own personal rituals to mark the passing of darkness and the coming again of healing, life-giving light. The winter solstice is a time of rebirth, a special window of peace and renewal. The quiet calm of a long winter’s night welcomes you to look within and nurture your connection to Source. Now is the perfect time to honor your own inner light with renewed attention, awareness, and gratitude.

What are some healing gifts that you can give your spirit this December?

Winter solstice healing practices:

1. Give thanks for the sheltering night

Meditate on the blessings of restful darkness when the busy daytime work is done. Reflect on the amazing spiritual gift of being able to restore your strength and energy whenever you need to. You can create light whenever and wherever you need it. Embrace the quiet, the calm, and the peace you have been given.

Send forth prayers for all who need rest, including yourself, and give thanks for the wisdom to recognize your need to reach out for loving assistance from the Source of All Being.

2. Reflect on the need to let go

At the winter solstice, the sun changes course and begins to move in a new direction. It’s a perfect time to think about the course of your life and decide if you, too, are ready to change direction. With the return of the sun and the longer days to come, what will you do with your “new light”?

Use your journal to reflect on ways you might deeply long to change course.

  • What would you do with a new chance to reinvent your life?
  • Do you need to let go of negative thoughts and beliefs that are holding you back?

Let go of fear and let feelings of love and gratitude rise and refresh your spirit.

3. Imagine ways to re-engage

The return of the light that follows the winter solstice has long been seen as a time of awakening for higher consciousness. The growth of your inner light reflects the growing return of sunlight to a world in need of healing energy. The time is right for you to nurture your spiritual practice, to diminish your personal darkness and increase your light.

  • How will you move forward in the months ahead?
  • How will you contribute to your own healing and thereby help to heal the world?

Honor the solstice by spreading light to others who are in need.

4. Remember the natural world

What’s going on outside as winter begins?

Find time to observe the night sky and study the wonder of the stars in the cold, clear air. Look for bird and animal visitors to your yard and neighborhood. They may be looking for shelter and sustenance that you can help provide. Notice how the trees and plants adapt to a new season. Like them, you are connected to the cosmos.

Can you restore that feeling of connection by getting outside for a while each day?

5. Cultivate joy

From ancient times, the winter solstice has been a time of celebration. The dark that has been building will now retreat. Light begins its return with all the gifts that longer daytime brings—warmth, color, and the power to grow! The year-end gathering of friends and family, the food and drink, the music, and the traditions are all part of the seasonal longing to celebrate happiness and community. Taking good care of your spirit is part of the healing promise of a new season.

You can make your winter solstice a turning point and a time of renewal. Use these spiritual practices to shine your light of love and peace into the world!

Deborah King