Ok – I admit it – I’m a secret hippy. Christmas is all fine and lovely (and of course very significant in the Christian faith) but I’m more of a fan of New Year than Christmas truth be told – I love the ritual of saying good bye to one year and welcoming in the next – especially if it involves the tradition “first footing” as our friends in the North of England and Scotland do.
Another favourite is the Winter Solstice which is today. A major pagan festival with rituals of celebration and rebirth, many of the traditions associated with Christmas such as mistletoe, Christmas trees and yule logs actually have their roots in Winter solstice celebrations which have taken place for thousands of years.
The Winter Solstice (the word solstice derived from the Latin word ‘solstitium’ meaning ‘Sun standing still’) is the meteorological turning point of the year as following this night the sun grows stronger in the sky and the days become gradually longer once more.
Thus the Winter Solstice is a celebration of the birth of sun, light and fire – and is the perfect time to let go of the year that has gone and embrace the light of the coming year.
So here’s the hippy bit…
I’d like to invite you to join me in a little Winter Solstice ritual to release the year that has passed and welcome the year to come.
- Reflecting on the year – on one piece of paper write down all the things you want to celebrate as you look back on the year – small accomplishments or big achievements, personal and professional – anything that feels important to capture – just note it down. Add all the things you want to acknowledge yourself for onto the list too. Then put piece of paper in an envelope and tuck it away somewhere for safe keeping
- On another piece of paper, write down all the things that you want to release from the year that has passed. Include any emotions, experiences, fears etc that you want to let go of – if it pops into your head and you want to release it, write it down
- Now (in a safe place!) set fire to this piece of paper and watch as those things are released to the air
- Next – hold gently in your mind your highest dream or hope for the coming year. What would you like to do differently? What is the quality that you most want embody?
- With this thought in your mind – light a candle. Take a moment to take in the glow and beauty of the flame and to contemplate what you want for the year ahead. Then blow out the candle – sending your energy and wish out towards the coming year…
Wishing you a sparkling festive season – may the sun shine on you and yours in 2018.