Blessed Winter Solstice everyone!
Today marks the pivotal spot where the earth's northern hemisphere has tilted to its furthest point from the sun. Since June 21st, our hours of daylight have been gradually shortening. Tonight will be our longest night of the year, with the sun setting at 4:53 and not rising again until 7:54. But tomorrow, we begin our gradual ascent back towards the sun, with it appearing a little further north with each sunrise. Our nights will grow shorter as our hours of daylight slowly increase.
Since antiquity, people around the world have marked this day as one for celebration and new beginnings. In Western Europe, Yule logs were burned, candles were lit, and homes were decorated with evergreens. The fire and candles represented the return of the sun, and the evergreens symbolized the persistence of life in the harshness of winter. Some of these traditions such as decorating our homes with evergreens and lights have been incorporated into modern-day Christmas, but there are many ways you can celebrate this special time of year and connect with the natural world around us.
Reconnect with nature. Sprinkle birdseed. Or better yet - take some birdseed to Fanshawe Conservation Area where the orioles will eat out of your hand. Go for a walk in the woods or along a beach. If you are artistic, sketch or photograph something in nature that catches your eye.
Yule Log. If you have a wood stove or fireplace - light it! Or maybe drink some hot chocolate with friends and family around an outdoor bonfire.
Candlelight. I once made a Winter Solstice display by creating candle lanterns out of ice which I set along my walkway, but simply lighting candles in your house will add a beautiful glow to your home. Perhaps you may want to enjoy a candlelight dinner tonight. Or you could go for a drive or walk around your neighbourhood to see the Christmas lights.
Evergreens. Many of us have already decorated our homes with a Christmas tree, wreaths, and garlands. But you can always add more! Perhaps a few snippings from your shrubs to hang over a mirror or window. I place a few branches in vases with bows tied around them for some easy holiday decor in my guest bedrooms.
Quiet contemplation. The holiday season can be very stressful so it is always nice to find some moments for quiet contemplation. Perhaps some quiet solitude is needed to ground yourself in mindfulness of this beautiful season. Or perhaps a more structured meditation is more to your liking. Maybe you may want to take in the evening's quiet energy with a Moon Milk Bath. If you purchased one of my Winter Solstice Intention Candles, this evening is the time to light it!
I hope you enjoyed my ideas and found one or two that you may want to try this evening. And as my Winter Solstice gift to you, I'm offering both my Moon Bath Milk Collection and my Winter Solstice Intention Candles at 20% off today. Use coupon code "SOLSTICE" at the checkout or come into my store to shop in person. Happy Winter Solstice, everyone!