How to harness the energy of the Winter solstice
Most people know that Winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, but what else is there to it? We asked Founder and Director of Nourish Hub Shannon Beard to share her knowledge on how you can harness the energy of this significant day in the cosmic calendar.
Deriving from the Latin word ‘sōlstitium’, the word solstice translates to ‘sun stands still’. Winter solstice here in Australia occurs when the Southern Hemisphere is furthest away from the sun. This year the winter solstice occurs on Monday 21st June at 1:31pm AEST, sharp. It will be the darkest and shortest day of the year.
“Each calendar year our planet earth travels through two solstices, summer and winter and two equinoxes, spring and autumn. This is the astronomical way of perceiving the progression of the four seasons of the year” Shannon says.
Following the Winter solstice the nights will grow shorter, the days will grow longer and the energy will start to expand until we reach the summer solstice, which is the lightest and longest day of the year. An equinox signifies a change in season but day and night are of equal length.
Harnessing the sun’s transformative energy
Signifying the sun’s rebirth, winter solstice celebrations involve invoking and honouring the symbolism of light and darkness, of yin and yang. Other themes that are present during this time are life, death, the ascending sun and the moon.
“Spiritually, Winter solstice is an incredibly powerful time as we experience a standstill of the earth and a shift of direction,” Shannon says.
“This shift of the earth can be mirrored through our own experience, perhaps in a shift of direction with personal belief patterns, careers and relationships.”
So Winter solstice is a great time for reflection, with new beginnings and cycles at the forefront. This year’s Winter solstice falls close to a full moon in Capricorn, peaking on June 25, which Shannon says could take you from rest and reflection to having an appetite for change.
“The zodiac of Capricorn is very much focused on the qualities of ambition, determination and personal growth. So, whilst the Winter solstice is generally a time of hibernation, you may find that around the full moon you experience a renewed sense of enthusiasm and energy.”
Similar to the energy present at the time of a new moon, this darker, reflective, more inward energy can give you time and space to gain some clarity on your true self and what you most deeply desire.
“As mother earth retreats inward to rest and heal during the winter months, I like to think of this time as a reminder to reflect on our connection to nature – and take this opportunity to mirror and harness this opportunity,” Shannon says.
Connect using ritual this Winter solstice
Shannon shared some simple practices or rituals you can perform to connect with the energy of the Winter solstice.
1. Perform a personal Cacao Ceremony for yourself using Nourish Hub Ceremonial Grade Cacao. Shannon describes Cacao as a beautiful elixir that has many health benefits, as well as heartopening and grounding properties. Perfect for self-reflection. “I recommend brewing a cup of Ceremonial Grade Cacao, taking a few deep breaths, setting an intention and then mindfully sipping on your cup of Cacao. Allow any insights, thoughts or emotions to arise.”
2. Eat warming, easy-to-digest, gut-nourishing foods. Perhaps you’d like to create a beautiful winter feast with warming foods to share with a loved one.
3. Take a bath with endota essential oils. “I recommend selecting warming, bright, citrus essential oils to symbolise the energy of the Sun’s rebirth. The Clarity oil with Lemon, Orange and Mandarin is perfect.”
4. Spend time in nature. Plan a special bush walk to a tranquil place and do a grounding meditation to honour mother earth. Or do something creative to connect with nature.
“You could create something handmade such as a mandala, a wreath or engage in painting and drawing,” Shannon says.
5. Take the time to travel within, through practices like meditation, journaling and setting intentions using affirmations. Shannon recommends keeping a dream journal next to your bed as your dreams may become more vivid around the winter solstice, providing insights on the direction of your life.
You may also want to use the following crystals in your Winter solstice rituals:
Selenite: This is a self-cleansing crystal that helps with recharging your energy field, calming and clearing the minds and clear away old, stagnant energy.
Black Obsidian: This is a protective, divine crystal and a great one to have on hand throughout winter. It can assist with feelings of sadness, darkness and agitation and can help protect you from darker, ungrounded energies.
Rose Quartz: The stone of pure love, Rose Quartz helps to remind you that throughout the change of seasons and the change of direction within your life, you are loved and you are enough. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, this is a great stone to keep with you.