Good Night, Winter Moon.
It's December 21 and we're looking at the shortest day and longest night. Let's set some intentions as we head into this new season.
Happy Winter Solstice,
If you’re reading this on press day (December 21) and happen to be in the Northern Hemisphere, you know you’re looking at the shortest day and the longest night of the year. The good news is that the long night ahead of us is the start of a season where our days will get longer - a sign of hope and better things to come.
As I sat down to create today’s newsletter, I had visions of creating a really cool Winter Solstice issue, where I’d both explain the day and inspire you to take part in some meaningful Solstice activities.
But here’s the deal. My creative juices were not flowing this week. I sat down multiple times to put something together, but it just wasn’t happening.
I tried multiple times to write something profound.
I resorted to Chat GPT for inspiration & asked, “What are some ways to honor the Winter Solstice?” (See the responses below… I printed them as is, not because they’re the most stellar responses but because, remember - my brain is as frozen as the Winter season upon us.)
Watch the Sunrise or Sunset: Find a location where you can witness the sunrise or sunset on the day of the solstice. Many ancient sites, like Stonehenge or Newgrange, were constructed to align with the solstices, making them ideal spots to observe this astronomical event.
Hold a Ritual or Ceremony: Create your own ritual or ceremony to mark the significance of the winter solstice. Light candles, perform meditations or create symbolic representations of the sun to signify the return of light and longer days.
Learn about Cultural Traditions: Explore the diverse cultural traditions associated with the solstice. Different cultures have unique ways of celebrating this event, from bonfire festivals to storytelling and feasting. Understanding these traditions can deepen your appreciation for the solstice.
Connect with Nature: Spend time outdoors and connect with nature. Whether it's taking a hike, having a bonfire, or simply stargazing, being in nature can help you feel connected to the cycles of the Earth and the cosmos.
Reflect and Set Intentions: Use the solstice as a time for reflection and setting intentions for the coming months. Consider what you'd like to manifest or achieve as the days gradually lengthen. Write down your thoughts or create a vision board to visualize your goals.
Yes, these are some great ideas. But I wanted to dig a bit deeper. So, I one-upped the alien recommendations and decided to dig into the word “solstice.”
And I’ll be dipped if that didn’t lead to What I’d Rather Be Talking About this week:
In addition to being a day/night to set intentions for the year ahead,
the Winter Solstice is an opportunity to simply be…
and did you know:
The word "solstice" comes from the Latin word solstitium,
which means "the sun stands still."
It seems that every part of the Winter Solstice, from the darkness to the cold to the meaning of the word itself, is asking (maybe even begging) us to pause today.
And be still.
Maybe that’s why writing this was so hard.
Sometimes, we need to simply be.
With that, I’m going to leave you with your thoughts and the rest of the newsletter.
First, an extensive selection of Winter Solstice podcasts to choose from
The Winter Solstice from the Holistic Spaces podcast - one of my favs
It's not about the Solstice, but it's a really good podcast. I think I said, “She is simply LOVELY” about ten times while listening to author Isabel Allende on this episode of Wiser than Me with Julia Louis Dreyfus.
Return to your inner wisdom and intuition - Winter Solstice style
3 Rituals for the Winter Solstice - have you tried any of these?
A soup for good health - Chinese Winter Solstice Tradition
A complete Winter Solstice menu (save it for next year if you read this too late)
still need to shop? two ideas:
Winter solstice aside, if you haven’t gotten a gift yet, um… chop-chop. Your options are getting limited, but there’s always the gift card route.
Nothing says Solstice like a giant box store, right? I just ordered a new bookshelf (#businesswriteoff) and forgot how much I love Ikea. Here are 10 IKEA products you never knew existed, plus check out these deals.
And with that, I’ll leave you to enjoy the Solstice.
Wishing you many light-filled days in the coming year.