It is the Winter Solstice: The longest night of the year is a peak Yin time, the time of the year that honours the aspects of feminine energy, embodied in quietude and deep reflection, allowing your body and mind to rest in stillness. Just breathing, just being aware of your breath and the gentle rise and fall of your chest. So still, so peaceful. And yet, within the long dark night is the promise of light to come, as the days now get longer and move towards the warmth and light of the yang warmer months.
Rituals are so important in our lives: they bring our awareness into the cycles of life and our connection to the cycles of nature. They are reminders of the ephemeral nature of our brief lives but also provide us with reminders of the importance of our relationships with one another and with the natural world and to value and honour that relationship.
Midwinter rituals appear in all cultures and very often revolve around the symbolism of fire, lighting the long night and keeping us warm in our hibernation. Do you have a midwinter ritual that helps you to connect to the season that you share with your loved ones? Here at Wabi’an, we light a fire and take some time to reflect on the past year and then to share a warm cup of mulled wine and chat about our hopes for the coming year. Midwinter marks the New Year, so I like to write down my intentions for the coming year and then burn them in the fire as a symbol of my commitment and as an offering of gratitude to my ancestors and to the spirits of this land.
Midwinter is also a peak creative time for all kinds of introspective arts. So take some time to sip something warming, pause, write a poem, whisper a song.