If you're reading this, you probably know what the Winter Solstice is, you've probably been to SoulCycle at least once, and you may have bonded with a lover at an acro-yogic sex retreat. At the very least, I know you Google your monthly horoscope, and there's nothing wrong with that; that's the type of person I am, too. Winter solstice rituals are just part of your annual tradition, along with dressing your home with non-denominational but kinda-pagan holiday decorations. You're a spiritual being living a human existence, and the fact that you've dated more than one man-bun donning dude named Aiden doesn't make you a stereotype. You're a unique snowflake on a path to enlightenment.
So here are a few ideas for some Winter Solstice rituals you can pass on to the children you'll probably name "Tangerine" and "Apple," which they could pass on to their friends at the playground. These are rituals that will preserve the fire inside you on the coldest, darkest day of the year without burning you out. These are rituals you can do no matter how low your incense supply is running, because we all know some rituals just need a little more sage than others, am I right? Yes I am. So pin that on your Pinterest board and.... save it. I don't know. Here are a few ways to celebrate the Winter Solstice, and take the time for some inner self-reflection.
This is a classy and crafty way to celebrate winter, assuming you live near a Michael's art supply store and not somewhere in the woods. You can channel your inner winter goddess and you can flex your creative muscles. (Not to mention, show the neighbors what a f*cking MARTHA STEWART you truly are.) Find an art supply store, get yourself a wood wreath, and a few fancy things to throw on there. You can then either fill it with fake leaves, flowers, pine needles etc., from said art store, or you can walk around your neighborhood park filling it with whatever you find on the ground. If you live in a major city like NYC, be careful of um, questionable materials! Unless that's y'know, what you're going for. It's your vision.
According to Circle Sanctuary, "Across many cultures for at least several thousand years, gifts have been exchanged among family and friends at Solstice time." I mean, who has got the money to give gifts for Christmas AND the solstice? Last I checked, my name wasn't Moneybags Mc'RichPockets. But the solstice is a time when I think it's perfectly acceptable to get a couple friends together for a handmade gift party, as long as you make it clear that this isn't a competition to show who's the boss of crafty-town.
The solstice is a dark time, so we have to use this holiday to shine our inner light, to rest and renew ourselves for the coming spring. So don't use this as an opportunity to outshine everyone with your arts and crafts skills.
Every solstice day is about communing with nature, since the solstice marks the quarterly cycle of change that comes with every season on this big blue marble we call Earth. Getting out to enjoy the changes that come by communing with the outside world is another way to honor the winter, and since winter is associated with seeking shelter for rest and renewal, why not channel your inner bird-lady and get out there to feed the animals?
Circle Sanctuary suggests this method:
Grains and seeds, and the feeding of creatures have been associated with Yuletide holidays for hundred of years in Europe. To continue this tradition, gather some sunflower seeds in a large basket or bowl. Go outside next to the home or to a place frequented by wild birds and other wild creatures.
They then go on to say that everyone gathers in a circle and chants, "We are part of the Family of Nature!" but I'd advise doing that at your own discretion.
Happy Winter Solstice!