Making The Winter Solstice Sacred by Dr. Christie Smirl

The winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere marks the longest night of the year. The winter season is characterized by dormancy, stillness, darkness and cold. The December Solstice marks begins the “turning of the Sun” and the days slowly become longer. The winter solstice aligns with the celebrations of Saturnalia and Natalis Invicti and the birth returning light of the world. Christmas, also referred to as Yule originated from the Norse word jól, referring to the winter solstice festival. Across cultures and religions the winter solstice has been adorned in sacredness. Celebrate this year’s shift with beautiful ritual and intention.

Rituals to creating a sacred winter solstice

  • Illuminate your life and home. Fire symbolizes the heat, light and life-giving properties of the returning sun.
    • Burn a winter yule log offering clearing herbs such as sage, lavender, dried flowers, camphor, incense, rice or barley and ghee.
    • Spend time with friends and family around  the fireplace or fire pit sharing time and light of your spirits.
    • Light candles or decorate your home with twinkle lights to remind you of the coming illumination.
    • Take time to watch the rising and setting sun.
  • Offer gifts of charity, warmth, food and forgiveness.
  • Sing songs and prayers of love and peace. The universal prayer is an ancient mantra asking for all beings to be free of suffering and pain. Click here to enjoy my YouTube recording of the beautiful universal prayer . Another prayer to illuminate the divine within us is Asatoma Sad Gamaya. My beloved sadhana sister, Kathy Bolte and I recently recorded Asatoma Sad Gamaya. Click here to enjoy our recording of this prayer.
  • Spend time in silence in self reflection. Meditate. Journal. Sit in the presence of Mother Nature.
  • Take a quiet detoxifying bath surrounded by candles, soft music and appreciate the light within yourself.

Be present in the transitions of nature, the movement of the planets and the opportunities for personal spiritual growth this winter solstice.


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Dr. Christie Smirl has over 25 years of medical experience. She completed a Doctorate of Ayurvedic Medicine from American University of Complimentary Medicine as well as Nurse Practitioner and Master of Science from Loma Linda University. Dr. Christie is also an E-RYT 500 Yoga Teacher Trainer YACEP, Reiki Master/Teacher, Tantric Energy Healer and Musician.

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