Rituals for a Simple Celebration This year, let your winter solstice celebration be an occasion to look deeply at small things, to feel at home in the world and to be just where you belong. Photo By Joe Coca Early nightfall.
Rituals for a Simple Celebration This year, let your winter solstice celebration be an occasion to look deeply at small things, to feel at home in the world and to be just where you belong.
Photo By Susan Wasinger At day's end on the winter solstice, the sun glows like a flame atop this stone circle. Photo By Joe Coca Early nightfall. The sharp silhouette of leaf-bare branches. Orion marching across the evening sky. These are some familiar signs of winter.
We often speak of turning inward during these darker months, becoming quiet and introspective, staying home more often, sleeping longer. Perhaps this year, with some preparation and planning, we can plant the seeds for a more intuitive, simpler, and natural holiday season.
Winter solstice, which takes place in late December, can be a profound way to tune into the magic and beauty of the season. For people throughout the ages—from the ancient Egyptians and Celts to the Hopi—midwinter has been a significant time of ritual, reflection, and renewal.
Creating a meaningful celebration of winter solstice, either in place of or in addition to other holiday activities, can help us cultivate a deeper connection to nature and family and all the things that matter most to us.
Winter can become a time of feeding the spirit and nurturing the soul, not just emptying our bank account and fraying our nerves. And some ancient peoples performed sacred rituals and made offerings when the sun dipped below the horizon to ensure its daily return, especially during the darkest days.
For example, the idea of Santa Claus may have come from the story of the first shamans who were said to climb high into the upper worlds and return with gifts of wisdom and prophecies, postulates Tony Van Renterghem in When Santa Was a Shaman Llewellyn, Richard Heinberg, author of Celebrate the Solstice: In ancient Rome, where it was called Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, or the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun, masters even celebrated as equals with their slaves.
Throughout history, celebrating the solstice has been a way to renew our connection with each other and with the numinous through acts of goodwill, special rituals, and heightened awareness.
This longest night of the year, followed by a renewal of the sun, demonstrates the cyclical order of the cosmos. In this way, celebrating the solstice can be a beautiful remembrance that our lives are part of a larger order, always changing, always renewing. By performing simple rituals with personal meaning to celebrate the solstice, these rituals will serve as touchstones to help us cultivate an attitude of receptiveness and appreciation that will carry us through the holiday season with more ease.
A good starting point might be to make a promise this winter to spend more time listening, watching, and honoring the slower, quieter rhythm of the season.
Consider watching the sun rise or set from your little patch of the world. Reflect on your aspirations for the coming months. Throw the I Ching. Sing an original song. Sharing food, an important part of any celebration, is particularly meaningful during the solstice, as it represents faith in the return of the sun and the harvest.
Silence is another beautiful way to celebrate the shortest day of midwinter. Reflect the stillness of the day by cultivating stillness in yourself. Consider honoring the threshold of solstice with an hour of intentional silence for you and your household. New traditions Creating a new tradition that brings more peace and heart to your holidays could also bring you closer to family and friends.
Sharing a ritual founded on love of nature, on respect for the always renewing cycles of life, and on faith in the future has a way of bringing out the best in people. You might make a wreath with evergreens collected by loved ones on a walk through the woods.A bio poem is a type of writing you will find yourself teaching throughout your career.
This lesson will help you by providing a definition, explaining the format, and providing an example. Port Manteaux churns out silly new words when you feed it an idea or two.
Enter a word (or two) above and you'll get back a bunch of portmanteaux created by jamming together words that are conceptually related to your inputs.. For example, enter "giraffe" and you'll get .
What is a Sonnet? A sonnet is a specific form of poetry. You may have heard that poetry doesn't have many rules, and that anything can be a poem.
But that isn't the case if you want to write a sonnet. The Office of Public Affairs (OPA) is the single point of contact for all inquiries about the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). We read every letter, fax, or e-mail we receive, and we will convey your comments to CIA officials outside OPA as appropriate.
What is a Sonnet? A sonnet is a specific form of poetry. You may have heard that poetry doesn't have many rules, and that anything can be a poem. But that isn't the case if you want to write a sonnet. A bio poem is a type of writing you will find yourself teaching throughout your career.
This lesson will help you by providing a definition, explaining the format, and providing an example.