As the trappings of the holiday season intensifies around us, gifting, buying, celebrating, eating, I invite you to take a pause. We are at a most poignant moment in the wheel of the seasons, full completion of what has come before, and the not quite yet born into the next cycle.
There are many ways to honor and celebrate the Winter Solstice; this moment of release and acceptance, this moment of embracing the unknown and intending with vision our creation, this moment of deepest darkness, of the deepest call within, of that still, soft voice of the soul whispering within you. This inner flame burning ever so gently within your center.
If you are longing for a quiet, reflective and soulful Winter Solstice Practice to honor these energies, alongside the more celebratory moments, here are a few suggestions of ways to honor this season and connect more deeply with the wisdom of the Wildness within you and around you.
Solstice Fire Vigil
From sundown to sunrise of Solstice, light a sacred, ceremonial fire in your hearth, wood stove, or outside in a fire pit. Dress warmly, prepare a hot, warming thermos of broth or tea, and decorate the area (inside or out) with comfortable seating. (If you cannot make a fire, you may use a collection of candles in a heat/wax safe dish).
Spend the night, either alone or with a select few allies/beloveds, tending the sacred fire. Every stick and log added should be an offering of a gratitude for some teaching/lesson/experience/relationship you received this year.
Make a list of all your completions. Burn them in the fire.
Make prayer bundles with cloth and sacred herbs (tobacco, cornmeal, sage, frankinsence, juniper, sweetgrass, cedar etc) and infuse them with your intentions for the coming seasons. Burn them as offerings.
Tend this fire until the Sun rises, feeling the completeness of the past year, and the openness of the year before you. Welcome the sun back within you. Feel that fire alive within your soul. Feel the fire element within you, pumping your blood, digesting your food, inspiring your passion.
Solstice Wild Medicine Walk
From Sunrise to Sunset, with plenty of warm winter gear, and enough water for the day, take a wander outside in a wild place. Allow your intuition to guide you, allow your soul whispers to move through you. What are you most deeply yearning for now? What messages does the land whisper to you, as you offer your authentic heart and presence to each being, greeting them by name. Walk with the eyes of a wonderous child, walk with the knowledge that the land is alive, and is engaging with you.
It is best if you can do this as a fasting walk, if it is safe for you to do so, but it is not necessary.
Bring your journal along to reflect your experiences and messages. Rest when you need to, and be sure to take your time, walk slow, get on your hands and knees.
Make sure someone knows where you are. Return by sundown. You may wish to move into a fire vigil after your wander.
A Solstice Sacred Fast
Fasting, not for dietary reasons, but for spiritual and soulful reasons has become a powerful tool for me as way to focus my intent, connect more meaningfully with the wisdom of my body/mind/spirit, and make space, both physically and energetically, for what is yearning to move through me.
You may wish to dedicate a day or two to soulful and intentional fast over the days of solstice.
You may choose to fast with only water, or with nutritive herbal teas or broths.
Spend the fast day in quiet, mindful, reflection, journalling, meditation, oracle reading, praying, singing. Be sure to spend some part of your days outdoors, dressed for the weather. Take your prayers and gratitudes to the land you live on. Make offerings of the food you may have eaten instead to the land, your ancestors, or medicine guides.
Allow the fullness of your feelings to move through you, take a healing, cleansing bath to move them. Drink plenty of fresh water/tea. Cry, breathe, sing, laugh, dance.
Be fully present to yourself this day.
Allow wisdom that wants to come forward a chance to be heard.
After 24 or 48 hrs of fasting on liquids, reintroduce foods slowly, a bowl of warm vegetable soup, jicama and salt, stewed fruits, avocados, pumpkin. Ease into it over the next 2 days.
Questions for Journaling
What is coming to completion?
What is yet unborn?
What am I willing to sacrifice for my deepest desires?
What do I need to honor and acknowledge from the past year?
What is the deepest feeling within me at this point of inbetween?
What do I most want to give life to in the coming year?
What do I most grieve from the past year?
What has the land/wildness shared with me?
What resources and nourishment do I need to call in for the coming year?
One year from today, I want to….
With Gratitude and Wildness,
PS If you’d like to share you experiences with these practices, or have a question or need further guidance about how to work with Wild Soul and the land, please email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
or/and join the Sacred Wildness Facebook Group