The winter solstice a time for self-reflection?
Is the winter solstice a time for self-reflection? I love the winter solstice, perhaps even more than the summer solstice. For me it signifies that point in the wheel of the year from which the days will gradually lengthen as we move closer towards the promise of spring.
It is not just the shortest day or the longest night of the year. Around the world, the winter solstice (which falls on, or around 21st December), is an important milestone occurring a few days before Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
If you are not particularly religious or spiritual you might be thinking, “This has nothing whatsoever to do with me!” But read on because perhaps it does!
The winter solstice is a time of quiet but powerful energy. It is a time for regeneration, renewal and self-reflection.
This Winter Solstice Will Also Be Closest Conjunction Of Jupiter And Saturn For 397 Years!
And this year at this same time, we also have the unusual event of Jupiter and Saturn aligning in our winter skies. It is the closest great conjunction of both planets in 397 years. At the winter solstice on December 21, the two planets will almost touch in the sky and will appear as one bright star. I am hoping for a clear night to enjoy this spectacle.
You can find out more here https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/planets/great-conjunction
Which Trees And Plants Are Connected To The Winter Solstice?
There are certain trees and plants connected to the winter solstice. Evergreens are verdant and green and cut through the bareness and austerity of winter with their endurance, promise, hope and vitality.
Holly symbolises renewal, immortality and rejuvenation and is considered to have protective qualities. It survives the most challenging of environments. The Druids associated Holly with the element of fire. The wood from the Holly tree burns very hot and was used by blacksmiths to forge tools and weapons necessary for survival.
Another evergreen – Ivy is often Holly’s companion, and not just in the Christmas Carol! It too is very hardy and resourceful, as any gardener will know! At one time the decorating of churches and houses with ivy at Christmas was forbidden by the Christian Church because of its pagan associations. Ivy is said to tell the fortune of a house. If it grows on the walls of your dwelling, it protects against malice and misadventure; if it suddenly withers, then the home will pass out of the present family’s occupation.
And then there is Mistletoe! It’s neither a shrub nor a tree. It attaches itself to its host which is often an apple tree or a mighty oak and just stays suspended in the air!
Considered sacred by the Druids, it was called “druad-lus”, the “druid’s plant” and believed to have great healing properties. And in Druid tradition, mistletoe must never be allowed to touch the ground when gathering.
I have both Holly and Ivy growing in my garden and along with the fir, I’ve brought their fresh glossy greenness indoors to decorate the mantel.
Things for you to consider and do at this time
So at this very special time of the winter solstice, take some time to:
- Look within yourself.
- Focus on what it is you want in this new year ahead.
- Focus too on what you need in this coming year.
- Let go of the past.
- Set your goals.
- Set your intentions.
This winter solstice, make some positive changes for yourself.
Until next time …….
© Copyright 2020 – Sharon Eastwood. All rights reserved.