Although many people seem to believe that once Winter Solstice is passed the days immediately get longer again this is far from true. Instead the sun maintains its Solstice position, resting on the horizon, for a total of three days providing us with three days of stillness before we turn towards the light once more.
In what can be ‘crazy season’ even if we don’t buy into the enforced celebration of commercialism that Christmas can bring, three days of stillness sounds like magic. Three days in which we can rest, go within, gain insight, release, give thanks to Mother Earth, the sun, the moon, tune into and recognise the turn of the wheel and make plans for the new year ahead. How many of us though allow ourselves this ‘time out of time’?
I do always manage to stop and mark Winter Solstice itself in some way but three days? Not if I am being completely honest.
This year though is different as I really have no choice. Many times, being less than patient with myself, working through anything rather than giving in, this would be a problem, but at the moment I am strangely Ok with it all, perhaps because my own need to be still coincides with the Earth’s need to stop so we are in some way energetically empathic with each other at the moment. I know from past experience that being still and going into the void often brings me the greatest insights and so instead of being concerned that the house isn’t tidy and that I don’t know what the next meal will be I am just allowing myself to consciously take three days of stillness, admittedly on top of the several days I have already had.
I had begun this part of the year with the idea that I would do some serious reflecting aware that there was a lot that I was pushing myself to do that was maybe not completely right. I had intended to be journalling every step of this process so that I had a record of my decisions, I had decided I would weigh up the pros and cons of everything and then that I would release what I needed to into the fire at the ceremony I had arranged for today. Spirit though seems to have other ideas for I have not picked up pen and paper once but have slumbered in that ‘in between’, state, journeying to non ordinary reality and have thus done all of this there supported by my guides and allies, throwing away things that my guides have then been showing me that I need to reconsider and realising that I was not seeing things clearly. Then being shown how much I still have that does needs to be gone through and sifted out, things that in ordinary reality I might not have even identified. Not one word of this has gone onto paper but it is burnt deeply within me now, so much so that this morning I found myself thinking about whether my shamanic practice could possibly fit what someone was looking for, before quickly realising that I wasn’t going to do that any more, that the only thing that mattered was what I actually did and not what anyone else was doing, that I didn’t care anymore. Total freedom.
I still have two more days of stillness to come and I am going to make the most of them, excited in many ways to see what other insights and understanding come to me when I completely surrender.
So what else could we use these three days of stillness for should we choose to take the time out to use them?
There are many ways to spend this time including giving thanks for and making offerings to our Earth Mother but these are a few simple ideas of ways to take some time to be still.
- Sit by a window and spend time gently observing nature
- Curl up and listen to music, allowing ourselves to receive healing from the sounds
- Watch the sunrise and sunset
- Hold a simple fire ceremony, writing down what we wish to release and then surrendering it to the element of fire
- Sit in the darkness and spend time in reflection
- Light a candle and welcome the light back in, perhaps thinking of our plans for the coming year, sowing the seeds that the light can germinate over the next months
- Journey or undertake a guided meditation to meet our guides and ask for support or guidance
- Journey or undertake a guided meditation to ask to be shown our soul’s purpose for the coming year
- Make a vision board of your intentions or hopes for the new year
This is a symbolic time, a time of new beginnings, of setting intentions, of the light returning to shine in and push back the dark and lead us forward, so taking time out gives us chance to go into this consciously not blindly in the rush of it all. I for one am determined this year to make the most of it all, working in harness with the energy of the earth instead of running against it.