Cape Cod Winter Garden Winter Solstice

Midwinter Ritual

Celebrate the Solstice

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“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”John Steinbeck

The Perfect Holiday by Madisyn Taylor

“Upset feelings about the holiday season can be caused by an unrealistic sense of what the holidays should mean for us.”

Some Solstice facts

Solstices Are Interesting Phenomena 
A solstice is an astronomical event that happens two times in a year — once at the beginning of winter and again at the start of summer. During a solstice, the Sun will reach its highest or lowest point relative to the celestial equator. The celestial equator is a fancy term for the giant imaginary circle that’s on the same plane as our equator. The literal meaning of Solstice is “Sun stands still,” and that’s exactly what appears to happen during a solstice at a point from our perspective here on Earth.

The winter solstice arrives on December 21st and I’m ready to hibernate. How about you? It arrives 22:22:00 UTC time. December Solstice in New York, New York, USA is on Friday, December 21, 2018 at 5:23 pm EST

That’s what winter is about: becoming more authentic. We can acknowledge the blessings of our lives and the ways in which we’ve grown throughout autumn.

Winter says: It’s time to welcome the darkness. And to contemplate what ember inside us wants to become a flame? We “let go” in the fall to make room for something new to emerge. Perhaps a new job, relationship, way of thinking, or way of engaging in life.

Mindfulness helps us stop, breathe, and ‘be’ with ourselves. We can take quiet walks in the woods, sit by the fireside, and light lots of candles. We can turn away from our screens and look into ourselves.

Here are some questions you can explore:

• What’s beautiful to you?
• What ember inside you wants to become a flame?
• How can you be more authentic?
• Who will you surround yourself with?

Winter is the time to hibernate, contemplate, and nurture our authenticity.

How to Use the Winter Solstice to Realign Your Goals

 • Who in my life do I want to forgive?

• Where in my life have I been judging myself?

• Can I find forgiveness for myself?

• What are the most important aspects of my life?

• What truly matters to me?

• What is my ultimate intention for 2019? Will I accept its challenges with equanimity?

• What affirmations can I use to help realize these aims?

Visitors take photos amongst the prehistoric stones of the Stonehenge monument at dawn on Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, near Amesbury in south west Britain, December 21, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville – RC19BEF83640

The Symbolic Plants of YULE:

MISTLETOE

EVERGREENS

HOLLY

IVY

OAK

WHEAT

During this busy time of the year I hope all my friends will pause, breathe and schedule some restorative practices into their day. The solstice is a returning of the light and a renewal event to help us achieve some kind of equanimity in the weeks to come. Attempt to practice mindfulness every day. Here’s a five minute breathing meditation we all can fit into our schedules.

Wishing you all the Hope, Wonder and Joy that the Season can bring.

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