Why and How to Honor the Winter Solstice

Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England

Happy Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year!
For hundreds of years, travelers from around the globe gather the morning of December 21 at Stonehenge and other sites to witness the sunrise in the forever sky. It’s a sacred time for you to reflect, release, renew, and restore. The ancients and your ancestors understood this critical time for coaxing and celebrating the sun’s return.

Why? Death and hardship were imminent without the sun’s light and warmth. Imagine huge bonfires being lit where people connected around community feasts and rituals. Symbolically these actions coaxed the sun back into their lives. The dancing, singing, and feasting also physically warmed their bodies and minds to the hope of spring– and the promises of life, food, and warmth!

Newgrange Monument, Ireland where the Winter Solstice is celebrated

How will you coax the “sun” to shine in your life again?
You’re invited to make a fresh start; think of people you are not spinning your gold with for whatever reasons and write them a Winter Solstice greeting be it a card, text, or email. Ask for forgetting and forgiving with a blessing for your relationship harmony. This can be a courageous act of reflecting your Spiritual Light to coax and expand the “sun” back into your life.

What miracle happens when you allow your Spiritual Light to return?
Spanish mystic St. John of the Cross (1541-1591) wrote a poem which someone else titled “The Dark Night of the Soul.” It’s said that while imprisoned, the only light came from a window so high up he had to stand on a stool to read. He compassionately knew that the things imprisoning you are not always clear cut.

“A bird can be held by a chain or by a thread. Still, it cannot fly.” – St. John of the Cross 

While reflecting on 2016, do you feel bound by the heavy chains of regrets, unhappy relationships, or addictions to unhealthy habits, worries or substances? If not, then perhaps you might feel bound by the threads of discontent, procrastination, judgment, or boredom. Though lighter than chains, these threads can keep you tied to the past, not allowing you to happily move into December’s final holy days and the New You, New Year.

You’re invited to go within to spin new golden threads of SELF-LOVE. 

Consider these three action steps:

1) Find five besties to tell you why they love and appreciate you in one sentence or paragraph. 
Tell them that you’re adding their message to your 2016 Love Letter. Consider making this an annual tradition after you tell them why you love and appreciate them!
2) Write yourself a 2016 Love Letter using a pen or pencil. 
Describe the many ways you love yourself. “How do I love thee, ____ (your name), let me count the ways.” Review previous texts or emails you’ve received acknowledging your gifts. Address an envelope with a stamp to YOU. Ask a friend to surprise you by mailing the letter sometime in January 2017.
3) Affirm phrases likeI am love, I am. I am loving, I am. I am loveable, I am. I am loved, I am.

Now with this lighter, happier energy, perhaps you will return to your Spiritual Sunlight and out of any “dark night of the soul.” 
By taking these three action steps, you’ll replace the chains or threads in your mind and emotional body so that you might not only fly, but soar in 2017!

P.S. An invitation is waiting for YOU to the Treasure Island Beach Writer’s Retreat: Recharge Your Body, Mind & Creative Soul, April 23-28, 2017Enjoy this travel article written by visionary author sister, Mihaela Lica Butler, of Pamil Visions PR and a reporter for Hospitality Net.

P.P.S. If interested in sharing this dynamic invitation with your tribes, inbox me as I have a special thank you gift for anyone who registers because of YOU. Of course!
Treasure Island Beach Writer’s Retreat: Recharge Your Body, Mind & Creative Soul.

Copyright Lore Raymond, 2016. No portion of the blog post or information on this site may be reprinted, re-used or copied to another site without prior written permission from the author.

Join the Conversation


  1. Thank you, Karen Lee for commenting! And yes, I'd love it if you and some of the Sage Goddesses would join us on one of these writing retreats. Bali is October 24- November 5; planned it that way so that our final night is a FULL MOON CEREMONY and DANCE. it's magical and ancient and takes you to a different dimension…one day…Divine Order…always, Karen Lee.

  2. Happy Winter Solstice Lore! I will be chasing the sun down to Key West in 8 days. While the sun will still set early, it will be at least an hour later than when it sets in New Hampshire…and it will be gobs warmer 🙂 Merry Christmas!!

  3. The sunsets of Key West are calling your name…Richard's too! Safe and drama free travels. Let's see when we might connect while you're there. Until then, warm hugs are streaming north to NH.

  4. Backatcha, Suzie…thinking of you on the other side of the world…I affirm that we'll connect in 2017 as I so want to meet you and walk YOUR beach together. Happy the idea of the Love Letter touched you. Merry Christmas to you and yours! xo

  5. At a church I used to attend we would write ourselves a letter saying how grateful we were for all the good things that happened in the year ahead even though they hadn't happened yet. Then we gave them to the minister with a self addressed envelope and she would mail them to us at the end of the year to see which one of our intentions manifested.

  6. I love this ritual…we called it the Burning Bowl Ceremony on New Year's Eve. That's where i got the follow-up action after writing yourself a LOVE LETTER, Barb. Merry Christmas to you and yours! Sending warm FL hugs your way up north.

  7. The sun is shining in my heart as I read this, Lore! I just published a slide show of inspiration called Illuminations. It was wonderful to create and I love being able to share the light. Especially for these holy and profound times…

  8. Well, the sun is NOW shining in my heart. Laurie, with your kind comment. I saw that you created these–they're lovely and I look forward to seeing the entire series. The light in me sees the light in you. Namaste~

  9. Thank you, Sheila, for your specific feedback and kind words. It's appreciated and helps me polish my writing to know where readers like you connect. Yes, writing a love letter can be powerful to do alone or as a family. Merry Christmas blessings to you and yours in Texas!

  10. Lore I love Winter Solstice and have been leading a Winter Solstice ritual for the past 12 years. Last night our theme was amplify your light and we invited people to leave what no longer serves them in the dark and then declare what light they want to amplify in the New Year. It was so powerful and nurturing and we had much drumming, music and Sufi dancing to embody our intentions. I love your suggestion of writing a love letter to ourselves and plan to include that in my end of the year practices. Thank you so much and I wish you so much peace, love and joy in New Year!

  11. Lore, your four hours of writing labor produced in me a transformational moment! First read of "What miracle happens when you allow your Spiritual Light to return? Spanish mystic St. John of the Cross (1541-1591) wrote a poem which someone else titled “The Dark Night of the Soul.” It’s said that while imprisoned, the only light came from a window so high up he had to stand on a stool to read. He compassionately knew that the things imprisoning you are not always clear cut," struck me like the great bell in the tower of Lausanne Cathedral. GONG! I registered that my frequency had raised up over 800, perhaps even 1000. I realized I am a Spiritual Teacher and have been all my life. I was teaching my grandmother when I was 11 years old and in later years I taught my mother when my own husband died. Of course there have been others, many of whom I promised never to reveal. Over the past few years I have attempted to "brand" myself as a healer, a mentor, a coach, a "flavor of the internet" guru. None of that rings true. I have the God-given, Feminine Divinely blessed gift to lead others home to the fullest expression of who they are and what they came here to do. I do this through teaching, art, poetry, strategic planning, and spiritual mastery. This and much more was revealed to me whilst reading the first few paragraphs of your Solstice piece. Amongst other things I concluded I must consider attending your Retreat! I will talk with you about this. Your writing is beautiful and generative. Thank you for opening my soul!

  12. Oh my! My heart is full of light after reading this…and thanks for sending it to me as a message so I knew who wrote it so I could respond with gratitude. Namaste…the light in me sees the light in you. xo

  13. How wonder-full, Kelley, that you've been practicing this celebration for a dozen years! That speaks volumes about the kind of woman and lightworker you are. AMPLIFY–what a powerful word and one I haven't seen uses very often. Happy that the idea of writing a Love Letter sparked you. And the same dear one, only the best wishes are whooshing! their way to you and yours.

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