What is it about darkness that can make us so uneasy? Perhaps it's the thought of what might be lurking in the shadows. Or an instinctive impulse not to stray too far from the safety of the fire. Maybe it's simply a deeply-rooted, deeply-human fear of the unknown. Of that which we cannot see.
But there is great healing to be found in the dark, if we are willing to step into it. If we allow our eyes to adjust and our senses to heighten. It's where we dream, after all. And incubate. And rest. And look towards the stars. It's a place of deep transformation and magic.
The Winter Solstice marks the darkest point in the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. A time that asks us to send our energy downward. Underground. Into our roots. To tap into the wealth of nutrients and healing that lay beneath the surface.
This beautiful ritual was created and shared with me by the lovely Bridget Ambrose of becrowbe. Bridget is an Intuitive Reiki Master, Integrated CranioSacral Practitioner, Energy Medicine Healer and all around modern mystic. What I love about her ceremony is that it is practiced the entire month of December. A wonderful way to stay conscious and mindful during the holiday season. To clear out any residual negativity and make space for the abundance of the new year. To honor the darkness, and welcome back the light.
The only thing you really need for this ritual is five large white candles. Everything else is totally optional. Bridget and I have put together a list of suggested stones, scents, and rituals to work with each week, but also encourage you to follow your intuition. Your ceremonies can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. You do you, loves.
Each week, we invite you to light the candle for that week, as well as all the candles from the previous weeks. Sit in quiet meditation for a few minutes with the associated mantra. Maybe do some gentle journaling, or pull a card if you feel called to. Make a special cup of herbal tea. Practice self-care. Whatever feels good to you and your body. By the Winter Solstice on December 22, you will have all five candles burning. Continue to light all the candles every night, from Solstice through New Years Eve.
December 1 - 7. This first week you will actually light two candles, one to release that which is no longer serving you, and another to call in love and healing. You can choose to light both these candles on the same day, or to separate them into different ceremonies. This is a lovely way to ground and cleanse your space as you initiate the Solstice Ritual.
Release Meditation: I am grateful for my shadow teachers and I surrender the patterns that are no longer serving me…
Focus on clearing any negative energy you no longer want in your life. If you feel you need a fresh start or want to clear the air of any heaviness, start the process by burning this candle. Visualize it burning and composting that which is no longer serving you. I sometimes like to sweep the house or work with cleansing herbs.
Receiving Meditation: I open my heart to receiving love freely from self and others and I honor those walking this earth with me…
For the second candle, focus on opening your heart to give and receive love. This candle surrounds you with the essence of love and harmony. It can also be used to create passion or love possibilities and allow self-love to flow freely. This can also be used as a energetic candle, choosing to light it for a period of time when a love energy in your space is desired.
Altar Suggestions: Red or pink, rose quartz, rose oil, rose petals, ylang ylang to elevate the affectionate energy. Sage, cedar, celenite to cleanse.
Ritual Suggestion: Call in cleansing energy and loving self care with a candlelit herbal bath or shower. We recommend sprinkling in epsom salts, lavendar or sage for cleansing, and rose petals for love. Turn off all the lights and bathe by candlelight. Pour yourself a glass of lemon water. Let the healing water melt away any negativity or tension you may be holding on to.
December 8 - 14. This week you will light the third candle, as well as the first two which were lit last week.
Meditation: I open myself up to the infinite source of creativity and inspiration from spirit and honor the impulse to follow where it leads. Every day I am creating healthy cells, vitality and a wonderful life...
Focus on unlocking a creative flow and accessing a confident source of inspiration from the Universe. Imagine it flowing into your being effortlessly. Use this candle to stimulate an artistic venture and create a visionary perspective.
Altar Suggestions: Orange, orange calcite crystals, oranges, bergamot essential oil, art supplies, or images that inspire you.
Ritual Suggestion: The second chakra responds to all of your wild, wonderful and difficult emotions. Its real essence is creativity or change. The moment we think of something different to do, we are creating. If you always walk or drive the same route to work, purposefully pick another route. Even playing music or dancing stimulates the creative center. You can dial up the creative energy in your space by creating these simple Dried Orange Garlands or Cloved Pomanders. The scent of oranges is also believed to inspire happiness and positivity.
December 15 - 21. This week you will light the fourth candle, as well as the three previous.
Meditation: I open myself up to receiving from the infinite universe as I am worthy of prosperity and abundance…
Focus on manifesting success and good fortune into your life and creating a world of unlimited possibilities. Envision an endless river of abundance and prosperity flowing towards you. This is the perfect candle to burn to attract a new opportunity in your life or accelerate your desires.
Altar Suggestions: Green, patchouli, jade, citrine, green aventurine, incense, cash or coins, healthy plants.
Ritual Suggestion: Abundance Journaling :: Pour yourself a special drink and find a quiet place to journal. Light some candles. Get cozy. Practice feeling grateful for the places you have already been, and for the circumstances that brought you to where you are in life. It’s never too late to realize your dreams. Now is the perfect time to begin. Commit to the adventure of you. Imagine what you want and feel that you have it. Appreciate your life as if everything you want has already happened. It doesn't matter what it looks like. Fall in love with the feeling, not the how. Find even small things about yourself and others to appreciate. Maybe you can appreciate the way your morning coffee smells, or the warmth of a coat or the way a person holds a child’s hand. Begin jotting these down in your journal.
Here are some examples of what you might write to manifest your own abundance:
I’m a happy, healthy person and I will always be successful.
I am wealthy beyond measure.
My life is transforming in important ways.
True happiness lives in my life now.
I now allow the universe to send its unlimited treasures my way.
December 22 (Winter Solstice) - 31. This week you will light all five candles.
Meditation: I love and honor my connection to spirit and the Universe…
Reinforce your spiritual connection with a white light of purification and peace. Use this candle to express love and gratitude toward the Universe. This can also be used as a energetic candle, choosing to light it only for a period of time when a spiritual connection in your space is desired, perfect for meditation.
Altar Suggestions: White, quartz, amethyst, frankincense, feathers, antlers, cedar, representations of light + dark, cranberries, evergreens, elements from previous weeks altars.
Ritual Suggestion: Gather with dear ones around a fire (or just the five solstice candles.) Make a special hot cocoa for kiddos or this lovely golden turmeric milk for adults. On a small slip of paper, have everyone write down one thing they would like to release for the coming year. Safely burn the slips of paper in the fire, releasing them to the dark.
Keep lighting the candles every night from Solstice through New Years to close the ritual.
So much love and gratitude to Bridget Ambrose for sharing her magic. To schedule a healing session with Bridget, (which I highly, highly recommend) please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow her everyday sacredness on ig @themysticbecrowbe and @becrowbe.
Happy December, dear ones.