The Spiritual Meaning of the Winter Solstice

The Spiritual Meaning of the Winter Solstice

It’s cold and dark, and most of us are already dreaming of lighter evenings. The winter solstice this year is on 21st December. This is the shortest day and longest night of the year. After the solstice, the evenings start getting that little bit lighter. But aside from the lighter nights, the solstice has a deeper meaning. Read on to find out about the spiritual meaning of the winter solstice. 

First…a Little Science

So why is the winter solstice night so long for us in the Northern hemisphere? It’s because it’s the point in the year when our half of the earth is tilted the farthest away from the sun. Less sunlight means less daytime and more night. The Southern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun in December. That’s why Australians celebrate Christmas Day on the beach! 

The Traditions of the Winter Solstice

Many different cultures and traditions have celebrated the spiritual meaning of the winter solstice. The Celts would light fires, drink, and sing songs to celebrate the fact that the sun would be soon ‘coming back to life.’ It was all about death and rebirth. It was also a time when they’d perform rituals to honour their ancestors, and ask for blessings in the coming year. 

Pagans decorated their homes with holly and mistletoe, and lit candles to welcome the return of the sun. Like the Celts, they’d also feast and dance and sing. Another feature of their celebrations was telling stories about the winter solstice and the meaning of the return of the sun. 

The Druids, a Celtic priesthood, believed that on the winter solstice, the barriers between the worlds of the living and the dead were weakest, and that the spirits of the dead could cross over into our world. They also made offerings to the sun so it would return. 

The ancient Romans called the winter solstice Saturnalia. They celebrate by feasting, giving gifts, and honouring Saturn, the god of agriculture. 

What Does the Winter Solstice Mean Spiritually?

No matter your tradition, or even if you don’t have one, the winter solstice has spiritual meaning. It’s a time for reflection and setting intentions for the year ahead. If you want some guidance on your life direction, a tarot reading can be really useful. 

The Winter Solstice in Astrology

If you’re an astrology buff, you’ll know that the winter solstice is the beginning of Capricorn season. Capricorn is an earth sign and it’s often associated with reaching career goals, being a good leader, having discipline, and creating a legacy. Let’s hope we can all harness some of that Capricorn discipline as we head towards a brand new year! 

Winter Solstice Ritual 

This year, try a simple winter solstice ritual to help you transition from this year to the next. 

1. Light a candle and sit in a dark room. 

2. Make a list of all the things you want to let go of. Think about them for 5-10 minutes. 

3. Crumple the piece of paper and burn it. 

4. Next, clear the air of any negative energy-smudge the room if you can. 

5. On a new piece of paper, write down your intentions for the new year. 

Back to blog