As we start approaching the winter solstice, the darkest and shortest day of the year, we may find ourselves spending more of our time inward, purging through and pulling at our psyches. Don’t be afraid, as this is a necessary process. Just like the flowers and trees go through the cycles of rebirth and death throughout the year, we too go through psychological versions of those cycles. In astrology, the solstices, equinoxes and seasons represent the psychological process. While an equinox represents that time of year when night and day are of equal length, a solstice represents that time when the sun has reaches its most southerly or northerly place in the sky.
This cycle begins in the sign of Aries with the spring equinox. Birth is represented by Aries, the beginning of a new cycle. During the spring, there is physical evidence of it as the seeds from plants are planted and animals come out from hibernation. Wherever Aries is seen in your chart, that is where you are intended to initiate, and take new and bold steps into the unknown. That trend continues through to Taurus, where it is anticipated that the seed that we planted will start to manifest and we begin tending to those seeds. Then as we start moving through Gemini, we begin adjusting however necessary in order to endure that the seeds will bloom, we think creatively and battles whatever happens to come our way. Once the summer solstice has arrived in Cancer, there is a need that arises for protecting everything that we have been given. The seeds manifest into things that are more magic than we had anticipated and we have the duty to then to them and to nurture them. Then we proudly display the fruits of all our labor (which is Leo) and organize meticulously and prepare for our future, as we get busy for the darkness that is coming (which is Virgo).
Soon, the sun enters into Libra, and we come to the fall equinox and make our way through the darkness. As daylight grows shorters, we start to venture into ourselves more deeply. Like the plants that start to die, with their bodies returning gracefully to the earth, we also go through a period of time where our egos recede, as we attempt to make room for other people. We go through our own transformation, first to understand the relationships we have with others (which is Libra), and then we explore the murky water that is our shadows (which is Scorpio) which prohibits us from fully merging and we finally start to explore those beliefs that truly drive us (which is Sagittarius). Soon after, we come to the winter solstice and Capricorn and are encouraged to celebrate life’s rebirth. That marks the year’s shortest day and form that point forward, daylight starts to grow longer, and we march towards the warmth at last.
What holds us back is this time of having to let go, integrating everything we have learned while in the dark and exploring our shadows. As we look back at our fears we are determined to overcome them (which is Capricorn) and push the boundaries seeking to revolutionize our world (which is Aquarius) and finally to commune with everything that is, and fully realize we are an intricate piece of everything (which is Pisces). Now we have hopes for a new cycle that is headed our way. With all of this said, for Yule, or the winter solstice, there are a number of fun rituals that can be explored to help you with celebrating your rebirth. The following are a few of my favorite rituals.
The ritual of winter cleaning, which is similar in many ways to spring cleaning, help you let go of all of the old so that you can make room for new things to enter into your life. So if you have lots of junk around your house, this is the perfect time to get rid of it. Pagans call it a Yule Cleansing Ritual. Get rid of any times that you don’t think serve any higher purpose or any times that distract you from being able to focus on those things that are the most important for you.