Winter solstice brings the shortest day and longest night of the year when the sun is at its lowest arc in the sky. The word solstice is derived from the Latin word solstitium, sol meaning sun and stitium meaning stoppage.
An ancient definition of solstice is “standing still sun.” Because the earth is tilted on its axis, the northern hemisphere leans farthest away from the sun during the winter solstice (on December 21 or 22), resulting in a long, dark night.
The winter solstice has always carried strong symbolism. It can be a magical, contemplative time, a night of spiritual reconnection and renewal. Many use the solstice as a time of deep meditation, a turning inward to reflect on what has been and what will be.
It can also be a joyful and lighthearted time, a way of chasing away the darkness and looking forward to brighter times ahead.
So light candles. Or gather around an outdoor fire. Celebrate the return of light, and as the darkness goes let go of the the things you no longer want or need. Enjoy the warm glow of the candlelight or the fire as you welcome a new beginning.