As we near the end of 2021, it is a natural process to examine and reflect upon duality of life this past year.
Love and loss, growth and gain, pain and suffering, birth and death. It is both the light and the shadow, the yin and the yang (in Chinese philosophy) that comprise the cycle of life. One simply cannot exist without the other as it is a part of natural law.
In the northern hemisphere, the days are becoming shorter and the light of the sun dims sooner, as the natural progression of the earth tilts furthest away from the sun. This continues until the sun reaches its lowest elevation in the sky until December 21st also known as the Winter Solstice, which marks the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year.
Throughout history, many cultures and ancient traditions held ceremonies and rituals honoring the Solstice. Spiritually this is an ideal time for inner reflection and contemplation as well as the opportunity to source one’s inner authority. Astrologically, December 21st is also the day the zodiac signs change from Sagittarius to Capricorn.
It is the shift from a fire to an earth sign and it speaks to the connection into the architecture of the body such as feeling into the bones, joints, and connective tissue. Somatically, how may you find your center so that you might connect to your foundation, greater sense of self and sovereignty? Regular practices such as journaling, aromatherapy and candle gazing, are some element rituals to incorporate during the Winter Solstice.
An Ayurvedic practice, candle gazing is known in Sanskrit as Trataka which translates as “to look” or “to gaze”. This yogic technique requires a focused single pointed unwavering gaze for a concentrated period of time. The benefits are said to alleviate anxiety, calm the mind, sharpen insight, strengthen eye muscles, improve memory, boost willpower, and cultivate intuition.
In Pagan tradition, candle gazing or gazing into a fire is also a divination method known as Scrying or “seeing”. This method has the ability to provide answers to questions or queries one is seeking by becoming quiet, still, and focused.
Candle Gazing Ritual for the Winter Solstice
Items you will need:
1. Your favorite grounding essential oil. Suggested oils are: Vetiver, Black Spruce, Yarrow,
Frankincense, Cypress (also favored for supporting the Capricorn association of bones, joint, arteries, veins, and connective tissue)
2. Your favorite candle. Suggested: organic beeswax candle, Root and Resin’s Opening Ritual Candle (www.rootandresin.com)
3. A Journal and pen. To record insights, inspiration and messages that may come to you during your ritual.
1. Find a comfortable seat.
2. Begin by lighting your candle, set at eye level to your seat.
3. Place 1 -2 drops of your favorite essential oil into your palms, cup over the face and breathe in deeply.
4. Shift your attention to the flame of your candle and focus on the flicker of the flame without blinking.
5. Allow the flame to fill your mind, breath, and body. If the eyes begin to feel tired or teary, close them and relax the space between your eyebrows. Return to the flame and repeat again.
6. If you would like to try to Scrying, hold your question in your mind’s eye and gaze into the flame and allow for the answer to come to you.
7. Once you have finished, record any insights that may have come up in your journal.
This incredibly rich practice for the winter solstice offers tools and resources for connection to the earth along with cultivating practices to connect to one’s nature within. Days after the winter solstice, the light will gradually increase to a complete full extra hour of daylight on January 18th, 2022. Tuning into the rhythm and pulse of nature’s cycles provides a remembrance of our true
Please visit me at rootandresin.com or email directly firstname.lastname@example.org for ritual candles and products along with booking astrology chart reading to explore your soul and natal purpose.