The Heart of Winter Solstice



Dark of winter,

soft and still,

your quiet calm

surrounds me.


#55, Unitarian Universalist Hymn,

by Shelley Denham

Photo: Sheila Killoran

The dark of winter is upon us. In this time of seasonal busyness, when we are consuming more, stretching ourselves outwards, expecting more, cramming more into our days, the winter solstice reminds us of a different way. An opposite way of being that is more natural to this season.

Nature – all of nature – is slowing down in the western hemisphere, during this dark season. This is a time to quiet, to burrow down, to go within, to connect and ground with the slow sleepy winter earth and take refuge from doing by simply being.

In this way, the heart of winter solstice calls us inward, to see how and who we are, what we feel, what we need, and what it is we long for. It draws our attention away from the noise outside, others expectations, the pressure we put on ourselves – and calls us to hear our own voice instead. Silence. Reflection. If we take some time of quiet reflection, we may wish to imagine the world in winter slumber, the animals snug in hibernation, the heartbeat of the mother earth grounding us and reconnecting us with our own heartbeat. A time of reflection can help us to take stock of where we are, and pause to see where it is we are going.

When we find a quiet stillness, we may reflect on these phrases:

      I am…

            I bring….

                    I need…

                             I hope….  

We face what we find inside with gentleness, and honesty. The dark and the light both have value in our lives: the pain, hope, joy, sorrow, regret, promise, grief, inspiration, and creativity. This is a time to embrace the darkness. If there is a change you want to make in your life, or something you are ready to let go of, the winter solstice is a great time to embark on that inner work. It is also a great time for dreams.

The Goddess of this time is the “Dark Mother” – Mother of the darkness where dreams are born. She brings gifts of the otherworld; gifts of inspiration. She loves us just the way we are. We are worthy of her love simply because we are.

May the spirit of this season – the slow, dreamy, reflective spirit – fill your heart.

May you feel connected to the earth and to your own heartbeat.

We hope to see you at Westwood’s Winter Solstice Celebration on Saturday December 21st at 7 PM at SEESA, 9350 82St NW, Edmonton, AB, T6C 2X8, to celebrate the return of the light.

Blessed be.

Sheila Killoran

December 2019

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