words by Sandra Tonkinson
Winter Solstice is an astronomical event, a time of maximum tilt as the earth travels around the Sun. At this time, the Sun is at a point furthest south in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the reverse for the Southern Hemisphere. This day marks the first day of Winter, with the shortest day and longest night.
On the Wheel of Life, Winter represents rest and introspection. Animals go into hibernation and humans can follow this rhythm of slowing down and withdraw from external distractions to witness the inner landscape. It is a good time to reflect the ending of one cycle and contemplate the start of the new one. Although Winter is afoot, with many more days of grey and cold, the Sun is rebirthed as the light births from the darkness. This also refers to the spiritual Sun. We are being rebirthed and renewed, a remembrance that light always exist within the dark.
The Winter is represented by the Dark Moon. Darkness has long been associated with destruction and evil but there is great transformative power, with a magnificent inward pull. To the deep parts of ourselves. Grief may surface. It is time to let go, break down the old systems and strictures, and unfold into yourself. To delve into the unknown and sit comfortably with unknowing.
In TCM, Winter is associated with the Kidney and Bladder meridian family, which includes the adrenal glands, and is ruled by the element of water. In the TCM philosophy, the kidneys are central to health and this energy reserve is related to our longevity and well-being. Because Winter is when these organ systems are most easily depleted (and strengthened), it is as natural as it is important to conserve energy by resting and nourishing the body with warming foods. In stillness, we are also able to listen to the needs of our body and spirit.
What in your life must die, for the new to find space to blossom?