Celebrating the Winter Solstice with Kathryn Ziegler
The shortest day of the year, the day when the sun is with us the least. The Winter Solstice has been a holiday celebrated for thousands of years. In ancestral times before Christmas was prominent, Yule, which typically falls on December 21st or 22nd of each calendar year, was celebrated as part of the solar festivals in many cultures across the globe.
The ancient people of every nature-based culture celebrated the solstices and equinoxes each year as a way to celebrate “ebb and flow” or the “dark” and the “light”. These nature-based celebrated holidays are referred to as Sabbats and align with astrological movements and farming seasons. The Celtic Wheel is one representation of the Sabbat calendar of celebrations.
Yule is the festival of rebirth, midwinter; the shortest day of year and the longest night of the year. This is the time when we itch to begin to plan our new year, make resolutions, set goals and plan our summer gardens.
There are several Yule traditions that we carry into our Christmas and Holiday celebrations such as decorating with fir trees. Evergreen was traditionally used because it represents everlasting life amidst death and darkness. The “Yule Log” also became popular with families. This tradition included bringing an old oak log into the home for setting a special fire at dusk on the night of Yule, lighting it with the branch from the previous year’s Yule log. In England, it is still considered unlucky to purchase the Yule log from a store, but instead should be acquired without exchanging money. You may also recognize a Holly, which was a symbol of Yule along with the wreath which represented the wheel of the year. A holly wreath is a circle that has no beginning or end, symbolizing that everything comes back to its point of origin and travels on forward again, over and over.
“I really appreciate and look forward to the darker months as an opportunity to integrate everything that has been brought in during the summer months. There is always so much light and expansion.” Kathryn Ziegler of KLZ Method shares. Kathryn views the Winter Solstice as a great opportunity to reflect and connect in a larger way. She encourages us all to connect to the seasons, and the planet as a whole, observing how the light of the sun is in relation to our planet during this time of year. “We all are part of something so much larger.”
Kathryn is not alone in seeing the Winter Solstice as a chance to connect and reflect. Modern farmers even use this approach. Winter solstice marks the end of the growing season as farmers take an opportunity to look at what was harvested in this last year and make plans for what to grow in the coming year.
Winter Solstice has also been traditionally celebrated with rituals. Popular Winter Solstice rituals include salt baths, fire ceremonies, and candle gazing. Candle gazing is a ritual with historical roots to meditation and prayer around the world. Candle gazing is done by focusing on a candle in a dark room while letting your eyes stare at that flame and allowing your mind to meditate. “I love doing this ritual. I stare at the candle for 3 minutes. Then after I finish, I put the candle down, close my eyes, and allow an opening of the third eye,” explains Kathryn. Candle gazing is suggested to help the intuitive mind find an opportunity of expansion.
In celebration of the Winter Solstice this year, Kathryn and the team at GF Mom Certified wanted to share a few ideas to celebrate the festival of Yule. This year as part of your personal holiday celebration, we encourage you to include a fire ceremony, or maybe a cacao ceremony with meditation. Another observance could include journaling about what you are letting go of and what you are allowing to “die with the season” in your life. One easy way to celebrate the festival is to give a pine cone to a sister or fellow female friend. Pine is associated with bringing energy, bestowing blessings and helping ensure safety for all. And of course, we encourage you to connect with nature this holiday season. Grab snow shoes and take a walk in the snowy landscape. Envision what seeds you are planting for the new year, or perhaps make a vision board or a list of 100 things to do in 2022 outdoors.
Listen to my Podcast with Kathryn Ziegler on Itunes, Spotify or Youtube where we discuss more on the Winter Solstice.
This episode is about rituals to celebrate the Winter Solstice. Kathryn Ziegler brings her favorite practices and ceremonies to the conversation and inspires us to go deep this season in giving thanks with the waning moon along with releasing the old patterns and beliefs.
Kathryn says, “I earned that badge on the male dominated, eat what you kill, capitalistic trading floor. By learning to master my own masculine energy, conquering fear and insecurity, using calculative precision and strength, I learned how to use my voice to assert and command order within chaos. I was proud to stand shoulder to shoulder in this energy and it was a formative lesson in resilience, structure and power.”
Kathryn goes on to explain, “My initials keep me connected to the energy of my ancestors. Louise representing my material grandmother and guiding me through our connection on the left/feminine side of my physical body. Although I never knew her on Earth, our relationship is one of flow, higher consciousness and collaboration. Ziegler from my grandmother Mae, the only grandparent I had growing up. I still feel her farm-wife presence in the grounding energy of the land where she raised 6 kids. She is with me in the practical rituals where we connect to sacred energy through daily tasks.”
Kathryn developed her unique method call KLZ. What is KLZ? A formulated blend of my wide-ranging techniques designed to facilitate authentic living toward a life we previously never dared to dream.
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Sending my love,
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