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Rites of Passage

The Spiritual Significance of the Winter Solstice

Ceremony, Rituals, Rites of Passage, Spiritual Significance, Life LessonsChloë Rain1 Comment
meaning of winter solstice

The light of the Sun begins a new solar cycle at Winter Solstice. The rays shine into the dark, and nurture the newborn life there to be cultivated. And this is mirrored in nature, as the seeds are buried in the darkness of the Earth, to emerge once again with the life-giving rays of the Sun.

In the Northern Hemisphere at this time we are experiencing the longest and darkest nights of the year and the shortest days with the least amount of daylight. The dark triumphs over the light, but this signifies a turning point!

In winter everything lies dormant in the silent earth, it is a sacred time of rest and reflection before the awakening and the slow build toward brighter days.

The energy of winter is that of going within. It's the fruitful darkness and silence out of which our soul's yearnings and new inspirations can eventually emerge.  As we consciously link our awareness to nature's cycles, our understanding of our own personal growth cycles begin to deepen.

Why do we spend so much time suppressing and hiding our darkness? When negative emotions come up and we feel them, they're inconvenient, uncomfortable, or worse, we make ourselves wrong for feeling them.

When we fear our own darkness, we cut ourselves off from an essential source of our own personal power. The key is not in letting darkness overwhelm our lives and our thoughts but in understanding that darkness can be one of the greatest catalysts for personal growth and transformation.

Maybe even our way to enlightenment.

By allowing ourselves to feel our emotions and experience our own darkness, the darkness itself can become the spiritual cradle into which our inner light and new life is born.

Allow your feelings to guide you because your feelings are your truth.

Winter Solstice is the great stillness before the Sun's strength builds, and days grow longer. It can be a time to rest and reflect.

In Latin, solstice is made of two words: sol– meaning “the sun” and sistere meaning “to make stand.” Winter Solstice (Friday, December 21, 2018 at 5:23 pm EST) is one the most powerful points of the year as the axis of the Earth pauses, shifts and moves in the opposite direction. For three days around the solstice points we experience the power of the standstill point and the shift of direction. The sun standing still is a powerful metaphor for the energy available to us at the Winter Solstice to change the direction of our lives with intention and build on this energy as we enter into the new year. After experiencing the longest night and darkest day, the nights grow shorter and the days grow brighter until the Summer Solstice.

For today let yourself rest in the peace of darkness, knowing the changing of the season, and the return of brighter days is ahead, be reminded you are always connected to Source, and your inner light never dims.

Don’t pressure yourself to make changes right now or be in action in world … let the energies of new life and inspiration build slowly within you and by spring you’ll be bursting with new energy and ideas. This is the nature of things… the cycles and rhythms of personal growth and change, as you consistently nurture yourself with compassion, allowing for rest and reflection, great joy will be your harvest in 2019.

You may want to take time to honor and acknowledge the endings & new beginnings in your life in a ceremony or personal ritual that both honors your past and clears space to make room for what you wish for the coming year. I share some ideas for personal rituals below ↓.

Whatever you choose to do to mark the end of the year, the coming of the new, and the rebirth of the light— whether pausing in quiet reflection, or celebrating with community, know that all over our planet, there are many fires burning brightly!

Abundant blessings to you in the coming year! 

In love and service,

 
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Meaning of Winter Solstice 2018

Ritual Acts Give Life Meaning

The longest night of the year is honored by many traditions as a sacred and rich time. Regardless of your holiday traditions, this time of year can be honored by reflecting on the past year and participating in your own personal ritual of light or Ending & Beginnings. When we make time to acknowledge the gifts of Spirit we cultivate a greater capacity to receive our own inner light. By enacting a personal ritual you can celebrate the dark and the light and invite balance and harmony into your life!

Ritual acts give life meaning. They also honor and acknowledge the unseen web of Life that connects us all. When we honor our personal cycles and the seasons of the year— we are reminded of the ever-changing flow of life that we are connected to.

It is suggested to take time 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after the precise moment of the Solstice to open to the intelligence of nature all around you and to acknowledge your personal growth cycle. A simple ritual act done with intention in your heart is enough. 

Since this time of year is associated with light — celebrate with string lights, sparklers and candles. Join in the Jewish tradition of the Festival of Lights, with 8 days of ritual illumination or participate in a community bonfire and burn your own Yule log, a tradition with roots in Northern European pre-Christian times.

Light celebrations can be reminders of our inner light, and the Divine Light that guides our way in times of darkness. 

Fire Ceremony for Winter Solstice 2017

Fire Ceremony for Release & Rebirth

You may want to take time to honor and acknowledge the endings & new beginnings in your life in a ceremony or personal ritual that both honors your past and clears space to make room for what you wish for the coming year.

Make an offering that represents the past and give it to the Spirit of Fire as a completion. Then spend a bit of time dreaming and visioning to bring into focus what you would like to experience and bring into being in the coming year.

This can be done as a personal ceremony or with a group. Begin by giving out small pieces of paper and pencils so each can write down what they want to release.

When all have written down what they wish to release, all can gather around a fire, and each can in turn come to the fire and throw their paper in.

After all have gone, you may want to end the ritual by going around the circle and each person sharing something they are grateful for, or you may want to make some celebratory noise by banging on drums, shaking noise makers, and using your voice to send your prayers off into the Universe with a celebratory song!

 

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Walking the Path of Purpose Apprenticeship

Are you ready to go deep and discover your unique, soulful, intelligent, and meaningful place in the world? Learn to create a life in alignment with your truest essence and purpose.

Learn more about the spiritual significance of seasons, lunar influences, and powerful energy medicine techniques to harness and transform the energy of your life in the Walking the Path of Purpose 5 month Mentorship Program.

Chloë Rain is a Spiritual Guide & Visionary. She is the the Founder of Explore Deeply and the Explore Deeply Movement.

Chloë has had the pleasure of working with women and men all over the globe to learn to source their inner power, deepen their relationship to self love, and experience greater fulfillment, so they can enjoy the happiness they have always wanted, and have confidence and JOY in their lives, relationships, and finances.

Many of her clients find that their relationships and careers shift dramatically in new and exciting ways after doing this work, creating freedom and joy in their personal and professional lives. To find out more about working with Chloë go → here.

Please feel free to share content freely from Explore Deeply™. However, please be courteous and link back to the original post, and credit Explore Deeply as well as the writer where applicable. I hope you find many resources here to serve you as you walk your path of purpose. Much love!

No, It's Not Selfish to Want to Go on a Spiritual Journey

Be who you want, Inspiring, Life Lessons, Learning to Love Yourself, Retreats, Rites of Passage, TravelGuest WriterComment
Why go on a spiritual journey

Is it greedy—or irresponsible—to go on a quest to discover who you are? Not even a little bit.

By Elizabeth Gilbert


The other day, a desperate-looking woman approached me on the street and grabbed my arm. I assumed she was about to ask for money—but she looked me in the eye and demanded, "Is it selfish that I want to go on a spiritual journey?" 

Now, this might seem like a bizarre question to be asked by a stranger, but I'm used to it. In the decade since I wrote Eat, Pray, Lovewhich is all about my own spiritual journey, I've been asked a variation of this question by thousands of women. (And I've certainly been accused of selfishness for having taken that journey.) 

Women constantly tell me they long to do what I did. Even if it's not possible for them to travel the world for a year, they want to create their own quest. They tell me they want to deepen their relationship with God and with themselves—but they don't want to seem entitled, irresponsible, frivolous. Aren't the demands of reality more important than their esoteric questions? And what if their spiritual journey leads them far from their cultural or religious origins, or disrupts their marriage? And what makes them think they're so special, anyhow, to deserve a spiritual quest? 

A lot of these anxieties stem from one problem: Often women believe they're not supposed to desire anything beyond home and family. But the craving they feel isn't wrong; it's human. Every spiritual journey in history has begun with a sense of dissatisfaction—with somebody saying, "This is not enough for me." 

Does it make you selfish, then, to go searching for something more? I say no—and here's why: 

You have the right to try to figure out who you are. 

This is not a simple task; you are a unique event in the history of the universe. There has never been a you—not your particular soul, living at this particular moment, faced with your particular challenges. Your existence is a mystery, a miracle, and an experiment of creation, and you are allowed to examine that mystery to the fullest. 

A spiritual journey bears no resemblance to a spa vacation. 

True spiritual investigation is rarely relaxing; expect your search to expose painful and challenging truths. We don't generally take on the fundamental questions because they're fun. Usually, we're brought to them on our knees. Staying with those questions, despite the discomfort, is a path for the brave.

Doing something for yourself isn't by definition selfish. 

In Mandarin, there are two words that translate to selfish in English. One means "doing something that benefits yourself." The other means "doing something greedy." In English, we don't have this distinction. In our puritanical culture, we tend to believe that anything benefiting us is probably greedy. But guess what? You can do great things for yourself without taking a thing away from anyone else. 

Going on a spiritual journey can be a public service. 

Spiritual journeys are attempts to alleviate self-suffering. And until you can alleviate your own suffering, you will continue to inflict suffering—not only on yourself, but also on those around you. Happy people are much better at caring for others than those who are in pain. (Haven't you witnessed the way misery and depression make you unable to think of anyone but yourself?) Once you've found peace, you will be able to serve humanity. 

All this is what I told that desperate-looking woman, and it's what I'm telling you now. If you long for a journey, embark on one—for yourself, for the people around you, for all of us. We learn from one another's paths. In fact, I guarantee you this: You will not be the only person you liberate along your private road to freedom.

Reposted from O Magazine

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Spiritual Journey to the Andes

Aya Vision Ceremony, Spiritual Immersions, and pilgrimages to the Mountains of Peru offered throughout the year...


Thank you, Liz Gilbert for this spot on piece on why taking a Spiritual Journey is not only in service to your Soul, but to the rest of the World! AHO. Ari.

This morning we sat down at Jack's Cafe, one of our favorite places to eat in our favorite neighborhood of San Blas (Cusco Peru). A dog followed us in from the street and put his head in my lap under our breakfast table, then laid down with his rump resting on my foot for the entirety of the meal and conversation.

In the window, next to the humongous bouquet of gladiolus that touch the ceiling with their blossoms, was an old copy of O Magazine, something about Oprah's outfit, wearing knee high muck boots and a ground grazing pink sequin skirt in her garden, caught my attention. The theme was "How to Show Up for Life"... so I was compelled to take a look at what Oprah had to say about this topic.

This spurred the most enthusiastic conversation about life, finding your own magic, creating right livelihood, Liz Gilbert, and a few other famous people and their messages— not to be mentioned here (because we don't agree with their message no matter how famous they are).

By the end of breakfast we were feeling most inspired about the day ahead, the work we had on our plates, and the very meaningful purpose for being alive.

Below are some pictures from the recent 2018 Spiritual Journeys in March and April, join me for the upcoming Spiritual Journey in October of this year! Check out more pictures of the sacred journey on → Facebook.


Chloë Rain is a Spiritual Guide & Visionary. She is the the Founder of Explore Deeply and the Explore Deeply Movement.

Chloë has had the pleasure of working with women and men all over the globe to learn to source their inner power, deepen their relationship to self love, and experience greater fulfillment, so they can enjoy the happiness they have always wanted, and have confidence and JOY in their lives, relationships, and finances.

Many of her clients find that their relationships and careers shift dramatically in new and exciting ways after doing this work, creating freedom and joy in their personal and professional lives. To find out more about working with Chloë go → here.

Please feel free to share content freely from Explore Deeply™. However, please be courteous and link back to the original post, and credit Explore Deeply as well as the writer where applicable. I hope you find many resources here to serve you as you walk your path of purpose. Much love!