Practice Series: A Winter Solstice Ritual to Embrace Wholeness


The theme for this month’s practice series is WHOLENESS.

Winter solstice is the longest night of the year, the time when darkness reigns supreme and the moon rules the sky. Throughout the ages, it has been a significant time of ritual, reflection, and renewal. Because we honor the darkness and give thanks for the coming light, it is a beautiful time to celebrate the wholeness that dark and light create together.

Cultivating wholeness in our lives is a balancing act. We balance the needs of our selves and the needs of others. At the time of year when the darkness calls us to turn inward, we experience some of our busiest social activity! This polarity can leave us feeling stressed and anxious. Without the sun’s light and warmth, some of us may even feel depressed.

However, the long, dark nights also invite you to explore your own inner knowing. Let the small spark of light this solstice connect with your deepest and truest self. Then you’ll be more resourced in wholeness to share that spark with those you love.

As the ancient peoples of this earth have been doing for millennia, we will make a simple ritual to honor the darkness and give thanks for the birth of new light. Set aside 10 minutes on solstice night for this ritual. 

What you’ll need: Strips of paper, pen, candle, matches


  1. On solstice night, begin by writing down on strips of paper anything you’re completing or asking to be released.
  2. Light a candle. Give thanks for the lessons and blessings this past year has offered you, both the light and the dark.
  3. Then, one by one, offer your strips of paper to the flame. (If you are able to collect any ashes, they can be offered to the earth outside.)
  4. Extinguish the candle. Spend some time in silence, in darkness. Tune into your breath, your heart, your spirit, your life. Connect with your gratitude and deepest desires for yourself and this world. 
  5. Light the candle once again, as the symbolic rebirthing of the sun, the return of the light, and the manifestation of new life. Pray for the vision you hold for yourself and the world.  Feel the energy of those desires grow within you. Imagine that just as the sun’s light will now increase day by day, so will the actualization of your prayers.

Happy solstice!

Image by Rob Taylor on Flickr (cc)

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Emily Colay


Emily's passion for empowering women and girls has been at the forefront of her life's work. She studied at the Women's Theological Institute in Madison, Wisconsin, and remains active in community and cultural rituals and celebrations of women. She also offers life coaching and counseling services. Emily serves as the vocal music director at Heartbeat Performing Arts Center. She is a priestess, a reverend, and a pipe carrier of the Mexica tradition. She is also a spiritual scholar, writer, ritualist, and organizer, as well as a mother, teacher, sister, and community leader.


'Practice Series: A Winter Solstice Ritual to Embrace Wholeness' have 2 comments

  1. December 21, 2015 @ 12:07 pm Mary Tuchscherer

    Thank you for this lovely ritual. This is a powerful statement and exactly what I needed to hear right now. -“Imagine that just as the sun’s light will now increase day by day, so will the actualization of your prayers.”


    • December 21, 2015 @ 1:37 pm Emily Colay

      I am so happy this piece resonated with you Mary, and hope that you will set aside that time tonight to nurture your deepest prayers, blessed by this strong Solstice energy. Peace be with you.


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