It's almost that time again, the mid-point of the Wheel, that long, dark night of Winter Solstice. I've written a bit over the past six months about my flailing relationship with the Wheel of the Year (including my last post, where I basically threw my hands up and decided to forget cross-quarter days altogether, and probably equinoxes, too, in favour of other, more personal, celebrations), so if you've been following along, you'll know that this hasn't always been a joyful or meaningful process for me.
Solstices, though, I get. I feel them in my waters and bones and brain. Perhaps I'm just a creature of extremes, struggling with the subtleties of the cross-quarters but able to jump right in to the big, blunt fact of the longest day or night of the year. Whatever the reason, I'm ready to throw myself into this Solstice season - and a season is what I'm making of it.
For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, the dark is tugging at our edges, and what passes for cold in Australia is driving us indoors, under blankets real and imagined.
Not everyone is a fan of the lack of light, the chill, the pull towards solitude and quiet, but whatever your feelings about such things, if you decide to engage with them, they can be useful. This is the perfect time to explore shadows, to dive into deep and strange dreams, to spend uninterrupted hours in reflection, to examine the rich varieties of darknesses within and without, and what they might mean. In addition, astrologically, with both Neptune and Saturn currently retrograde, we're in a good place to examine our dreams and beliefs and the structures we rely on, the truths that sit on the surface of our lives.
For my own part, I'm ready to turn my attention inward. After a few weeks of abandoning any structured spiritual practice in favour of less intentional (but often equally fun) pursuits, I'm feeling the need to rebalance my scales with some inner work. In a stroke of good timing, the schedules of some my loved ones have necessitated an open stretch of solitary time for me in the coming weeks, which I intend to use for secret and interior activities.
After the Solstice passes, we'll be turning back toward the sun, and summer will be here before we know it. Until then, though, let's use this dark, quiet time to dive deep, to get weird, to explore and heal and question and excavate! If you need a little support with getting started, here is a short tarot spread to help you figure out how to productively work with this Solstice's inwardly-directed energy.
My Winter Solstice reading, using the Tarot del Fuego by Ricardo Cavolo. Seems apropos to use a fiery tarot at this dark time, since we're at the pivot point before we turn back towards the sun!
Turning Within: A Winter Solstice Tarot Spread
Card 1: CONTEXT: What part of my life or self would benefit from receiving the inwardly directed energy of this season?
Card 2: ACTION: What steps can I take to put this inwardly directed energy to use in this part of my life or my self?
CARD 3: REFLECTION: During this time of introspection, where are my opportunities for learning and integration?
CARD 4: SELF CARE: How can I nourish and care for myself as I undertake the inwardly-focused work of this season?
You may have noticed that this spread is sort of a dark-night analogue of the spread I shared for Summer Solstice - and you would be right! Fundamentally, what we're asking stays the same, but the focus shifts to reflect the inner, instead of the outer, and rest and integration instead of growth and expansion.
If you're in the Northern Hemisphere, partying in the sunshine, you might enjoy taking a moment to try out my Summer Solstice spread.
How are you celebrating your season, whatever it might be? If you try out one of these Solstice readings, I'd love to know about it! Drop me a line in the comments, or pop over to Twitter and let me know how you got on!