Winter Solstice Arrives December 21st
We celebrate the return of the Sun on Winter Solstice as the days lengthen and the darkness recedes. Winter Solstice portends the return of the light of the soul, the Sun, and we see our journey now moving from darkness to ever increasing light.
It is the time of Guru, a word that literally means “dark” (Gu) and “light” (Ru) and Winter Solstice signals the transition from darkness to enlightenment. This day marks the beginning of Uttarayana, the six-month period when the Sun begins its apparent northward journey through the sky.
The energy of this day is the opposite of the Summer Solstice. Rather than high energy and solar practices, it is time for turning inward and the lunar practices. Left nostril breathing, the lunar postures, and meditating on the feminine energies is helpful on this day when the Moon rules.
In the days immediately before and after Winter Solstice, restorative yoga practices are best. Tratakam (meditative gazing) on a candle flame, meditating with the sound of water, and a traditional milk or simple rice fast may be observed on these days.
This is also an optimum time to clear out the past and our clutter, literally and spiritually. At this turning point of the year, we reflect on where our journey has brought us from the previous Summer Solstice and what we may wish to divest ourselves over the next six moths. Winter Solstice is truly the “new year” for resolutions, new beginnings and leaving the past behind.
Winter Solstice begins this year at 5:03pm (Central time). At this time, the Moon is in the nakshatra (Vedic star sign) of Mula, or the “root.” During the day that the Moon is in this nakshatra, it is an ideal time for reflection, contemplation and self-exploration. We can often get to the “root” of our problems during this time and uncover the hidden truths about our purpose and our possibilities.
New Moon also occurs this year on the evening of Winter Solstice (7:36pm Central), which give us an even more powerful experience of the darkness that exists before the light increases. It also is a powerful time to release the energy of the last month and the past year before the new energy (the new moon) begins.
With this powerful new moon energy coming into our lives on this magical day of transformations and new beginnings, we have the opportunity to uncover and recover ourselves.
Here is a Kundalini Yoga meditation to help you do just that:
Sit in a comfortable meditative posture, and bring your hands up by your sides, palms up toward the ceiling, elbows at your side. Touch the thumb tip to the little fingers of both hands.
Close the eyes and focus on the back of the neck, as if you could see through the back of the neck. Important to keep the eyes strongly focused in that position. Breathe as long and full as you can – an active yet smooth breath.
Be in silence or listen to the music of the Kundalini mantra Guru Guru Wahe Guru, Guru Ram Das Guru (artist version Singh Kaur recommended) for 11 minutes.
To end, inhale deeply and press your hands hard against your chest.
Exhale. Inhale deep. Press your hands into your navel. Press hard for 30 seconds. Exhale and inhale deep and press the hands hard in prayer pose at the heart for 30 seconds. Exhale and relax.
The Sagittarius Sun Person
If you were born between December 15 and January 15, you are a Sagittarius Sun according to Vedic Astrology. People with the Sun in Sagittarius are generally honest, reliable and straightforward. They set themselves high goals and work toward their fruition. Other people believe and put faith in them. They are, more often than not, philosophical, religious, optimistic and like to live good clean lives. They are capable people that achieve success and often become rich. They have keen discretion and are generous, kind and fair, but may be lacking in patience. The physical health is pretty reliable and they have strong minds. These are people that can be depended on and make very reliable friends, able to offer sound advice.
The Sagittarius Yogi
The Sagittarius Sun Yogi is expansive, expressive, enthusiastic, and jovial about their yoga practice. Sometimes they may also be a little irresponsible, overindulgent, or hard to pin down about their relationship to yoga. They enjoy an active yoga practice that allows for achievement and is based on philosophical principles. They need to watch for an overly carefree attitude, inability to see the downside of actions or choices in their lives and yoga practice. They may also be tempted to use their natural teaching talents in the classroom even as a student! They may find themselves drawn to reading the Yoga Sutras or delving into the philosophical aspects of yoga. They can be great students because they are naturally good teachers.