Hello Nawapo community! As we approach the Winter Solstice on December 21, a special time for those who honor the patterns of our natural world, let’s take a moment to embrace the magic of this celestial event. The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, a time when the sun is at its lowest point in the sky.
For Indigenous people worldwide, the natural world is a profound source of teachings about universal laws and interconnectedness. The Winter Solstice, observed for millennia by our Indigenous ancestors, holds deep cultural significance. While some Tribal Nations have unique ceremonies for celestial events like the solstices, others may have simpler ways of observing these moments.
In the spirit of self-care, community care, and connecting with our ancestral memory, we present 14 different ways to spend the Winter Solstice. Feel free to choose what resonates with you and consult with elders and your own traditional teachings for guidance.
On Solstice Day…
- Take a Day Off or Slow Down: Whether working a full shift or enjoying a day off, take time to just be present. Put away electronic devices, spend quality time with loved ones, and unplug from technology. You may feel like expressing gratitude to a loved one at this time and as always, feel free to enjoy items off this list with someone like minded!
- Cook and Share a Healthy Meal: Celebrate kinship by preparing and sharing a healthy, comforting meal with loved ones (hint, hint, this could include our wild rice or many of our other food items!). Seek out traditional and clean foods to nourish both the body and spirit. This my include drinking herbal and traditional teas such as Native American Tea company or Sakari Farms Tea!
- Reflect on the Past Year and give thanks: Take a moment to reflect on the highs and lows of the past year. Acknowledge your growth, resilience, and blessings. Let go of what no longer serves you to make space for positivity in the coming year. Express gratitude for the small and significant blessings in your life. Create a gratitude list through prayer, meditation, or writing, acknowledging the abundance around you.
- Clean and Honor Your Living Space: Declutter and create a sacred space in your home. Focus on the things that nourish and inspire you, fostering an atmosphere of positivity and presence.
- Channel Creative Energy: Engage in arts, crafts, or activities that exercise your imagination. Sew, bead, paint, write, or explore new ways to express your creativity.
- Practice Self-Care Rituals: Care for your physical and spiritual self with warm showers, essential oils, or indulging in self-care practices. Embrace moments of relaxation and rejuvenation.
- Attend a Ceremony or Hold a Personal Prayer: If possible, attend a ceremonial space or create a personal moment of prayer at home. Follow traditions based on your tribe, nation, or regional teachings. For Anishinaabe, winter is a time of storytelling, so you could bring some tobacco to an elder and listen to their stories.
- Light a Fire or a Candle: Embrace the warmth and old soul of fire during winter. Use it for ceremonies, cooking, or simply enjoying its comforting presence. Shop Candles here.
- Make Offerings: Give back and make offerings as a form of reciprocity. Set out food, create prayer ties, or follow prescribed offerings from your teachings.
- Set Intentions for the Future: Co-create your future by setting positive intentions for the coming days, winter season, and the upcoming year. Write them down, journal, pray, and believe in your ability to manifest positive change.
As we celebrate the Winter Solstice, let’s remember the importance of grounding ourselves and showing care and compassion to others. In a time of growing social unrest, replenishing our spirits becomes a revolutionary act. Together, we can create a more connected world by reflecting, growing, and always giving back.
Happy Winter Solstice!