The winter solstice, also known as the hibernal solstice begins around 4:45pm EST—just in time for the sun to start setting on the 21st of December in the Northern Hemisphere. This marks the shortest day of the year, balanced with the longest night. At this point in winter, the gradual waning of daylight hours starts to grow again—something that is cause for celebration for many of us.
Let’s ask ourselves this: how can we move with the seasons and welcome the dark and cold as kin?
Our resident winter enthusiast, Taylor—you might know her from our Instagram and TikTok where she often shares her life slow-living in rural Ontario, has put together a collection of her mini rituals for connecting with the coldest months here. Make yourself a warm tea, and read on.
The pace of nature in the winter is slow and quiet. As her world restores itself for the inevitable bloom, she blankets herself with snow. When she does this, we hear things closer: individual snowflakes falling, wind whipping around trees and corners, small creatures tunneling. It’s almost as if our world becomes smaller in these moments, allowing us to truly listen. Let this act of listening occur outside and in. Write down what you hear.
Lighting a fire on the darkest night of the year feels like shaking hands with Old Man Winter and saying “I’m here, and I’m ready.” Seeking out warmth and comfort to balance the cold is instinctual.
Try out engaging with fire. Enjoy the act of gazing at the shifting flames and glowing embers. Flickering and fast, or slow and steady—what might they be trying to say? Take something from the flames and leave something behind.
A winter altar can be a way to symbolize the things you will bring with you into the season. Consider collecting symbols of what you want to incorporate into your daily practice over the winter, or things you want to keep close.
Whether that’s a photo of a loved one, dried goods in abundance, or a candle to light at nightfall, choose what makes sense for you. Place your altar somewhere you’re most likely to engage with it: a sunny window or kitchen table will do just fine. Spend a moment here each day to reflect, consider, and think.
A gift to nature is an act of kinship. Offer a scoop of bird seed out in a tray, or a bowl of warm water for cold throats. Place a lantern outside, or turn on a porch light to bring light to the darkness. With actions like these, we can remind ourselves of the common thread tying us and all of nature together: resilience. Pause here, and recall a time where you felt like a part of the whole. What role do you take in your relationship with nature?
We leave you with this gentle reminder about winter: the calm and steady of this season is what allows us to recharge and renew for the months of intense energy that lie ahead. Nature dictates this, but it takes a deeper kind of seeing to recognize the pace she is setting for us.
A calm and quiet mix to accompany you and the moonlight on the longest night of the year. An ode to nature, the old, the new, and the harmony in between.
Featuring Mountain Man, The Staves, Chet Atkins and more.