A Self-Care Ritual for the Solstice Full Moon
As 2018 draws to a close, it is an opportune time to acknowledge our connection to the natural rhythms of the cosmos. This time of year can be associated with excess, especially for those that celebrate Christmas. It can be a time of busy calendars, long to-do lists and a multitude of opportunities to over indulge on food, drinks and merriment. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the holiday season, however the way that it is often celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere tends to be at odds with the natural rhythms of this time of year.
In the Northern Hemisphere, December 21st is the Winter Solstice. This is a time to acknowledge the dark and to welcome the light. As the shortest day of the year, it is a reminder that the sun returns, even in dark times. It is an opportunity to welcome the sun and the light, the source of life. Solstice is a time to honour the inherent balance of life. It is a time to consider what you want to be more conscious of, and to plant your intentions for the year ahead. Although Solstice is meant to bring our attention towards balance, this time of year tends towards imbalance. The result being that we are often out of alignment with the natural rhythm.
In the Southern Hemisphere the opposite is true, it is a time to be outside, to honour the light during the longest day of the year. The Summer Solstice is a time to acknowledge the abundance of the season, celebrate with friends, enjoy the heat of the sun or gather around a bonfire.
This year, the full moon arrives the day after the Solstice, on December 22nd at 12:48pm ET. This full moon is in Cancer, the sign associated with nurturing, home and family. Cancer is ruled by the moon, so Saturday brings us a potent combination. Cancer is a water sign, connected to emotions and the full moon tends to bring to light hidden emotions, as a result you may notice heightened sensitivity during this time. Issues with home and family may come to light. Compassion and forgiveness are the name of the game here, remember that resistance never gets us very far. As challenging as it may be, consider where you can expand your compassion to better understand where the other is coming from. Where can you forgive the other? Where can you forgive yourself?
The good news is that the astrology is on our side at the moment with most planets direct. This means that the energy is flowing in supportive ways. Prepare yourself to surf those waves of flow. This is the perfect time to slow down, create intentional space and nurture yourself, bringing loving awareness to your whole being. Use the following ritual to tune in, to nourish your inner radiance and to enhance your most important romantic relationship – the one with yourself.
THE Radiance Ritual: Nourish Thyself
Choose an appropriate vessel for a small amount of water, enough to dip your fingers into. Consider what type of vessel this could be to align with the type of energy you want to bring into your life. For example it could be a simple white bowl if you are looking to simplify your life, if you want to bring more abundance into your life perhaps something with gold or silver adornments, if you are fostering your connection with the earth consider using something natural like wood. If possible source your water from nature. Since this is the time of the full moon, you can charge the water prior to the ritual by leaving it in the moonlight for a few hours or overnight. This can be done up to two days before or after the date of the full moon.
Collect your journal, a candle and any other objects that you would like to have with you for the ritual such as crystals, objects from nature or objects that are sacred to you. Create a comfortable space that will allow you to lie down, perhaps with blankets and pillows.
The following outline are guidelines to the ritual, it is important that the ritual resonates with you so feel free to modify as you see fit.
Create sacred space: consider where you would like to be, inside or outside, by your altar or in another space that feels in alignment. You may want to use incense, palo santo, sage or rosewater to clear the space. Set up the candle, the vessel with water and any other objects that you would like to incorporate.
Light the candle with the intention of welcoming the light and bringing light to your own inner radiance. Add any personal intentions related to self love, self care and what you hope to bring into 2019.
Acknowledge and welcome the four directions, Father Sky and Mother Earth.
Acknowledge and welcome the elements: Earth, Water, Air, Fire, Ether. Recognize that these elements make up everything in the universe and are also within you.
Take some time with the element of water and imagine water flowing into your body. Notice what the element of water feels like to you.
Acknowledge and welcome the full moon. Perhaps asking the light of the moon to support your intentions.
Take a few deep breaths and bring your full presence into the space. Option to include a few rounds of sun salutations, acknowledging the solstice and welcoming the light of the sun.
Bring your attention to the water. Dip your fingers in the water and gently wash your hands. Bring some of the water to anoint your third eye and your heart.
Bring your attention to your breath and guide your awareness to your heart center, where your inner radiance shines. Notice the light that exists within and allow this light to radiate to all areas of your body.
Take some time in meditation to sit with your inner radiance, with your whole self. Consider which of your qualities and talents you are most grateful for.
Gently open your eyes. In your journal record 21 qualities, talents, skills, quirky behaviours or assets that you love about yourself. Write more than 21 if you are feeling inspired.
Consider which of these you are ready to radiate out into the world. What is holding you back?
Whisper into the water that which is holding you back, with the intention that any patterns, behaviours or beliefs that are limiting your radiance be dissolved.
Make yourself comfortable and lie down. Perhaps bring a blanket over you, slow your breath and if it feels good bring your hands over your heart. Enjoy the energy that has been created and relax into the earth below. Lie here for as long as feels good to you.
Before closing the space consider taking time to plan your self-care routine for the first month of 2019. What is reasonable to commit to? What makes you feel nurtured? Who can help you stay accountable to your goals? Setting up the first month with an intentional plan will help you to develop a routine to meet your self-care needs.
Close the space by thanking the directions and the elements.
Offer the water to Mother Earth with gratitude and reverence for her constant nourishment of life.
We are of greatest service when we are nourished. Consider that your greatest gift this season is your own self-care. May we all shine and reflect our radiance to each other. Many blessings and Happy Solstice.