Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Celebrate This Momentous Winter Solstice!

Article © 2012 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

As I’ve shared before on The Radical Virgo, I have been doing celebrations on the solstices and equinoxes since 1988 with a groovy group of urban goddesses. We call ourselves the Solsisters.

I’ve shared with them—now with you—that this Winter Solstice marks the most dramatic turning point of our lifetimes. Not only does the Mayan calendar end on Dec. 21, 2012, coinciding with Winter Solstice; it is also the time when Earth is most aligned to our Galactic Center. It is an end/beginning of cosmic proportions!

In her mind-blowing presentation called The Galactic Embrace,[1] astrologer Linea Van Horn talks about how a corner of our tropical zodiac is currently passing through the zone that aligns with the center of our galaxy, and that this opens a gateway during which the Earth—everything and everyone on it—will be flooded with intense cosmic energy from the Galactic Center. We are currently in the maximum opening of this portal of time and space. It’s not the end of the world, as many worry the Mayans meant. Instead, it’s time for an evolutionary leap.

As I heard Bruce Scofield explain in a presentation at the United Astrology Congress (UAC) in New Orleans last May, the end of the Mayan calendar is like an odometer turning over in your car, going back to zero. The combined symbolism of a new start and this cosmic energy shower are momentous.

Cleanse and renew in this flurry of cosmic change!


First, ditch any ideas of shower cap or umbrella! This alignment is something you want to bask in, drink in and use as a tonic to help your next leap in consciousness and personal growth. A grounded body and open mind and heart are the best things you can bring to these moments of a lifetime on our upcoming Winter Solstice. When the Solsisters meet at winter, we do a lot of inner work. It’s the most elaborate of all our ceremonies and also the most quiet and sacred with plenty of joy and laughter in-between. 

Winter is the season that takes us into cave time of quiet contemplation. It’s ironic that our Western society is so yang at this yin time with all the tinsel, merry and shop till you drop.  The disconnect between the natural cycle of the winter season and how we celebrate it, overall, is a dramatic example of how we have lost our rhythm with Earth and Sky. It’s up to us to get it back.

Winter Review and Release

There are two processes that I recommend highly every Winter Solstice: The Ceremony of Recognition and Burning the Old. I like doing them in that order, Recognition first. You can do these as an individual or even more powerfully with one or many others.

Ceremony of Recognition. Many people, women especially, tend not to acknowledge themselves enough. Grab a pen, paper and go to a quiet place. Ask yourself the following questions about 2012. Consider each one thoughtfully, and take whatever time you need. 
  • What was your proudest accomplishment?
  • What baby steps did you take toward something new?
  • What giant leaps?
  • What did you do that you deserve credit for?
  • How did others recognize you?
  • How did others not recognize you in ways you wish they would have?
  • How were you disappointed? (It's important to recognize our disappointments.
  • If 2012 had a name or a title phrase, what would it be? (This can be very powerful. I call mine The Year I Was There for Myself.)
You can expand on this exercise and continue to recognize yourself after the holidays. Some ideas: 
  • Start a scrapbook of your annual accomplishments. Embellish it with photos, cut-outs from magazines, letters and mementos about the things that were special.
  • Make a Certificate of Recognition each year. Frame it and put it on your wall to give your personal recogniton practice continuity. As you're living 2013, seeing your greatest accomplishment of 2012 honored on your wall will remind you where you've been--and how it connects moving forward.
  • Put your accomplishments in a special box on slips of paper. When you're in a blue mood or just need a lift, draw one like a tarot card. Add to the box as you achieve things you're proud of during the year. By next Winter Solstice, you'll have your "notes" for repeating this exercise!

Burning the Old. This practice is popular in many spiritual services during late December, approaching the beginning of a New Year.

  • On a piece of paper, make a list of everything you want to get rid of in your life, what holds you back or clutters your forward movement. Things you really want to let go. It can be something tangible, emotional, or metaphorical—no limits, except that it’s not good karma to want to get rid of people, no matter how irritating your mother-in-law is capable of being. Examples: “I want to lose 20 lbs., or “I want to be more upbeat and less negative.”  “I want to heal my early childhood wounds” or “I want to let go of anger so I can forgive Tom, Dick or Harriet. Whatever they are and no matter how long the list, keep writing till you feel a sense of completion. (It’s often amusing at each Winter Solstice ceremony to see some of the women writing furiously while others have already burned get-rid-ofs and are resting in the lull.) 

  • In a safe place—fireplace or fire resistant bowl or barbeque outdoors—burn your “dross.” Watch it burn! (Another amusing, regular occurrence is when someone’s paper is slow to ignite. Some Solsisters all but beat it into fiery submission with various fireplace tools.)

Meditation on the Center of the Galaxy

I have written this meditation especially for Winter Solstice 2012.


1.   To prepare for this segment of your celebration, find some soft, cosmic or wintry meditation music. Ambient/New Age works best for me. Some ideas: Any of the Windham Hill Winter Solstice albums are good choices. Choose the tracks that help you feel the most nurtured by the heart of the galaxy on the cusp of winter. Steven Halpern’s Transitions may help you let go and open to the incoming cosmic frequency. (If you’re lucky enough to own any format of his older Zodiac Suite, start with Sagittarius, where the Galactic Center is located, followed by Capricorn, the Cardinal crossing-point we celebrate at Winter Solstice.) If you like crystal bowls, I just bought Chords of the Cosmos (2003) by Deborah Van Dyke, which also fits into the chakra balancing of the Uranus-Neptune square. Whatever feels right to you is right for you.

You might want to pre-record the meditation in your own voice, if you’re doing it alone. Get in a comfortable meditation posture, where you can start your music at the touch of a button. 

2.   Start with the affirmation, a tradition in Spring Forest Qigong:

I am in the universe. The universe is in my body. The universe and I combine together.

    3.   Chant three oms. Om or aum is considered the root mantra of all mantras. [2] It is considered by many spiritual traditions to be the sound of the universe itself. It’s the perfect way to start and end a meditation joining us to the cosmos on the cusp of change.

    Now onto the meditation.

    Meditation on the Center of the Galaxy

    You are a star seed on an ever-evolving journey. Imagine yourself, gently launched from Earth, floating in the stars above it. You are attached to the Earth by an invisible, magnetic cord. You can float wherever you want, but you will always be floating in rhythm with the movements of Earth. You are attached to Mother Earth with a cosmic umbilical chord, one you will only break on your final day on this planet, when you go back to the stars. This cord allows you to be safe in your travels to any otherworldly dimension.

    You are celebrating a very special time—Winter Solstice 2012 and a unique alignment of Earth to our Galactic Center. This is an awesome ending and new beginning. Float above the Earth, magically connected to it, watching stars and constellations in the quiet of deep space.

    As you float, know that things are ending in our world that no longer work—things like duality, selfishness, and isolation. It’s time to let these things go that no longer work for a peaceful, evolving world.

    Those are the global things … but you have things to let go of, too. What are they? Take several minutes to let the galaxy speak to you about those things that you may now release. There are some things you must release, in fact, to move forward. What whispers do you hear in this immense quiet? (Pause a minute)

    Float, float. Keep floating till you align yourself between Earth and the Center of our Galaxy. Imagine you are in a great beam of light that contains cosmic love, inspiration and information. Float in this portal. What does it feel like? What do you hear? See?  Pause to drink it all in. (Pause 30 seconds)

    Now, as you bask in the beam, see yourself showered with energetic gifts, gifts that will help you embrace a new beginning. What are they? (Pause 30 seconds.)

    Soon you’ll have to return to Earth where you will take all this energy with you. Call out to the Center of the Universe for a word, catchphrase or idea that will guide you in your new beginnings. (Pause 20 seconds.)
    Now, take this information and this feeling in your body and float gently back to Earth. Welcome to the rest of your life, to a time of change and evolution for which you are now completely prepared.

    What magic was there for you in the heart of the galaxy? Bring it forward.

    Wrap Up
    1. Repeat the affirmation: I am in the universe. The universe is in my body. The universe and I combine together.
    2. Repeat three oms.
    3. Take a moment to make notes from your meditation.
    4. If you are meditating with others, share your experiences. If you are meditating alone, journal your experience.

    This ceremony is my holiday gift to you. May it continue giving from this cusp of rapid evolution and keep you resonant with the earth and the stars.

    Peace on Earth and a Deeply Momentous Solstice Celebration!

    Every blessing on this and every new end/beginning,



    Photo Credits: 

    Hidden © Anei -

    Mayan Calendar © olgachirkova -

    Meteor Shower  © Argus -

    Human Being Asking Universe  © CLUC -


    1.   If your astrology group has an opportunity to invite Linea to give this or any of her other well-researched, highly visual, and always highly entertaining presentations, I recommend her highly. Visit her website, Astrologer at Large.


    Mads Elung-Jensen said...

    You were definitely also there for other people this year, Joyce, thanks for all your practical help, your empathy and the virtual fun that we have had in this the Year Where I Rebuilt Myself. You really made a difference!

    I'm so happy that you saw my potential to write and gave me the opportunity to publish my article on Radical Virgo. I still get many positive reactions from from all kinds of people who seem to have been touched and even helped by it. That has been such a great gift and gives courage to carry on.

    Joyce Mason said...

    Mads, the fun, help and empathy has been entirely mutual. I've truly enjoyed getting to know you better, and it's been my pleasure to encourage your writing! You've taught so many people about the power of healing by being yourself and sharing--and I love your name for your year. Every blessing!