• Maggie Shayne

A Winter Solstice Ritual of Release

This is my second Winter Solstice post this year, but I felt inspired, so here you go!

It's Winter Solstice



What you'll need


You’ll need a small fire. You can make a bonfire outside near sunset, or use your fireplace if you have one. You can use an iron cauldron or other fireproof container in a room without smoke detectors or outside.



Write down the things you want to be rid of-not in too much detail. One or two words. “The accident” or “the incident” or “that person.” You’ll know what or who you mean. Too much attention is the wrong approach.


Before you toss each scrap of paper into your fire, or light it in your cauldron, hold it for a moment, and think about what you learned from it. What new desires did the unwanted experience cause you to launch? What do you now know you want, that you didn’t know you wanted before? What do you want more strongly than you ever wanted it before? What new shining experience are you now looking ahead toward, new dream, new goal, that will fill the space this old thing leaves behind?

Speak it!






As you speak these things, you’ll feel a certain peace settle over you. Thank this thing you want to be rid of. Thank it, and tell it that it has served its purpose and that you need it no longer. It can now dissipate from your experience. You need never think about it again.

Burn it away!



Toss the paper into the fire, or light it in the cauldron and watch it burn. I like to do this as the sun is setting. I am surrendering this thing I do not want to the longest night, and the night will carry it away into the darkness. It dies, this thing, with the dying of the old sun, the dying of the old solar year that ends this night.



The dawn tomorrow brings a new solar year. The sun is reborn. And so are we. It’s our great annual do-over. We are fresh and new and anything is possible.



It is important on this newborn day, to put your focus purely on the new desires you are now creating. Start listing them, journaling about them, thinking about them, and eagerly anticipating their arrival.



As the thoughts of the old things try to creep back in, just gently redirect your brain to the new things you are creating.

Blessed Solstice!

And may your new year be bliss-filled!