By Katie Ness
Each December, the Northern Hemisphere reaches a critical juncture ‒ the Winter Solstice, the day upon which the hours of daylight are at their least. In old almanacs, the Winter Solstice or ‘Yule’ was symbolized by a wheel, The Great Wheel of the Zodiac, The Wheel of Life, representing turning of the year. Pagan traditions describe this time as the turning point at which the Goddess once again becomes the Great Mother, and gives birth to the new Sun King ‒ a symbolic reminder that we too can give birth to new beginnings, new hope, and a new dawn.
Traditionally, the solar plexus is responsible for the transition of radiant energy down to your root for grounding (and keeping your toes warm!) and up to your crown, helping you to realize your bright beauty. It is considered the seat of your intuition, a symbol of your guiding inner light, and the source of your creative fire; it is your core energy, keeping you centered and strong within your yoga practice.
Sometimes, we may struggle to uncover our innate luminescence. It can feel as though we are enshrouded in a dark cloud, looming over us like the bleakness of winter. We may find ourselves walking down a slippery precipice of self-loathing and destructive thoughts.
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
— Albert Camus
Not that long ago, I was struggling with disordered eating, depression and anxiety. I had lost touch with my core self; my flame was dwindling, and I felt like I did not deserve to enjoy the good things in my life. I had no creative spark, and I felt a raging darkness envelope me on a daily basis.
Yes, those days are difficult. Those days may dampen your spirit, as they did mine. But they cannot fully extinguish your light; your inner flame remains.
Thankfully, I found my way out of the darkness, guided by the beacon of light in my heart, a reminder that we are not small, insignificant or alone. We all matter because we are made of Matter! We are made of the same particles as the moon and the stars that shine brilliantly in the night sky; we are the twinkling, vast beauty of the universe.
When we know that we are all made of the same stars that beam beautifully in the night sky, we can celebrate our light during our darker days .
This holiday season, embrace the bright flame that resides in you, regardless of the bitter cold and darkness outside. Be kind to yourself, and nurture your inner flame with whatever ignites your radiant soul. Celebrate your light. Let it roar from within your belly like a sparkling fireplace, lighting up a gloomy room!
"Be kind to yourself; be kind to your body…
One kind word can warm three winter months."
Katie is a belly dancer, artist, yogi, reiki & chakra therapy practitioner and writer. She is an advocate for mental health awareness and positive body image. Katie is currently studying a Dance Therapy Diploma and saving up for Yoga Teacher Training. During her free time she can be found writing poetry, crafting dream-catchers, performing around the UK and playing with her Tarot cards. She dreams of teaching belly dance with yoga for mental health organizations, and perhaps owning numerous dogs one day.