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Embracing Our Shadows

amanda oler

Winter solstice is the day in which the hours of daylight are the  fewest. A day celebrated as a turning point. A potent time for ritual to aid in embracing our shadows and help nourish the soil of our souls.


This time of year is often weighty with emotion. Be them joyous, nostalgic, angst or sorrow what can be  vital to our well being is to honor what comes up then  witness and confirm what feeds or dampers our growth. 

 The past few years have been about immense change and growth for me personally and I think collectively in general.  I am excited to  practice and share one simple yet effective ceremonial act. 

Fire is an element that is used and  associated with the Pagan holiday celebrated on this day. The way in which I like to utilize this energy is to burn that which no longer serves me. 


I brew myself a cup of chamomile and lemon balm tea, sink back into my body, play some good tunes, (playlist) and write. It doesn’t have to be poetic, just get it out. One thing I have been trying to release are the stories in which I tell myself that aren’t real, the dialogue I create that hurts my being. One of my teachers recently said “The only way illusion works is if we mistake it for reality.” If I write down what feels like is or was an illusion then witness it burn and turn to ashes it feels as  though I have made room inside myself for something real and fresh. I am germinating my soil to sprout new plants of wellbeing. 


So, if you have a fire pit as I did, great! If not a simple metal or brass bowl will suffice. Paper(s) in hand, safely hold above the flames and say a little prayer. Sing it, shout it or recite it silently in your mind. Let it go.

After a good burn I like to get even more woo woo and seal my intentions and clear my energetic field. I have made an easy incense by grinding equal parts myrrh (purifying and protecting), chamomile (happiness, well being and purification) and rose (protection, love and friendship) with my mortar and pestle. You can find those ingredients HERE

I burn this over the flames left in the pit or if you are using a bowl to perform your ritual a charcoal disc  is easiest and safest. You can buy those online HERE. I use this blend often through out my house to ease tension or help bring about feelings of love and serenity.

Now go pamper yourself! Enjoy these cozy winter nights by soaking in tub as I do with my warming bath salts and  then cozy up in bed with a good book. I am literally in the middle of 4 myself. 


That’s all she wrote, folks. See you on the other side of a new year.

Blessed be!



Warming bath salts:

1/4 cup of pink Himalayan salt

1/4 cup of Dead Sea salt

1/2 cup epsom salt

1.5 tablespoons of cardamom 

3 tablespoons of rose

1.5 teaspoons of powdered ginger 

5 drops of lavender 

5 drops of frankincense 

5 drops of bergamot 

Spoon together preferably in a glass bowl and then split the mixture into thirds. Scoop one third into a muslin bag (found easily on amazon or your local craft store) and drape over your bathtub faucet with water running through or soak in the tub like a tea bag.