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Winter Solstice in the Tropics

By Chiara Montante

The Sun Stands Still. The Day is Short, The Night is Long.

Although México resides in the northern hemisphere, celebrating the Winter Solstice in tropical Puerto Vallarta means relying on memories of the past.

The darkness here is not as acute. Cuddling up by a fire in flannel jammies and slippers, sipping coffee in the dark morning, or enjoying a hot mulled wine in the fading afternoon light is not what comes to mind when living here amongst palm trees swaying in the soft breeze.

On this morning, the Light revealed itself wrapped in pink clouds peeking over the mountains in the east. And when it stills itself early, appearing to sink into the ocean in the west tonight, I will once again enact the Ceremony our family has celebrated together for over 30 years. Another year without them near makes the significance of this day even more dear.

For me, today is the end of the year and the beginning of the next. It’s the waning of the Light that whispers to me. ‘Consider what you desire to release‘ with the setting sun. We take the opportunity to reflect on what has not served our highest aims or good. We privately write those concerns, fears, revelations, and such on paper to bring them from vague thoughts to a physical manifestation, which we then lovingly commit to the Fires of Transformation.

It’s a shriving (an old Scots term), a cleansing, a reconciliation, with the hope that we’ve learned from what brought discomfort and pain in the past. It’s a personal Ceremony shared quietly together.

Next, To Celebrate and hasten the New Light, we each in turn, light a candle and express to our community of family and friends our Wish, our Prayer, our Intention, our Goal(s) for the coming year when the Light begins to wax full again.

And as with the release, rather than merely think about our desires, we speak aloud so that our vibration becomes manifest and witnessed. It’s a powerful, high, and holy moment that reverberates throughout the coming year.

I cherish this ritual and invite anyone near or far, in the chill of winter or the sunny tropics, to adapt your own acknowledgment of Time Passing from what Was unto What Will Be.

Blessing of Love and Joy In This Season of New Hope.

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