Winter Solstice 2021

What is the Meaning of the Winter Solstice & Why is it Important?

The holidays are approaching, bringing with them a wind of lightness and celebration, much appreciated after the heaviness of the past few months. Western society has trained us to celebrate the end of the year by offering gifts, but there is deeper meaning behind these gestures. So we have to ask, What is the meaning of the Winter Solstice, Christmas and other mid-winter celebrations? And why is the Winter Solstice important?

The most universally revered day of the year is the Winter Solstice. The oldest temples of the world – Stonehenge, Newgrange, Tulum, Cerro del Gentil – are an homage to the sun rising on this specific day of the year. Why is the Winter Solstice so important?


You have probably seen the Taoist yin/yang symbol with the white half containing a dot of black and the black half containing a dot of white. In the annual cycle of life, the Winter Solstice is the black half with a dot of white. To the ancients, the dot of white represented the rebirth of the light, the return of the light within.

What is the return of the light within?

What does the ‘return of the light within’ mean? The return of the light within is an opportunity to pause, look inward, and welcome the rebirth of a new motivation and excitement for life. Winter’s darkness nurtures the seeds of life that lie dormant until bursting alive in spring. In winter, you create space to nurture your own seeds of life so you too can burst alive on your journey. This is big part of the meaning of the Winter Solstice and why it is important.

Why does anxiety rise around the Winter Solstice?

Ancient traditions taught that the influence of the Winter Solstice can be felt two weeks prior and two weeks after the actual date, which this year falls on December 21st. They realized that the higher energy of the return of light also meant higher emotions. As noted by sensitive people and visionaries, people become more anxious around the Winter Solstice. The collective subconscious beyond one’s self gets restless and agitated.

Darkness is like a hole or an empty space. People feel anxious when confronted with empty space because it forces one to face the unknown and uncertainty. It’s uncomfortable and makes one want to fill the space with something, anything, to make the discomfort go away. The trick is not to avoid this uncomfortable feeling but on the contrary, face this darkness and empty space without filling it with an old pattern based on fear or some worst-case scenario story.

What can I do?

Just be with the emptiness and let it be around and within you. Keep breathing and listen to whatever comes up. You don’t have to answer the questions it raises – let the answers come to you as you focus on doing the inner spiritual work that truly nurtures your being. Your focus is on nurturing and healing yourself. This way, over time, the questions tend to answer themselves.

You can also join us for the Full Moon Celebration on Saturday, December 18th where we will honor the Winter Solstice with spirals of light, embracing the darkness and welcoming the return of the light within. You can attend a moon celebration for free at where there are free programs and more to support your inner journey.


Learn more about the Winter Solstice at Wikipedia.

Learn about the Winter Solstice’s counterpart, the Summer Solstice, at Summer Solstice: Culmination of Light of the Year.

Learn more about the rhythms of the universe at Toltec Empire: New Year on March 12, Toltec Empire: 5 Days That Can Change Your Life, Year of the Water Tiger: Meaning for You, How the Coming Week Helps You Answer the Question “What to do with my life?”, DAYS OF THE DEAD: Ancestral Healing & Conscious Dying, and The Power of the Moon Series.

Learn more about the connections between meditation and self-healing, and the cosmos and consciousness at Inner Treasure Hunt. If you liked this post, you can subscribe to the Inner Treasure Hunt newsletter to stay informed about new posts, programs, and events.

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