A gathering to celebrate the winter solstice

Sunrise imageGaia Australis recently held a small celebration for the winter solstice to enjoy this special time in our calender year. A small number of people gathered together just before dawn to create a simple ceremony to welcome the sunrise on a cool to cold and slightly overcast morning. Once everyone had arrived we bundled our gear together and tramped off with our chairs and belongings to the site where we planned to celebrate the solstice. We walked along in the faint light of the early morning, looking forward to enjoying the essence of this special event.

The solstice was once celebrated by many cultures throughout the world, but its spiritual importance is mostly forgotten today. But these special yearly events are still cherished by people wishing to experience the magical expression of spirituality found in them, which we were hoping to tap into on this morning.

It didn’t take long to arrive at the location where we were greeted by some friends who had earlier set up a small circle with a lantern to create a nice atmosphere to take in the upcoming sunrise.

We settled ourselves in and placed our chairs facing the sunrise looking across the circle and lantern. We gazed across a beautiful green landscape of picturesque park lands, and sang mantras. As we sang the mantras you could feel the quiet peace of the still morning filling your soul with harmonious currents of joy and wonder. This feeling became more profound as the sun made it’s spectacular appearance on the day, filling the sky with glittering golden rays that penetrated the morning with brilliant beaming light that encased and touched all the elements of nature.

All this was on display for us as the magical golden rays silently swept across the park to our small pocket of trees that surrounded us and sheltered us with privacy. The sunlight filled our circle and surrounds with this magical element of the universe. After sunrise, we sat silently for a few moments absorbing the harmonious currents that filled the air and nourished ourselves with the peaceful spirit of the morning.

As the sun rose further in the sky, and the distant sound of early morning traffic began to fill the air, we went for a walk around the park lands. Everything seemed different after the ceremony; things seemed better even if it was just for a short while. People talked together quietly but more meaningfully, we all felt a deeper connection to nature and the world around us; somehow in this small window of time things just seemed better. The distant world not all that far away with all its limitations and pressures seemed insignificant and, even if it was only for a short while, there was peace, peace within, peace with nature and peace with others; now that was magical and special in it’s own way.

Once we finished walking in the park we headed off from place; a place in nature and a point it time that was touched by the rays of a golden sun set in the depths of winter. This occasion touched something within us that made us sense a deeper connection to our world and what’s within it.

It’s amazing that we experienced all this just by gathering to gaze upon and admire the rising of the spiritual sun on the winter solstice.

Gaia Australis Retreat