Winter Solstice 2022: History, rituals, and what you can learn from the death of light

Winter Solstice 2022 requires a courageous look into the shadows - so how will you navigate your way through the darkness?

Winter Solstice 2022: Moonrise in snowy mountains.
(Image credit: Misha Kaminsky/Getty Images)

Winter Solstice 2022 will see a huge transition as the darkness begins to ebb away. Believe it or not, days will begin to get longer and although winter rages on - the buds of spring are almost within touching distance.

This happens on December 21, 2022, just when the Sun moves from Sagittarius to Capricorn Season 2022 and as Mercury retrograde 2023 shadow period is simmering on. As the days stop growing shorter, and just before they begin to stretch longer, the un appears to be standing still in the sky, and this is a moment for us to wave goodbye to the waning year, when darkness grew, and welcome the waxing year, as we win over with.

With this change comes renewal and an opportunity to shake off the old. It has a huge significance in astrology, which you may have observed in your Winter Solstice horoscope, and is also the inspiration for all the light festivals of Midwinter, such as Christmas, Hannukah, Diwali, and Kwanzaa.

What is Winter Solstice?

Capricorn season 2022: Milky way over a lake next to a forest, Lago Arareco in Creel Chihuahua

(Image credit: Alex Borderline/Getty Images)

The word Solstice comes from the Latin words 'Sol' for sun and 'Sistere' for standing still, meaning the day the sun stands still in the sky.

Winter Solstice happens once a year. It is the very moment when the year dies. The death of the year, the end of the period of decreasing light, and the start of the period of increasing light, is also Midwinter, and is exactly opposite to Midsummer, the day of greatest light. It impacts us, those who live on Earth, by having us face death, in its symbolic form of endings and goodbyes.

For those who engage in spiritual practices including manifestation and magic, it's seen as a highly charged time to let go of what's weighing you down so you can move forward. 

What is sympathetic magic?

In magic and manifesting, good results come from magic that imitates what it wants to attract. Using a red crystal to heal blood conditions, or eating animal hearts to induce bravery, are gory historical uses of sympathetic magic. And using the growth and shrinking of the Sun and the Moon works the same way.

When we manifest along with the Moon, we have an opportunity, every month, to wish for elements of our lives to increase – have more money, attract more friendships – as the moon increases in size during the waxing phase. And we similarly have an opportunity every month to create a reduction in aspects of our lives – lessen worries, decrease enemies – as the moon wanes.

Moon magic is clear and easy because a lunar cycle is only 29 - 30 days. But Sun magic works in exactly the same way! The six months of increasing light help us grow things, and the six months of waning light assist us in getting rid of stuff.

The Sun is bigger and slower than the Moon, making its magic more impressive than lunar magic.

Make Winter Solstice 2022 work for you

Winter Solstice 2022: Landscape With Winter Forest And Bright Sunbeams. Sunrise, Sunset In Cold Snowy Forest.

(Image credit: bruev/Getty Images)

The message of the Solstice is about death and rebirth, whether it’s the Winter Solstice or the Summer Solstice. Turning over a new leaf is a wonderful privilege which gives us a chance to separate our light aspects, the urges and characteristics that work for us and benefit us, from our shadow aspect, those actions and thoughts which slow us down and stagnate us.

Letting the Winter Solstice 2022 pass without taking magical action is simply a wasted opportunity. Spend the day of shortest light contemplating what it is you’d like to see reborn, and spend the longest night honoring your shadow side and waving goodbye to the elements you’ll be getting rid of.

To harness the energies of the Solstice and maximize its benefits, use the night of the Winter Solstice 2022 as an axis point between darkness and light, and think about each element and see what it means to you.

Winter Solstice 2022 ritual

  1. Gather together - two small white candles, an old mug full of earth, and a handful of hardy flower seeds like marigolds or poppies.
  2. Light one of the candles - meditate on it for a while, think of the winter, scarcity and hunger, and consider three qualities within you that stop you from achieving your goals and desires.
  3. Take a few grains of earth from the mug - place them in the palm of your left hand, and they will represent those qualities that you want to get rid of. Tap on them with the forefinger of your right hand and name them. Be they laziness, fearfulness, shyness, insecurity, or low self-worth.
  4. Speak out the qualities you are losing - speak them out loud and say ‘begone!’. Laziness begone! Fearfulness begone!
  5. Blow that bit of dirt forcefully away - feel yourself lose those traits, they’re leaving, never to return.

The longest night of the year is a wonderful opportunity to make darkness your friend. Walk through the shadows and acquaint yourself with the hidden parts of your personality. Take that energy with you into the December New Moon 2022 and add extra power to your manifestations.

You don’t need to subscribe to any particular religion or spiritual path to benefit from a Solstice ritual. Since we all live on planet Earth, and the Equinox hits us all at the same time, this is a global event that will impact us whether or not we partake in a rite. We may as well enjoy the effects of this astrological moment of maximum darkness.

Inbaal Honigman
Celebrity psychic and astrologer

Inbaal is an Israeli-born Piscean Tarot reader and witch living in the UK.

Since the year 2000, Inbaal has been a prolific media psychic and astrology writer. She's given predictions on TV's Big Brother's Little Brother, and talkSPORT radio, has written the stars pages for Elle magazine UK, and Elle girl in Japan, along with a full chequered history of career highs.

She lives in England, on the Pennine mountain range, with her Pisces husband and their four noisy kids, three of whom are Pisces.