This is the first in a series of posts about how to use astrology to understand, heal, and deepen your relationship with your sexuality.
The longest night of the year during what feels like the longest year of our lives is almost upon us. The Winter Solstice arrives on Monday, December 21st in the Northern Hemisphere. This is a major turning point—if you’re sensitive to energy, you may already sense a powerful soul-shift taking root in the days leading up to the solstice. How can you use this powerful moment to deepen your connection to intimacy?
The Tension of the Opposites
Astrologers mark the turnings of the year by the seasonal solstices and equinoxes, not by dates on the Gregorian calendar. January 1st isn’t the start of the year for us! As we march forward into this winter of necessary stillness before a spring of total renewal, it’s time to look within and assess what’s deep underground in our psyches and our senses—this is essential work for sex coaches.
An important reminder: the moment the Winter Solstice arrives is also the moment that the days begin to get infinitesimally longer. We won’t reach the apex of seemingly endless, sultry summer days until six months from now—at the solstice next June, bringing us the longest day of the year. The Winter Solstice directs us to be patient, slow down, and sit comfortably with our longing and anticipation. This is about the tension of the opposites of the seasons, and how that reflects within us. What could be sexier?
A Holiday With Very Sexy Roots
The Winter Solstice, just a few days before Christmas, marks the moment the Sun moves into the sign of Capricorn. Christmas is thought to be derived from the Pagan tradition of Saturnalia, the celebration of Saturn—the planetary ruler of Capricorn. And the ancient Romans celebrated this holiday in the most orgiastic way possible! (Some Neo-Pagans continue to honor these traditions.) Think of Capricorn and Saturn as the Doms/Dommes of astrology—they give us directions and prefer to be in control.
Some traditions call the Winter Solstice “Yule” (like the Yule log burned on Christmas). Whatever your background, however you celebrate the holidays (or if you don’t celebrate), the Winter Solstice is a day meant for slowing down, getting intimate with yourself, nourishing your soul, and encouraging your clients to do the same.
The Winter Solstice is the ideal time to look at our own shadow material—the part of us that society might call “dark” or “secretive.” As sex coaches, we’re constantly plumbing our own depths and processing any remnants of cultural shame, blame, and otherness.
Now is the perfect time to go even deeper into that essential work. The Winter Solstice invites us to consider anything we’ve buried underground, just like the seeds currently hidden under the frozen soil that will eventually warm and emerge in spring, and blossom by summer. This practice will also help us deepen the work we do with our clients. You might even want to borrow or modify this ritual to share with yours.
A Winter Solstice Ritual For Nourishment, Sensuality, and Sustenance
Some people automatically think of the Winter Solstice as the sexiest night of the year because it gets dark so early. What better excuse to go directly to bed! One can imagine how our cave-dwelling ancestors kept warm on this coldest, darkest, longest night of the year, and I tend to believe they had the right idea. But if you’re single or unable to be close to a lover because of ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, you don’t have to miss out on this delicious nourishment.
Make an effort not to doom-scroll or spend time on your devices on the Winter Solstice. If you have errands, work, or holiday shopping to do, aim to have it out of the way while it’s still light outside, so you can climb directly into your comfiest, most snuggly loungewear or pajamas when you get home.
Try to get inside before the sun sets and settle into a relaxed, comfortable mood—with gadgets and the TV off. Set the lights low—this is a moment to revel in the darkness.
If possible, think about what you’ll want to eat in advance, so you’re not ordering take-out or cooking last minute. The aim is to rush nothing . Warm, nourishing foods like spicy soups and stews are ideal to have on hand, already prepared, so all you have to do is enjoy them.
To perform the Winter Solstice ritual, you’ll need a journal or notebook, a candle and matches, and a small bowl of your nourishing food of choice and a fork or spoon. You can do this ritual solo or with a partner—make sure they have their own pen and paper to work with if so.
If you have an altar set up at home, do the ritual there. If not, you can easily create a makeshift altar by clearing a surface that you can sit in front of (your kitchen table will do fine). First, make sure the room is quiet—phones on silent, roommates and/or children occupied and unlikely to bother you.
Begin by lighting your candle, closing your eyes and taking seven deep, slow, cleansing breaths. (Seven is the number of Saturn.) As you inhale, let that cleansing breath fill up your entire belly, and as you exhale, release all the stress and burdens you’ve carried during this heavy year.
If you want to add something extra, try to visualize the color orange filling you up with each inhale, moving from the top of your spine to your genital area. (Orange is associated with the sacral chakra that connects to our sexuality.)
Open your eyes and begin to free-write about what you long for, what you’re anticipating, what you’re waiting for, what you want. Make a list of seven of your most intense desires. If you’re doing the ritual solo, once you finish the list, read each item aloud, and then take a bite of food after each item—giving yourself the symbolic nourishment you crave. If you’re doing this ritual with a partner, read your list aloud item by item, and have your partner feed you a bite after each one.
Once you’ve completed the list, if there is any food left over, finish it. Complete the ritual by closing your eyes, taking a series of seven slow, deep breaths, and then snuffing out your candle.
This Winter Solstice Ritual is Sustenance to Get You To the Spring
Given all the stress we’ve endured during the better part of 2020, there’s a lot for our minds and bodies to process right now, and that will continue in the coming weeks and months. Even if we’ve addressed some of our personal and collective issues with therapy, meditation, yoga, and assorted stress-relievers, it’s always nice to get a reminder to ritually reflect. As sex coaches, we teach our clients to use pleasure as a healing modality—but we too need reminders to intentionally slow down and reach into the sacredness of our senses.
In each monthly installment of this series, we’ll learn more about the sexuality of the 12 signs of the zodiac, beginning with Capricorn.
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