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Reverence for Nature with the Winter Solstice Spiral Ceremony at Life Project Education (LPE)

By Harriet Goudard @harrietgoudard

Of all the annual festivals, the Winter Solstice is probably the most notable, as it is the moment we find ourselves at the center of the Solstice Spiral. 

The Solstice Spiral or Spiral of Life is part of the language of symbols that pre-dates the Celts, representing the constant ebb and flow of Life. 

Having passed through all the seasonal festivals of the year, on the 27th November 2022 we transition into Advent. In and of itself a sacred space, Advent is the anticipation of what is to come and, in this context, we are speaking of the return, or rebirth, of the Sun into the World (also known as the light of Christ, or Christendom).

At LPE, the Solstice Spiral is made manifest in physical form upon the Shala floor—adorned with foraged flowers, local leaves and greens, crystals and other elements to represent the four elements of Earth; Stones, Plants, Animals, and Man. As the children enter into this sacred space, animated with music and song from Mentors, they walk the spiral path with a beeswax candle set within an apple, or starfruit, in their hands. Ceremonially moving towards the center, under the steady gaze of parents and friends, they retrace the Sun’s journey throughout the year. Upon reaching the center, the Sun is reborn in the hands of each of them and in placing their candles along the spiral as they re-emerge, they aid the lighting of the path for those who follow.

Not only does the celebration of the Solstice Spiral in this way underline our reverence for the Natural world that exists outside of ourselves, but also reminds us to honor the ebb and flow of the seasons that occur within. A beautiful, intentional moment to pause, reflect and connect before leaving school for our familial holiday celebrations.

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