Celebrate the Winter Solstice at the Garden, Magaliesburg – Saturday 18th June 2016
Come and gather with us to celebrate the sacred stillness of the winter solstice with a labyrinth meditation walk, hatha yoga, chanting of Gayatri mantra and a solstice gratitude ceremony. In the afternoon you are free to visit the meditation gardens, relax with a herbal tea on the tea deck and walk by the river. The day retreat includes an Ayurvedic, vegan lunch, fresh juices and herbal teas.
The celebration will begin at 9:30am with welcome refreshments and a chance to meet other like-hearted people. We will then walk the 44m Baltic wheel labyrinth after which we move back up to the outdoor yoga circle for hatha yoga. To mark the spiritual meaning of the solstice we will chant the Gayatri mantra and conclude with a gratitude ceremony and silent reflection. There will be facilitated sharing of our experiences and insights after which lunch and fresh juices will be served at the tea house which overlooks the river.
The solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year, when the sun is at its lowest arc in the sky. The word solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium – sol meaning sun and stitium meaning stoppage. One ancient definition of the winter solstice is ‘standing still sun.’
Labyrinth Meditation Walk
The solstice is a time to slow down and turn inward: into the darkness and into the depths of the unknown. It is a time to tune into a deep sense of intuition and learning to trust your inner voice. In a sense, it is a time of feeling your way in the dark when you cannot see where you are going. It is a sacred time of meditation: a time to reflect on what has been and what will be. Walking the Labyrinth with this intention is a powerful practice to awaken the guidance of your inner Knowing and to surrender to the mysteries and miracles of Life.
If we are lucky (frost permitting!), the aloes will still be in flower – this is a beautiful time of year to enjoy the labyrinth. The labyrinth takes about 20-40 mins to walk, depending on how quickly it’s walked and how long we stay in the centre. We will walk in silence.
Hatha Yoga – Moving with Awareness
Slow and deep practice with focussed intention on micro movements will continue to deepen your inward journey of listening. The alchemical process of yoga practice clears previously blocked energy channels, healing wounds from your past and realigning your being with the ‘standing still sun’ of Sacred self.
Chanting of Gayatri Mantra – Invocation to Goddess Gayatri, the Giver of Inner Light
The solstice is also a magical time to celebrate the rebirth of the sun: the sun symbolising the Light of Consciousness.
The Gayatri mantra is a highly revered mantra from the Vedas and is often referred to as ‘The Mother of the Vedas’. It is associated with third eye chakra which is the seat of wisdom and intuition and when chanted it creates the vibration to activate this centre. Chanting this mantra also helps to heal psychological scars.
Winter solstice is a time to offer up gratitude for the gifts in your life and gratitude for the coming of the Light! By setting an intention to live joyfully and light-heartedly, you invite the Light into your heart.