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When we find ourselves considering the holiday season, many instantly picture Santa and his elves, running around preparing toys for all the good girls and boys around the globe. However, there is one magical day that we will experience before Christmas ever comes around – Winter Solstice.

Dating back to ancient times, with celebrations held by the Ancient Romans, the Norseman of Scandinavia and the Inca Empire all marking this important date with their own individual customs and traditions, Winter solstice is anything but new. In the years since, many cultures have adapted their own way of celebrating, recognizing the official start of winter and the changes that it will bring.

Winter Solstice marks an important turning point. It is on this day that we experience the shortest day and longest night of the year, leading us to the shift in which the nights become shorter and the sun’s light begins to return to us for larger periods with each coming day. We are quite literally empowered to start leaving the darkness behind us and stepping forward into the growing light. While this creates a beautiful image, there is much more to this all-too-important shift.

For astrologists, the change in sunlight is an incredibly important one. Why? The sun and moon each hold significant influence over our lives. The Sun is said to represent our ‘self’ including our identity, personality and our ability to face the world. It is for this reason that the location of the sun at the time we are born (our zodiac sign) can reveal so much about who we are. The moon, however, is a more ‘behind the scenes’ influence in our lives. It rules over our emotional self, its energy affecting the way that we view the world around us, including how we respond to outside influences. For example, the location of the moon at any given time to could be the deciding factor over whether a specific situation merely annoys you or whether it sends you into feelings of rage.

When we are dominated by the presence of the moon, our emotions are running on high. This can work as a positive motivator, inspiring us to great success. However, it can also lead to great pain. Even the smallest slights can cut us deeply and hurts from the past creep up upon us demanding to be addressed.

There is no better time than Winter Solstice. With the self-confidence and self-awareness that only the sun can bring, we are more prepared than ever to work through the struggles of our past empowering us to let them go and free ourselves from the pain once and for all. This isn’t going to be easy, but it will be worth it. Look deep within yourself, discovering who you are truly meant to be, the incredible person inside. This is your chance to be born again, embrace that ‘best’ version of yourself and shine.

If you are looking for some help during this self-reflection, try sitting down and lighting some candles, specifically gold, white or silver candles. Allow yourself to meditate, calming and quieting your mind, before taking a piece of paper and writing your wishes for the future upon it. Lighting the paper with the flame from your candle, watch as it burns, releasing your wishes into the Universe as smoke in the cool winter air. Remember, the world is in the palm of your hand and there is no wish too great for the magic of Winter Solstice.