Although the Winter Solstice (December 21, 2020) is still a month away, we can already feel the cold weather. As we prepare our homes for the cold season, there are certain cleansing rituals we can do prepare our highest selves to welcome a new season in our lives.

Every season, especially individuals who live in an area that experiences four seasons, know full well that each season affects one’s life. In winter, the daylight hours become shorter, more indoor activities are planned in the colder temperatures, and a lighter diet must be consumed to allow the body to generate enough heat to keep us warm.

In short, every season requires a life adjustment in some way, to survive.

Adjustments aren’t always welcome; in some cases, we have no choice but to adjust. These rituals I have for you will help cleanse the whole-being that will allow you to make the necessary changes in your life while you harness the power of the winter solstice.

The Sankofa

The Sankofa is a term used in Akan, in West Africa, which means to “look at the past to build for the future.”

To prepare for the winter, use this time to reflect on everything you’ve been through in the past—the good and the bad. Be thankful for the wonderful experiences that enriched your life, acknowledge the things you’re proud of, and say thank you the Universe.

Then, look back to the things that gave you grief. Write them down; and no matter how much certain events hurt in the past year, I want you to write it down. Consider this a form of release and acceptance.

Write down an intention at the bottom of the sheet and burn the paper safely.

The element of fire in the ritual represents total transformation of whatever you burnt on an energetic level.

The Sankofa isn’t achieved overnight as it involves proper processing of emotions once you’ve written them all down. Allow yourself to feel and release them. When you’re ready to let it go, that’s the time you burn the paper.

Make sure not to hold on too long.

Candle Ritual

This is a simple candle ritual that you can do as much as you can at home.

Find a quiet place at home and light a candle. Watch the flame and then hold in your mind the eternal cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth.

While you’re at this, reflect on the things that happened this year—consider the things that you would benefit from and what you should let go of.

When you’re done, blow out the candle, sit in the dark, and stay quiet there for as long as you wish.

Once you’re done, light the candle once more, and cast your intentions for the year to come.


A lot of people know this ritual as “burning sage.” This is an ancient spiritual practice that can help improve mood, ease stress, and eliminate negativity in your surroundings.

This is a simple ritual you can do to cleanse yourself and your home. Light a safe and run the smoke throughout your room, over specific items, or on yourself.

Here’s how you can burn sage at home.

Celebrating the start of winter is essential because it’s easy to get absorbed in the shopping and other holiday-related activities that we can get too caught up not to notice what’s going around us.

The start of winter provides us with an opportunity to recognize the order of the cosmos. It is a reminder that our lives are part of something bigger that is always evolving and renewing.

Our modern lives make it a bit more challenging to attune to the subtle changes and cycles of the seasons. Through these rituals, we can see through the festive season, which is a time of rebirth, of letting go, and embracing the new possibility and opportunities for growth.