6 Rituals For Making Your Own Light As The Days Get Darker

Spiritual Coach & Ritual Researcher By Barbara Biziou
Spiritual Coach & Ritual Researcher
Barbara Biziou is a spiritual life coach and two-time author of The Joy of Ritual and The Joy of Family Rituals. She holds bachelor's degrees in both Art History and Psychology from NYU, and has been featured in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Oprah.com.
Woman Peacefully Meditating On A Summer Evening
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With daylight saving come and gone and the hours of daylight slowly dwindling, this can be a difficult time of year for many. But it is also the perfect time to energize and expand our personal and collective light.

For inspiration on how to do so, we can look to Diwali or Deepawali, which begins on Saturday, November 14. This festival of lights marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year according to the lunar calendar. The name translates to "row of lights" and celebrates the victory of goodness over evil and light over darkness.

This weekend, houses all over India will twinkle with tiny clay lamps called diye, lit to welcome the Hindu God Rama. People also light diye for the goddess of wealth Lakshmi, to ensure prosperity for the year.

Literally speaking, light lends clarity. It also represents illumination and spiritual intelligence. To usher in more of this energy during the fall and winter, here are six Diwali-inspired rituals for shining a light on your shadows and moving forward with ease, radiance, and clarity:

1. Light up your home.

Fill your house with lanterns, tea lights or candles. If you can do it safely, place candles in the windows to symbolically send light out to the world. Don't forget to decorate houseplants and trees in your backyard. I have a large indoor fig tree that I decorate with fairy lights for Diwali.

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2. Light up your creativity.

In India, Rangoli are colorful depictions of flowers created during special times of the year including at weddings. Like a welcome mat, Rangoli usually sits at the entrance to a home or temple. It is thought to bring a feeling of calmness to whoever sees it, as well as good fortune.

Pulling inspiration from Rangoli, grab your family and make something that inspires you and gives you a feeling of strength and openness. You can create patterns on the floor using sand, rice, or flowers if you're feeling ambitious or create a smaller display on a tray. No matter what you do, use your imagination and allow your creative light to shine.

3. Light up your intuition.

Sit quietly, taking in a few deep breathes. In a bowl of water, place some floating candles (or use a standard candle if that's all you have). Light the candles and symbolically allow your mind to open to new ideas, projects, and inspiration. Follow up by writing down whatever came to you during this fiery meditation, and then begin to take action to make it reality.

4. Light up your heart.

There is an old saying that angels fly because they take things lightly. Each time you turn on a light this season, get in the habit of placing your hand lightly on your heart and letting this symbolic act represent dissolving any heaviness you are holding on to. Tell yourself that you are plugging into a source of light that will illuminate your heart as the sun illuminates the world. As you turn off the light, let it disconnect you from any worry or heaviness.

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5. Light up your intentions.

Light a red candle and take three deep breaths. Take some time and think about what you want to manifest at this time. Take a red string and tie seven knots, each one representing a prayer with your intentions for this year. Then tie it on your wrist. Wear it until it falls off.

6. Light up your friends.

Send them a Diwali gift of sweets with a tea light to represent sweetness and clarity of communication. Add a note that lets them know how much you care about them. Feel free to add a poem, a photo, or even a special memento of your friendship.

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