Winter Solstice-December 21st
The Winter Solstice, celebrated as Yule in many European pagan traditions, is the darkest and shortest day of the year. The occasion marks the turning of the wheel and, though months of winter lie ahead, each day that follows slowly moves us towards the light. Solstice is a reminder that as soon as we hit our darkest point, there is a light on the other side.
Lasting for 12 days, Yule begins when the sun is at its lowest point in the sky (Winter Solstice), symbolizing the rebirth of the Sun, an embodiment of hope and renewal that brings a stillness that mirrors the cycle of death and rebirth. It is a time to go inward, to embrace the darkness before the return of the light.
However, while this sabbat is meant to ring in the returning of the light, it is important to remember that this is a time fraught with deep spiritual significance. Time should be spent in contemplation of that darker side. The act of calling back the light is one where we ask to have our conscious awareness awakened because without introspection and reflection there cannot be inspiration. This is the time to nourish and allow the stillness and quietude of the world around us to create the space needed to really dive into the true desires of our hearts.
Take some time to reflect on the year behind you. This year, Winter Solstice also falls at mid-point during Mercury Retrograde, which means that we are all going to be given a glimpse into the thoughts, feelings, and emotions we have buried within. To look at the fears we had...to look at all the chances we took....to see all that we lost...and look at the joy we gave. Know in your heart that you are strong enough...fearless enough to walk through the gate (or the fire, are you listening Kali?) into the next year. So, stand still for a moment today & reflect. Be fearless-for you are your own sun...and you shine so brightly.
Lastly, as we celebrate the stillness of this longest night, remember those who have left this physical world, those new souls who were born this year, and make a joint call for peace across the world. May Iris, Rhiannon, Hera, Lucina, Bona Dea, Frigga, Lucia, and Freya show you the beauty of the season and bless you many times over.
Happy Winter, Everyone!
Winter Solstice Rituals, Crystal & Plant Magick
- Candle Lighting…a reminder of the return of light…red, green, white, gold, silver
- Sharing a meal with loved ones…honors community and abundance
- The Yule Log: burning the Yule Log was a ritual of protection and prosperity, symbolizing the light overcoming the darkness.
- Crystals: bloodstone, garnet, ruby, quartz, obsidian & selenite.
- Oils…frankincense, myrrh, cedar, spruce, pine, cinnamon, copal
- Decorations: holly, mistletoe, ivy, pine, pinecones
- Herbs: blessed thistle, bayberry, chamomile cedar, cinnamon, mistletoe, hawthorn, clove bud & orange peel
Debbi’s Solstice/Yule Incense:
2 parts Fir needles
1 part clove
1 part frankincense tears
1 part myrrh resin
5-star anise seeds
½ part amber resin
Mix all together. If frankincense, myrrh, and the amber are not moist enough to stick add a bit of honey to the mix. This will bind your loose incense. Make sure to dry completely. Use in incense warmer or burn on a charcoal disk set in fireproof bowl.