The Winter Solstice Ritual

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Merry meet all,

Last night I attended the best pagan Winter Solstice ritual ever. I had the best time.  I am here to tell you all about it. 

Over 60 people attended the ritual. I was asked to call a quarter and to participate in the ritual. I was also asked to lend my green cape to a man. He acted out the battle between the Oak King and the Holly King with another man as part of the ritual. The battle they acted out was awesome. I had to help the guy I lent the cape to with his cloak during the ritual. 

A picture of the cloak here: (Those are actual oak leaf patterns!!) Lined Green cape

I was happy to be asked to be part of the ritual. I was nervous but we all rehearsed the ritual or rather, those participating in the ritual asked a million questions. We put a dark cloth and rope up and made a tunnel so we began the ritual in darkness. Everyone got a candle to represent the light. Of course, my hands and some other people ended up getting candle wax all over their hands. We were led into a heart meditation which began with a drumbeat or two beat near everyone’s heart chakra. The drumming was infectious and done by very talented drummers. I had to wear a green cape secured by a pin clasp. People tripped on it so I ended up carrying the train in my hand as I juggled  a lit candle, a rune, a stone, my glasses, and my script- ungracefully. I enjoyed the drumming. 

The altar was beautiful. A purple star altar cloth covered the altar. The one leading the ritual along with Loka contributed a cool athame/ sword for the ritual. He made the stones- mine said joy, and asked if we had anything to be grateful for. I thought the kids made the best statements of what they were grateful for. After that, we closed the circle. I called the west quarter and held the blue candle then extinguished it. I am glad I acted so calm and collected during the ritual. I felt the magick.  

We sang songs and left the room. The kids’ activities followed after that. We all participated in a feast. The feast was a true feast. The one who helped with the ritual also made a lot of the decadent food with his 80-year old grandmother’s help. Wow. Oh the food. My meals at home which are pitiful and pathetic, pale in comparison. 

I brought half a homemade gingerbread loaf and homemade cookies. I don’t know who ate them but I hope someone enjoyed food. I enjoyed the decadent chocolate Yule log. The food was amazing- and not only because I starved. 

It was great to see familiar faces and meet new people. But like all good times, I eventually climbed on my broomstick and flew home. I got a gift from the gifting table which was a wooden pentagram and hangs now above my bedroom door. I also got a candy cane. I have memories to cherish for years. 

Today, I suffered from ritual hangover this morning. I baked cookies and made some cool green goopy icing. I can only hope to be half as accomplished as the people who made that beautiful food for the feast. I admire those who washed 100s of dishes after the feast, too. It was an amazing night. 

I had no green and red outfit so I wore my black cloak, white dress, beaded blouse, my gold crown, my silver leaf earrings and a smile – well, some of the time. I fought exhaustion, as did the organizers of the event. 

Blessed Be,

Lady Spiderwitch 

The Yule tree

Yule Scene

Merry meet all,

There is 7 more days until the Winter Solstice. The moon waxes in the skies. The moon is in Taurus Void of Course 9:54 pm EST to Dec.15-1:40 am. 

I’m about more than halfway through the Magickal House Cleaning Challenge. I have enjoyed it so far and was finally able to get those annoying details taken care of that I meant to do. I can sense a difference in the energy in my apartment. It’s hard to find the time to clean. 

I have a tiny plastic tree for Yule. It is barely two feet high. However, I can’t have a real tree in my apartment and I don’t believe in cutting down an unfortunate sentient tree anyway. I feel sorry for the thousands of trees cut down for one day or a month of peoples’ gratification. Those trees were hanging out with the other trees in the forest, happily acting as homes to insects and birds alike, and feeling the wind in their boughs. Now when Yule ends, they are shipped off to compost or landfill or the trash. I am such a tree hugger, huh? 

I won’t condemn you if you still cut down a tree to decorate. Just be conscious of how you treat the tree afterwards. I have ornaments that I have saved since time immemorial too. Here is a blessing ritual for your Yule tree. 

Once you have found the perfect tree, connect with its energy. Feel its energy flowing from the earth and to you and to everything else. Ask the tree to send its energy to the earth to avoid harm to the tree. Tree roots reach deep into the frozen earth. Say this blessing when you make the cut:

O evergreen, mighty tree who is full of life. I take your life into me and ask your blessing. We welcome you into our home and honor you, to adorn you with light and bells in the season of the sun. We honor you, O evergreen, to bless our home with your energy. 

Chop the tree six inches above the ground, and cut cleanly. Wear gloves and be careful to avoid harming yourself, your family or pets. Tie a rope around the tree trunk to protect your hands to haul it away from the area. Push some fertilizer sticks into the earth to allow for new growth in spring. 

Leave birdseed as an offering to the wildlife in the area. You can scatter birdseed as a protective circle around the stump where you chopped the tree. The birds depended on the tree for shelter. Consider replanting a tree in a new area. 

Now you can decorate the tree with your cherished ornaments. Light some incense and candles and get a pot of herbal tea brewing or rum and eggnog. You can say a new blessing on the tree. Use your candles and incense. 

O Yule tree, tree of life, we honor and bless you in our home, to savour the harmony of Yule. 

Sprinkle the incense as a blessing around the tree. Pass the candle around the tree. Sprinkle water around the tree. Enjoy your Yule tree. 

Blessed Be,

Lady Spiderwitch

 

Winter Solstice

Yule woods

Merry meet all,

It’s December 1st. I have just put up my tiny tree and downloaded Yule tunes. The arrival of the month of December puts me in the mood for Yule. Winter Solstice is in 20 days. The moon is Waning Crescent currently and is in Scorpio Void of Course. 

Winter Solstice is the time when the days are shortest and the nights are longest. The Sun reaches its most southern point in the sky at noon. After the 22nd, the days begin getting longer. 

Winter inspires joy and sadness in people. Some people enjoy sking and curling in front of the fire. Others dread winter for the cold and the depression they suffer during the season. 

The word ‘solstice’ comes from the Latin words “sun” and “to stop” because the Sun stops in the sky. The solstice days are the times with the least amount of sunlight in the sky. 

Blessed Be,

Lady Spiderwitch

Winter Solstice Ritual

Merry Meet All,

Nine more days till Winter Solstice! Are you all excited? I am. We have learned much of the ancient traditions and rituals performed by the ancient Druids, Norse, and Celts. Now it is time for how to bring those traditions to the modern day. Much of the lore and traditions is still done to this day. Here is a ritual you can try to honor the Winter Solstice.

DECORATING THE ALTAR

Clean your altar and put a fresh altar cloth on it. Use a cool color for an altar cloth to reflect the cool colors of winter, such as white, silver, deep blue. Use green and red candles and evergreen boughs. Place pinecones on your altar too. Use silver and gold colors.

SYMBOLS OF WINTER

Yule is a Sabbat about the returning of the sun. Use a solar symbol on the altar. Gold discs, yellow or gold candles can represent the sun. Add sprigs of holly, ivy, pinecones, a Yule log, reindeer, and other fertility symbols.

WELCOME BACK THE SUN RITUAL

Prepare a feast prior to the ritual. Cornbread, buttered rum, cranberry dressing, stew, and shortbread cookies would be appropriate. Put candles on your table or altar. Do not light the candles yet. Face all the candles and say:

The wheel of the year has turned,
the nights grow cold and long.
Tonight, the darkness is in retreat,
light glows over the earth again.
As the wheel continues to spin,
the sun returns to us once more.

Light the sun candle, and say:

Even in the darkest hours,
in the longest nights,
the spark of life flickers ever brightly.
The spark glows on Winter Solstice eve,
and the darkness retreats again.

Beginning with the candles closest to the sun candle, light each one and work your way outward. As you light each candle, say:

As the wheel turns, light returns.

Repeat this until all the candles are burning bright. Say:

The light of the sun shines now,
shadows wane, light returns.

Pause to consider what the return of the sun means to you. Enjoy the feast and celebrate with eggnog or other refreshments. Bask in the glow of your candles and extinguish the candles from the outside of your altar towards the center. Leave the sun candle for last.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch