Tag Archives: Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice Ritual

Image012_10

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 

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Filed under altar cloth, altar cloths, Winter Solstice ritual, witches

Yule Recipes for Rituals

Winter Wolf

Merry meet all,

Here is a incense recipe for Yule. You can use this recipe as you perform your Yule ritual, whether in a coven or by yourself. 

YULE INCENSE

  • 3 parts frankincense
  • 2 parts sandalwood
  • 2 parts chamomile
  • 1 part ginger
  • 1/2 part sage
  • a few drops of cinnamon oil

YULE OIL

  • 2 drops cinnamon oil
  • 2 drops clove oil
  • 1 drop mandarin oil
  • 1 drop pine oil

YULE SMUDGE

  • Pine for health
  • Bayberry for wealth
  • Cedar for protection
  • Bay for wisdom
  • Dried apple for love
  • Dried orange peel for happiness

YULE SIMMERING POTPOURRI

Add to a pot and allow to simmer. The fragrance will make your home smell beautiful and wintry. This gets you in the mood for a Yule celebration. 

Enjoy Yule with these festive recipes!

Blessed Be,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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The Crone of Winter Solstice

Yule Magick

Merry meet all,

Here is an essay I wrote for Eternal Haunted Summer Ezine. Enjoy. 

The Crone of Winter Solstice

 Winter Solstice celebrates the rebirth of the sun. The Norsemen of Northern Europe viewed the sun as a wheel that changed the seasons. The Celtic Druids cut mistletoe from oak trees and blessed the mistletoe. Many of the traditions we follow today were practiced by the Celts.

 We honor the Crone during Yule, or the Winter Solstice. Yule is derived from the Norse word Jul, meaning ‘reborn’. The Crone is symbolic of life, death, and rebirth. She is the gatekeeper of death and transformation. The Crone’s cauldron is a vessel of rebirth. Winter brings rest to the earth and reminds us of mortality. What is born dies and what dies is reborn. We all return to the earth.

 Here is a meditation to honor the Crone on Winter Solstice. You can do it inside but try to perform it outdoors if you can. Prepare your self and your space with a purification ritual.  Smudge your meditation area with sandalwood, frankincense, rosemary or sage, all of which possess purifying qualities. Take three deep cleansing breaths for your mind, body, and spirit. Allow yourself to be open to any messages you may receive and to be open to meeting the Crone. 

 If you perform the ritual outdoors, make sure you will be safe and bring your ritual tools with you. Light a dark colored candle. The colors that represent the Crone are dark blue, purple, black and dark green.

 Sit in a comfortable position either in a chair or on the floor, or ground. Wear a ritual robe and a crown of holly or ivy. Burn a Yule log during the ritual. Light some fragrant incense such as frankincense, cinnamon and myrrh, which are appropriate for Yule. Think of how our ancestors celebrated Yule. They knew the sun would bring back the light.

 Close your eyes and visualize a mist showering over you until the light surrounds you. Relax your entire body. You are in a magical forest. You pass through a parted veil and enter the woods to meet the Crone. You can sit down on a tree stump or boulder. You hear animals around you. You are rooted to the cold earth and feel its energies around you.

 Wind stirs the leaves on the fallen trees. Old rotted tree trunks surround you, covered in faded leaves. Small birds burrow through the tangled and aged tree branches to their nests. Sounds grow louder: birds’ cries, wind, and the creak of the boughs. The deep stillness fills your soul. Your feet grow cold and tingle. A peace fills you as you feel the pulse of this forest. The ground is matted in leaves and pinecones.

 You see someone standing before you and recognize her as the Crone. She blends with Nature and yet you know she is the Goddess.  Greet the Crone reverently. Leave an offering of mistletoe or apples. Ask for a message or a prayer for healing or something to aid you in your spiritual development. She will bless you with her wisdom. Before you walk away, thank her for her presence and guidance.

 Leave the forest and return your awareness to the room you are in. When you are ready, open your eyes. Be sure to ground and center yourself. Visualize roots extending from the soles of your feet into the earth and draw up energy. If you are outdoors, relax before jumping to your feet to leave.

 Pay attention to any messages or auspicious signs that you may encounter in dreams or a meditation. Sometimes, auspicious signs emerge in your daily life, like an image on a tarot card. Reflect on what the messages may mean and record them in your journal.

 Ask yourself if you accomplished everything you wanted to and if you grew in your spiritual development in the past year. Think about what you might learn from the Crone. She is the great teacher of mysteries of life. The Crone reminds us we are all mortal and death is a natural fact of life. Winter is the ideal time for introspection, meditation, and prayer. We have much to learn from the Crone and to be aware of her cycles of life, death, and rebirth.

 Blessed be,

Lady Spiderwitch 

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Winter Solstice Altars

A Picture of my Yule altar

A Picture of my Yule altar

Merry meet all,

The chill in the air alerts us to winter’s arrival. Here are some suggestions on how to decorate your altar for Winter Solstice. 

Use reds, whites and greens on your altar. Evergreen boughs lend a fresh woodsy feel to your altar. Add candles in silver and gold colours. I bought a beautiful meter of fabric that is reversible. The cloth has silvery snowflakes on one side and gold snowflakes on the other. Sometimes, fabric is not very expensive. It’s nice to get material that reflects the season or Sabbat. 

Yule reflects the return of the Sun. Add solar symbols to your altar. Gold discs, gold or yellow candles, can reflect the Sun. Inscribe a candle with solar symbols and dedicate it as your solar candle. Sprinkle gold or silver on the candle. Use holly and ivy, and pinecones on the altar. Antlers would be appropriate too. Candy canes, bells, sun wheels or mistletoe reflect the season too. 

With all of these suggestions, your altar will be beautiful!

Blessed be,

Lady Spiderwitch

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Filed under altar cloth, altar cloths, altars, Yule, Yule crafts