Hey Everyone! Happy Solstice!
On December 22 in the Northern Hemisphere, we celebrate the Winter Solstice (also known as Yule) -the shortest day of the year, and the longest night.
This means that darkness has reached its peak as daylight hours are squeezed to their limit. Yet you’ll be SO glad to hear that from this point onward the days will gradually become longer.
It’s also the day when the Sun enters Capricorn, Zodiac sign of the goat, initiating its climb up the mountain. This steady hike parallels the Sun’s slow ascent from the depths of winter, towards the long-awaited Spring.
But hold up! We’re not there yet…
Winter Solstice is a time to honor the darkness… and celebrate the returning daylight
Long, long before Christianity was born, this was always a special time of year. High in the northern hemisphere, the Sun appeared to dip below the horizon for three days and three nights, before being re-born anew (sound familiar, anyone?)
The word solstice is actually derived from the Latin sol, which means “sun” and sistere, which means to stand still”.
To the ancient ones, the Pagans of these sacred lands, it was a time of celebration. Bringing warmth and cheer (not to mention a feast or three) they would celebrate the dark, and welcome back the daylight. places like Stonehenge in Wiltshire in the UK would be central gathering places for these ancient celebrations.
To me, as the “new solar year”, this is truly when we start our new year. And just like December 31, it deserves to be celebrated!
You likely have your own traditions … and if not? Why not start some this Yule?!
3 Essential Winter Solstice Celebration Ideas
1. Burn Frankincense
Frankincense has one of the highest vibrating scents- and it is my personal favorite!
It also corresponds to the Sun and the Divine Masculine.
Frankincense and myrrh have always gone hand in hand, burned together in ritual, as offerings to the divine, and to clear and create sacred space. Myrrh is also a sacred healing resin, and carries the energy of the Moon and the Divine Feminine.
In the story of Jesus’s birth, it is said that he was visited by three magi bearing gifts of frankincense, myrrh and gold. The gold represented the wealth that comes from the union of the King and Queen, aka the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine.
Burn this incense to honor all the divine forces in our world – to remember the stories both ancient and more modern. It will bring sacredness, well-being and prosperity to you and your home.
2. Practice Candle Magick
When natural light is at its lowest ebb, candle magic can become extremely powerful. Yet it’s one of the simplest forms of ritual work, so is perfect if you’re new to magick and spellcasting.
Candle magick harnesses the transformative power of fire. So it relates strongly to the Sun (the solar system’s central, life-giving fire). Try this simple candle magic spell on the winter solstice to welcome back the Sun, and invite blessings into your life for the coming year.
Candle Magic for Winter Solstice
If possible, use a beeswax candle. Bees are solar animals and are known as creators if the sweetness of life. If you can’t find beeswax, then use an orange candle.
What to do:
- Whilst it’s still dark outside, wake up place the candle in the direction of East.
- You may want to light some incense and/or smudge the space to clear the energy.
- Light the candle.
- Spend anywhere from 1 – 5 minutes gazing at the flame, feeling a sense of warmth and peace growing within your body, mind and spirit.
- When you feel ready, say aloud:
“Rise and awaken, Solar King! Warmth and Blessings will you bring!”
- Set an intention for this feeling to stay with you not only all day, but all year long. Let your candle burn for as long as you’re present.
3. Take Time to Review and Revise Your Plans
Winter solstice can be the ideal time to pause on the treadmill and take a good look around.
Not only the Sun, but Jupiter has just entered Capricorn which means that right now, we have an exceptional opportunity to explore the structures and systems of our lives. The coming year will be distinctly flavored by this hard-working and level-headed astrological energy, so there is no need to rush into anything now. Use this mid-winter day instead, for reflection on what got you here.
It can be more powerful if you create a ritual space by lighting a candle, some incense, and using a special pen and paper to record your musings.
- What did not work for me in 2019?
- What would be good to release? (This could be beliefs that are not serving you, situations/relationships, habits, old emotions, etc.)
- Which plans are in line with my heart and higher purpose for 2020?
- Which ones shall I discard or revise?
And if you’re living in the Southern Hemisphere, happy Summer Solstice! We wouldn’t want to forget you so head here for your dedicated Summer Solstice blog post :)
Sending much love to you all.
Happy new year!!