Traditionally Winter Solstice is a festival calling back the sun. In ancient times it lasted 7 days, but now it is most recognized as December 21, the shortest day of the year. There are so many of our Christmas traditions that started with the winter solstice. Holly, mistletoe, an evergreen tree in the house are some but there are so much more. In my blending of traditions I like to bring some emphasis back to the Winter Solstice. This year I have done many of the same things. I have a real tree in the house, on it is a garland of nuts and seeds, and another garland of birds that I made myself. There are bird ornaments, owls, crows and cardinals. It is very much inspired by nature.
In the past I have participated in the ritual of letting go. I grab some paper and write down things from the year that I want to let go of. Then I place them in the wood stove where a fire is burning. Some years I have had a fire outside. If that is not available to you, you could burn them in a bowl. There are always ways to tailor a ritual to your circumstances.
I am planning to try a few new things this year.
I plan to read this again, such a lovely book. I love the characters, the setting and the story. Rosamunde Pilcher is a master storyteller. I started it Sunday night and its such a pleasurable gift that I am giving myself.
And I will listen to this on a quiet evening.
Here are some ideas for you to explore, also remember the internet has tons of ideas if you just google Winter Solstice or Yule.
- Turn out all the lights and then light some candles to symbolize the light returning.
- Leave a treat for the birds or other animals in your yard.
- Create some Winter Solstice Foods like Sun cookies.
- Watch a winter sunset.
- Set intentions for the new year and release them by fire.
- Set up a Yule Altar.
I will close in offering you this Sunrise prayer.