The Winter Solstice
This year my family and I will be celebrating the Winter Solstice on the 21st of December (Northern Hemisphere), instead of Christmas. We will eat our favourite seasonal foods before lighting the fire pit and drumming to welcome the return of the light.
Our Celtic ancestors were used to living in harmony with Mother Earth; celebrating the cycles of the year. They recognised the Winter Solstice, or Yule, as being a powerful transition marking the shortest day and longest night of the year.
For them it was a celebration of the end of the darkness and a return to the light. At this time the goddess rests in her Dark Mother aspect preparing to give birth to the Sun God and the New Year through her night-sky womb. The rebirth of the Sun was welcomed with giant bonfires and drumming throughout the night.
We can light a Yule candle to welcome the return of the Sun and go inwards to feel what we want for the new phase by sowing the seeds of our dreams that will take root in the spring.
The Yule Log
Traditionally a log found in the woods was decorated with some sprigs of evergreen tied with a red ribbon and put in the fireplace. You can write your wishes for the new year on slips of paper and tuck them under the ribbon. Burn the log saving a piece for the next years celebration to acknowledge the completion of the cycle.
Take a small log with a flat base and drill holes for the candles and place on the dining table.
A large red or white candle set among seasonal greenery. You can anoint the candle with seasonal oils or herbs, focussing you intentions for the new year. Light the candle at dusk and allow it to burn until the following morning. Write your wishes on paper, light them with the candle flame, and place them in a burning bowl to release your prayers to the spirit realm.
Light a Fire
You can light a fire outdoors to enjoy the dance of the Fire Sprits. Drum to assist with the birthing of the Sun.