Here we are at the Winter Solstice & Yule! What a merry time of year. The longest night and shortest day means that the sun is sure to return soon and warmer days are on the horizon. Huzzah!
Many years ago this was a very big deal because winters could be harsh and brutal and often meant death or hunger, so our ancestors would tell you that celebrating the return of the sun was very special.
Nowadays we don't have that same enthusiasm because our lives are quite comfortable due to modern conveniences, but in a symbolic way celebrating the end of the darkness and return of the light is still very meaningful. After all, we are still connected to the Earth and the Universe, and perhaps our modern lifestyles make us forget that? So, no matter what your spiritual practice is, its a good reminder of that connection, to take some time slow down and celebrate the seasonal changes.
Winter Solstice and Yule happen in the Northern Hemisphere on Dec 21, very close to Christmas and there's a long history of Pagan roots on Christmas, just do some Googling, but, that's not what this post is about. Personally, I celebrate Winter Solstice, Yule, and Christmas. They kind of all roll together in my practice. And, that's really the beauty if being a witch- you can do whatever you want! ;)
Some ways to celebrate this time of year are probably much of what you already do! Christmas tree/ Yule tree and seasonal decorating, spending time with loved ones, baking and eating good foods, wine and cheer and general merriment!
You could add taking a walk out in nature and marvel in the beauty of it all. Think about how under the blanket of snow, nature is resting and preparing her energy for Spring when she will emerge full of life.
And, taking from that sentiment, reflect on the ways that you yourself are preparing for Spring. This is a good time to do some self care and schedule in some time for rest. After all, for much of nature, winter is about hibernating.
On the Winter Solstice you can light a bon fire and imagine the energy of the fire welcoming the Sun back! Lots of people like to have a ritual where they write down things they want to get rid of, or things they want to come to fruition, and throw them into the fire as a way of cleansing and harnessing that energy.
Another beautiful ritual is to rise early the next morning and greet the Sun as it rises. Bundle up in a big, cozy blanket and grab a hot cupa some tasty beverage and sit out side, while quietly reflecting on how magnificent the natural world really is.
You could also do a ritual bath. This is a great way to spiritually connect with yourself and get some quiet, alone time. Make the whole bath time a ritual- start by cleaning the tub (you can imagine washing away everything that doesn't serve you), lighting candles, having crystals and herbs in your bath water. Bring your journal with you and reflect on this last year and start planning for the year ahead, OR just lay there and meditate while the water soothes your soul.
There are so many simple ways to celebrate, these are just a few of my personal favorites. Really, just being mindful and directing your energy can be quite magical and that's really all its about. Don't stress and put extra pressure on yourself to do it all. Remember- you are good enough right now, perfect just as you are!
I wish you well and good tidings. May the darkness wrap you in a beautiful blanket of slumber and may the returning Sun kiss your face!
Happy Solstice, Moon Baby!