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RITUALS AND PRACTICES FOR YULE & WINTER SOLSTICE

What is the Yule and the Winter Solstice?

In the Celtic Wheel of the Year, Yule is here this December in the Northern Hemisphere (and in June in the Southern Hemisphere). Within the portal of  December 21st - 23rd, Winter Solstice will be celebrated. In ancient times, Yule was a period of 12 days and was been said to come from the ancient word for “wheel,” connecting to the cycle of nature.

My ancestors celebrated this time as the return of the light. They would gather with friends and family with fires and stories. Yule, or Winter Solstice, is not only the rebirth of the light though, but it is also the death of the previous solar year, so it comes with both the joy of a new beginning and the sadness of an ending.

Astrologically the Sun seems to stand still for about three days before moving into its new direction, so we can see this time as a sacred pause before moving into something new. Perhaps consider spending some time in solitude during these days, in order to truly feel the energies here supporting you to rest and restore before beginning again.

The return of the Sun was celebrated all over the world in different ways and each tradition talks about rebirth. Each tale shares the power of a new beginning at this time period, which is such a wonderful theme to keep in mind while we move through these darker days.

This a soft reminder to your dear heart, that no matter what you may or may not be celebrating during this next month, we are in introspective energy (despite the tasks that seem to be at hand). It can be a stressful time for many, so do try to find the sweetness of the dark time. Take moments to be with yourself, go to bed early, eat nourishing foods, and light candles in your space during the evenings. Use this new beginning to reset and become more clear as to how you want to move forward next year.

Winter Solstice Journaling Questions

What next step takes me closer to peace?

And, what do I need to take this step?

What are three desires I’d like to create this year?

And, what are two action steps you can set for each?

Practices and Rituals for Yule & Winter Solstice to do at home

Here are a few other practices you can do during this nourishing time:

Decorate Your Altar for the Season

This being a really festive time with many decorations all around, one great place to start is your altar space. Bring in the different elements of Yule with these suggestions:

  • Colors: Red, White, Silver, Gold, and Purple.
  • Elements from Nature: evergreens, pinecones, a bowl of snow (allowing it to melt), red berries, mistletoe, holly or oak
  • Light: Yule is about bringing light back into the world and can be beautiful to create a light centerpiece anyway that represents light to you, thinking about sunlight and even starlight and of course, candlelight.
  • Wheel: Consider items such as a wreath, which is a great symbol of the wheel, and place it on your altar (or front door). Consider decorating it with any ribbons and nature objects that resonate with you.

Morning Solstice Walk

The solstice sunrise is known as a breathtaking and powerful solar event, which is a great reason to make it outside before sunrise and take a walk while the sun is beginning its ascent into the sky. Take this time to fully welcome the light back into your own inner world.

Handcrafted Gifting

With the whole holiday shopping frenzy, it can be easy to get caught up in buying gifts for everyone. However, this could be a great time to switch things up and handcraft some things for the people you love. Perhaps even consider with friends or family that gifts of this season, instead of store-bought goods, can be made or crafted.

Solo Journey

With Yule bringing with it a new beginning, it can be a great time to let go of the past. Consider creating for yourself a solo journey that allows you to be in nature and release. It can be a little getaway (if you have the time & resources) or, a walk in the woods. Take yourself out of your normal surroundings and connect with nature’s end cycle.

Consider finding a special stone or another nature offering, and carrying it with you on your journey. As you journey, energetically give to this stone that which you wish to leave behind in the previous solar year. At the completion of your journey, offer that stone back to the earth by burying it and transmuting the old energies into wisdom.

Sending solstice blessings to you and yours.

If you’d like to join in for our last ceremony this year, we will meet for the Yule & New Moon Ceremony on December 21st at 7 PM CET / 10 AM PST.

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