"Blessed be the black night that nurtures dreams"
The winter solstice, on the 21st December marks the darkest day of the year, or longest night. Traditionally it celebrates the rebirth of the Sun, as this is a turning point in the calendar where the shortest day begins the increase in the hours of daylight until the Summer Solstice, when darkness becomes the ascendant once more.
Pre-Christian traditions named this time Yule and celebrated the Goddess who once again becomes the Great Mother and gives birth to the new Sun King. It's also known as the darkest night of our souls, which springs a new spark of hope, the Sacred Fire, the Light of the World.
Honouring the Return of the Sun
You can acknowledge this Winter Solstice in your own way, but you might like to create an altar with symbols of the season, honouring the return of the sun. Some ideas would be to decorate your shrine with nature objects such as pine cones, pine twigs, oak leaves, misletoe or berries, and cleanse your space with palo santo, palo santo mist or sage. Burn Frankincense, Cinnamon or other warming incense. Light red, yellow or white candles to symbolise the warmth of the Sun. Add ornaments or food offerings shaped like a sunburst to honour the return of the Sun.
Celebrate the Return of the Light
Another meaningful, fun way would be to gather friends and family for a solstice celebration in a circle of candlelight. Light a candle for each guest and have them blow out their candle and offer gratitude to the warmth and light of the sun. Winter Solstice is a beautiful time to make a list of intensions you’d like to manifest and also reflect on the year that has past - and oh what an eventful year 2017 has been! So much strong energy, which is said to be lessening and on an upward spiral in general for 2018.
Wishing you all a beautiful Solstice X