Winter Solstice Ritual

This year, in the Northern Hemisphere, Winter Solstice comes on December 21. It is a time for all traditions to celebrate the longest night and shortest day of the year. After the solstice each day will get increasingly longer. In many traditions Winter Solstice represents a rebirth of spirit symbolized by the increasing light.

Since ancient times there have been rituals to celebrate the shortest day of the year and call for the return of the Sun. Even though it may not seem like it in the Pacific Northwest, the days really will get longer. For many folks that live in this area, it seems like the days are getting shorter, but that is an illusion. Below is a ritual to celebrate this year’s solstice.

Before the solstice, think about what you want to leave behind in the dark (or the underworld). Take time to write a list of what you do NOT want to carry forward, including your fears.

When the release list is complete, make a list of what you want to birth, including your hopes and dreams.

On the solstice, light a large candle in the morning and place it where it can safely burn all day. Burn the paper with your list of all you want to release. Say something along the lines of, “As this paper is transformed to ashes, so I release the energy of the old, and call to birth in the new.”

Next, take the list of what you want to birth and plant the list with a bulb or a small cutting. As you nurture the plant in the coming months, be mindful you are also nurturing your future.

Complete the ritual by celebrating with the banging of pans or the beating of the drums. When you drum, you are awakening the earth by beating to the heart of her rhythm.