The Winter Holidays are fast upon us, and no matter what holiday you celebrate, Light and the return of the light is the common theme. As the autumn months come to a close and winter gets ready to officially begin, take a moment and be thankful for the blessings that are in your life.
On the morning of December 21st at 6:12 am EST the sun enters the astrological sign of Capricorn, signaling the Winter Solstice our longest night time hours , and the shortest daytime hours of the year.
To the left is a striking photo of sunrise at the winter solstice at Stonehenge.Photos like this always inspire me and remind me that simple celebrations are often the best. Take a moment to reflect and celebrate the rebirth of the sun in your own way.
Now, since a trip to Stonehenge is not an option for many of us, you can still note the position of the sun no matter where you live-- if you pay attention to the daytime sky over the next week or so.
On the day of the winter solstice and for a few days after, the sun's path and its zenith (the sun's highest point in the sky) will look to be about the same for a few days. Which started the "sun standing still" moniker. Around the 24th of December, you will begin to notice that the sun is indeed traveling higher in the sky the daylight hours have lengthened, and even though the days will be cold, and winter has officially begun, remember that the season of winter is all about introspection. It is a time to prepare, to gather together, and to rest up for new beginnings in the coming spring.
Here is a spell I wrote that was originally published in the 2006 Llewellyn Witches Datebook for Yule. I thought it would be fun to share it with you all.
"On the day of the Winter Solstice, celebrate the birth of the Sun God in simple ways. Tuck fresh sprigs of berried holly around the house for protection and good luck. (If you have little ones make sure the berries are well out of reach.)
Drape some pine roping over your doorways to ward your home, and to encourage good health and joy. Rumor has it that by doing this you are inviting the faeries of winter into your home so they can have a warm place to celebrate the Yuletide festivities."
The charm is just below. Please remember that this is all copyrighted material and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the author- which would be me.
"When a Witch decks the halls with boughs of holly.
Expect that the Yuletide feast will be jolly.
Now add a touch of magick and a pinch of glee,
Welcome renewal in Yuletide’s season of peace." -Ellen Dugan Copyrighted material
For more ideas on decorating, my family's gingerbread cookie recipe and plenty of magick to inspire you throughout the holidays check out the Yuletide/ Winter Solstice chapter of my new book Seasons of Witchery.
Learn more about the wild hunt and it's ties to Yule, celebrate the holiday season in magickal style and embrace the light. After all the Solstice is the reason for the season!
I wish all a you a Happy Holidays and a healthy and prosperous new year!