Winter Solstice also called Yule

This is the time of the shortest day and longest night in the year. I use the early darkness to go out in my backyard usually to listen to the squirrels, chipmunks, and rabbits getting the dems ready for the cold months of they are not already bedded down but this year it is like late fall or early spring temperatures so they are all still fairly active. I also use it as a time to think back over the last year both the good and bad parts of it. There were many changes in my families life some brought tears of happiness and others years of sadness and/or frustration. But everything happens for a reason only known at times to the gods and goddesses.

What was year like good or bad or some of both?

 

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13 Ways to Celebrate Yuletide

by Selena Fox

  1. 100 6806Create a Pagan Winter Solstice framework for the entire holidays season – understand that Christmas Eve and Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day have their origins in Winter Solstice celebrations of a variety of Pagan cultures through the ages.
  2. Decorate your home with sacred plants connected with Winter Solstice: evergreen wreaths & boughs, mistletoe, holly, and ivy. Learn about the Pagan symbolism of each.

To continue reading copy and paste this link into your browser:

https://www.circlesanctuary.org/index.php/celebrating-the-seasons/13-ways-to-celebrate-yuletide

The Winter Solstice – Yule Lore

The date of this sabbat varies from December 20 to December 23 depending on the year in the Gregorian calendar.  The winter solstice is celebrated at this time in the northern hemisphere but it is now time to celebrate the summer solstice (Litha) in the southern hemisphere due to the seasonal differences.

Yule, (pronounced EWE-elle) is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, the sun’s “rebirth” was celebrated with much joy. On this night, our ancestors celebrated the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth. From this day forward, the days would become longer.

Bonfires were lit in the fields…

To continue reading copy and paste this link into your browser:

https://wicca.com/celtic/akasha/yule.htm

Summer and Winter Solstice /Litha and Yule Coven Gathering – December 21, 2017 at 7:00 PM CT

I invite you to include your children and/or grandchildren in our circle this evening. The ritual may seem a bit childish to some of you but I am trying something new for families who wish to raise their families in the ways of The Craft.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

1 White Taper Candle

1 Small black candle

2 Candle Holders

Matches or Lighter

1 Small glass of Juice or mead or wine – this can be share with everyone attending at your home or a small glass per person

1 Bite size cookie for each person attending in your home

If you have a child that will be joining us you will need

2 Battery Operated Candle ( one should be painted or markers used to make the stick of the candle black. Do not get on the “candle flame” as this may cause to explode.

If you choose to have anyone attend our gathering you and they can decide whether regular or battery operated candles are use.

Please keep a careful with children and the elderly around the open candle flames. Remember it is always SAFETY FIRST with every magickal thing you do.

RITUAL:( Northern and Southern Hemispheres spells are to be done at the same time. The one you do depends on which hemisphere you live in.)

Lady Beltane: I walk this circle with all of you three times round so we are safe and sound.

I call upon Earth to come into the watchtower of the North to help protect those in this circle.

I call upon Air to come into the watchtower of the East to help protect those in this circle.

I call in Fire to come into the watchtower of the South to help protect those in this circle.

I call upon Water to come into the watchtower of the East to help protect those in this circle.

Everyone: So more it be! Thank say a greeting than please say your first name and where you are from. Please ask children to only put one initial in as a name. (RememberSafety first!!)

Northern Hemisphere EVERYONE : Now light or turn on your  black candle. Repeat this spell three times. When done type in “So more it be.”

As the Oak Kings brings the longest night his battle lost to the Holly King. We bid you safe slumber with our love and thankfulness until we meet again.

We will meditate for 2 minutes to honor the Oak King.

Now light or turn on your white candle while repeating this spell 3 times. Type in “So Mote It Be” when done.

As we light our candles we bring light back into the world. We welcome the birth of the Holly King and the festive joy that he brings.

EVERYONE will meditate for 2 minutes on what you want to accomplish in this the waxing part of the year and to welcome the Holly King

Southern Hemisphere EVERYONE : Light your white candle while repeating this spell three times. When done type in “So more it be”

As the Holly King loses his battle and the Oak King is born. We wish the Holly King a restful slumber with our love and thanks for all he has helped us with.

We will meditate for 2 minutes to honor the Holly King.

Now light your black candle while repeating this spell thtee times. When you are done type in “So mote it be”

We welcome the Oak King as the days get shorter. We ask for your help in preparing for the cold months.l

We will meditate for 2 minutes to honor the Oak King.

LADY BELTANE : I bring to each of you a blessing of peace, love, good will, and light on behalf of the Triple Goddess and her consort the Holly King. From myself I wish you positive energy, good cheer and happiness.

EVERYONE : Partake of your beverage and cookie and if you would like to say anything to the rest of the coven you are welcome to do so now.

LADY BELTANE: I dismiss Water from the watchtower of the West with our living thanks for your help and protection.

I dismiss Fire from the watchtower of the South with our living thanks for your help and protection.I

I dismiss Air from the watchtower of the North with our living thanks for your help and protection.

I dismiss Earth from the watchtower of the North with our living thanks for your help and protection.

The circle is open but never broken. Go in peace and love dear ones.

 

Yule/Winter Solstice December 21st

At Samhain we honoured, celebrated and welcomed the descent into, and return of, the dark – the beginning of the New Year, acknowledging that all beginnings emerge from darkness. At the Winter Solstice we reach the depth of that darkness with the longest night of the year. Darkness has reached its peak.

“Now we start to wonder: will this continue? Will the Earth grow darker and colder as the Sun disappears into the south until only darkness is left? But at Yule a wonderful thing happens. The Sun stops its decline and for a few days it rises in about the same place. This is the crucial time, the cusp between events. The Sun stands still, and everyone waits for the turning.

In our heads we know the light will return. But in the darkness of Winter, can we…

To read the rest of this article please click on the following link: https://www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk/yule

Winter Solstice Find this year’s date in the multifaith calendar

The Pagan celebration of Winter Solstice (also known as Yule) is one of the oldest winter celebrations in the world.

Ancient people were hunters and spent most of their time outdoors. The seasons and weather played a very important part in their lives. Because of this many ancient people had a great reverence for, and even worshipped the sun. The Norsemen of Northern Europe saw the sun as a wheel that changed the seasons. It was from the word for this wheel, houl, that the word yule is thought to have come. At mid-winter the Norsemen lit bonfires, told stories and drank sweet ale.

The ancient Romans also held a festival to celebrate the rebirth…

To read the rest of this article please click on this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/paganism/holydays/wintersolstice.shtml

Flashback 2008 – Winter Solstice

Yule

At Yule, the Oak King who rules during the waxing year conquers the Holly King in order to reign until Midsummer, when the two meet again. It is believed that the Holly King has evolved into the modern day Santa Claus, wearing red, with holly in his hat. His eight deer represent the Pagan sabbats, as animals as regarded scared by the Celtic gods. Although the Oak King and the Holly King are opposing forces at Litha and Yule, they com[lement each other. In ancient times, the Sun’s return after a long period of scarcity and darkness affirmed survival and resilience in the winter season.

A few days before Yule, decorate your home with oranges studded with cloves to release a warm, yuletide aroma. It’s time to feast, exchange gifts, and thank the Goddess for the return of abundance and light. At your Yule gathering, cozy up up to your favorite people and enjoy some delicious mulled red wine infused with cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. Serve warm in chalices, with a sprinkling of nutmeg, to toast the rebirth of the Oak King. When you take a sip from the chalice, hold hands with your guests and shout, “Wassail” – the old English word for “your health”

Copyright Emely Flak – Llewellyn Witches’ Datebook 2008 Pg 129

Yule Lore

Yule/Winter Solstice is celebrated December 19 – 23 for Northern Hemisphere and June 19 -23 for Southern Hemisphere.

If you would like to read the Yule Ritual go here »

If you would like to see products that you can use in your Yule Rituals click go here »

Yule, the shortest day/longest night of the year, is a Lesser Wiccan Sabbat and greatly celebrated and known as Winter Solstice, Midwinter, Yuletide, Sun Return, Pagan New Year, Great Day of the Cauldron, and Festival of Sol. This is the time of cold, darkness, rebirth of the Sun God, renewal, and waxing sun overcoming the waning sun.

Representation & Associations of Yule/Winter Solstice: In Midsummer, we have the Oak King representing death; in Midwinter we have the Holly King representing death. Both the oak and holly can be symbols for your celebrations during Yule representing birth and death. A wand, rune set or simply a small piece of each, oak and holly, can decorate your altar all through the year. The Oak is prominant from Winter Solstice to Summer Solstice when the Holly becomes dominant until Winter Solstice.

As this time of darkness on the shortest day of the year, we begin celebrating the return of the sun which can be represented with various sun/solar symbols, yule logs, candles, wheel of the year, evergreens, wreaths, holly, mistletoe, trees and nuts.

Colors for Winter Celebrations are green, red, white, silver and gold.

Gemstones for your celebrations at this time include bloodstone, ruby, garnet, green aventurine, emerald, red jasper and moonstone.

Animals associated with Yule are deer, reindeer, squirrels, chickadees, blue jays, cardinals as well as the mythical phoenix.

Herbs, Resins, Plants and Trees for this time are holly, oak, greens, bayberries, dried rose petals/buds, oranges, cranberries, mistletoe, bay, pine, ginger, valerian, frankincense, cinnamon, and myrrh. This is such a festive time of year and many of the above are combined to make or add to wreaths, bundles and boughs and further decorated with sun and star symbols.

Celebrate with foods from local and personal harvests: pears, apples, oranges, lemons, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, popcorn, nuts, corn, pork, cookies, cakes, wine, cider, mulled cider, ginger tea and various fruit and vegetable pies. Again, at this festive time, many of these foods/spices can be used for decorations, added to garlands and greens as well as to make potpourris and incense.

For the rest of this article please click on this link: http://www.13moons.com/yule-lore

Happy Summer Solstice

By The Wild Hunt on Jun 18, 2016 08:04 pm

TWH – For many people around the world, this weekend marks the celebration of theSummer Solstice, also known as Midsummer or Litha. It is at this time that the Northern Hemisphere is tilted closest to the sun. The astrological date for this year’s solstice is June 20, 22:34 UTC (or 6:34 pm ET).

In honor of the abundance of daylight and sunshine, communities have long used bonfires, music, dancing, and outdoor festivals as traditional features of both religious rituals and secular celebrations. In some modern Pagan practices, it is believed that this holiday represents the highest ascendancy of masculine divinity.

At the same time, our friends in the Southern Hemisphere are experiencing the exact opposite. They are coming together to celebrate and mark the winter solstice – a time of darkness, candles and inward reflection.

Sunflower fields near Fargo, SD. Photo by Hephaestos.

Sunflower fields near Fargo, SD. [Photo Credit: Hephaestos]

This 2016 solstice event is particularly special. It will be the first time in 70 years that the full moon is happening at the same time. Slooh.com will be broadcasting the rare event live.

There are several international secular holidays that correspond to the midsummer holiday. In 1982, Make Music Day, held annually June 21, was established in France and has since spread to become a global solstice celebration of sound. And, on that same day, others will be honoring the United Nations’ official International Yoga Day, while still others will be taking to the warm summer mountain trails to celebrate Naked Hiking Day.

Additionally, the summer solstice typically falls on or around the celebration of Father’s Day in the United States. The history of this secular holiday does not have the same radical roots as its counterpart Mother’s Day. In 1908, a Washington state woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, who had been raised by a widower, wanted male parents to be honored in a similar way as mothers. In 1910, Dodd was able to convince the state to establish an official Father’s Day. The idea spread very slowly, meeting much resistance. Many felt that the holiday was silly, and others protested against the establishment of yet another commercially-focused celebration. However, after being given a boost by World War II nationalism, the unofficial Father’s Day was widely embraced by people around the country. Then, in 1972, Richard Nixon signed the proclamation that made the day an official U.S. holiday.

June also marks gay pride month — officially proclaimed this year as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month — which has grown in popularity over the past few decades. Events are specifically held in June to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, which happened in New York City on June 28, 1969.

Similarly, in the social spectrum, June 19 marks the formal end of slavery in the U.S. and is often called Juneteenth or Emancipation Day. While it is not widely celebrated, the holiday is reportedly becoming more popular and gaining ground in cities and local venues. The day is currently marked as an official state holiday in Texas.

While those celebrations mentioned above are all examples of secular-based traditions, there are just as many religious-based holidays that occur at this time, many of which are honored by modern Pagans, Heathens and polytheists.  As already noted, there is the celebration of Litha or Midsummer, or conversely Yule and Midwinter.

The Fires of St. John festival, a Christian-holiday, is also held at this time in many countries and is closely associated with the older midsummer solstice’s traditions, including bonfires and feasts. Similar celebrations are found in many European countries, often known by different names.

In Vodun, Lucumi and other African diaspora religions, there are a number of feast days celebrated around this time, including the Feast of Ochossi and Feast of Eleggua.

In modern Hellenic reconstruction, the festival of Promethea occurs on June 21. One of the traditions is to eat fennel, which this is what Prometheos used to smuggle fire to man.

Solstice Fire at Pagan Spirit Gathering

Solstice Fire at Pagan Spirit Gathering [Courtesy Photo]

Here are some thoughts on the season:

“Litha or Midsummer, a time of bonfires, mugwort, mythical beings, nights and days of mischief and love. The veil is thin. The Celts, the Norse and the Slavs believed that there were three ‘spirit nights’ in the year when magic ran amok and the Otherworld was near. The first was Halloween, the second was May Eve and the third was Midsummer Eve. All sorts of enchantments are in the air now and Spirits and Fairies abound.” –  Danette Wilson, “Outside the Circle: The Bad Fairies of Litha

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“As we honor the solstice we may reach out to the sun, but while doing so we will also reach out to those that have been lost. We will grieve for them and we will grieve with them. Hopefully the energy we raise in their remembrance will inspire us to help bring about the change that will make for better tomorrows. This Midsummer will be a somber sabbat, but that’s what it should be.” – Jason Mankey, “A Somber Solstice

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“There’s a powerful juxtaposing of realities going on right now: one is the world as we know it, with an ethos of fear and scarcity, and an ugly underbelly that’s so evident in the horrific news of recent weeks; and the other is a life-centered ethos revealed in Nature’s emerging summertime landscape of stunning beauty and overflowing abundance.” – Karen Clark, “Three Lessons from the Summer Solstice

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“If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear.” –  Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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However you choose to celebrate the season, a very happy solstice to everyone!

Southern Hemisphere Sabbat Dates

Southern Hemisphere Sabbat Dates

All times are Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) – add 1 hour for Daylight Savings Time when applicable.

Traditional Dates ‘Exact’ Times & Dates **
Lughnasadh/Lammas February 2 February 4, 2016 7:30PM
Mabon (Autumnal Equinox) March 21 March 20, 2016 2:30PM
Samhain April 30/May 1 May 5, 2016 11:34AM
Yule (Winter Solstice) June 21 June 21, 2016 8:34AM
Imbolc August 1 August 7, 2016 11:54AM
Ostara (Vernal/Spring Equinox) September 21 September 23, 2016 12:21AM
Beltaine October 31 November 8, 2016 9:42AM
Litha (Summer Solstice) December 21 December 21, 2016 8:44PM
** Exact dates and times are from http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2016.html – Equinox and Solstice data from the U.S. Naval Observatory, Washington DC. Cross-Quarter moments are interpolated as the midway points between the Solstices and Equinoxes measured in degrees along the ecliptic. Former NASA scientist Rollin Gillespie uses this spatial method rather than simply splitting in half the time interval between a Solstice and an Equinox.)

For more information please click on this link http://spheresoflight.com.au/index.php?page=sabbat