It's the time of year when the chill in the air, the crisp mornings and cold nights invite us to snuggle up get cosy and create space that is enticing and homely. We lay our fires and light our candles and feel a pull to create a tradition that creates memories of this quieter time of the year for our families.
Rituals and ceremonies are a beautiful way to mark the seasons in your home. Connecting to the seasons allows us to reconnect to our inner rhythms and listen to the natural callings of your soul to slow down, as we feel in winter, or to clear out and get on, as we feel in spring.
The Solsitces mark two powerful points in our year that can become natural markers for us to stop and make time to be present with our family, friends and loved ones. They provide a time when we can share together our hopes, our fears and our love.
This Winter Solstice we invite you to join us in creating a tradition that can become an anchor for your family and create beautiful memories for years to come.
In the week before Winter Solstice gather jam jars and make Solstice Lanterns.
You will need:
Sequins and sparkles (optional)
A large candle in a holder which will be used to represent the Sun God. So perhaps it is Red or Orange but equally could be white.
1. Gather your children/friends to the table and invite them to think about what they would like to bring into their lives. It might be they want to play cards more, cook more, make a veggie patch (please know that as a Mum of four I am aware this is an ideal list I am creating and that it might be 'play video games more'!). Invite them to think what energies they would like to feel more...Joy, happiness, excitement, hugs, laughter. You get the picture.
2. Let each person choose some tissue paper and write some words on the paper (or help them if they are too young) that reflect what they are wanting to call in with the return of the light.
3. Painting some glue on the outside of the jar stick the paper on and cover the glass as much or as little as they would like. It does not matter if the words are seen or not, their energy is there. Add sprinkles and sparkles if you would like and make as many lanterns as feels right.
4. Let them dry and then place them in a prominent spot in your home. On your alter, your table, you're dresser. Let them sit without lighting a candle in them for a day or two.
On the night of Winter Solstice come to a central point in your home. Again perhaps this is your kitchen table. All of you sit down after turning out all the lights in the house. Perhaps have just one tea light or small candle lit at the table. Hold hands and sit in the darkness, if possible sit in the quiet.
Take a few minutes to say how the dark makes you feel. Ask your children how they feel. Perhaps they might want to share a fear they are willing to let go of.
When everyone has finished sharing choose someone to light the Sun Candle and say these words or similar;
"Tonight is the night of the Solstice,
the longest and darkest night of the year,
As the wheel of the seasons run once more,
we know that soon the light will reappear.'
Then each person can light their own individual lantern or lanterns and say;
"As the light reappears I release my fears."
When the last person has lit their lantern the following can be said together or by one person;
"After this the longest night,
Our faith is rewarded with hope and light,
We find gratitude for the earth our Mother,
We find gratitude for each other,
And so tonight by candlelight,
We bless this place with love and grace."
At this point allow the children to run around the house turning on all the lights and welcoming in the light and the sun.
Once the squeals of laughter have died down. Go round turning off the lights returning to your table and sharing in a solstice meal of pumpkin soup and homemade bread or something that feels nourishing for your family.
Taking time as you eat to talk about all the exciting things you are inviting into you lives over the next 6 months.
Wishing you a beautiful Winter Solstice.