Winter Solstice Ritual
Winter Solstice - by Starhawk -
Winter Solstice approaches--the longest night and shortest day of the year, when cold and darkness reach their peak, and light and warmth seem weakest. The sun, which each day has risen and set a little further to the south, now seems to stop in its tracks.
But Yule, the Pagan festival that honors the Solstice, is a very powerful moment of turning and a time of deep renewal. For now the sun will begin to rise a bit earlier each day, and set a bit later. At first the change will be almost imperceptible, but within a few days or weeks, we will clearly know that light is returning. Enfolded in the darkest hour is the seed of spring and rebirth.
We can turn to the natural world for teachings, strength and hope. That is where the promise of Solstice appears, because the darkness and the return of the sun's light remind us that the wheel always turns, that the darkest hour may well be just before the dawn, and every death holds within it the potential for a new opening, a new birth.
Whether our concerns are personal or collective, the rituals we celebrate on Yule can help us move from grief to empowerment. We in the Reclaiming tradition of Witchcraft celebrate the Winter Solstice this year on Dec. 22nd at the Sebastopol Grange Hall
*excerpted and adapted from an interview with Starhawk on beliefnet.com