Winter Solstice Spell

Holiday Relaxation Spell

Holiday Relaxation Spell

Take some time today to de-stress:
Fill a bowl with water and a floating candle. Light the candle and gaze into the flame. Gaze for awhile into the candle flame and let your mind go blank. Feel your stress pouring into the water and feel your body relax as the stress leaves it. Imagine the bowl is a deep well and is drinking in whatever it is in your life that is causing unease, discomfort or stress. Breathe deeply. Sprinkle dried basil over the water, and then chant softly before the candle flame:

I am calm.
I am at peace with my surroundings.
I am whole and well.
By the powers of earth, air, fire, and water, I am free.

Sit before the bowl for several more moments. Let the candle burn till it burns out. Pour the water onto the ground and feel your stress and anxiety going with it. Tell yourself that the earth has taken your stress away. Give thanks.

Winter Ritual Bath

Winter Ritual Bath

During the Winter Solstice/Christmas Season we often place too much emphasis on celebrating and sharing this joyous holiday. It is often helpful amongst all the stress to atune to a quiet, internal spirituality. To begin to do so, prepare a ritual bath with oils of rosemary, pine and orange. Add a touch of patchouli for grounding. Light gold and green candles and immerse yourself in the watery solitude to refresh your weary holiday spirit. Meditate on the Winter Goddess and her lesson of stillness. Find the cool and clean space she offers, free of clutter and activity. It is the season for centering and grounding and for defining who we really are. After the bath, take your journal and write down your goals by candlelight. Contemplate the coming re-birth and identify which direction you wish to channel your energies and focus your intentions.

-This bath was adapted by one written by Karri Allrich

Yule Log Charge

Yule Log Charge

It is best that every owner charge his or her own Yule Log. It is through your own energies that the results you desire will be achieved. Do you truly believe in the power of your log? If the answer is yes, then the answers and gifts you request from it will be honored. Here is a simple Charging Ritual to help you get the most from your log.

Gather your supplies:

Chalice (or glass) of water
A white candle in a holder
A small amount of salt
A table
A white cloth
Incense of any kind in a holder
A quiet place to perform the ritual


Ritual :
Lay white cloth over the table
Place candle, water and incense in the center of the cloth.
Light the candle and the incense.
Darken the room.
Close your eyes and meditate on the log and what you want it to achieve until you have fully cleared your mind of all other influences and are focused on the desired result.
Take a pinch of salt between your thumb and forefinger and sprinkle it into the water while saying:
“Earth and Water bond this log to me,
May it protect me/us throughout the year
And channel my desires,
Blessed Be”

Sprinkle this “empowered” water onto your log.
Pass the incense and candle over the log to purify it while again saying:
“Fire bond this log to me,
May it protect me/us throughout the year
And channel my desires,
Blessed Be”

Place your hand on the log.
Close your eyes
Meditate to feel the powerful, protective internal energy of your body flowing down your arm and into your hand.
Envision yourself burning the log and its strength protecting you as you go about your life. Invoke the god or goddess you feel most personally attuned with by saying:
“(God/Goddess Name) bond this log to me,
May it protect me/us from harm
And channel my desires,
Blessed Be”
Feel the log begin to surge with your power and envision a white or yellow light glowing about you.
Sit like this until you feel the energy winding down, you will know when the charging it complete.
Place the log in your fireplace or pit. If it was charged with certain people in mind, make sure they are there as you burn the log and meditate and enjoy their company!

Winter Solstice Spell

Winter Solstice Spell 

Perform on the night of Winter Solstice

Gather your supplies:

Small Amount of Hollyberry Oil
Small Amount of Mistletoe Herb
Clean, small piece of white paper (parchment if you have it)
Red Candle

Ritual:

Write a single word in red ink that represents what quality in yourself you would like to enhance with the dawning of the Yule Sun.
Sprinkle the Mistletoe Herb into the center of the paper.
Add three drops of the Hollyberry Oil on top of the Mistletoe.
Twist the paper closed with the Mistletoe and Hollyberry Oil inside.
Light the red candle.
From the flame of the candle, light the paper package on fire.
As it burns envision your wish fulfilled.
The spell is done.

Yule Ritual for Groups


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Yule Ritual for Groups

This is a Neo-Pagan rite that has been adapted for the Northern Tradition, honoring the Wheel of the Year, to be performed at Yule when the Sun is at its lowest point.

Make a Sun Wheel by lashing pieces of wood to a yard-wide metal hoop bought in a craft store, so as to form an eight-spoked wheel, cover the unsightly metal by wrapping it with colored yarn. More yarn is tied to the ends of the spokes and knotted together, about four feet up from the center of the wheel. A flat candle holder was affixed to the center. Then you bind (with more colored yarn) evergreen boughs onto it.

Light a short fat red candle in the center, where the strings were farthest away, but you can put candles on the edges as well. When it is covered in fresh evergreens, use cut oranges in half and hollow out the inside (throwing the orange bits into the Yule punch), and nestle the half-orange-peel cups in among the boughs holding votive candles. Be very careful that no candle flames are near enough to the supporting strings to burn through them, or the whole thing will come down in a flaming mess.

This rite uses at least nine people, so it’s a good one for an inside ritual where you’ve got a lot of folks who want to participate. Each person is dressed in the appropriate colors. One group’s sun symbol was trashpicked, someone’s thrown-away art project, a base with a big gilded metal spiral and a candle holder on top. One could just as easily be made from a toy horse and cart and a wooden disk, all sprayed gold.

(Eight people gather around the sun wheel, decorated and hanging from the ceiling. The ninth—the Sunna officiant—is clothed in colors of glittering flame and carries the sun symbol. The Sunna officiant lights the candle in the center of the sun wheel and says:)
Hail to the Sun who walks the way
Of dusty dawn, of golden glow,
Of glint of growing, turning Day.
Hail to the cycle and the flow.
Welcome to our hearth and home and tribe.
This is the darkest day of the year, the longest night, when the Sun is swallowed up and dies. In ancient times, the Sun was brought back to life with fire and light on the Solstice.
Let us imagine, now, those dark and ancient times. Go back six thousand years to a cold place. You are clad in clothing of rough wool and fur, and you speak a language unlike ours, yet with some words that will someday be passed on to us. Your people have lived in this cold place for so long that you remember the glaciers melting, the Ice Age receding. It is part of your creation myths.

Imagine that you are standing in a clearing in the woods, the scent of pine all around you, just before dawn. It is freezing cold, and for days uncounted you have huddled inside next to a fire, with the sky too dark to work or even to see outside. Yet on this morning your eyes are fixed on a single standing stone, or perhaps a pole driven into the earth, which will prove the rebirth of the Sun which gives all life.

Imagine that you watch the Sun rise, seeing it come up in its appointed place as it always does, and a hush of wonder falls over your tribe, crowded around you. It is the promise of the new year, the promise that the days will get longer, and eventually warmer, and the spring will come. You rejoice. You cheer. You weep with joy. You beat on drums and shout. You call this day Yeohwla, which means simply, the Winter Solstice.

Someday strangers will come, driving wagons, great numbers of them. They will settle next to you, and intermarry with you, and teach of things like wheels and horses, and you will give them the words “wife”, and “child”, and teach them the mysteries of “Yeohwla”, which their descendants—and yours—will pass on as Yule. You will teach the mysteries of Hope and Rebirth, of fire and light that resurrects the year. And they will stand in that cold place and learn to praise the coming of the Sun, and so will their children=s children. And so do we.

Take flame now, flame from the wheel of the Sun, and carry it close to you, for fire is precious. It means warmth and light and cooked food. Be careful with it, neither letting it spread nor go out. Each of you light a candle and hold it close.

(Everyone comes forth with small candles and lights them from the wheel’s flame. The Sunna officiant lights the Sun symbol. Then the first of the eight callers steps forth, dressed all in white and gold. The Sunna officiant moves to stand behind them, and holds up the Sun symbol so that it can be seen above their head.)

First Caller:
Hail to the sleeping Sun Maiden who awakes!
Hail to her first steps, like one newborn,
As she feels the change, the shift,
The turn from downward to upward!
On this the shortest day of all,
Odin leads the Wild Hunt in shrieking furor,
Bonfires burn and voices are upraised in song,
And Sunna blinks her sky-bright eyes
And blesses us on the frosty Yule morning.

(The first caller ties a straw pinecone to the end of one wheel spoke.

The second caller steps forward, dressed all in red and gold.)

Second Caller:
Hail to the Sun over the snowfields!
Hail to her light over the frozen land
As the lambs are born and the ewe’s milk flows.
Frau Holle shakes the snow from her pillows
Like clouds of feathers in the sky,
We hail the Disir of our ancestors,
The women who survived to watch in wisdom,
And Sunna lights the darkened sky
And blesses us on this frozen Oimelc morning.

(The second caller ties a snowflake to the end of one wheel spoke.

The third caller steps forward, dressed all in blue and gold.)

Third Caller:
Hail to the Sun in the time of Spring!
Dawn’s own moment, the in-breath of perfect air,
The time of wind and rain, fierce storms
And freshest of wet mornings. Hail Ostara
As she dances through the greening fields, hail Freya
With flowers blooming in her footsteps.
Hail Thor who brings the rain and washes clean,
And Sunna lights the equinox sky
And blesses us on this wet Ostara morning.

(The third caller ties a colored egg to the end of one wheel spoke.

The fourth caller steps forward, dressed all in green and gold.)

Fourth Caller:
Hail to the Sun in the time of Greening!
The trees spread their leaves, the flowers bloom,
The pole rises to touch the sky!
For deep in the darkness Odin the Wanderer
Who hung three nights in the embrace of the Tree
Has won the runes and broken free, and we rejoice!
Walburga walks the woods, the Hunt can never catch her,
And Sunna lights the green-leaved sky
And blesses us on this fair Walpurgisnacht morning.

(The fourth caller ties a bunch of colored ribbons to the end of one wheel spoke.

The fifth caller steps forward, dressed all in yellow and gold.)

Fifth Caller:
Hail to the Sun on her most perfect day!
We are torn between great joy and great sorrow
For the Sun is golden overhead, and abundant are the fruits
Of the earth, and yet Baldur’s blood soaks
Into that earth as well. It is the first sudden funeral
Of the year, and we dance for sorrow and for joy.
The first golden king walks the Hel Road,
And Sunna reigns over the tear-blue sky
And blesses us on this bright Litha morning.

(The fifth caller ties a tiny golden sun to the end of one wheel spoke.

The sixth caller steps forward, dressed all in amber and gold.)

Sixth Caller:
Hail to the Sun over the fields of grain!
On this day Frey, the second golden king,
Walks willingly to his doom. As the sickle cuts,
As the grain falls, as the harvest is begun,
The people are fed, and the Sun’s bounty is collected.
Hail to Frey and his willing sacrifice, no sudden thing
But measured, open, gentle-handed like Death
And Sunna lights the summer sky
And blesses us on this golden Lammas morning.

(The sixth caller ties a tiny wheatsheaf to the end of one wheel spoke.

The seventh caller steps forward, dressed all in orange and gold.)

Seventh Caller:
Hail to the Sun over the Harvest Fair!
We have worked and toiled on Jord’s fertile breast
And we reap the abundance that we deserve, or at least
That we have been lucky enough to get this year.
Hail to the scythe, the winnowing basket, the honey in the hive,
The grain and beer, the milk that flows and the flesh
That is sacrificed that we might live and thrive,
And Sunna lights the autumn sky
And blesses us on this cool Harvest morning.

(The seventh caller ties a straw horn to the end of one wheel spoke.

The eighth caller steps forward, dressed all in black and gold.)

Eighth Caller:
Hail to the Sun on Winter’s Gate!
The leaves fall like a carpet before Sunna’s fading path
And the barrows of the Ancestors call us, looming
Like dark shadows through the bare black trees.
Darkness is setting in, but we do not fear,
For all things turn again unto the light, as Sunna
Herself has taught us, in her dancing round of the year.
And Sunna lights the clouded sky
And blesses us this Winternight morning.

(The eighth caller ties a skull to the end of one wheel spoke. The Sunna officiant steps forth.)
Sunna officiant:
Hail to the Ancestors who lived that we might live,
Who watched the Sun’s round and praised her mightily.
Hail Sunna! Bless us all with your bright gaze
And bring the light of contentment
With all things that flux and change
And yet always come around
Into our questing hearts.

All:
Hail Sunna!

(A horn of mead is passed, and folk speak of some great difficulty that troubled them, but that they have now come to terms with, and how they came to understanding on a day-to-day basis. This is the sort of thing which Sunna excels at—aiding those who would learn how to cope daily with something hard that will not pass, and teaching them never to let it dim their light. The candles are not put out until everyone has left the room, unless they become a fire hazard.)

Solitary Yule Ritual


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Solitary Yule Ritual

The altar is adorned with evergreens such as pine, rosemary, bay, juniper, and cedar, and the same can be laid to mark the Circle of Stones. Dried leaves can also be placed on the altar.

The Cauldron, resting on the altar on a heatproof surface (or placed before it its too large), should be filled with ignitable alcohol, or a red candle can be placed within it. At outdoor rites, lay a fire within the cauldron to be lit during ritual.

Arrange the altar, light the candles and incense, and cast the Circle of Stones.

Recite the Blessing Chant

Invoke the Goddess and God

Stand before the cauldron and gaze within it.

Say these or similar words:
I sorrow not, though the world is wrapped in sleep.
I sorrow not, though the icy winds blast.
I sorrow not, though the snow falls hard and deep.
I sorrow not; this too shall soon be past.

Ignite the Cauldron (or candle), using long matches or a taper. As the flames leap up say:
I light this fire in Your honor, Mother Goddess.
You have created life from death; warmth from cold;
The Sun lives once again; the time of light is waxing.
Welcome, ever-returning god of the Sun!
Hail, Mother of All!

Circle the altar and cauldron slowly, clockwise, watching the flames. Say the following chant for some time:

The wheel turns; the power burns.

Meditate upon the Sun, on the hidden energies lying dormant in winter, not only in the Earth but within ourselves. Think of birth not as the start of life but as its continuance. Welcome the return of the God.

After a time cease and stand once again before the altar and flaming cauldron. Say:
Great God of the Sun,
I welcome Your return.
May You shine brightly upon the Goddess;
May You shine brightly upon the Earth,
Scattering seeds and fertilizing the land.
All blessings upon You.
Reborn One of the Sun!

Works of magic if necessary, may follow

Celebrate the Simple Feast

The Circle is released

By Scott Cunningham

 

Yule/Winter Solstice Ritual

You will need:

Your tools

Some ice

Lavender incense

A compass

Setup:

Set-up your altar, place the ice in the cauldron and the incense anywhere.

Perform a meditation.

Cast your circle.

Hold your hands up in the air saying:

“GREAT WINTER I WELCOME YOU,GODDESS OF NGHT.”

Place your hands in the cauldron and move them around in the ice while saying:

“I WELCOME YOUR MIGHT,YOUR COLD.”

Light the incense. Take aa sip from the chalice. Take the athame and point it toward the west while saying:

“GREAT WINTER I CALL YOU,COME FORTH,I WELCOME YOU.”

Close your eyes and visualize the winter in all her fury. At this point you may end this ritual,or continue with a spell.

“SO MOTE IT BE”

Close your circle.

 

The Witches Magick for the 18th Day of December – Yule Sun Ritual


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Yule Sun Ritual

You will need:

A candle to represent the sun — it can be a large candle, or one that is yellow, red, gold, or orange

Something with which to inscribe the candle— either your athame or a small knife, or even a toothpick or a needle

7 small candles, either birthday candles or tea lights, to represent the 7 other festivals of the Wheel of the Year

A piece of paper, coloring pencils or pens, and scissors

Sit somewhere comfortable with the candles in front of you. Arrange the smaller candles in a circle, leaving a space in the center for the sun candle. Take the sun candle and inscribe images of the sun into the wax. As you do this, chant:

Welcome sun, light reborn.

In thanks this candle I now adorn.

When you have worked your candle, place it in the center of the ring of smaller candles. Light the sun candle with the words:

Return of the Sun, the darkness is gone.

Light each of the seven small candles from the sun candle, saying with each one:

Blessed be!

Spend some time focusing on the sun candle and its place within the Wheel of the Year that you have created around it. Think of the light returning to the world and to your own life, spreading its warmth and energy into everything. Then take your paper and draw an image of the sun. Make it bold and bright by coloring it in. Cut out the shape carefully and write on the back of it:

“The sun has returned, so mote it be!”

Hold your paper sun aloft to the sun candle and say:

I create this sun with thanks and blessings.

If you can, allow your candles to burn down, or extinguish them with thanks. Relight the sun candle over the next few days to allow the magic of the returning sun to be part of your life. Use your paper sun as a focus for your Yule magic. Attach it to your Yule log or thread it with ribbon and hang it on your Yule tree to celebrate the festive season.

 

Mandy Mitchell, Hedgewitch Book of Days: Spells, Rituals, and Recipes for the Magical Year

 

 

The Witches Magick for the 17th Day of December – A Group Goddess Ritual for Yule


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A Group Goddess Ritual for Yule

 

Yule is the time of the Winter Solstice, and for some Pagans, it’s a time to say goodbye to the old, and welcome the new. As the sun returns to the earth, life begins once more — it’s a time to bid the Crone farewell, and invite the Maiden back into our lives. This ritual can be performed by a group of four or more.

Frequently, when I post rituals that are goddess-focused, inevitably I get messages from people demanding to know what to do when there’s no reference to the menfolk.

Clearly, this ritual is designed for at least four female participants, but if you don’t have that many, don’t sweat it — improvise, or allow one woman to speak all the roles. Likewise, If you have an all-male group, you could revise this rite so that it focuses on the battle of the Oak King and the Holly King, rather than the Crone and the Maiden. If you have a mixed group, make adaptations as necessary.

First, set up a Yule tree near the north side of your altar. Decorate it with lights and symbols of the season. If there’s no room for a tree, use a Yule Log instead.

Cover the altar with a winter-themed altar cloth if possible, and in the center, three white candles in individual candleholders.

The oldest female present should take on the role of High Priestess (HPs) to lead the ceremony.

Of the other women present, one represents the aspect of the Maiden, another the Mother, and a third the Crone. If you’re really into ceremony and symbolism, have the Maiden wear a white robe and stand in the east. The Mother can wear a red robe and stand to the south, while the Crone dresses in a black robe and veil, and takes her place to the west of the altar.

Each holds one of the three white candles.

If you normally cast a circle, do so now.

The HPs says:

It is the season of the Crone, the time of the winter goddess. Tonight we celebrate the festival of the winter solstice, the rebirth of the Sun, and the return of light to the Earth. As the Wheel of the Year turns once more, we honor the eternal cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth.

The Maiden then takes her candle and holds it while the HPs lights it for her. She then turns to the Mother and lights the Mother’s candle. Finally, the Mother lights the candle held by the Crone. The High Priestess then says:

O Crone, the Wheel has turned once more. It is time for the Maiden to claim what is now hers. As you lie down for the winter, she is born once again.

The Crone removes her veil and hands it to the Mother. The Mother then places it on the Maiden’s head. The Crone says:

The days will now get longer, now the Sun has returned. My season has ended, yet the season of the Maiden begins. Listen to the wisdom of those who have come before you, and yet be wise enough to make your own way.

The Maiden then says:

Thank you for the wisdom of your years, and for seeing the season through to its end. You have stepped aside that the new season may begin, and for this we give you honor.

At this time, the High Priestess should invite anyone who wishes to make an offering to the Goddess to come do so — offerings can be placed on the altar, or if you’re outdoors, in a fire. The HPs concludes the rite by saying:

We make these offerings tonight, to show our love to you, O Goddess. Please accept our gifts, and know that we are entering this new season with joy in our hearts.

Everyone present should take a few moments to meditate upon the time of the season. Although winter is here, life lies dormant beneath the soil. What new things will you bring to fruition for yourself when the planting season returns? How will you change yourself, and maintain your spirit throughout the cold months? When everyone is ready, either end the rite, or continue on with additional rituals, such as Cakes and Ale or Drawing Down the Moon.

Author: Patti Wigington

Article published on & owned by About.com

The Witches Magick for the 15th Day of December – A Solitary Goddess Ritual for Yule


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 A Solitary Goddess Ritual for Yule

Yule is the time of the Winter Solstice, and for many Pagans, it’s a time to say goodbye to the old, and welcome the new. As the sun returns to the earth, life begins once more. This ritual can be performed by a solitary practitioner, either male or female. It’s also easily adaptable to a small group of people.

Perform this ritual on the evening of the Winter Solstice. If you normally wear a ritual robe or ceremonial gown, do so — and feel free to embellish for the season!

Consider a crown of holly, a special Yule-themed robe, or adding holiday bling to your existing robe. Sparkly is good! Decorate your altar with a Yule log or tree (although obviously the tree might have to go on the floor, rather than the altar itself), lots of seasonal symbolism, and candles — after all, Yule is a celebration of light.

You’ll also want to have some holiday incense on your altar. Frankincense, cinnamon, myrrh — all are appropriate to the season; don’t light it just yet, though. Finally, have two candles in seasonal colors.

If you normally cast a circle, do so now.

To begin the ritual, sit on the floor near your altar — don’t light the candles just yet.

Take a few moments to remember what it was like for our ancestors at this time of year. The harvest had been brought in, and they knew that in a few months, their stockpiles of food would be running low. It was the season of Death, the time when the earth went dormant once more, sleeping until the spring returned. Our ancestors knew that despite the darkness of this night, soon the light would return to the earth, bringing with it life.

This night, the Winter Solstice, welcomes back the Sun, the ultimate giver of light.

Light the first candle, and say:

Tonight is the night of the Solstice, the longest night of the year. As the Wheel turns once more, I know that tomorrow, the Sun will begin its journey back to us. With it, new life will begin, a blessing from Earth to her children.

Light the second candle, and say:

It is the season of the winter goddess. Tonight I celebrate the festival of the winter solstice, the rebirth of the Sun, and the return of light to the Earth. As the Wheel of the Year turns once more, I honor the eternal cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth.

Light the remaining candles on the altar at this time, and if you have decorative holiday lighting, turn it on. Return to your place at the altar, and face the holiday tree or Yule log. Raise your arms up to the tree, and say:

Today I honor the god of the forest, the King of nature, who rules the season. I give my thanks to the beautiful goddess, whose blessings bring new life to the earth. This gift I offer you tonight, sending my prayers to you upon the air.

Light your incense, and if you’d like to make an offering of food, bread, or something else, do so now. As the smoke of the incense rises to the night sky, meditate on what changes you’d like to see before the next Sabbat. Reflect upon the time of the season. Although winter is here, life lies dormant beneath the soil. What new things will you bring to fruition for yourself when the planting season returns? How will you change yourself, and maintain your spirit throughout the cold months? When you are ready, either end the rite, or continue on with additional rituals, such as Cakes and Ale or Drawing Down the Moon.

Tips:

If you don’t have a ritual robe, you can take a cleansing bath before the rite, and then wear a simple cotton or other organic material. Another option would be to make a robe as a Yule gift to yourself!

Author: Patti Wigington

Article published on & owned by About.com

 

The Witches Magick for the 15th Day of December – Ritual To Welcome Back the Sun


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Ritual To Welcome Back the Sun

The ancients knew that the winter solstice was the longest night of the year — and that meant that the sun was beginning its long journey back towards earth. It was a time of celebration, and for rejoicing in the knowledge that soon, the warm days of spring would return, and the dormant earth would come back to life.

On this one day, the sun stands still in the sky, and everyone on earth knows that change is coming.

Because this is a festival of fire and light, feel free to use lots of candles and lights, solar symbols, bright colors, or even a bonfire. Bring light back into your home and your life.

Like any Sabbat, this festival works well if paired up with a feast. Celebrate the sun’s return by preparing all kinds of winter foods — whip up a batch of cornbread, a pot of buttered rum, plum pudding, cranberry dressing, game stew, etc. Have the whole family eat together prior to the ritual. Clean up, and when you’re done, cover your table or altar with candles. Use as many as you like; they don’t have to match.

In the center, place a sun candle** on a riser, so it’s above the rest. Don’t light any of the candles just yet.

Turn off all the other lights, and face your altar. If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so now.

Face the candles, and say:

The wheel of the year has turned once more, and the nights have grown longer and colder. Tonight, the darkness begins to retreat, and light begins its return once again. As the wheel continues to spin, the sun returns to us once more.

Light the sun candle, and say:

Even in the darkest hours, even in the longest nights, the spark of life lingered on. Laying dormant, waiting, ready to return when the time was right. The darkness will leave us now, as the sun begins its journey home.

Beginning with the candles closest to the sun candle, and working your way outward, light each of the other candles. As you light each one, say:

As the wheel turns, light returns. The light of the sun has returned to us, bringing life and warmth with it. The shadows will vanish, and life will continue. We are blessed by the light of the sun.

Take a moment to think about what the return of the sun means to you.

The return of the light meant many things to different cultures. How does it affect you, and your loved ones? When you’re ready, go through the house and turn all the lights back on. If you have children, make it a game — they can yell out, “Welcome back, sun!”

If you’re not too full from dinner, have some eggnog and cookies on standby, and take the time to bask in the light of your candles and eat some treats. When you’re done, extinguish the candles from the outside of the altar working towards the center, leaving the sun candle for last.

Tips:

** A sun candle is simply a candle you’ve designated to represent the sun in ritual. It can be in a sunny color — gold or yellow — and if you like, you can insribe it with solar sigils.

If you like, you can do this ritual on the morning of Yule. Cook a big breakfast with lots of eggs, and watch the sun rise. If you do this, you can eliminate all the candles except the sun candle. Allow the sun candle to burn all day before you extinguish it.

Author: Patti Wigington

Article published on & owned by About.com

The Witches Magick for the 14th Day of December – Hold A Yule Tree Blessing


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Hold A Yule Tree Blessing

If your family uses a holiday tree during the Yule season — and many Pagan families do — you might want to consider a blessing ritual for the tree, both at the time you cut it down and again before you’ve decorated it. Although many families use fake holiday trees, a cut one from a tree farm is actually more environmentally friendly, so if you’ve never considered a live tree, maybe this is a good year to start a new tradition in your house.

Things to Take With You

You’ll want to have the following items on hand when you go to cut down a tree for Yule:

A sharp saw

Gloves

Rope

Some fertilizer sticks and birdseed

 

Selecting Your Tree

First of all, make sure you’re in a place where you have permission to cut trees. Either find a local Christmas tree farm, or if you’re on private property, get the approval of the landowner before you cut anything. Never cut a tree down in a park or forest without permission.

Don’t just randomly start hacking away at trees. Take some time to wander around and find the tree that’s right for you. Often, you’ll know the right tree when you find it — it will be just the right height and width, the exact fullness you want, and so forth.

In our family, our annual tradition is that we only cut down our tree if it has a bird’s nest in it (obviously, by December the birds don’t need it any more, it’s just something my teenager started as a child).

 

Cutting Down Your Tree

If you’ve found the right tree, take a moment to touch it. Feel its energy flowing from the earth and into you. Recognize that once you’ve cut it down, it will no longer be a living thing.

In many traditions, people find it comforting to ask the tree for permission to make the first cut. In Dorothy Morrison’s book Yule, she recommends asking the tree to move its spirit deep into the ground so that it will not feel injury or pain when you cut the trunk.

Use the following blessing before you make the cut:

O evergreen, mighty tree, you who are full of life. I am about to make the cut, and ask your permission. We will take you into our home and honor you, adorning you with light in this season of the sun. We ask you, o evergreen, to bless our home with your energy.

As an alternative, if you have children with you and you’d like to make the occasion more fun than somber, try something like this instead:

Evergreen, evergreen, big fat tree! I ask you now please to come home with me! We’ll cover you with ornaments and lots of pretty lights, and let you shine about our house at Yule, the longest night! Thank you, tree, thank you tree, for the gift you give today, we’ll plant another in your name, when spring comes our way!

Make the cut about eight inches above the ground, and cut quickly. Make sure no one is standing on the opposite side when the tree begins to fall. Using the gloves to protect your hands if necessary, tie the rope around the trunk so you can pull it out of the area. Before leaving, push the fertilizer sticks into the soil near the cut trunk. This will promote new growth from the remaining stump. If you can, periodically stop by and add more fertilizer sticks to the newly sprouted branches.

You may wish to also leave some birdseed on the ground as an offering to the wildlife in the area. Some families even use the birdseed to cast a protective circle around the stump where they’ve cut their tree down. Finally, if you’ve promised to plant a new tree somewhere in the spring, be sure to keep your word.

 

Decorating Your Tree

Decorating a Yule tree is a lot of fun, and should be a celebration of family. Put on some holiday music, light some incense or scented candles, get a pot of herbal tea brewing, and turn it into a ritual of its own. Before you decorate, you may wish to bless the tree once more.

Have on hand some salt, incense, a candle and water. Bless the tree as follows:

By the powers of earth, I bless this tree, that it shall remain sacred, a symbol of life, stable and strong in our home throughout the Yule season. By the powers of air, I bless this tree, as the cool winter winds blow away the baggage of the old year, and we welcome the brightness of the new into our hearts and home. By the powers of fire, I bless this tree, as the days have gotten shorter, and the nights grown dark, yet the warmth of the sun is returning, bringing with it life. By the powers of water, I bless this tree, a gift I give, that it may stay bright and green for us a bit longer, so that we can enjoy the harmony and peace of Yule.

As you say the blessing, sprinkle the salt around the tree in a circle (not on the tree, just around it), smudging with the incense, passing the candle over it, and finally, adding water to the tray at the bottom.

Once you’ve finished the blessing, decorate your tree and celebrate!

 

 

Author: Patti Wigington

Article published on & owned by About.com

 

 

Safe Travel Spell

Safe Travel Spell
Author: Rowan Moonstone

Tools Needed:

2 white candles anointed with sandalwood oil.
1 purple candle anointed with sandalwood oil.
Photo or personal articles of the person the spell is for
A “Personality ” candle (color appropriate to the recipient of the spell)
Sandalwood incense

Altar should be arranged as below:


O (white candle) O (Personality candle) O (purple candle)
O (white candle) Photos or personal object O (incense)

Instructions:

Light white candles
Light personality candle
Light purple candle
Light incense

Repeat the following invocation:

“Hail Mother of the World!
Ananna, Isis, Astarte, Selene, Holy Sin (pronounced Sheen).
See me, look upon me
See me, look upon me
See me, look upon me
Protect me and my people tonight.
Send your white light around me.
Send your protective light around ______________
That they may be protected
As they travel and as they dream.
Send only good and lucid energies their way.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.

You can either let the candles burn out by themselves, or snuff them
in reverse order and let them burn a little each night if the person
will be on an extended trip. On the last night let them burn down on
their own. NEVER blow our or pinch out the candles. This destroys
the luck.

Holiday Relaxation Spell

Holiday Relaxation Spell

Take some time today to de-stress:


Fill a bowl with water and a floating candle. Light the candle and gaze into the flame. Gaze for awhile into the candle flame and let your mind go blank. Feel your stress pouring into the water and feel your body relax as the stress leaves it. Imagine the bowl is a deep well and is drinking in whatever it is in your life that is causing unease, discomfort or stress. Breathe deeply. Sprinkle dried basil over the water, and then chant softly before the candle flame:

I am calm.
I am at peace with my surroundings.
I am whole and well.
By the powers of earth, air, fire, and water, I am free.

Sit before the bowl for several more moments. Let the candle burn till it burns out. Pour the water onto the ground and feel your stress and anxiety going with it. Tell yourself that the earth has taken your stress away. Give thanks.