Solitary Samhain Ritual

Solitary Samhain Ritual
Author: Erica Frank

Tools needed:
A knife (must be sharp)
Apples or Grapes (pref. room temperature or warm)
Pomegranate (pref. chilled)
God and Goddess Candles on the altar
Small serving dishes

Call elements
Cast your circle

Invoke deities by saying:
“Gaia, who nurtures all life, send your son Pan, Lord of the fields and flocks. May he join me in celebration and revelry.”

Light the God Candle and say:
“Pan, master of beasts and rough, primal forces–enter this circle; share your wild abandon! Bring to us joys and lusts; bring the last kiss of summer before the cold of winter. Join me, Pan! IO EVOE!

Face Altar Saying:
“Ouranous, who rules the heavens, send your daughter Hekate, She who guards against the terrors of the night. May she join me in celebration and reflection.”

Light Goddess candle and say:
“Hekate, queen of night and the restless spirits–enter this circle, share your peace and wisdom. Bring calm and endurance; bring guidance through the winter until the days grow warm. Join me, Hekate! IO EVOE!”

Cycling of the year:

Take the blade, and grapes [or apple]. Cut into fruit (apples or grapes); place on a plate, and offer it upwards & then hold it in front of you.
“I eat this last fruit of summer. May I be filled with the warmth that has ripened this fruit on the vine [or tree]. May I taste the sweetness of life in the sun.”

Eat, and pause to think about the end of summer.

Place knife on altar. Say: “Summer ends. Winter begins. The fields lie fallow, and the beast sleep in their homes. The Lord passes the mantle of guidance to the Lady as the nights grow cold and long.”

Take blade & pomegranate. Cut into it, place on plate; offer it upwards, then hold it in front of you. “I eat this first fruit of winter. May I feel the chill that ripened this fruit in the rind. May I taste the richness of life hidden away.”

Eat, and pause to think of what winter will bring.


Worship & prayers:

Say: “Hekate Apotropaios, averter of evil–control the wrath of the dead, whose spirits cry out for vengeance, and who may lash out at anyone they can reach. Protect the living from their rage. Hekate Chthonia, lady of the underworld–you have dominion over the hostile spirits who wander; guide them to their resting places, and seal the gates between the worlds. Hekate Phosphoros, light-bringer–bring us light and guidance as we stand in this doorway, this transition between peace and war. Let your torches show us the truths hidden in the shadows; lead us out of this darkness.”

Remembrance & contemplation:

“I now remember and honor those who have died this past year.”

Face altar, and mention someone who has passed in the last year that you will miss. This does not need to be someone you know personally. If you have incense, light a stick and wave it in a circle, or put another pinch on the charcoal for each person you mention. (Or light a candle.) If you have a token of the person (an item of theirs, or a photo), place it on the altar.

Continue until you’ve had the chance to remember as many people as you care to. Pause.

Simple Feast–cakes & wine, or whatever you want

Thank and release the Gods and Goddesses

“Pan, lord of the fields in summer, thank you for your presence, for sharing your joy in life. Before you depart to your winter realms, I drink deep in your honor” [raise cup, drink, spill some in libation bowl, set it down & raise hands over head]… “Hail Pan! Hail & farewell!”

“Hekate, lady of night & magic, thank you for your presence, for extending your protection. Before you depart to take up your winter duties, I drink deep in your honor” [raise cup, drink, spill some in libation bowl, set it down & raise hands over head] “Hail Hekate! Hail & farewell!”

Open the circle
Dismiss the elements

God/Goddess Incarnate Spell (2)

God/Goddess Incarnate Spell
Author: Abby Willowroot

At this time of the year, the balance between dark and light it’s great to try and find your own balance using an Autumnal Blessing. It can easily be adapted for a group or solitary:

Use a White and Black candle, placed side by side, for this ritual. Breathe in the glow that comes from the equal balance of day and night. Decorate your sacred space with fruits and grain and harvest leaves as you slowly speak this verse:

“Protection covers me and mine,
Abundant gifts grow from Nature Divine.

Mabone comes with balance dear,
The second such time of the year.

Second Harvest abudance flows,
Through our labor the storehouse grows.

We fill our stores though Harvest Moon,
For winter’s cold is coming soon.

Harvest brings both hope and fear,
Harder times are drawing near.

Bless this house with abundance clear,
And bless all who are dwelling here.

Strength of the cycles for all to see,
Bringing color to land and tree.

Red, Yellow, Brown and Amber,
Dress the forests, preparing for slumber.

My spirit embrace the dwindling light,
I am ready now for the longer night.

Protection and safety there will be,
As the wheel of the years turns, blessed be.

The balance now is perfect and right.
Preparations made for Demeter’s night.

Searching she goes and searching she will be,
Till Kore’s return to you and me.

Mabon’s magic dances in me,
Autumn blessings to all,
So Mote It Be!”

God/Goddess Incarnate Spell (1)

God/Goddess Incarnate Spell
Author: Kristin Madden

Tools Needed:
2 pink candles
Rosemary herb
Jasmine or Gardenia Oil
A mirror
A pink cloth large enough to cover the mirror

The divine is all around us. To tap into the spirit of the divine in your daily life, gather together two pink candles, some jasmine or gardenia oil, some rosemary herb, a mirror and a pink cloth large enough to cover the mirror. Sit before the mirror, eyes closed, and breathe in the energy of the earth and sky. Fill yourself with light. Open your eyes and see yourself filled with light. Anoint the outline of your face with the oil and speak the following verse three times:

“I am the Goddess (or God) Incarnate.
I am filled with light
And connected to all things.

I am beautiful. I am loved.”

Cover the mirror with the pink cloth. Repeat the verse any time you are feeling lonely, down on yourself or unloved.

Ring of Fire Spell

Ring of Fire Spell

This spell is based on a little-known solar ritual from the Aegean islands. Long ago on the night before the Summer Solstice, hoops were set ablaze, and the villagers woudl guide the Sun’s return by jumping though rings of fire. You can create your own ring of fire with this spell. At dusk, outdoors if possible, light four candles of appropriate color, one for each season, in a circle. In the center place a gold or yellow candle for the Sun. Light the seasonal candles and say:

“Seasons must turn,
Let the Sun return.”

Light the Sun candle and say:

“Shining One,
Charge me with passion,
Turn my words into action.
It must be!”

Jump over your lit candles if you dare. Meditate on each Season and Thank the Sun for it’s return as you put out the candles.

Bury Your Old Self Spell

Bury Your Old Self Spell
by Robert Place

If you are bothered by an aspect of your personality that you would like to let go of, then take a new potato and a knife (or your athame) and carve the potato into an image that represents the aspect to you. At midnight, take the carved potato our into a field (or wherever you can find relatively undisturbed dirt) and bury it in the ground. As you do, repeat these words:

“With this image, I
consign this aspect of
myself to my mother the Earth.
As this image returns to the Earth,
this aspect of my personality
dissolves into my psyche
and is transformed into
new capabilities”

You’re done. As the image under the earth dissolves, so will the quality you want to be rid of!

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

Ostara Offering Incense

Ostara Offering Incense

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon ground Rose Bud herb
1 teaspoon ground Vervain herb
1 teaspoon Myrrh Granular Incense
1 teaspoon Granular Frankincense Tears

Instructions:
Grind up the herbs with a Mortar and Pestle, making sure they are completely dry. Mix them together with the Myrhh and Frankincense Granular Incenses. Light the blend and while it burns meditate on your desires for the upcoming Spring, focusing on the Green Goddess and the renewal she brings with her.

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.

Imbolc Ritual

Imbolc Ritual

Gather a white candle and your Imbolc candle purification oil and a representation of the season such as a cut out of a snowflake, or if you have it, real snow. Place these items on the table that you plan to use as the altar. With a sharp object, scratch you’re your wishes for the new season into the candle wax. Anoint the candle with three drops of the oil by massaging them into the writing on the candle and recite these words:


“This is the time of the feast of torches,
when every lamp blazes and shines
to welcome the rebirth of the God.
I celebrate the Goddess,
I celebrate the God;
all Earth celebrates
Beneath its mantle of sleep.”


Light the candle and recite these words:


”All the land is wrapped in winter.
The air is chilled and frost envelops the Earth.
But Lord of the Sun,
Horned One of animals and wild places,
unseen you have been reborn of the gracious Mother Goddess,
Lady of all fertility.
Hail Great God!
Hail and welcome!

Stand before the altar, holding aloft the candle. Gaze at its flame. Visualize your life blossoming with creativity, with renewed energy and strength. Your ritual is now complete. Celebrate with a simple feast with friends and family.

Yule Ritual for Groups


Yule Comments & Graphics

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

 

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

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