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What is the Winter Solstice?
15-12-2019, 08:39 AM
Post: #1
What is the Winter Solstice?
I was thinking about creating a post about the winter solstice, but then I came across this interview from a few years ago and feel it’s pretty sufficient. This was my very first audio interview a few years ago. A few of my views have changed since then, as I would expect since my Craft is always evolving and shifting.

For me though, it’s interesting to re-listen to me trying to explain the Winter Solstice & Witchcraft to non-witches and non-pagans. I’m visibly nervous, and I don’t think that’s something I’ve ever quite shaken off or gotten used to – audio interviews are just always awkward for me. It’s hard to explain just how quickly my mind blanks out at times while doing interviews.

In the interview I talk a bit about witchcraft (at least mine at the time), the wheel of the year, the sabbats, and of course the Winter Solstice – some of its historical roots as well as the astronomical reasons why the Winter Solstice occurs. Anyways, I hope you enjoy!
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15-12-2019, 08:41 AM
Post: #2
RE: What is the Winter Solstice?
8 Ways To Invoke Solstice Season Magick

The Solstice season is ripe with Magick. I personally find that the most Magickal time of the year begins just before Samhain and continues through the New Year. I’ve included a few ways below to invite even more Magick into this special time of year.
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15-12-2019, 08:44 AM
Post: #3
RE: What is the Winter Solstice?
Winter Solstice Hibernation Ritual

Several years ago I went through an initiation. The process was long, deep, intense, and life changing. During my initiation I had several mentors working to steward me through it. They would offer advice, suggestions, and challenges to guide me on my path. One of my amazing mentors challenged me to hibernate. Since that first year, I have done a Winter Solstice hibernation ritual every year.

In case, you weren’t sure, I’m not a bear. I’m a simple human. I can’t actually curl up in a cave and sleep for three months, as much as I might want to. I also can’t curl up in my blankets and rest for three months. I’ve got a job that demands a lot of my time and attention during the month of December. I’ve got kids, a spouse, and pets, that all need and want my attention. Even if I wanted to I couldn’t disappear at the Winter Solstice.

This ritual isn’t a full on bear hibernation. Rather, it is an acknowledgement that the Winter Solstice is a time to go within, to slow down (as much as you can), and give yourself space for some restoration. Before performing this ritual, know that by ritually committing to Winter Solstice hibernation, you will have to honor your side of the agreement. You may have to say no to a holiday party. You might have to make hard choices and not do all the things. Be ready for that before performing this Winter Solstice hibernation ritual.

Hibernation Ritual
Supplies: Bed with lots of pillows and blankets, cedar, fire safe container, a journal, a flashlight, and your favorite anointing oil.

Set Up: This ritual is best done at dusk. Before that time make up your bed with the blankets and pillow, like a fort, let your kid-self have some fun with it. Place your journal inside of the fort, consider if you might want a flashlight and put that with your journal.

Ritual: Step into the room where the ritual will take place. Burn the cedar and use the smoke to cleanse yourself. Using the anointing oil to bless your third eye.

When you feel ready, call on Bear as an ally to guide you through this process. Speak from your heart, invite Bear to help you navigate hibernation in a healthy way. Explain that it is time for you to go within and seek the wisdom of the winter. Ask Bear to watch over your ritual and act as your ally throughout the winter hibernation.

Crawl into your bed fort and snuggle up in the pillows and blankets. Give yourself some time to contemplate all that you have accomplished in the year leading up to this moment. Think about all of the things yet to be completed. If you feel so called write down what is coming up for you in your journal.

Let this time be restful and expansive. Feel warm, held, and comfortable. Notice how nice it is to be cozy and warm in your blankets with nothing to do. You may want to write more in your journal, you might doze, you might even feel called to sing a little bit. Let yourself rest in whatever way you feel called. During this time also make space to contemplate what you are ready to let go of, what you might want to call in, and what you’d like to awaken to in the spring. Let yourself meditate on these ideas. Again, you may find yourself falling asleep, that’s okay. At some point let yourself fall asleep for the night.
In the morning, plan ahead so you have plenty of time to start your day slowly. Before fully getting up take our your journal and write down any thoughts or ideas (maybe think of them as seeds) for what you might want to plant in the spring. Write down anything interesting or odd that may have come through during your meditation or in your dreams. Make no decisions, just let your mind wander with possibility. Set aside your journal and don’t look at your list until after the New Year.

For the rest of the year, be cautious on what you agree to do. Let yourself rest as much as possible. Do things that are restorative for your mind, body, and spirit. Don’t over commit. Go to bed early at night and eat meals that are healthy.
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15-12-2019, 08:45 AM
Post: #4
RE: What is the Winter Solstice?
A Witch’s Yuletide: Making the Mari Lwyd

This Winter Solstice is our very first Yuletide in a home that’s all our own. Something apparently happened in the home-buying process that activated a bunch of dormant seasonal decorating genes. Previously at the places that I’ve rented, I would do something small for holidays – if anything at all. For a bunch of varying factors, it just wasn’t a thing. But now? Something has changed.

First there was the handmade Samhain wreath, front porch gourd-explosion, carefully chosen house flag, and other decor for the Fall/Halloween season. But decorating Witchy is a default setting, so OF COURSE I’m going to do something for Fall. But with 68% of the household being of the feline persuasion – and ones who especially love gnawing on green things they shouldn’t, there isn’t going to be a Yule Tree or Hanukkah Bush. So would the drive carry on into the Winter holidays?

The answer is YES. I picked up a fresh evergreen wreath (with juniper, pine, and more) and ribbon for the front door and found the two sets of solar lights I never put up last year (our house in Seattle had no exterior plugs, so the only way to do strings of lights were via battery (bad idea in wet places) or solar-powered.
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