Winter Solstice Ritual Ideas

SunInviting Our Light to Shine

When you celebrate the winter solstice,
May your light shine.
When you share love,
May your light shine.
When you work for peace,
May your light shine.
When you teach a child about justice,
May your light shine.
When you comfort someone who is ill,
May your light shine.
When you grieve the loss of a loved one,
May your light shine.
When you are challenged to change,
May your light shine.
When you (add your own intention here),
May your light shine.
Bless yourself with the light.
Your light will shine.

via December Ritual: Winter Solstice by Diann L. Neu | WATER – Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual.

I have not yet finalized my own plans for our family’s winter solstice ritual tomorrow night. I feel somewhat paralyzed about it and I think I’ve finally figured out that it is because I have too many ideas. I have so many saved plans and possibilities (a 32 page word document to be exact) and I’m having trouble choosing and thus forming a coherent ritual structure that will appeal to everyone. I’m trying to keep clearly in focus the fact that my kids need to enjoy this too and I know that that means more doing and less talking. But, dang it, I want to do some soulful year-in-review reflection and new year planning. I’m going to save some of those ideas for New Year’s Eve, I think, even if I have to complete them alone and maybe save some for our women’s retreat in January. (Note to self: this is a lot of stuff to be working on once. Duh. No wonder you feel a little fried!) I don’t want to do “too much,” but I also want to do “enough” (and enough means to me that I feel satisfied and fulfilled with the experience and not like I’m cutting corners because I’m worried about boring the kids and not frazzled because I’m cramming in too much…hence, my paralysis, because I’m not sure these are compatible wishes!)

So, I thought I’d share my collection of resources that I’m using to prepare for this ritual. I’m posting early today, because I want to make sure anyone who is interested knows that there is a free online solstice ritual tonight from Shiloh Sophia (there is a cool little workbook that comes with it and it is full of the kinds of things I think I envision my own ritual holding—the year-in-review stuff—but that I know from past experience is too much for kids to handle without getting bored. Maybe I can accept that this is something I work on alone at night, instead of expecting it to be a community/family experience): Winter Solstice Super Power Ritual LIVE Event | Shiloh Sophia Studios

I’m also excited about this free, downloadable meditation (which may again be best for my solitary self rather than sharing with ALL THE PEOPLE): Winter Holiday Transformation Guided Journey

And, a lovely short ritual from WATER, already excerpted above: December Ritual: Winter Solstice by Diann L. Neu | WATER – Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual

My own She is Crone poem appears in the Winter Solstice edition of The Oracle from Global Goddess: Winter Solstice 2013 | Global Goddess

Some assorted other delicious links for you (and me):

I previously shared this helpful link for family celebrations: Pagan Family Sabbats and Esbats | Rituals for moms, dads, and kids to celebrate the 8 Pagan Sabbats and Esbats

I love this exploration of the symbolic meaning of the winter solstice from Glenys Livingstone:

Winter Solstice is the time for the lighting of candles, for embracing the miracle of being, for choosing a joyful response to the awesome fact of existence, for celebrating the Gift of Birth. Birthing is not often an easy process – for the birthgiver nor for the birthed one: it is a shamanic act requiring strength of bodymind, attention and focus of the mother, and courage to be of the new young one. Birthgiving is the original place of “heroics” … many cultures of the world have never forgotten that: perhaps therefore better termed as “heraics2” . Patriarchal adaptations of the story of this Seasonal Moment usually miss the Creative Act of birthgiving completely – pre-occupied as they often are with the “virgin” nature of the Mother being interpreted as an “intact hymen”, and the focus being the Child as “saviour”: even the Mother gazes at the Child in Christian icons, while in more ancient images Her eyes are direct and expressive of Her integrity as Creator.

Winter Solstice and Early Spring rituals may be a contemplation of the Creativity of the Cosmos – Cosmogenesis … how it All unfolds. When told from within a “Mother-mind” – a mind that connects the biological creativity of the female body to Cosmic Creativity, to our “Navel” lineage, to the Nativity of every being, then we are all the Holy Ones. And we all – female and male – may know the skill and care required for “birthing” the New, whether that is physical, psychological or however one categorizes it. In Earth-based religious practice, the ubiquitous icon of Mother and Child – Creator and Created – expresses something essential about the Universe itself … the “motherhood” we are all born within (not simply a “brotherhood”). It expresses the essential Communion experience that this Cosmos is, the innate and holy Care that it takes, and the reciprocal nature of it: that is, how one is always Creator and Created at the same time. We cannot touch without being touched at the same time. We may realize that Cosmogenesis – the entire Unfolding of the Cosmos – is essentially relational: our experience tells us this is so.

The Early Spring/Imbolc celebration is traditionally a time of dedication to the nurturance of the New Young Being. Once again, this is no wimpy task: it 20131028-184958.jpgis for the brave and courageous, whether one is committing to the new being in another or in one’s self. The Great Goddess Brigid of the Celtic peoples is traditionally invoked for such a task. She has been understood for millennia as the One Who tends the Flame of Being: a Brigid-ine commitment is one that is unwavering in its devotion to the central truth of each unique particular self. The stories of Old speak of Brigid in three primary capacities – that may need spelling out in our times, as they are almost forgotten skills: She is imagined as Blacksmith, Physician and Poet … all three.

Blacksmith is one who takes the unshapely lump of raw metal, melts it, then takes the fiery hot form and shapes it … this is no stereotypical “feminine” act: the Goddess of Old is not bound by such patriarchal dualisms. She is spiritual warrior, shaman – this is Her eternal Virgin quality, never separate from the Mother quality or the Old One quality, and no need to characterize such power as “masculine” or dissociate it from “nursery” activity.

Physician is one who understands the “physics” of being, of matter … how a body relates within itself and within its context, functions harmoniously and thus may heal/whole. In this role, Brigid is scientist, healer … none of it separate. Her physics is biologically connected – an understanding of dwelling within a whole and seamless Universe.

Poet of Old is one who speaks the metaphors, the stories of cultural knowledge, the sacred language of Creativity – one who “spells” what may be so. It is a power of spirit: the voice enabled by air, resonant with the winged ones – the birds – whose perspective transcends boundaries. The ancients knew Poetry as a sacred and powerful task – that with our words, we do create what is so. Brigid’s “motherhood statements” are statements of the Mother/Creator, Who once again is never separate from Her whole self – the Young One and the Old One – represented in the Triple Spiral dynamic.

The coming into Being that Winter Solstice and Early Spring celebrates, is an awesome thing. It takes courage and daring. It has taken courage and daring – always. In these times of change, it is perhaps particularly so. Our times require the melting down of so much that no longer works, that will not carry us through. These times require the re-shaping and speaking of new realities – an aboriginal magic of new connections, with what is already present within us, if we can but plumb it, open to it deep within. This is a great seasonal moment to get with the plot of Creativity, to align ourselves with our Native Wisdom …the Wisdom that in fact brings us all into being. We may re-spond to the gift of being by receiving it graciously – and thus become re-sponsible. Though we may feel inadequate, we are not – and we need to begin…

Winter-Spring Earth Wisdom | PaGaian Cosmology

And, I breathed deeply when I read this great suggestion from Tracie Nichols:

Get back in your body. I use this meditation to do that.

Listen for which part of your body would like to speak. If it doesn’t show up immediately, listen some more. Still got nothing? Stop checking your phone and listen again. It WILL make itself known.

Open with a kind and loving statement (see mine above for inspiration) so you are consciously committing to listening and letting your body know how much you love and respect her/him.

Record your conversation with whatever method of creative expression you like best. Journal. Poetry. Art. Dance. Music. Whatever works for you.

Say “Thank you!”

Decide if any action needs to be taken, and take it.

via How not to implode during the holiday chaos… » Tracie Nichols.

My “productive” mode says: keep working, design a fabulous ritual! But, my hungry belly that hasn’t yet had breakfast says: feed me. Please! So, that’s what I’m going to do 🙂

May you enjoy a rich, peaceful solstice with your own family and loved ones! May you be blessed by light and may you find wisdom and solace in dark, deep, places. Do not get so distracted by the promise of the light that you forget the great value in endarkenment as well.

Categories: blessings, community, endarkenment, family, holidays, liturgy, parenting, prayers, priestess, resources, ritual, self-care, spirituality | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Winter Solstice Ritual Ideas

  1. Pingback: Family Winter Solstice Ritual Outline | WoodsPriestess

  2. Pingback: Family Winter Solstice Ritual Outline - Brigid's Grove

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