WINTER SOLSTICE GUIDE
The Winter Solstice is December 21, 2020, also celebrated as Yule. The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, and thus the longest night. Humans have celebrated this day for thousands of years in anticipation of the coming winter and the return of the Sun. We are excited about celebrating The Winter Solstice this year with our family and want to share with you how we plan to do it, so that you may celebrate this celestial holiday with your family.
This year of all years, is a great time to start a new family tradition. You don’t have to believe any specific thing to participate in the Winter Solstice. Everyone needs an extra reason to smile. The Winter Solstice is a great Holiday to add to your calendar if it’s not on it already, and since it’s four days before Christmas and on Monday this year, its a great fun way to kick off the Holiday Week!
Firefly Oaxacan Ceremonial Chocolate
Chocolata Hot Cocoa Mix
Vulcan Organics Hemp Oil
White Sage Smudging Sticks
3 Tapered Candles (white, green, or red)
3 candle holders
The Horned One: Yule Beard Oil
Hot chocolate ceremony
We started doing this last year and it is wonderful!
Ceremonial Hot Chocolate is incredible! Raw Chocolate has properties that your standard varieties do not. From antioxidants which boost your immune system to Theobromine, which is great for brain health, Raw Chocolate has numerous therapeutic properties. It is also absolutely delicious! Mayan chocolate has had chili, cinnamon and cardamom added to it. You can buy a bag of our favorite Firefly Oaxacan Ceremonial Chocolate or buy your own raw cocoa powder and add the spices yourself.
Warning: Ceremonial Hot Chocolate is not appropriate for children!
If you have children that would like to do this ceremony with you (or if Raw Chocolate isn’t your thing), we suggest Chocolata Hot Cocoa Mix. It’s the most delicious and best quality you can buy, and it’s not going to mess with the kiddos like the ceremonial chocolate might.
For two people add 2 cups of Almond Milk or Oat Milk, 2 teaspoons of local honey, and about 10 disks of Firefly Oaxacan Ceremonial Chocolate (or scoop of your own Mayan chocolate) to a blender. After you get the chocolate and almond milk and honey mixed will in the blender, pour it into a small saucepan and heat it on the stove on high for a few minutes. Hint: Don’t let it boil! You want it hot enough to steam, but not boiling. Boiling Hot Water will damage the Raw Chocolate. We also like to add a dropper of Vulcan Organics Hemp Oil to our Hot Chocolate. The Hemp Oil helps to balance the affects of the Ceremonial Chocolate. Mayans used this blend of spices to heighten their consciousness for ceremonies. You can expect to feel some subtle effects to your mind, tethering your spirit to your body and to the earth. Sip on your Ceremonial Hot Chocolate slowly, enjoying and focusing on being present while you enjoy it.
To make this delightful beverage the focus of a family ceremony, get in front of your Winter Solstice Altar or your Christmas or Yuletide tree, and take a moment to say something you are deeply grateful for over your hot chocolate. Gratitude is the emotion of magic. If you focus on your gratitude your worries melt away. That cup of hot chocolate in your hand is liquid gratitude. With each sip celebrate your life and the lives of those you love most.
The Winter solstice tradition
There are as many ways to Celebrate Yule as you can imagine. No way is wrong. If you go with your heart, and have a pure intent, whatever you do will be right for you and your family. This is what we do.
Of course we decorate! For the Darkest night of the year, lights on the house, in the house and an evergreen tree lit up and decorated is an ancient tradition to remind us that in a few short months, the world will once again be warm, green, and full of light.
Clean it up! A cleansing ceremony is great before Yule. Get rid of the stuff that is cluttering your space! You are going to need the space anyway for your altar and all of your awesome Yuletide decorations!
In the days before The Winter Solstice you can burn White Sage and Cinnamon Sticks(you can light cinnamon sticks like you would sage) in an incense bowl to cleanse the air and make your house smell amazing!
Your Winter Solstice Altar can been as simple or as elaborate as you would like. The basic elements are Candles, Smells, Crystals, and Evergreen Branches and Pinecones. You can put down a pretty altar cloth or runner to put your candles and crystals on. Warning: If you have small children, dogs or cats, make sure to set your altar up out of reach! We don’t want any burned fingers, paws or tails.
We suggest getting started on this before the 21st. You can work on it as a family over the days or weeks before the Winter Solstice.
Candles are a very important part of The Winter Solstice Ceremony. It’s the longest night of the year. Candles were all our ancestors had to keep the party going after dark! We light three candles for the Winter Solstice, representing Love, Health, and Abundance. We like to use green, white, or red tapered candles. As you light each candle, say a word of gratitude for the blessings of the past year, and the blessings of the year to come. It’s fun to take turns with these candles, and each member of your family say something they are grateful for that happened in the closing year and something they will be grateful for to happen in the new year.
Essential Oils will elevate your Yule Ceremony Space. We like to diffuse Young Living Essential Oils “Christmas Spirit” Blend, which is orange, cinnamon, and black spruce. We also love Frankincense, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg together. If you are looking for an oil to wear in your beard or for your hair, we recommend THE HORNED ONE: YULE. This is one of our brands and uses the best Oils and Essential Oils. The scent is Vanilla, Frankincense, Vetiver, and Grand Fir. We also like to burn Frankincense incense during the Yuletide Season.
evergreen branches and pinecones
Evergreens are such an important symbol of the continuity of life! Leave those plastic imitations at the craft store and bring some real evergreen branches into your home this December. You can fashion them into a wreath (or several) if you are into that kind of crafting, or just put a few of them around your space. A couple pieces on your altar can really give your altar some color and life.
Pinecones represent the third-eye which connects us to our intuition and the Universal Consciousness. The pineal gland which is the gland in our brain that is related to the third-eye chakra is actually shaped like a pinecone. Pinecones also display a pattern called the Golden Spiral which is a beautiful sacred geometry that reproduces itself over and over in the natural world. Add a couple to your altar. Our kids like to put clear glue on them and roll them in glitter! If you add an ornament hook, you have a pretty homemade ornament for your Yuletide Tree!
Crystals are a beautiful addition to your Winter Solstice Altar. The best crystals for The Winter Solstice are Clear Quartz, Garnet, Ruby, and Blood Stone. We love to put a large Quartz Cluster or Quartz Point in the center of our Altar. You can meditate on your Quartz Crystal, or gaze into its clear surfaces. Super-clear Quartz may be more sought after, but we really like crystals with occlusions and imperfections that you can study in the candle light. We have plenty of Quartz for sale on our Etsy page Slacker Shamans.
If you have a place to make a fire, whether in a fireplace, or in an outdoor fire pit, Yule is the perfect night to get one going. The fire is perfect with your Ceremonial Chocolate. Warm your hands and warm your souls. The fire, like the candles, represents Triumph over Darkness. The human spirit cannot be squelched, no matter how dark the winter gets. The days will get longer, the sun will return and all the natural world will grow back as beautiful as it always has. Warning: make sure your fire is out before you go to bed!
The Burning Bowl Ritual is something that our family does often. Every Holiday is an opportunity for a Burning Bowl Ritual, as well as every full or new moon. The Burning Bowl Ritual is simple but powerful. This is something school age kids can do with you as well.
Cut out several pieces of paper. You want one for each member of your family. Simply write on the piece of paper the things you would like to see happen in your life in the new year. You can write the note as a letter to Odin, Beira the Winter Goddess, Father Winter, or your favorite Deity, or you can write it as a poem or any other way you feel comfortable. The message truly is to the Universe and to Yourself. Hint: keep your note private, kind of like a birthday wish!
Once you are happy with your note, fold it up and either toss it in the fire or use a burning chalice or cauldron, or with a candle over a metal bowl. Watch the note until it burns up to nothing but ash. Warning: Always go outside to burn your notes inside unless you have a fireplace! Also, make sure children are supervised putting their notes in the fire. Small children should not be allowed to put their own note in the fire – an adult should do it for them.
We truly hope these traditions can bring a little more joy to your family. They certainly have ours. Please share your Winter Solstice experiences and photos below!