Celebrate the Winter Solstice, Bring in Light and Joy Into Your Life
If there is one pagan celebration you absolutely have to follow, the winter solstice is inarguably the most important one. This longest night and shortest day of the year is celebrated as the solar new year, the day we celebrate the sun, and the real beginning of the new year for many cultures. It is often known as Yule, and it is celebrated on December 21st.
The winter solstice symbolizes illumination. In this darkest night of the year, people bring in the cheer, joy, and light into their homes to know the the sunny days are coming, and the daylight will grow longer each day.
To celebrate, the home is decorated in a specific fashion, but the main work happens inside of you. This holiday is an opportunity to let go of what needs to be left in the old year, manifest things for the new year, and cultivate a bigger and stronger community around you. Here is just one way of how it is done.
Decorate The House With The Sun in Mind
On the darkest night of the year you want to have as much light at your house as possible. The Christmas or in this case Yule tree, which is usually an evergreen such as spruce or fir, stays green the whole year and represents the vitality of nature supported by sunlight. Holly branches that are also often used as decoration may mean the crown that Jesus wore during his crucifixion in Christianity, but in paganism it is a symbol of fertility. Both evergreens and holly are also said to protect against negative energies and entities, which is important during the darker days.
The other way to bring in the sun is to use anything symbolizing this celestial body such as the color orange and celebration of any sun deities like the Egyptian god of sun Ra. To bring more orange color (symbolizing joy) into your home, you can make a fire or bonfire, light candles, and use oranges and apples as decoration or a part of your holiday meal.
When considering any other decorations, think joy, warmth, light, and nature. Anything that reminds you that the wheel of the year has turned, and the days will gain minutes every day, is the energy you want to cultivate—the energy of celebration. This includes inviting all of your family and friends to celebrate with you.
Letting Go of The Dark Into The Dark
You surely do not want to take anything old with you into the new year. Anything outdated, negative, or not serving you in any way has to go. You can leave it behind with the darker part of the year.
The intentional way to do that is to declutter your home before the holiday, get rid of or donate things that you no longer use. Then a letting-go burning ceremony is in order.
This can be done alone or with family and friends. Take a piece of paper and write down in as little or many details as you choose everything that you would like to let go of. It can be emotions, memories, or physical things like a job that does not make you happy. This is list is then burned in the fire or a cauldron.
You can say a mantra as the list burns: “I let go of anything that no longer serves me.”
Welcome New Manifestations Through Intention
After letting go the old things will leave, opening many doors and a huge space for new things to come in. It is important not to miss this opening and manifest new things with intention. If you let go but do not take part in manifestation, the universe will send you what your spirit guides think you need for growth, which is good, but it will not be necessarily be what you want because you have not requested anything.
The universe is always waiting to answer to your wishes. You just have to remember to ask.
The easiest and most intentional way to ask the universe for anything is through a simple manifestation ritual. You want to play high-vibrational music, healing frequencies or Tibetan singing bowls, as background to raise the frequency of the whole room while you do this. Take another piece of paper or your manifestation journal if you have one and write out a list of things you want to manifest as if they have already happened.
Some examples are: “I am in loving, supportive, and joyful relationship. My job supports my spiritual mission and financial stability. I have incredible friends and community around me.”
While you write the list meditate or visualize the things you asked for coming true. Manifestation works best through your emotional state and visualization power.
The manifestation list you can keep in a sacred space such as an alter, crystal grid, or anywhere where the energy is light and feels spiritual to you specifically. You can keep it until the manifestations come true or forever to keep cultivating the manifestation energy as in case of the manifestation journal.
The letting go and manifestation rituals can be out into the same ceremony you do with your loved ones before a Yule feast. The food and loving community is what brings all aspects of the winter solstice together. The abundance of food and laughter will symbolize abundance of all good things in the new year, and the more you cultivate it on December 21st, the more of the same things you will receive throughout the new year.