The Winter Solstice for the South : A Time for Hope

The Winter Solstice for the South : A Time for Hope

Jo Nuske posted 21 Jun 2010

A Winter Solstice Ritual is  A time to balance : our darkness with our light.

Illuminated EarthA time to create hope against the fears, lonliness or despair; a time to understand, to rest, reflect and survive. Most of the information on the rituals for the honouring of the winter solstice : the time when the darkness of night is longer than the shortest day of the year is to be found in reference to the northern parts of the earth when snow, cold and Christmas are the key.

The pagan energy is about Death and re-birth of the sun-gods: the battle between dark and light. The (adopted date) of the birth of Christ around the time of the winter solstice (celebrations actually lasted for several days) represented the birth of a being of light that would fight back the despair and misery of the dark.
As starvation was a real threat during the ancient winter seasons, Pagan celebrations were a preparation of a time to store foods for the winter months and the livestock was killed to relieve the worry of having to feed them during the winter months. In the harshest regions, farming was impossible so it was the time of the bear : hibernation, reflection and inner learning. A feast was prepared as fresh meat was available and then it was important to ration for survival of the winter months : the local herbs and plants were used to decorate the altars (thus mistletoe, holly and berries of Christmas in the northern regions ).

The facts are : winter changes our moods. The lack of the sun increases our production of melatonin; we can be more prone to malaise, depression and tiredness. We look to sleep longer.
Winter is a time for rest: the earth rests and we are meant to as well.
But we long for the sun so the good news is that from the date of the winter solstice: the days begin to increase in length.
So what is the feeling of the Winter Solstice and how could we write a ritual that is relevant for the Southern Hemisphere or for our modern times?
The idea of any Wiccan or Shamanic ritual to the earth is to honour the environment, the land, the animals, and the seasons. So what would we choose for our Southern Hemisphere? Many cultures celebrate the actual date of the solstices and then there are others who work through the moon energy. So in this ritual both are used.

What tools for a Winter Ritual?

What fruits are in season now? Apples, Oranges, grapefruit, Lemons ( all round by the way, representing the cycle of life and the earth.  ) So let us use them.  Colours? Yellows, orange  and red apples to represent the sun : to bring in the birth of the new cycles of the sun.  Herbs of the seasons that are strongest? Rosemary, chervil, thyme and oregano: all representing survival. What candles? Black ? Honour the darkness for it represents our dark side:  our despair, depression or fears ( our shadow emotions) and the time for rest.   Red, yellow and orange candles to represent the growing emergence of the sun and life for the future. White candles to represent the battle between dark and light : to find perfect balance in spirit.

My Winter Solstice Ritual

DaffodilsThis ritual ( created by Jo Nuske) is to begin  on the 21st June and continued through to the full moon.

  1. Create the floor as the altar for a large group of people. Place a few pieces of winter fruit in the centre, some herbs, a blue candle ( for winter) incense ( the smoke carries the message on the air : your centre now represents the 4 elements of earth, air, fire and water.
  2. Place a circle of black candles around the centre to represent the darkness of our spirits and emotions ruled by the goddess.
  3. Place a circle of red, orange and yellow candle outside of the black circle to represent the power of the sun
  4. Place an outer circle of white candles around the sun candles. 
  5. You should now have 3 concentric circles of candle : the sacred trinity of life.
  6. I used 12 candles in each circle : the Christ number of 3,3,3 which is the also the Wiccan power of threes.
To activate the sacred circle a leader can walk around everyone with a blessing rattle, or water drops saying : 
As without, so within, as below, so above
We create this circle in perfect love
A time of rest with mother earth
To wait for the time of the sun’s re-birth
Understand and release our fears
 To know embrace our time of tears
May god and goddess be witness here
 Protection, light and knowledge clear

The leader lights the black candles saying :
With the blessings of the goddess, May the lighting of these candles illuminate our fears : those shadow emotions of despair, hopelessness and tiredness so that we may see clearly the path towards enlightenment.

Everyone sits and chants three times :
In darkest night our fears abide,
the underworld of emotions live
o understand our shadow side,
In compassion and love we give
Permission for our hearts to see
Those things that stop us from the power to "be"

  1. Now take the time to meditate on the lost emotions, the despair, lonliness, sadness of our lives to understand that our darkness is the shadow of our light.
  2. Light the god candles : bring in the courage and the fire energy of the yang energy of the sun god to help us see the light at the end of the tunnel after winter : this is the element of hope.
  3. The leader says : With the blessings of the god, May the candles of the sun bring light and life into our lives in the promise of warmth, security and hope.
Everyone then chants three times
The god of sun and power lives
 within these candles we now light
 May they illuminate the power within
 to stand, to create and to fight

Meditate to bring in the courage and the fire energy of the yang energy of the sun god to help us see the light at the end of the tunnel after winter : this is the element of hope.

Then  the leader lights the white candles to bring in the light of spirit so that we may balance the two energies for illumination: embracing both our dark and light, and meditate on the magic of life.
The leader saysWith the blessings of spirit, may the candles of our light bring balance to our journey.

All chant three times
Gods and goddess stand together
 with spirit’s help we light the way
 To see the truth, to live in love,
 to keep all hurt and sorrow at bay
 A circle of power a circle of might,
 may this circle be blessed with light

Thank the goddess, the god and spirit and ask them to help you grow in understanding, courage and light : the culmination of these energies to be at full power on the night of the full moon.
It is time to celebrate : Celebrate, eat, drink and feast to prepare for the strength of the coming winter months : to feast on the food of the season
( which is anything these days) A glass of wine is good to embrace the new emerging energies.

Each day until the full moon: red, then orange then yellow then white candle to bring in the power of the creation of the sun, hope and enlightenment. Light the white candle on the night of the full moon.
Each night say :I light the candle of the power of the sun and light that hope may guide my steps to create my life in hope, love and light. As above, so below,  as without so within. Blessed be, three times three.  So mote it be.

Play some powerful uplifting music.
 Blessed be to us all! Jo

About the author

Jo Nuske
Serene Spirit since Mar, 2016

The spiritual awareness “industry” has boomed since we first launched this website in 2009. My personal journey of learning began 52 years ago when psychic awareness was considered a mental disease. I love the acceptance that now embraces the worl...

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