When it is just me and my children celebrating the Sabbats, we tend to do something very simple, short and sweet. For instance, today we are putting up our Solstice Yule tree, and so while we are decorating, I will light some candles and we will talk about how we celebrate Yule as the shortest day of the year, longest night. And about how this marks the midpoint of winter, from the Winter Solstice until Summer Solstice, the days will gradually grow longer.
Several years back, when we had extended family around, we did this ritual to celebrate Yule.
As usual, except South candle is not lit
Only candle lit should be the Source candle
One small candle for each person around the edge of the altar.
The Circle is created.
We gather tonight to await new light. In ancient times it is said that a maiden prepared to become a mother, to bring forth a special Son who would bring in a new age. On the night, the Maiden, who is also Mother and Crone, prepares to welcome the Sun, the light of a new year. Let us now prepare ourselves to welcome the new light within.
HP extinguishes source candle
Once again the wheel has turned full circle. It is Winter Solstice – night of the longest darkness, as the Sun awaits in the shadows. We meet to call him back, Return, O Lord of Light! Be reborn this night, as the great wheel of life must ever turn.
As we wait in darkness, we are surrounded by the great Celestial Sphere, where we may look upon the faces of the Mighty Ones and see in them a reflection of our own eternal souls. I now do call upon their energies to shine within us as I proclaim this to be a circle of power, truth, love, and light reborn.
HPS lights the Source candle
I call the God. Return from the shadows, O Lord of Light. The wheel has turned. We call you back to warm us, to charge the seeds of spring within us, within the hearts of all.
HP lights the God candle from the source candle
I hear you, Lady. I greet you with joy and with the first light of new possibilities that were only dreams when last we met to turn the wheel.
HPS lights the Goddess candle from the source candle
I greet you Lord with joy and with the rays of hope for a new beginning in the future to come.
Come to me. I bring you new light.
As tonight a Sun is reborn, as darkness gives way to light, so should we now let go of all fears, all doubts, all outworn ideas, all projects finished – anything in our lives that holds us away from the new beginnings that will lead to new growth. As you light your candle, let go of the past, walk with the light, and be as the Sun reborn.
HPS directs each person present to pick up the white candle on the altar and move clockwise around the circle. As each passes the HP, he lights the candle from the God candle.
During this time the HPS lights the South candle from the source candle.
People set their candles around the edge of the altar once all have returned to their place.
Now is the time for feasting and celebrating.
Once completed, the circle is closed using the usual method.
For more Solstice ideas
- Winter Solstice Altars (heddyjohannesen.wordpress.com)
- 13 Ways to Celebrate Yuletide by Selena Fox (completehealthcircle.com)
- Let’s Talk Witch – Pagan symbols for Yule Tree (witchesofthecraft.com)