And Winter Came...
The Winter Solstice is just upon the doorstep. We explore the wondrous traditions from ancient times to modern times that keep us connected to the cycle of life and the ones who've come before.
I’m sitting here on my couch, candle lit and hot cocoa by my side. The smell of fall leaves and the draft from my old windows creeping in makes me feel the Earth. It makes me feel like there is something coming…something no one can run away from.
The darkness has drawn near.
The season of Winter is officially here, at least it will be on December 21st, 2021, when the sun reaches its lowest point in the sky and the Earth tilts its head away for a little time alone.
One of my favorite traditions is placing a Yule log on the fireplace and watching it burn slowly. In fact, we Irish believe that it is in burning this log, we can keep the bad sprits from pouring in and the good ones can make their winter hibernation station in our humble abode.
Although Samhain is the time of year where the portal, or veil, is at its thinnest and spirits, ancestors, and ghosts of all natures can venture into our realm; the Winter Solstice is not without its visiting spirits.
Winter is a time of quiet reflection and renewal. The time when we can seek out our Shadow Self and rise above our own inner darkness. First comes birth. Second comes death. Third comes rebirth.
This is what the Winter Child and his Mother Earth teach us.
They themselves are spirits who claim the Earth and they reside between the inner and outer realm of the Otherworld and ours. Therefore, if we call upon them, they can help us seek out those loved ones we wish to connect with.
Keep in mind, however, that the Solstice lasts for only a moment so by the time the Yule log burns down, and the embers burn low, the ancestors must go.
The holidays are a time to reconnect with loved ones of old who we may only see from time to time during the normal year. However, we can also visit with loved ones who have passed on.
There are many ways to honor and visit with special ones during the quiet nights of the Solstice. One festive way is to burn a log on the fireplace - please practice safety!
But if you don’t live in a hut where burning logs is as easy as walking through the forest picking berries, might I suggest my own tradition of burning a white or blue votive candle?
These candles are small and create an intimate setting. Say a prayer, find some great solstice prayers; here.
Just sit in silence and listen. Reflect on everything you hear inside a journal - you’d be surprised how talkative your great Aunt or Uncle can be ;).
Another way to honor the fiery traditions during this time is to go to a church or a place of worship and light a candle. Sometimes they even have a book where you can write the name of the person or your intention, asking the parishioners to pray for your ancestors during this time of the year - or anyone whom you believe needs extra support.
Though there are many ways to honor your ancestors during this time of year, the last one I’d like to mention is through meditation. The Winter Solstice is a time of hope and quiet reflection symbolizing the cycle of life.
Honoring the ones that have gone before, through quiet music and candle lighting or simply writing down memories you have with them is a fantastic way to get in touch and say Happy Holidays to those missing loved ones. This is also a wonderful way to help their souls on their journey to Heaven or wherever they may be destined to go.
The Winter Solstice is one of my favorite times of year because it is as though time stops for a moment to remember that we are all just equal in the cycle of life.
~ Magickal Michelle :)