Yuletide: Honoring the Winter Solstice and Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction
Release Ritual for Yuletide and Attract Ritual for New Year’s Eve
No matter what your spiritual belief, we all share the turning of the sun on the solstices. Honoring the solstice is something that has been lost to most cultures and societies.
Yule is a festival of inner renewal, where we release what no longer serves us and what needs to fade into the past history. Utilizing the Winter Solstice is a great opportunity to be empowered and rejuvenated. According to Robbyne LaPlant of White Wolf Journeys, doing these end-of-year rituals help you to become a vessel of light, a night to find direction and courage.
The Pagan or Wiccan holidays mirror some of the modern ones. Most of our traditional days of celebration have their origin from the days of the ancient ones: The Druids and Celts as well as the Indian nations of the Americas celebrated the return of the sun as from the solstice forward the days will grow longer again. Yule is approximately at the time of the birth of the Christ child; it is a special day of new beginnings and the restoration of light and hope their practice of following the cycles of nature and the honoring of the Earth Mother.
This year, in addition to the solstice occurring on 12-21 – we also have a very unusual astronomical phenomenon – the conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn within 1 degree.
Jupiter is the planet of benevolence, growth, abundance and progress.
Saturn is the planet of structure, responsibility, discipline, and authority.
Good article: https://astrologyking.com/jupiter-conjunct-saturn-the-great-conjunction/
It is believed that the Star of Bethlehem was actually the Grand Conjunction of these two planets as observed in the sky forming one large and bright planet that looks like a star.
We are at an inflection point as a country and as a planet, bordering on so many potential disasters, but this conjunction bodes well for the near future as well as for us individually.
We are being challenged to grow and transform by applying right action and discipline to our journey. That’s why doing a Yule ritual as well as one for New Year’s Eve can help you focus your intentions and grow into your power.
Most modern civilizations have forgotten the importance and spiritual nature of acknowledging the Yule holiday or celebrating it in a meaningful way. The entire season has become rather commercialized (and when was the last time you had a moment to yourself to focus on YOU and INNER RENEWAL, especially when we are so busy taking care of others, buying gifts, cooking, cleaning)
Yule should be the antithesis of commercialization!
Here are some traditional ways to celebrate the Solstice (winter for northern hemisphere, summer for southern hemisphere)
- Create a wreath out of natural materials
- Spend the evening bathed in only candlelight or fire light or combination
- Create a meditation altar or space – or clean this space and maybe swap out some items from last year
- Burn a Yule log in the fireplace or outdoors
- Give something back to nature or donate to a charity
- Make some mulled wine (wine steeped in herbs and spices)
- Create gifts that are made from natural materials
Most importantly Yule is a time for SELF-REFLECTION and RENEWAL and RITUAL
Note: This should be a solitary experience or with kindred spirits who support this completely.
- Create a platter featuring items that represent the 4 elements (more on this below)
- Light a candle (green, red or white are traditional colors for Yule)
- You can have soothing music in the background or something that inspires you.
- Optional, light some incense and drink a pleasant warm beverage or something sparkling and bright.
- Reflect on all of the learning, growth and struggles of the past year. It’s important to acknowledge the good along with the bad
- Make a list of all of things you want to release into the past year (see notes below)
- When finished fold the paper in half AWAY from you.
- Then turn it around and fold it again, also away from you.
- Optional: Burn this paper in a bowl or in the fireplace and in the morning you can release the ashes.
Here are my “raw materials” I will narrow these down for tonight’s Zoom celebration:
Creating the Yule platter:
- Choose a tray or large plate that has plenty of room
- The candle should be allowed to burn down completely so make sure to leave the tray somewhere safe. I use tea lights for this reason.
- Have something that represents each of the 4 elements: FIRE – EARTH – AIR – WATER
- Add anything else that might be meaningful for you.
- As you light the candle or the incense, give thanks to that element
Example: I give thanks to the fire that provides light and inspiration and passion and creativity. I give thanks to the air that brings clarity and pleasant aromas and movement. I give thanks to the water that nurtures and renews me and moves the emotions within me. I give thanks to the earth and all of its bounties that bring me growth, balance, security and groundedness.
Examples of things to release:
Attitudes or actions that no longer serve you
- Anger (great opportunity for forgiveness and release)
- Attachments to certain outcomes
- Current conditions (i.e. lack of funds, overworking etc.)
- Toxic people**
- Physical conditions or ailments
- Self-defeating habits or addictions
- Limiting thoughts, beliefs or behaviors
**For releasing people, put only their names. Don’t try to change anyone’s behavior through your ritual. You can release something that THEY bring out in you, but turn it inwards. For instance, if someone is always treading on your boundaries, what you would release is “not enforcing or respecting my own boundaries.
For New Year’s Eve – do the same thing but candles can be blue, white, gold or silver.
However, the ritual should revolve on what you WANT to bring in for the New Year.
First, spend some time reflecting over the past year. What worked for you, what did not? What are you grateful for? What needs improving? Make a list of what you want to achieve, attract or accomplish in the New Year. When done:
Fold the paper TOWARDS you. Can be burned or saved.
The 4 Elements
Air – East – (incense stick, feather, bells or chimes) represents mental clarity, new beginnings
Fire – South (candle or crystal ) represents courage, passion and purification
Water – West (bowl of water, shell or crystal) represents emotion, intuition, reflection, cleansing of all things
Earth – North (bowl of sand, dirt, salt, leaf or a stone, potted plant, crystals) fertility, strength, healing, abundance, growth
Building an Altar or Meditation Space
This is an area that you set aside in your home or office to honor your Divine Spark (inner divinity) and/or to connect with the Divinity your worship, your Guardian Angel, Spirit guides or Ancestors.
Small accent tables and boxes make excellent altars, and can be set up in a corner of your bedroom or a quiet area of the house. If you do not have space for a permanent altar, you can keep your altar objects in a special box and get them out whenever you wish to do a ritual.
Place a natural item to represent each element – i.e. feather for air, shell for water, leaf or stone for earth, candle for fire – also you can add an artifact, symbol, devotional object, lucky charm or figurine that represents your totem or animal ally that acts as your guide and teacher and provides inspiration and support.
Create your personal sacred space or an altar. Clear a private area in your home or office that can be designated only for you. Even a single shelf on a bookstand or on top of a dresser will suffice of space is limited. Place things that have special meaning to you (seashell, rock, feather, photograph, or ceremonial objects such as a bell, candle, book of prayer. Take your time in doing this as is so significant to your growth. Spending a few moments
here on a regular basis conditions your mind to be receptive and relax as it learns to equate the space with your intention to be a peace here. Having this space also helps you to establish boundaries (and enforce them by keeping this your very own sacred space)
Here is my meditation space in my loft:
- Talismans and touchstones
- Photos and symbols of loved ones or Spiritual entities (Jesus, Buddha, St. Germain, Angels, Fairies, Mermaids etc.)
- Artifacts and things that bring you joy or center you.
Feng Shui Your Altar (or your house, desk, table etc.)
As you look at the tabletop, superimpose this image – the part closest to you is the bottom line. You can arrange the items on your altar to signify and strengthen the different areas of your life in order to enhance them.
If you are fascinated by these topics you may enjoy our Spiritual Wellness Specialist Life Coaching program that is a dual certification with becoming a Meditation and Mindfulness Instructor. Check out more on this course here.
Hope you have a very productive Yuletide, Winter Solstice and Grand Conjunction! Let me know how you liked these rituals and techniques! Wishing you every happiness in the New Year!