Winter Solstice also known as Yule is the time when the Goddess gives birth to the Sun/Son. The God is born again and will bring with him the light. This is the shortest day of the year but from now on the days will start to get lighter and longer. It is a time of rebirth, the cycle starting again.
It is also the time when the Holly and the Oak King come together in battle and this time the Oak King wins to take over the next part of the year. He is the horned one, the lord of the light.
We celebrate the birth of the God, the returning light. Thankful for we know the light is coming back to light ours paths and to warm us. It is a time to feast, be merry and come together.
Winter Solstice Goddesses
Cailleach (Celtic) – She is the crone aspect of the triple Goddess. She is born a crone at Samhain and then grows younger until Beltane. She is a dark Goddess and rules the dark half of the year. Although she is known as a destroyer, she also creates new life. Rebirth, one doors closes, another opens.
Frigga (Norse) – The wife of Odin and a Mother Goddess. She is the Goddess of fertility and marriage. She is sometimes linked to Freyja and is thought to be the same Goddess. She asked for Nature not to harm her son Baldur. Unfortunately she overlooked Mistletoe and Loki tricked Baldur’s blind brother into killing him with a spear made of mistletoe. Odin later restored Baldur to life. Frigga then declared that mistletoe must be regarded as a plant of love, rather than death in thanks.
Frau Holle (Germanic) – She is sometimes seen as an aspect of Frigga. She was honored as the sacred embodiment of the earth and land and as a winter Goddess and is associated with evergreens and the snow. She is also a Goddess of fertility, rebirth, children, death, crafts and the household.
Winter Solstice Gods
The Oak King (British) – The lord of the light, Green man, horned one, ruler of the light side of the year. He is the shining one, the one that brings us hope and joy. Guiding us with his light, he looks after us along with all of Nature.
Baldur (Norse) – The God of beauty, light, radiance, forgiveness and peace. He is also associated with rebirth as when he died his father Odin brought him back to life. As a God who is reborn and a bringer of light he is associated with Yule. He is a God that is loved by all.
Hodr (Norse) – The God of darkness and winter. He is the twin brother of Baldur. He rules over the dark side of the year, when he kills his brother. However at Yule Baldur is reborn and as the God of Light he then rules the light side of the year. This is very similar to the Holly and the Oak King story.
Odin (Norse) – Odin is the All-father, the wise one. He is associated with Santa Claus this time of year. Spreading magic and gifts, riding his magical horse across the skies.
With Solstice Symbols
Yule tree, wreaths, sun, star, Yule log, berries, representations of the pregnant Mother Goddess and Sun God, stag, reindeer, seeds, elves, bells, frankincense, myrrh, sage.
Winter Solstice Colors and Flowers
Red, green, gold, black, white, silver, mistletoe, holly, evergreens, fir trees, Ivy, pine, yew.
Sit and close your eyes. Take three deep breaths, relaxing yourself.
Imagine you are in front of a cave. The opening of the cave looks just like the vulva, the opening of the vagina.
You go towards the opening and step in. It is very dark and cool, but as you walk slowly in deeper and deeper you have a sense of peace and comfort.
Your eyes adjust to the darkness and you can see the path you are following.
You come to an opening, a circle and there you see a light. You walk towards the light and as you get closer you see that the light is in fact a tiny seed burning brightly.
You then hear a voice. It says ‘ I am the Great Mother and you have entered my womb. Here you shall be reborn’.
You feel the love from her voice and your surroundings. It is so peaceful in this dark cave.
You then notice there are furs on the floor by the seed and you sit down. The Great Mother speaks again ‘Close your eyes dear one, curl up on the furs, be at peace’.
You do exactly what she says and you feel at home, so peaceful. The Great Goddess then says ‘Take the seed into your hands. Feel its light, its warmth. Place the seed into your heart. Feel the light spread over you, let go of what no longer serves you and let the light take it away.’
You place the seed in your heart and you feel its light and warmth. You say to yourself ‘ I let go of what no longer serves me. I let it go completely. I trust.’ You feel the light spread over you, around you and the see it in your minds eye. You can feel the negativity leaving you and the light taking it away into the ground and transforming it.
Sit with this and feel it working.
The Great Mother then says ‘Dear child, you may go from here reborn a new. Feeling lighter and more positive. Spread your light and your joy, just like my son you see before you.’
You open your eyes and you notice a baby in front of you where the seed was. The baby is burning bright with light with a smile on his face. This fills you with joy and hope.
You thank the Goddess and the God for all that they bring and do. The Great Mother says, ‘Go now dear one, in peace and love. I am always here for you.’
You leave the cave and as you step outside you feel reborn, you feel so peaceful and happy.
Taking three deep breathes, you bring yourself back into the room.
Write down your experience. How did you feel when you placed the seed into your heart?
Winter Solstice Ritual
Set up a small altar with candles, something to represent the the Great Mother, the reborn God, flowers and incense.
Light the candles and ask the four directions to be present to protect you in a circle. Then call on the Great Mother Goddess. You can just ask her to be with you, chant or drum. However you wish and feel comfortable with. Feel her energy and sit with it a little while.
Then start the meditation above and write down your experience. Once this is finished, you may want to light a candle in honor of the God who has just been reborn. The light will represent his light that burns bright and will continue to get stronger. Chant and sing, etc if you feel drawn to. Do what you feel is right for you. Just go with the flow, building energy and honoring him. You may also want to honor the Goddess as she has just given birth to the light. Thank them both for what they give and they provide.
Add anything you wish into your ritual.
When you are ready, close the circle by thanking the Goddess, God and directions. Go out and place an offering to the Earth. Food, a piece of your hair, some herbs or salt. Whatever you feel drawn to.
You may also like….