Winter Solstice Ritual
In addition to your usual magickal tools, you will need:
A Green Altar Cloth
A Cauldron w/Lid or Cover Plate
Holly Sprig Wreath
Mistletoe Sprig Wreath
12 Low Vibration Stones (flat oval river rock work well)
1 Black Votive Candle, 1 Green 12" Taper Candle, 1 White 12" Taper Candle, 1 Gold (12hr) Pillar Candle
Bowl of Water w/ Pine Sprig in it
Plate of Sand
Other Personal Items of choice
This ritual showed be performed right after sunset. About an hour before, sweep area moving in a deosil manner. Yule symbols such as Poinsettias, Pine Cones, and even a decorated Yule Log nearby (if too big for altar) adds to the ambiance. Place the proper candles and symbols at the four cardinal directions. Place the gold God pillar candle at right top of altar. Place the white Goddess taper candle at the top left. Place your Pentacle (or a plate with a Pentagram drawn on it) in the center of the altar. Place your Cauldron to the right of the altar, with the black votive candle, Holly sprig wreath around it , inside. Cover cauldron with lid or cover plate. Place the green taper candle and mistletoe wreath where they will be behind you at the beginning of the ritual. Outline your circle perimeter with 11 of the low vibration stones (save 12th to close circle when you enter. Place the rest of your tools and props according to personal preference. Take a shower or bath for purity. Sit quietly for a period to ground and center. When ready put on some soothing music associated with the Sabbat and your ritual. Enter the standing stone circle and close with 12th stone.
Cast circle by envisioning flames of Yule colors red, green, and gold coming up between the stones. When all become a continuous line, step up to the altar and begin:
"From the darkness is born the light, From void, fulfillment emerges... The darkest night of the year's at the threshold, Open now the door, and honor the darkness."
Take the lid/plate off the cauldron and light the black votive candle inside. Step back from the cauldron and give silent honor to the Holly King, the ruler of the dark half of the year. Call quarters, start by lighting yellow candle in the East:
"Powers of Air, step forth from the darkness, Enter my circle , as dark gives 'way to light. Bring along with you the essence of pine trees, Remind me of Springtime As I face Solstice Night."
Light the pine incense and place on Pentacle/Center Plate. Light the red candle in the South:
"Powers of Fire, step forth from the darkness, Enter my circle, as dark gives 'way to light, Bring along with you the first glint of tomorrow, Remind me of Summer As I face Solstice Night."
Pick up the Athame and brandish it in the flame of the candle to reflect the light. Place on the Pentacle/Center Plate. Light the blue candle in the West:
"Powers of Water, step forth from the darkness, Enter my circle, as dark gives 'way to light, Bring along with you bittersweet memories Remind me of Autumn As I face Solstice Night."
Pick up the bowl of water, sprinkle water with pine sprig in Pentacle/Center Plate. Light brown candle in the North:
"Powers of Earth, step forth from the darkness, Enter my circle, as dark gives 'way to light, Bring along with you the land that now slumbers, Remind me of Winter And this cold Solstice Night."
Pick up the plate of sand, sprinkle sand in a line around the other symbols. Step back from the alter for a moment and contemplate the seasons of the past year, and how their lessons have brought you to where you are today. When ready, begin again:
"Dark my surroundings, and cold be this night But Thy labor, Blessed Mother Has reborn the Sacred Light... The Child Divine, The most honored Sun Shall return with the sunrise Again, Two will be One."
Remove the Holly wreath from around the black votive candle. With your right hand, present it to the four elements in a deosil manner. Finally, in a clockwise motion, place it behind you, to signify the death, "passing", of the Holly King. Turn back to the altar. Then with your left hand, reach behind you, and in a clockwise motion bring forward the Mistletoe wreath and the green candle. Present them to the elements, slide the wreath over the green candle and place the candle in its holder in the cauldron. Light the green candle with the black votive candle:
"Hark! Behold the Rebirth of the King of the Woodlands! Behold the Oak King, strong and vital he rises!" Snuff the black votive candle and with your right hand, place it behind you in a clockwise motion. Turn back to the cauldron, close your eyes, and silently honor the Oak King. Begin again: "Awake now Thy Mother, Thy Lover, Thy Lady - Awake now Thy Goddess of Life, Death, Rebirth."
Take the green candle out of the cauldron and light the white Goddess candle on the altar. Replace the green candle in the cauldron. Take the white Goddess candle with both hands and hold out at arm's length over the cauldron:
"Awaken, my Lady, look upon Thyne Divine Child, His rebirth while You slumbered Was subtle and silent. The Stag King, the Green Man, Lord of Fertility, He awaits Thy wakening Gentle and benevolent"
Place the white Goddess candle back in its holder at the left top of altar. Step back and assume the Goddess position. In a bold voice:
"All hail the Oak King, His rebirth; a promise All hail the Divine Child, Giver of Life All hail the Blessed Sun, reborn to the Mother For he retakes His throne at the end of Solstice Night!"
Now is the time for meditation and any spellworkings. Spellworkings associated with Yule include those for peace, harmony, love, and happiness. Next celebrate with the Cakes and Ale (Fruitcake* and Spiced Cider *) ceremony, saving some for the wee Folkes, outside. Thank the Goddess and snuff Her candle. Thank and release the elements:
"Carry sweet tidings, 'round the world and beyond, I charge thee as messengers Earth, Water, Fire, and Air Let all rejoice loudly in the Oak King's return Teach all that you meet, with the glad tidings you bear."
Snuff each Quarter candle in a widdershins manner. Step back and face the cauldron and the green candle still burning bright.
"Before my circle, tonight, I close Blessings I ask for this house and my kin Tomorrow at daybreak, when I arise A special flame I will carry, within... And a gold candle upon my altar I'll light Adding my will to the Sun King's intent To climb aloft in the vaulted skies And for strength back to me; three times, strength I've sent."
Snuff the green candle. Take the Mistletoe wreath and place it on the other symbols on the Pentacle/Center Plate. Release the circle. Clean up, leaving the gold God pillar candle in center front to light upon rising in the morning. You are done.