A brown Michigan solstice. No snow, and warm enough that my butterfly bush is sprouting leaves. I noticed that after the Solstice the sun seems to linger longer in the sky. My science says that change in the length of the day is not something I can really notice at this time but my body and my soul see it. The light at the end of the day stays just that little bit longer and I know that the sun is returning, the world is turning and the earth is remembering the joy of growing.
Here is our ritual for Solstice this year. We worked indoors. It was mild out but so wet nothing would burn. We used a golden beeswax candle for the Sun King and our Solstice candles (5 green candles we burn from the beginning of December through the Solstice.) I wrote a Solstice Carol for the occasion as well.
Winter Solstice Ritual 2011
Prepare the altar. At a minimum use a candle for the Sun King, and some holly or evergreen.
Guardian of the East, the rising sun, bring new life and warmth to us, watch us and guard us.
Guardian of the South, the unchanging sun, bring permanence and stability to us, watch us and guard us.
Guardian of the West, the setting sun, cool us and give us respite, watch us and guard us.
Guardian of the North, ever-changing sun, give us strength and flexibility, watch us and guide us.
The Holly King has ruled us since Summer’s Solstice past.
The Goddess has given birth to the Oak King
Through that birth,
through the Goddess’s fertility,
the sun, her son, will lend his light and strength to us
will shine their light
and fields will grow
babies will be born
and the darkness of winter will be left behind.
I speak for the Sun King
His light will shine
He will wake the earth
I speak for the Oak King
His branches will shade us
His strength will sustain us
I speak for the Mother
Her skies will shelter us
Her rains will feed us
Her love will sustain us.
Now at this time of transition
When all we love are near, both here and afar, above and below
We join in celebrating the gift of light.
We thank the Holly King for his care of the earth.
He lulls it to sleep, lets it rest
and prepares it for the bounty of its harvest.
(E lights Sun Candle.)
We wish for peace across the planet
We wish joy for those who have none
We wish love for those who are loveless
We wish contentment for all.
Do you have anything you’d like to add?
(If any of the participants wish to add something to the ritual they may do so here.)
We thank you Guardians of East, South, West and North.
You protect us throughout the year
Know that we treasure that protection.
I release the circle.
So mote it be.
Bright Solstice to you all. May your year to come be full of joy and contentment.