This time of year we hear similar advice from a variety of religious and spiritual traditions: slow down, reflect, go inward, generate kindness, speak gratitude, and manifest miracles. And, at the same time, everyone I know is scrambling, rushing, tasking, generating chaos, speaking scarcity, and manifesting stress.
Sigh. It's like this every year--for me, my family, my community, and others I love.
This is where the witch in us really needs to come out and show herself.
Our practice as witches centers around two primary powers: those of attention (focusing our minds, emotions, and spirits) and intention (imagining the best possible outcomes for our good, the good of all, bringing harm to none). These powers are always available to us and become amplified by attuning to both natural and supernatural energies: the moon, the sun, the earth, and all those spirits and Ancestors who look out for our well-being and want to co-create beauty and abundance along side us.
How hard could it be?
First, remember that you are in control of where you place your attention and can choose kindness over chaos. Second, tune in to and honor the energies available this time of year.
The sun's power and light is waning. We are descending into the darkness and its invitation truly is to go inward, find stillness, listen to intuition, and hear spirit. The good news is that the Solstice actually makes this easier than at other times of the year. We also celebrate the returning sun as "the wheel turns" and light is born anew.
Fun Things to do for Winter Solstice
Sleep around the altar: Create a beautiful altar with images of the Elements and the season and sleep next to it on Solstice eve with your family and friends. Wake up in the darkness to meditate or pray and welcome the sun with a special breakfast.
Make candles and soap: We all need candles to burn on the longest night of the year. You can roll a sheet of beeswax around a wick. You can also melt old candles or crayons (in a double boiler) and pour into silicone cupcake holders with wicks. Soap makes great gifts and symbolizes a fresh clean start to the lengthening days. Use high quality ingredients (glycerin soap, essential oils, dyes), melt, and combine to place in molds.
Light a cauldron...safely!: Place epsom salts in the bottom as a base and add a bottle of 91 proof rubbing alcohol and light with a match. This creates a smokeless, largely odor-less burn that's beautiful and warming. Make sure an adult is present and that you have provisions for putting out a fire. You can release into this fire what no longer serves you.
Burn a Yule log: This is an old pagan tradition and involves binding a special log with colorful yarn, inviting friends to write wishes on pieces of paper and tuck them into the yarn. Burning the log symbolizes a release of these wishes off to the realm of the spirits so that they can work with you to manifest the wish on this plane.
Take a bath, enjoy alone time, get a massage: Nurture, nurture, nurture! The main invitation here is to release to the darkness what you no longer need and to be still with what is inside. As astrologer Caroline Casey says, imagination lays the tracks for the reality train.
Solstice is the best time of year to lay tracks.
Enjoy this beautiful holiday and health, happiness, blessings, abundance to you and yours!