Solstice

There are quite a few steps to this ritual, and that is one of the things that makes it special.

If you are worried about “not having the right materials”, do not worry. You can substitute as you need, and use symbolism as you need (for example, if you don’t have a yule log, use a fallen tree branch, some twigs, etc…)

Preparations:

Take a warm bath with cinnamon, mint and rose petals to improve psychic awareness. Relax… let the warm sooth you, and consume you.

Decorate the sacred space with gold and silver spheres to represent the returning sun, and wreaths to symbolize the turning Wheel.

Have oak shavings ready as a base for your incense. Add any other personally meaningful herbs to this mixture and start burning it before the invocation to help prepare the sacred space.

Finally, put a candle representing the sun at the southern point of the circle.

Cover the altar with a pale green cloth – the color of early sprouts, which represents continuance. Add red berries for life’s blood; holly; ivy; and pine branches as a symbol of longevity. The pine also welcomes sylvan spirits to your circle.

Have a Yule log at the center point, placing there your God and Goddess candles. Always keep a part of the candles or the log itself for future years; this brings good luck, life, health and providence.

The Ritual

Take up your Athame, butter knife, or finger and Cast the Circle starting in the West, the region where several cultures believe the afterlife resides, the direction of the Dying Sun.

Take a moment to center yourself and begin to cast the Circle. Visualize a white light coming from the tip of the Athame and with arms straight out, turn the blade point out, slowly turning clockwise the light following you.

When you return to the West bring the athamé back to you and say: “As above, so below.” As you say this, visualize the light going above you and below you forming a perfect sphere.

Light the Goddess candle in the Yule log, then move to the Northern point in your Circle. This is the quarter traditionally ascribed to the season of winter.

  • Face North and say:

“Ancient Mother, I look for your opulence, but tonight naught but barren trees decorate the land. In this restful moment, let my spirit find healing.”

  • Face East and say:

“Ancient Brother, I listen for your winds, but tonight they are still. In this quiet darkness, help me find inspiration.”

  • Face South and say:

“Ancient Father, I look for your fires, but tonight the embers only begin to glow more brightly. May this gentle warmth temper my spirit.”

  • Face West and say:

“Ancient Sister, I seek your glistening tears, but tonight they are frozen. Beneath this cool blanket, let my emotions find stability.”

  • Face center and say:

“Ancient Ones, I seek Your face, but tonight darkness surrounds. Help me find Your spark within to guide my path.”

Sit and close your eyes. Let any remaining tension drain away, then begin listening to the sound of silence. Smell the aromas of oak and herb. Feel the latent energy of everything around you and the magic you’ve placed there. Know it as your own.

Listen to your breath and your heartbeat. Sense the pulse and ebb within as the same energy without. Listen closely; does it whisper a message to you? Does it whisper a name? Do you hear the cry of an animal? Do you hear words that fill you with energy? Linger in this place between Earth and stars until you receive a message. Then return to normal levels of awareness, and write of this experience in your journal.

Turn toward the northern part of your circle.

Think of things that you want to banish, such as bad habits. Say:

“I call to the darkness. Come embrace my __________ (fill in with your negative characteristics).”

Take them to yourself. I release them. As the sun climbs in the sky, take these things with you in retreat, never to return to me again.”

Turn to the south of the circle, light the sun candle, and repeat this chant. Let it naturally grow to fill the entire space with positive vibrations:

“Strong sun, returning sun; the light burns as the Wheel turns. Strong sun, returning sun; the shadows fade; my magic bade. Strong sun, returning sun; the shadows flee, the magic is free!”

Return to the altar now and light the God candle, using the Goddess candle as a fire source (symbolic of the womb).

“Sun Father, Your journey has left you weary. May this light give you strength to reach toward the heavens again with warmth and brilliance.”

After saying so, go through your home and light all its candles, lamps, flashlights, or decorative lights to represent the sun’s return.

  • Face West and say:

“Spirit of the West, thank you for cleansing body, mind, and spirit. As you go from this place, likewise purify Earth.”

  • Face South and say:

“Spirit of the South, thank you for this warmth of body, mind and spirit. As you go from this place, likewise generate love on Earth.”

  • Face East and say:

“Spirit of the East, thank you for this stillness of body, mind and spirit. As you go from this place, likewise bring peace to Earth.”

  • Face North and say:

“Spirit of the North, thank you for healing me in body, mind, and spirit. As you go from this place, likewise heal Earth.”

  • Face Center and say:

“Ancient Ones, thank you for turning the Wheel that enlightens body, mind, and spirit. As you go from this place, likewise edify Earth.”

From: Rose Ariadne

Here is a fun way to gather the family in a simply beautiful Yule project and ritual. With supervision, most children can easily make this themselves; it makes a fun family project.

1. Gather your favorite evergreens. Choose a few cuttings each from such winter favorites as holly with berries, juniper with berries, cedar, spruce, or pine needles. If available, add a few tiny birch pine cones as well (these are one inch or less).

2. Pour water into a three-inch deep rectangular plastic (flexible) container, half full. Place three to six naturally scented beeswax, soy, or essential oil scented candles into the container. The candles should be four inches tall and three to four inches wide.

3. Add the evergreens and berries to the container in a pleasing arrangement around the candles. Cover the greens with more water so they’ll appear to float once frozen. Be careful not to over fill; the plastic container should be two-thirds full of water in the end.

4. Place in the freezer until frozen (or outdoors if it’s cold enough). Freeze until solid.

5. Slide out the rectangular ice block with the evergreens and candles frozen inside. Turn onto a fireproof plate (a high-fired glazed ceramic plate would serve well) or an old cookie sheet covered with foil. You can accentuate the display by placing polished stones or polished glass beads around the edges of the ice.

6. Light the candles. Say a winter prayer, offer a blessing, and be thankful to our essential elements of fire, water, air, and earth.

Here are a few more ideas for this Fire and Ice project.

From: Four Seasons of Mojo

Here is a great winter solstice ritual to bring in the unconquered sun. It’s very powerful, and requires no special ingredients.

About an hour before sunrise, plant yourself outside, preferably on a hill, or the top of a building. Face the direction where the sun will rise and begin to call the sun. Forcefully project the sound so that you imagine your body shaking; then the room or space where you are shakes; then the world, and finally the whole universe – by which time, you should be sweating. Eventually, you will feel that the sound is coming through, rather than from you.

Names or mantras you can use include the following:

  • Shamash (Babylonian)
  • Amun Ra (Egyptian)
  • Sulis (Celtic)
  • Helios (Greek)
  • Surya (Vedic)
  • Sol Invictus (Roman)
  • Inti (Incan)

If it feels more comfortable, you can preface the name with “Hail, Hello, Wake Up,” or something similar. It may also help to begin the call more quietly, and gradually increasing the volume as you grow more comfortable with it.

When the edge of the sun becomes visible above the horizon, drop into a prayer position and remain so until the sun is completely risen. In the event of a cloudy morning, when the sky begins to brighten, you can imagine that the sun is becoming visible.

Note: This is something really powerful to do as a group.

In Sweden and Norway at the Solstice, people made wheels of fortune. Some of the wheels were wrapped in straw, set on fire, and rolled down hill. Other wheels were decorated and kept. These were used in two ways: One, the wheel was rolled away from a person to take away misfortunes; two, it was rolled toward a person to bring all kinds of good fortune.

To make a good fortune wheel, use a piece of wire that has been fastened in a circle. An embroidery hoop will work also. Wrap yarn or ribbon around the hoop until it is completely covered. To this wheel, tie dried or artificial flowers, good luck tokens, and streaming ribbons. These wheels can be hung as wall decorations or twirled so they spin toward you during spellwork.

From: Moon Magick

The Summer Solstice, or Midsummer, celebrates the longest day of the year. It falls between June 20 – 22. The Summer Solstice ritual focuses on the god because summer is his time. Celebrate it outdoors if you can, or if indoors, during the day so the sun is a prominent part of your ritual.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Piece of cloth or cloth pouch
  • Midsummer herbs
  • Piece of red string or yarn
  • Midsummer flowers
  • Gold or yellow robe, shirt or dress
  • Yellow or gold candle
  • Summer fruit

Prepare for the Summer Solstice ritual by gathering a piece of cloth or cloth pouch and midsummer herbs. Use any combination of sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, lavender, Saint John’s wort and vervain that appeals to you. Meditate on your pain, troubles, sorrows and illnesses. Tie up the cloth or pouch with a red string or yarn and save it for the ritual.

Think about the qualities of fire because the Summer Solstice ritual is a fire ritual. Contemplate what you need protection from (debt-collectors, a jealous friend, an abusive family member). Write down in what aspects of your life you need strength because the Summer Solstice ritual is a time to gather courage.

Collect flowers for your Summer Solstice ritual that are golden yellow, deep red, white, pink and purple. Whatever you wear, choose a gold or yellow color to honor the sun. Use a gold or yellow candle to represent the god in ritual.

Cook dishes with midsummer herbs such as basil, sage, thyme and rosemary. Tomato soup or sauce, with its fiery red color, is suitable for the season. Eat fresh fruit or fruit salad at the close of the ritual for a sweet end to summer.

Set up your altar with your summer flowers, golden candle, pouch of herbs and any other tools you wish to use and cast the circle. At the point most suitable to you during your Summer Solstice ritual, hold the pouch of herbs in both hands. Mentally pour all your troubles, sorrows and pain into it. At the end of the ritual, bury the pouch deep in the ground.

source

The Summer Solstice is one of the holiest days of the year. At first light, take a tall white or yellow candle and a short black candle outside; light them to symbolize the longest day and shortest night of the year. A flower-scented incense is good to burn while you intone the words below:

Brother Sun and Mother Moon,
Day is longest now.

Energies of the brilliant Sun
Aid all at work or having fun.

Longest day, a blessing is,
From rise to set supreme is the Sun.

Fueling growth and passions bright,
Strong and true is the solar light.

Bounty grows and river flows,
As Earth is warmed and lighted.

Creative energy reaches zenith
on this day of shortest night.

Crops grow high and excitement grows,
with each new ray of Sun.

Every day, all creatures play
and hail the mighty Sun.

Ancient solstice, fires burning,
Honor the Sun and feed the light.

Druid, Indian, Norse, and Celt all danced
on Summer Solstice, joyously felt.

Solar winds and solar flares
Wash away our hunger and our cares.

Mighty Sun, King of warmth,
Makes humans to frolic and bees to swarm.

Keep this day in memory bright,
To warm you on long winter nights.

May the rays of solstice keep us warm,
All through the year.

The Sun has kissed
Flower field and tree,
The Sun is supreme.

So mote it be.

Courtesy of: Abby Willowroot

The Summer Solstice love ritual is strongest done during the June full moon, but the ritual may be done on any full moon. It is best done out of doors, but may be done indoors.

For this love spell, you need:

  • 1 rose quartz
  • 1 crystal quartz
  • 1 blue quartz
  • 1 emerald
  • 1 citrine
  • 1 garnet
  • 1 black tourmaline
  • 1 bag
  • petals of 3 roses
  • daisies
  • red or orange cloth
  • 1 large candle in red, gold or orange

Bathe before doing the ritual. Add flowers to your bath. If you shower, rub you body with a flower scented lotion or oil. Clean the stones with running water.

Clean your altar. Cover your altar with a red or orange cloth to honor the sun. Add some daisy blossoms to your altar. The daisy gets its name from day’s-eye because it turns to follow the sun.

Place the gold, yellow or red candle to represent divine Fire at the top middle of your altar. Sprinkle the petals of three red or pink roses on the altar. Place the rose quartz in the middle of the altar, make a circle around the rose quartz, with the other stones.

Pick up the crystal quartz in your left hand and say:
May I give and receive love as pure new snow.

Put the crystal quartz back and pick up the blue quartz in your left hand and say:
May I give and receive love as peaceful as calm water.

Put the blue quartz back and pick up the citrine in your left hand and say:
May I give and receive love as warm as sunlight.

Put the citrine back and pick up the emerald in your left hand and say:
May I give and receive love as strong as the oak tree.

Put the emerald back and pick up the garnet in your left hand and say:
May I give and receive love as bright as fire.

Put the garnet back and pick up the tourmaline in your left hand and say:
May I be open to love and may my love protect my loved one.

Put the tourmaline back and pick up the rose quartz in your left hand and say:
May I always be filled with love as I fill my lover with love.

Kiss the rose quartz three times. Gather all the stones with a few rose petals in both hands. While holding the stones and rose petals in both hands say:

My love is strong and surrounds all I do
I will always have all the love I need
Love is part of everything I do.

As you hold the stones and rose petals in your hands, you will know that love is with you. Shake the stones three times and then put the stones and a few rose petals in the bag.

This part must be done outside. Take the remaining rose petals and throw them in the air so the breeze can multiply your love. Every full moon take the stones out of the bag and hold them.

Copyright © 2006 Amerindea.com
This spell may be reprinted if credit is given.

If you possibly can, on the day of the Solstice go to the seashore, and at the low tide draw a solar image in the sand. Make it as large and ornate as you can, for this is in honor of the Sun. In the center place three stones or pieces of wood for three things you would like to change in your life. Position yourself where you can watch the incoming tide slowly erasing your image. As this happens, visualize the waters taking away the old and bringing in the new.

If you are unable to get to the shore then gather flower petals in reds and oranges and perform the same spell at the top of the highest hill you can reach. Try to time your arrival so that the sun is at its zenith just after you have created your image in petals. Let the wind take them in the same way as the tide above. If it is a very still day you may need to leave the pattern after your visualization, but rest assured that the magic will still work.

Whichever of these you choose to perform, follow it by taking a walk. As you go, take care to notice the seasonal changes around you. The Solstice marks the start of Summer proper. This is the season when the crops are ripening and the trees and bushes are starting to produce fruit. It is also the time when we should look at our own lives and give thanks to the Gods for those things which have born, or are bearing, fruit.

From The Real Witches’ Year

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