The Longest Night

The Wheel of the Year: Yule

December 21-22

Yule, or the Winter Solstice, is the longest night of the year, but it signifies the return of the power of the Sun for now the days will begin to grow longer. At this magical time of year when the Sun is reborn, we can feel sustained even in the darkest of times by our faith that life will continue in its round, luscious cycle. Our Winter Solstice task is one of reclamation and transformation. We can make something new out of the old, just as the Sun dies and is born again on the longest night of the year.

What are the things you like about this time of year? Even as the tempests and travails of this planet-time and your personal struggles surround you, let yourself feel held by the magic of this season. Let yourself wonder at the ways you and others are taking part in the healing of our world. Let yourself share with your loved ones the gladness of being here, even through the darkest night of the year. For it is in the muddy, rich compost of our darkness that our most beautiful and treasured desires are planted and can bloom.

The magic of the season: Honoring our conifer tree friends, who stay green all year round and remind us of the promise of new life; honoring elders; rituals of gratitude and sacrifice; sharing food; spells of renewal, promise and intention.

A spell you might try this Winter Solstice: On the darkest night of the year, gather a piece of paper, a red candle and a fire-safe dish. Light the candle. Meditate on the previous year and look toward the coming one. You may want to journal a bit on the previous year – your upsets, your successes, the cycles you walked through, the events that still confuse you and the moments of epiphany. On the piece of paper, write a single word or draw a symbol that represents a quality you wish to have born within yourself as the sun is reborn on this night. From the flame of your candle, light the paper on fire. As it burns, imagine that you already possess the quality you desire and see how it looks. The spell is done.