Winter Solstice Spiral Liturgy: Solstice Eve & Solstice Morn: Fellowship & The Sun

a three armed spiral with the words "Winter Solstice Spiral Liturgy" at the center, with a line drawing of a storm cloud below the spiral, a fire to the right of the spiral, and waves to the left of the spiral. There are 7 dots on each arms of the spiral to mark where the candles go.

Solstice Eve and Solstice Morn: Fellowship and The Sun

A Summary

I light our hearth fire so that it’s going strong by sunset on Solstice Eve, and spend some time hiding little tea lights all over the house. We then turn out all the lights in the house and gather as a family with my hearth fire lantern and a taper candle in front of the fireplace, and do a short ritual (included below) where honor the Earth, the Kindreds, and then the warmth of the hearth and fellowship that will carry us through the darkest night.

We then transfer the hearth fire to the lantern (which will be our light source for the hunt), and set out to hunt throughout the house to find, and light, all the hidden candles. Right now I send my daughter to find them, and then I light them from the taper candle (lit off the hearth). I imagine as she gets older I’ll be able to let her light the candles, but not yet.

We then gather all the candles from around the upper story of the house and bring them down to the kitchen table, where we have dinner by candlelight. This serves the double purpose of giving us more light, and not leaving candles burning unattended, particularly because we have a cat and a dog.

We then make a toast before dinner about something that makes us happy and that we’re grateful for.

After dinner we take our tray of gathered candles back over the hearth and Solstice Tree, and exchange a single gift. By the time we’ve opened them and played with new toys for a little bit, it’s time for bed. We leave LED candles “burning” in our bedrooms throughout the Solstice night, and then the next morning wake up to greet the Dawn and the newborn Sun. The adults will often stay up to keep vigil through the night. In the morning we go outside to light a small candle, and then come in to finish the spiral liturgy.

The Ritual: Solstice Eve

You will need:

  • At least one tea light candle hidden in each room of your house
  • A hearth fire (fireplace, candle, or something else)
  • Lantern and taper candle, or some other way to carry a lit flame throughout your house
  • A meal
  • An LED candle for each bedroom if you are not staying awake all night
  • Optional: omen set
  • Optional: offerings for Earth Mother, Gatekeeper, Three Kindreds, and Being of the Occasion

*ritual to be done at sunset, after hiding candles throughout your house and turning out the lights*

Earth Mother, you are the one who supports and surrounds me in all that I do. I honor you. Now, I stand rooted deep in the earth and looking to the sky, seeking to find the light within the dark. I ask that my words be sweet as I speak, and that my voice and intent sink into the well, to resound in the deep, and float up on pillar of smoke to the heavens.

Gatekeeper, standing now at the Center of Worlds, carry my voice that the spirits may hear my words and see my heart. May the Ancestors who went before know my love. May the Nature Spirits all around know my gratitude. May the Shining Ones who share their wisdom and love know my devotion. Three Kindreds, be with me as I navigate this liminal time between the end of the year and the beginning of the new. The Storms of winter melt to give way to the Waters so that the Fire may be born.

With each passing day as the night grows longer, I add more light to drive away the shadows, and remember the gifts the season brings. Tonight, on this longest night of the year, I go seeking the light that I may coax it forth to bring warmth and fellowship to me and my family.

I have called to the Spirits through the Darkness, and I ask now that they be present in this flame on my hearth, that I might take it to find the Light. *light candle in your lantern to carry*

Now it is time we go seeking. Where can the light be found? *go looking for unlit candles throughout your house, lighting each as you find it, and collecting them to bring to the table where you will eat*

*Once all the candles have been lit, taken back to the table, and meals served, continue…*

Sitting here in the light of Fellowship, which keeps us warm through the darkness of the longest night, let us speak of the things that warm our hearts. What makes us happy and grateful.

*allow time for each person present to speak, then finish meal and adjourn back to your hearth fire to exchange a gift before either going to bed or beginning your vigil*

Spirits all, for being with us as we sought the light to warm us and keep us company throughout the longest night, I thank you.   Now, as we continue through this night, let these candles (real, or LED if you’re going to bed) continue to burn to keep us warm and safe until the Sun is reborn.

The Ritual: Solstice Morn

You will need:

  • 22 candles
  • Optional: omen set
  • Optional: offerings for Earth Mother, Gatekeeper, Three Kindreds, and Being of the Occasion

*ritual to be done at dawn or when you wake up, but after Day 21 Liturgy*

I stand rooted deep in the earth and looking to the sky, ready to greet the newborn Sun. I ask that my words be sweet as I speak, and that my voice and intent sink into the well, to resound in the deep, and float up on pillar of smoke to the heavens.

Gatekeeper, standing now at the Center of Worlds, carry my voice that the spirits may hear my words and see my heart. May the Ancestors who went before know my love. May the Nature Spirits all around know my gratitude. May the Shining Ones who share their wisdom and love know my devotion. Three Kindreds, be with me as I cross the threshold to the beginning of the new year. The Storms of winter melt to give way to the Waters so that the Fire may be born.

I have called to the Spirits through the Darkness, and now I call again to them that they may stand with me to remember the Light.

To The Destroyer, bring your light *light candle*

To Solitude, bring your light *light candle*

To The Winds of Change, bring your light *light candle*

To Nourishing Rains, bring your light *light candle*

To Clear Skies, bring your light *light candle*

To Justice, bring your light *light candle*

To The Winner of Waters, bring your light *light candle*

To The Waters of Blessing, bring your light *light candle*

To The Waters of Purification, bring your light *light candle*

To The Ferryman, bring your light *light candle*

To Memory & Forgetfulness, bring your light *light candle*

To The Mistweaver, bring your light *light candle*

To The God of the Sea, bring your light *light candle*

To The Mother of Waters, bring your light *light candle*

To The Son of the Waters, bring your light *light candle*

To The Center of Worlds, bring your light *light candle*

To Hearth & Home, bring your light *light candle*

To The Need Fire, bring your light *light candle*

To The Fire of Transformation, bring your light *light candle*

To Inspiration & Vision, bring your light *light candle*

To Sacrifice & Order, bring your light *light candle*

Through the Storm, Waters, and Fire, I see the newly risen Sun. Be with me as I ignite this flame for you. *light Center candle* Stand with me and help me to see the gifts you bring to the season. Cresting over the Horizon, a brilliant flame burning in the sky. You warm my life and my heart. Bright and Shining Sun, bringing back the light and kindling Fellowship within me, I bask in your luminescence. From swirling winds to pounding rain, From rushing stream to raging sea, From flickering flame to roaring bonfire. It is to you I call out, and to you I sing praises. Sun, bless me with your wisdom. Show me how to bring your aspects into my life, because though winter may continue, I see you as the days now begin to lengthen. *take an omen if you feel called to do so, reflect on it and on the aspects of the spirit. Think on how you can apply them to your life* Sun, Thank you for your presence here and for the further wisdom you’ve bestowed. *snuff candle, or if you have a safe place to remain attentive to the candle, allow it to burn down*

Spirits all, for being with me all these days leading up to the Solstice Morn, as I light candles to drive away the dark, and cross the threshold into the newly born year, I thank you.   Gatekeeper, for carrying my words, and for guiding me through this liminal time, I thank you.

Now, I remember my connection to the earth, that I may be grounded in this place. May I be enriched by this ritual, by the knowledge I’ve gained, and by the blessings I’ve received. It is time now to go in peace, and remember the gifts of the season.

*proceed to open any other gifts you may have left, and spend quality time with those you care for and who care for you.*

 

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