The Winter Solstice is a portal. It is a yes/and. It is saying goodbye to the year. We process the hard, hard lessons we learned. We welcome in light, spirits, and all forms of kinship so that we may stay safe, in service, and attuned to gratitude. After Solstice, we welcome in the New Year.
What do you want to come forth out of the unknown?
Winter Solstice Rituals & Activities
Stargazing is a beautiful way to spend the Solstice. Depending on where you are, and the weather, you may be able to see the conjunction and the meteors! Grab your warmest clothes, a thermos of tea, and walk to a space where you can look up.
Small fires. Bonfires correspond to this time of year. While it isn’t possible for many to access a bonfire, you can hang out with fire in other ways. Set up candles on a plate or on your altar. Sing your wishes and prayers into the flames.
Welcoming the Dark. Spend as much time as possible this week as screen-less as possible. String up electric lights and set out tea candles, and dim the lighting. Be still. Draw, journal, read, or simply rest. See how you feel after a couple of days in the quiet.
Ancestor Connection, Land Connection. What did your ancestors do for Solstice? Can you do research? How can you incorporate that into your own Solstice Ritual? If you feel no connection or interest in doing this, tune into the land you live on. Whose land are you on? What do they do? What is the land doing? What are the colors of this time, what is the sky doing? Write a poem, embody the energy, listen to what place is saying.
Goodbye and Welcome Ceremony. Design a ceremony where you say goodbye to what you are leaving behind this year. Be clear about what you are no longer making space for in your life. Write them down on pieces of paper and burn them, or cross them out with a big black sharpie. Bang pots and pans and chase them out the door. Stomp and dance and scare them away! Then, think about all that you do wish to welcome in. Create a safe and beautiful space for them to enter.
Summoning Spirits. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve sat down with spirits: archetypes of the Tarot, beloved deities, ancestors, or spirit guides, or the energy of elementals. Take time on the Solstice, or this week, to commune with other realms. Ask for help. Ask for clarity. Collaborate with them to make meaning. Strengthen your bond with any cosmic helpers who wish to step forward.
Helper Magic, Money Magic. If you have the means, donate to the TranSanta Project. Donate money to your local food kitchen. Donate to a mutual aid fund. Make some meals or buy some food and deliver it to houseless folks in your city or town. Reach out to a friend or two or eleven who have been going through a hard time and send them a meal, or offer them your ear.
A spell of any kind. Go for it! Try it! Do it knowing your energy and intentions will be amplified and supported.
Remember that rituals and holidays are made up by us humans — created to mark historical events, honor the earth’s seasons, and commune with the cosmos. They help keep traditions, our ancestors, and spiritual practices alive. Rituals are one of the commonalities of all humankind across the planet. They remind us that life is sacred. They ground us in time and place. They serve to guide our awareness into a particular realm. They ask us to observe the earth’s rhythms and our own. They help us connect to other people and other consciousness levels. Rituals help us mark time. They facilitate endings and initiate beginnings.
In the past, rituals and holidays used to help people stay alive.
Now, they serve as ways to honor our lives, and the lives of those we love: ancestors, animals, and plants included. And yes, they also still help us stay alive!
May your intuition guide you into a Solstice ritual that serves as an interpretation of the energy at this time of year, helps you process stuck emotions, ushers in another cycle, honors the land, or connects you to your ancestral traditions.