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Solstice Night: Yule Celebration Ideas (In Story Form)

Updated on September 4, 2016
WiccanSage profile image

Sage has been celebrating the Wheel of the Year with her family for 25 years as a Wiccan; she's like the NeoPagan Martha Stewart.

A Mysterious Envelope Comes in the Mail...

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The Invitation Reads Inside:

My Dear Friend,

Merry Meet and Blessed Yuletide! You are invited to join me in a Solstice night celebration. Allow me to share with you my Solstice traditions that I have been doing for about 25 years now. Whether spending the holiday in quiet solitude or in a house full of people, one thing is for sure: this night is full of an amazing energy like none other. Let your imagination bring you where we shall show reverence, make merry and prepare for the rebirth of the Sun Lord!

No R.S.V.P. is necessary, nor do you have to wait—you can leave right now if you want. I’ll be waiting!

Celebrate the Solstice

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You Take a Solstice Journey

The world seems silent and still as you walk up the path. All you can hear is the crunching of your boots on the freshly fallen snow. Stately evergreens lining the path glisten when the slanted rays of the afternoon sun hit them. It’s amazing—it feels so early, yet already the sky is tinged with orange and pink, heralding the end of day.

As you round the bend, a rustic cabin comes into view. In each window is a white candle. On the door is a cheerful holly wreath. You knock. When the door opens, a rush of warmth pours out.

“Merry Meet! I’m so glad you could make it!” says your friend. Crinkles appear around her smiling blue eyes as she greets you with a hearty double handshake. You can feel the heat of her hands right through your gloves. Her blonde hair, streaked with silver-gray, is braided with holly leaves entwined. It hangs forward over her shoulder and is tied up in a big green bow, which matches her green dress. “Hi Sage,” you respond. “Thank you for inviting me.”

“Glad to have you, my dear. Glad to have you,” she says. The wind blasts, and she adjusts her gold shawl on her shoulders. “Let’s get you out of the cold.”

You un-bundle yourself, hanging your coat, scarf and other winter outerwear on a peg hook. The cabin is refreshingly warm against your cold cheeks. The scent of something delicious tickles your nostrils-- your favorite winter meal!

Sage rushes to the cauldron on the hearth fire and ladles you out a cup of mulled cider, then gestures for you to have a seat in the warm, overstuffed chair. She settles into the rocking chair on the opposite side. The flames are dancing merrily and you stretch out your stocking feet toward them. In no time, you’re feeling toasty.

Upon the mantle are unlit candles, snow globes, holly branches and citrus fruits. White paper snowflakes are suspended above it from unseen threads. You admire the potted tree in the corner. Its green branches are decked with homemade ornaments: pine cones, acorns, strung cranberries, cinnamon sticks, dried rose buds, and translucent orange and lemon slices – solar symbols!

You and sage chat and sip your drinks as you watch the sunset through the window. As the last vestiges of light begin to fade, she rises and holds out her hand.

“Let’s begin,” she says.

Keep the Yule Log Burning

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Rite of Sunset

You and Sage stand in front of the mantle. “We gather on this Solstice night in anticipation of the rebirth of the Sun!” she says. She takes a bowl full of powder and tosses a handful of it onto the flames. They sparkle and crackle for a moment, then a heady, spicy scent fills the air—the scent reminds you of the sun itself. “Can you grab that oil over there?”

You see a vial on the small side table and grab it. You hold it out to her. Instead of taking it, she uses her finger to draw a star-shape over the oil. As she does so, she says, “I cleanse and consecrate you, creature of spirit, so that you may align energies and bless all you touch in our Solstice rite this night. In the name of the maiden, mother and crone, I consecrate you.”

Sage pulls the cork off the small vial of amber liquid and places a drop on her fingertip. She anoints your forehead with it in the shape of a star, saying, “May the blessings of God and Goddess shine upon you.”

She then hands you the oil, and you return the blessing by anointing her forehead. You smell the rich orange and clove scent of it as you do so. Sage then takes the oil and dribbles some on a fancy candle sitting in a small cauldron on the center of the altar. All the rest of the candles are white, but this large one is yellow, carved and glittered with suns and fiery symbols.

“Tonight, the Earth is wrapped in a cloak of darkness. It is the longest night of the year, and all of nature trembles, seeking shelter from the cold. Since before time was, we have gathered together on this night each year to witness a miraculous event: the rebirth of the Sun Lord. For even though we are plunged in the depths of darkness, that spark brings with it Light back into the world.

Though the winter is long, and the fields lie barren, and the earth sleeps beneath a blanket of snow, we gather to keep alive the memories of warmth, abundance and joy. We feast and make merry, in knowing that the return of the Light will keep the Wheel of the Year turning. Anticipation of the return of the Light washes a renewed sense of hope over us all, bringing us peace and comfort that will carry us through the darkest weeks.

Listen—hear the Mother stirring in the rustling of the breeze. Hear her cries in the howling of the wind. Her long night of labor begins, and we meet to keep vigil as she gives birth. Know that in this time of stillness, we enter a time that is not a time, and a place that is not a place. We lie suspended this night, between the worlds.

Be still a moment, and inhale the essence of night. Let the magic of this night fill you, seeping into your bones, your cells, deep into your spirit. Let that magic connect you to the infinite, making you one with the universe.”

You and Sage run around the small cabin lighting every white candle on the mantle, on wall sconces, on the table and windowsills—without any electricity, the entire room is glowing with cheer and warmth.

The only candle that remains unlit is that large, decorated one in the cauldron. You think of asking Sage, but decide to wait and see what is in store.

Silent Night, Solstice Night

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Solstice Song

Settling In for a Long Winter’s Night

The long night goes on and is full of activity. After the rite of Sunset, you and Sage sit down to a feast. You ask how she knew your favorite meal, and with a wink she says, “Oh, I just had a feeling.”

Before you eat, you perform the blessings on the feast. You take a bowl of food and a basket of apples and nuts. You set the offering outside, then quickly hurry back in to sit down to eat. It’s a feast for the senses, and you toast to the occasion.

After dinner you help Sage clear the table. She then brings out a tray full of baking supplies and ingredients. You put on some Solstice music on your MP3 player, which creates a cheerful mood. You and Sage rock to the music and sing as you measure out flour and yeast, making bread the old-fashion way.

Finally, Sage hands you a large lump of dough. “Before you knead,” she says, “take a moment to center yourself and focus on all your good wishes and hopes for the year. Pour them into the bread as you knead it.”

You proceed to do as Sage asked. As you begin to knead the bread, you almost feel like you’re going into a trance. You get into a rhythm with the music and your body feels tingly with all the good thoughts. Your arms are like a conduit, you feel the tingly energy pouring down them, into the dough, getting trapped in every fold.

When the dough is finished, Sage covers it and sets it near the hearth to rise. She pulls some cookies out of the oven that she’d started while you were kneading, and pours you a cup of peppermint tea. You both return to your seats by the fire and tell winter Solstice myths and stories from around the world. You share all that you both know by heart, and Sage pulls out a book when you can think of no more. She reads a delightful children’s story called, “A Visit to Mother Winter.”

You gaze out the window, the moonlight reflecting off the surface of the snow. Your body tells you it’s late, but for some reason you’re not tired. You pull out your divination tools, and Sage reaches up on the mantle for her Tarot cards. You both sit at the table, in silence, each busy with your own reading. You divine the questions about how you can improve yourself this year, how you can make yourself more productive and your life more full of meaning and joy. As you intuit the answers, you jot them down on a notepad. You see Sage across the table, doing the same.

The music has changed, going from upbeat carols to soft, instrumental background music. Sage soon rises and sits back in her rocker. Taking a set of prayer beads from off her wrist, she closes her eyes. You can hear the soft chattering under her breath as she performs her devotions to her Gods.

Solstice Visions

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Solstice Visions

Upon completing your divinations, you sit down on the floor, cross-legged, and close your eyes. It’s not long before you find yourself drifting. Not sleeping, but drifting—as if your spirit is floating through the heavens, unfettered and free to flutter about the universe. In a deep and meaningful trance, you have a vision of woodland creatures and ancient spirits gathering in a forest clearing. They surround three women ahead, and you move closer to see.

Sheltered by pine boughs, on a bed of soft mosses and leaves, the mother lies in labor. She wears her long, scarlet robe. Her hair cascades all around her. Despite the discomfort, her face is glowing with joy and peace.

To the one side, the Maiden—young, dressed in white—wipes the mother’s brow and rubs her back. To the other side of her, the Crone, with her aged face and black robes, leans in whispering words of comfort. Her wrinkled fingers enclose the Mother’s hand.

As you approach, the Maiden smiles at you. “It should be any time now,” she says.

You don’t know how long you were in a trance, but when you finally return to your body and open your eyes. Sage is also meditating. You spend a few more quiet moments, gazing into the dying flames. When she opens her eyes, she smiles at you—whatever ‘trip’ she took seems to have filled her with wonder and joy by the look on her face.

You add a log to the fire and stoke it. Sage puts on some boots and makes her way outside, leaving the door open. The rush of night’s wind in the warm cabin is invigorating, and you step outside to join her. In the wee hours of the morning, you and Sage stand gazing up at the stars. The moonlight spills upon the layer of fresh snow.

“The night’s energy…” you say in awe. “It feels palpable. It feels like… I don’t know…”

“As though you can feel the Mother’s contractions?” Sage asks.

“Yes!” you cry. “Exactly! It’s like the entire Earth is giving birth and I can feel it in the ground and in the air and all around me.”

Sage nods in agreement. You go back inside to quiet conversation as you wait for the bread to bake in the oven.


Some Solstice Tea

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Light Is Returning!

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As Dawn Approaches

Just as you were nodding off, Sage awakens you. “Come on sleepy head,” she says. “It’s time!”

She grabs a couple of small drums in the corner and hands you one. “You’re going to need this,” she says.

You both bundle up and go outside, taking a seat on a couple of Adirondack chairs around the side of the cabin that face east. You begin tapping your drums lightly, getting into rhythm together. Your breath comes out of you in puffs, rising into the still night air. Sage begins to chant:

The Wheel Turns

The Power Burns

The Longest Night

Gives Birth to Light

Before it’s done

We welcome the Sun

You join in the chant with her. Your hands are moving, pounding your drum, as if they are guided by instinct alone. You totally feel the beat moving your soul, stirring something primal inside of you.

The horizon began lightening to purplish color. You just realized you could now make out the line of distant trees and mountains. You keep your eye on it, continuing your drumming and chanting. You feel a wave of excitement coming over you when streaks of gold cut across the sky. The drumming and chanting pick up the pace as anticipation grows. You feel like something in you is about to burst.

And then—finally— that golden orb peaks over the horizon, like a starburst effect appearing out of nowhere. The two of you stand up excitedly, cheering and hooting at the sight. Drums set aside, you clap and hug, and gaze at the newborn Sun. As something inside of you busts open, all the meaning and hope and joy of what this night has meant fills you. It overflows out of you, and it’s a spiritual epiphany that you’ll never forget: no matter how dark things seem to get, there’s always a spark of Light.

Blessed Yule!

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Solstice Morning

You both stumble into the house, laughing and full of mirth. At long last, Sage goes over and lights the one candle on the altar that you were curious about.

"He is reborn!" she cries as she lights it. "Praise the Sun Lord, and the Light he brings... this candle will shine on the sabbats throughout the year as a reminder of His eternal presence. At Samhain, it will be blown out and buried, with the promise of a new rebirth next Solstice night."

Ah, so that's what it was for.

You and Sage eat some of the bread, still warm and fresh from the oven. Herbal butter and jam melts right over it. Shortly after your breakfast, you make your goodbyes.

“Thank you for having me,” you say. “It’s been a wonderful night.”

“Oh, well thank you for sharing it with me,” she says, hugging you. “It was lovely. Perhaps well do it again next sabbat.”

You head back down the path and soon find yourself home. You crash on your bed. Though it’s still cold outside, the early morning sunshine cheerfully pours in the window. You sigh and smile, feeling refreshed, rejuvenated in the middle of winter. You drift off, with the hope and promise of a warm and fertile springtime filling your head.

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Wiccan Wheel of the Year Guide

Let me share my love of Pagan holidays with you!
Let me share my love of Pagan holidays with you! | Source

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