Solstice - either of the two points in the ecliptic (the first points of the sign Cancer and Capricorn respectively) at which the sun is furthest from the equator and consequently appears to pause and turn in course: the time when the sun reaches these two points in its orbit, about 21st June and about 21st December.
Around December 21, the Sun enters Capricorn and witches celebrate the Winter Solstice.
In the Northern Hemisphere the Winter Solstice around December 21, marks the beginning of winter and occurs when the North Pole is tilted away from the sun. The word Solstice literally means "standing still." At the Winter Solstice the sun rises, stands still, for a brief moment,then quickly dwindles to disappear beneath the horizon.
The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. Yule, one of the four lesser Sabbats, takes place each year around December 25. Legend of Santa Claus-Santa is the Holly King, the sleigh is the Solar Chariot, the eight Sabbats and the horns represent the Horn God, the North Pole symbolizes the Land of the Shadows and the dying solar year, and the gifts meant both to welcome the Oak King as the sun reborn and as a reminder of the gift of the Holly King who must depart for the Oak King to rule.
This is a great time to reflect upon the past and make plans for your future as the Sun illumines a pathway toward the achievement of your goals.
First Quest of Mastery -
to be granted an identity Discover your roots...your idenity in this world.
If you seek to understand the whole universe, you will understand nothing at all...but seek to understand yourself, and you will come to understand the whole universe.
It can take a life time to understand who you are and your purpose in life.
Live your outer life as a leader, while maintaining the heart and conscience of a Pagan.
The Eve of Winter Solstice - A Midwinter's Dream:
The main ancient formulae guidelines in magic are followed: An herb, a flower and a tree make three.
Herb - sacred to God Form or Spirit Guide being called, Flower - mistletoe, Tree - oak leaf or bark
Incense Dragon's Blood - the breath of the Dragon - burn incense for good psychic atmosphere to be felt.
On the eve of the shortest day call upon your God Form or Spirit Guide to make their will known (speak to your higher power ).
Trust the road you take is a guided one. Just because your God Form or Spirit Guide insn't here in body doesn't mean their love isn't with you.
To call forth Elders from the Deep, one need only to pass into sleep with palms of both hands upon the cheek.
Pose your question. ASK: "Please tell me how to continue; in what direction
shall I search, and for what end?"
Search the depths of the inner world. Leave not a single dream darkened -
until you know beyond doubt who you are, and why you are here; search out your identy...your own destiny.
Remember that dreams are the true interpreters of our desires. To say 'it is
only a dream' is a foolish thing.
Keep moving forward until your dreams come true. Of course, you’ll encounter
obstacles along the way, but you should try to see them as tests of your will and motivation, rather than as setbacks. Seeing obstacles as stepping-stones to success, rather than as barriers, will help you evolve to ever-higher states of awareness.
At dawn on the Shortest Day light a small Yule fire of oak, and then triumpt rebirth with bells and boughs of everygreen. Hold a chalice filled with promagrant juice and toast the morning sun.
Trust your intial respomse. Follow your intuitions.
Ritual inspired by The 21 Lessons of Merlyn A Study in Druid Magic & Lore by Douglas Monroe
-Yule Sabbat-Green Witchcraft SeriesAuthor Ann Moura
"Keep your eye on the bunny and bird," is a Faery expression meaning that the answers you seek are in nature. Birds are the harbinger of growth and promise. The morning of Winter Solstice, Yule 2012, in the new-fallen snow a Cardinal was the first bird I saw come by and stayed for a meal. The Cardinal represents self-worth, an aspect of one's personality---value - that quality which renders you valuable (important). To see a cardinal or find a cardinal feather means fortunes await love.