I want to share with you a little bit about Yule and the Winter Solstice.
You know, if you follow anything that I do that I love, absolutely love to live in the cycles of nature, and really flow with that. And that’s how our ancestors did it; so Yule is a tradition that is from the Germanic peoples, which is actually part of my heritage. Pfennig is German, through and through, it’s the German penny. But that’s part of my heritage, not all, but it then also became very a European wide heritage, you know, modern-day and that sort of stuff. And then, as Christianity grew, some things wove into that. And so what I love, though, is like, it’s not this religion, or that religion, is something that can unite us all that we can incorporate into our lives, because it is just a deep connection with nature, and honoring the cycle of the return of the sun.
That’s what our ancestors paid attention to, noticing that the sun was returning in the Northern Hemisphere, on around December 21 of every year, what is special, it’s also the shortest day and the longest night. So there are lots of rich traditions, some are still practiced all over the world. And there seems to be a resurgence of really honoring these traditions, and I’m thankful for that because things like this are really important to me. So, what’s also special about this day this year, is there is something called the great conjunction, and I, well, I’m not an astrologer, but I follow it. I recognize the effects of us with the planetary movements, and I appreciate that because it’s the cycles of nature and movements. The great conjunction, In short, is Saturn and Jupiter come together. Not exactly, but so close that it looks like a bright star in the sky, and what I love about it’s that the weather doesn’t matter, your religion, or what you believe. It seems to be very uniting, especially this year, and I like that.
I had conversations with my parents who were Catholic, I was raised Catholic, and I still honor my upbringing. But I also include other traditions that make sense to me. And so for Christians, it’s the Star of Bethlehem, the North Star, the bright star, you know, that sort of thing. And, for those who have more mystical or looking at the astrology or even scientific, everything comes together as well, like, Oh, yes, it’s this and this and this. But like, I love that that’s uniting. Like, we can all have a conversation and talk about this beautiful thing that’s happening in our skies. And it all makes sense to us, to every one of us.
So I love that this year, the potency of all of this happening, and you may feel it, just like when the moons change phases, we are launching into a new wave and a new cycle. With the solstice, we’re releasing the old and welcoming the new just as we welcome in the sun and the light. We’re going to share some rituals and practices that you can do because they give meaning to the life we have, they allow us to connect with something greater, and I love rituals for that. So I’m going to share a few rituals you can do for the winter solstice, whether it’s today or anytime between now and January 1, that you will tide last this long. And you know, you can practice it whenever makes sense to you.
Yule Log and Cleansing
My friend Audrey, gifted me a beautiful Yule Log, her mother made it, and I absolutely love it. I’m so appreciative of this gift, and I thought it would be perfect to share with you; creating a Yule Log is something I think I want to do in the future because it’s so gorgeous. You can do it, it’s a log and decorated, you know, some hot glue and that sort of stuff bringing nature inside, which is a rich tradition. So typically, you would take this on the winter solstice, and throw it into a fire and burn it outside; you can certainly do it into a fireplace. I’ve also read that you burn a little over the 12 days, starting with the solstice, and then you continue to burn it. So if you have that practice, or want to implement that, there’s always next year, and but then you’re kind of setting your intentions with a fire ritual for the next year. In modern-day times, we do this in the new year, right?. So New Year’s Eve, we might do some ritual drinks, wine, that sort of stuff. And then New Year’s Day, we might do something else when we’re welcome in and setting intentions. And then New Year’s Day, we might do something else when we’re welcome in and setting intentions, but this, if you’re going with the cycles of nature, rather than the Roman calendar, you’re doing now. So that is where the little differences, whichever whatever you practice is perfectly fine. As I said, there’s the potency of the winter solstice, but you can do this now between January 1 as well.
Then a simple way is to thank you, whatever higher power you believe in, or just the sage and sweetgrass itself, for cleansing, and then asking to protect the space, you can ask a grandmother, or grandfather sky and grandmother earth to also protect from above and below. I like to call in the guardians of the north, south, east, and west, which is a Native American tradition because I love the connection between all of the animals, they speak to me a lot. You’ve probably seen that in some of my posts: the connection of nature and animals, that makes sense to me, but do whatever makes sense to you, I just like to honor that. Also, it’s helpful to set the tone and set the space.
Then, you want to release the old; you’ll want to release the old by writing out on a piece of paper, something you want to let go up. And I know in 2020, there’s a lot people want to let go of plus, the shadow side came up so much for everybody. I know it did for me, but there will not be a rebirth or transformation if that doesn’t come up. So the shadow side, we’re looking at Jungian psychology here, it’s the part of us that we want to push down, push aside that we don’t want to, we want to pretend it doesn’t exist, like those emotions. But you know, the feelings that we don’t want to feel, we just keep doing that sort of stuff that came to the surface for people this year. So, you might have experienced it and if you’re wondering what that was, that’s what it is. The blessings and beauty of that are that now it comes to the surface so you can sit and let it go.
Release the Old
So, think about what you would like to let go. My intention is to let go of stress, because this year, it was really stressful, while a lot of people slow down and didn’t have anything to do, which all allowed the shadow to come up, I was stressed out, and it just really sent me into, okay, I don’t, I don’t want this. And so I have shifted, and I wanted to let go of a lot of responsibility. I want to share my gifts with the world, I want to be with my daughter and be an amazing mother for her, the best I can be, and help her. Those are the responsibilities that I want; I don’t want a ton of others. So, that is one of the things I’m letting go of.
When I practice my actual ritual, I will write that down and then burn it. Obviously, if you have a place outdoors, that’s going to be the safest, if you have a fire pit or something, that’s the best way to burn it or fireplace at home. Now, not everybody has that I live in an apartment, right? So, something I would do is use a candle, which would be my preference, or just, you know, a liner, whatever. And once I write it and help burn it, and throw it into the sink, just so it’s safe, or I do have a little balcony, I might be able to do it out there. But of course, my daughter’s home, so I’m going to open a window if I do something like that. So that is the second step.
Set an Intention for the next year
On the third step, you’re going to set an intention for the next year, the next cycle, and you’re going to do the same thing; you’re going to write down what you want to welcome into your life. And you can do this many different ways, I’m going to do a video on setting intentions and how to do that. But whatever comes to you, maybe it’s a word, maybe it’s a phrase, maybe it’s something physical, you want to manifest, maybe it’s not physical, just writing down, what comes to you can be a small piece of paper. And if you want to add, you know, essential oils, for the kind of aromatherapy part to add to this to some holiday ones, that that’s great, too. I mean, that’s what’s great about bringing in nature, you have those smells as well. So then you’ve also released that, because it’s out of your control, you have, you’re setting the intention, you’re manifesting, but then you release it to something greater than you. So again, you would put that out into a fire outside or burn it with a candle. And then from there, a letting go and aligning.
Of course, you can always keep it written down somewhere else after you do the ritual, to remind you of what your goal is, or what you want for this year to keep you focused; if that’s helpful. I’ve actually used one word for the last few years, which has been very interesting how it manifests. But whatever you’re welcoming in this is the time the solstice is the time for them.
So I hope that you’ll take some time to practice this, hopefully, tonight. But if not, you know, it’s not the end of the world if it’s tomorrow. So just take some time in your day, make some space. You can always add a little meditation after you cleanse and protect the space in yourself before you release the old and welcome in the new with your rituals. Just take some time, some intention, these rituals, like I said, add meaning to your life. And I’m living proof and my friends out there who know me like I have called him things. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t gone through hell sometimes. But I have called it and things that I wanted. My daughter is an example of them. But I had to listen, I had to listen to my heart and know exactly what I wanted and also believe and trust.
Trust is that big thing that it could happen. And luckily, I’ve had great guidance to help me get there. It’s not like suddenly I was there and I’ve known all along, but that hopefully this is going to help you and know that there are ways to align with your heart. These rituals and traditions and practices are ways to bring in that heart-centered space and align your life and what you would like in your life. With your heart, enjoy and happy Winter Solstice.