Rituals for the Winter Solstice

Here in the central Coast Range Mountains of California, where I live, the Wheel of the Year is quite different from most other places in which Druidry is typically practiced. In order for my personal practice of Druidry to authentically connect with the land, sea, and sky with which I live, it was necessary to rewrite the Wheel of the Year and develop a completely new set of seasonal rituals, which honored our local spirits of place, and the wisdom embodied by the natural seasons and cycles, found here.

The following activities are those which I perform on the eve of the Winter Solstice. The rituals are begun indoors, at the foot of our Yule Tree, then move into the wet, greening gardens of our home, for the wassailing of the orchard, and the planting of native wildflower seeds in our muddy garden bio-swales. Gortex is the preferred ritual garb for this season!


RAIN SEASON – READ-ALOUD

I/We come to the Sacred Grove tonight, to celebrate the Winter Solstice, time of shortest days and weakest light, when the world around us seems most dark. In the Coast Range Mountains of California, the Winter Solstice is also the time when the Rainy Season reaches its full, majestic power. It brings much-needed water to the parched soils. It fills our lakes and reservoirs. It soaks long-dormant seeds, encouraging them to sprout. It swells the mycorrhizae in the soil, in preparation for next year’s drought. And it encourages the herbs, shrubs, and trees to push new growth, re-greening a world that has for so long been dead.

This is a time of great hope and joy. It is a time to plan and prepare for the learning, growing, and creative work of the new year. And it is time to offer support and encouragement to family and friends of both human and other-than-human-kind, as they prepare for their own seasons of bright new growth and creative expression.

It is also time to recall that the true power of magic is in our ability to control the thoughts and emotions which we allow to rule our minds, and hands, and hearts: ‘Tis the darkness or brightness one carries within that marks our true value to heavenly kin. It is time to choose joy, and rekindle inner light, in the deepest, darkest time of the year.


RAIN SEASON – ACTIVITIES

Light the Yule Tree.

Sing: “Spangle Dangle Glitter” (words and music by Larisa A. White)

If you would like to download a copy of the sheet music, for personal, private, non-commercial use, you may download a copy, here:

Spangle Dangle Glitter (basic lead sheet)

Spangle Dangle Glitter (duet lead sheet)

Spangle Dangle Glitter (sheet music for the full arrangement)


Place gifts for the family at the foot of the Yule Tree.

May these gifts bring joy to my human family.

Place an offering of native wildflower seed in the offering bowl on the altar.

May these gifts bring joy to my other-than-human family.

It is my intention, for myself, in the coming season of light and new growth, to…
(Fill in here with a spoken description of my plans for personal learning, spiritual growth, and creative expression in the coming year.)

Commit these intentions to writing, in ink on paper.
Place the written intentions into the prayer-box on the altar.

So may it be.

Wassail the family orchards.

Sing:  “Coast Range Wassail” (a traditional wassailing tune, with original lyrics by Larisa A. White)

If you would like to download a copy of the sheet music, for personal, private, non-commercial use, you may download a copy, here:

Coast Range Wassail (lead sheet)

Scatter native wildflower seeds in the muddy swales of our native garden.

Return to the foot of the Yule Tree to close.

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