Original Link: https://wildhunt.org/2022/12/pagan-voices-welcoming-the-solstice.html
By Erick DuPree | December 20, 2022
“This is the solstice,” Margaret Atwood once wrote, “the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight, the year’s threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future; the place of caught breath.”
Many know Solstice as the retreat and return of the sun, the “Sol” that canonically fits so well within many Pagan and polytheist wisdom traditions. Whether it’s our great god’s death to be reborn or the Goddess’s deep descent to return anew, we have centuries of myth and lore to empower many spiritual practices. Solstice is also standing still – “Sol” plus the Latin sistere – and regardless of how the light of the Sun moves, there is an opportunity for inquiry in the stillness.
I’ve always resonated with the idea that solstice is a place where we can return to the breath and, like Atwood said, “unlock, let go, and become the future.” What is more magickal than becoming the future? Solstice as an invitation to reflect, pause and ignite into the new seems to me the essence of what makes our Pagan and pantheist community unique.
Friedrich Nietzsche is credited with the saying that “invisible threads are the most substantial ties.” Having come of age, both as a Queer Pagan and a writer in an era of social media, I decided to ask a few favorite magickal friends from Instagram how they unlock and welcome the Solstice Season.
Juliet Diaz, author of The Altar Within and publisher at Spirit Bound Press, reminds us of sacredness:
In my culture, the solstices reflect who we are. It’s a coming of lessons, wisdom, healing, and introspection that allows us to grow spiritually and evolve in our humanity. Acknowledging and honoring the Winter Solstice is a decolonial act and an act of resistance for indigenous people. It is a time to honor the Spirit of the Sun, who gives us life, so in turn, we are honoring the sacredness of life within ourselves through rituals and ceremonies. We dance with the presence of shadow as we weave our inner light with the darkness and greet our embodied existence with all that is. – @iamjulietdiaz
Rev. Dominick Guerriero, a Babalorixa and Italian folk magic practitioner, shared this important intercultural reminder that Solstice can be a small ritual and still profoundly poignant.
“The Winter Solstice is the season of light, from the feast of St. Lucy, maiden of light to the actual Solstice itself, to the days of Christmas that follow. In my busy life, I sometimes only have time to light a small candle to acknowledge the rebirth of the light in the cold dark of winter. Usually, I light this candle in my cauldron filled with water to symbolize the rebirth of the Divine Child in the womb of the Great Mother.” – @tarotvoyages
Speaking directly about what we hold on to and let go of, Claire Goodchild, author of The Book of Seances and a tarot deck designer, offered this:
“The winter solstice is a particularly important day in my spiritual practice. I consider it to be the start of a new calendar year, so I spend the evening reflecting on the last twelve months, as well as making plans for the next twelve using tarot and spell work. Because the Solstice is Yule time, I also try to get to the cemetery where my ancestors like I do every Sabbat. I use these special dates to tidy up their graves and leave offerings specific to the season.” – @blackandthemoon
It’s winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, but Midsummer in the southern half of the world. My beloved friend, the author Fio Gede Parma, from the Gadigal and Bidjigal Country, shared this:
“Solstice in December in so-called Australia is Midsummer. Here on the East Coast I often think of this time as a preparation for the volatile and climate crisis impacted fire or flood precarity… a lot of the witches and pagans I know do a lot of magical protection and soothing work for fire and flood affected lands. There’s also so much collective tension in the air with Christmas and Gregorian NYE… witch-focused Midsummer celebrations become such a stress relief moment for me. Honour the peak and the zenith, be moved through, let go…” @fiogedeparma
And finally, I checked in with my friend Travis Holp, a favorite medium who reminds us how important letting go to welcome new is!
“During Yule, I spend time reflecting and giving gratitude to my Guides for the experiences and lessons that occurred during the year. I do this through meditation and lighting a candle on my altar. I also write down habits or goals I would like to lean into for the upcoming year and align my intentions with my desires. This time of year is a beautiful reminder that no matter what happens during the year, we can all have our rebirth if we are open to letting go of the past and embracing new beginnings.” – @traviswarriorunicorn
As I prepare for my Solstice celebrations, I am reminded that it has been five years since I have written for The Wild Hunt – or anywhere within our gathered Pagan and polytheistic community. Time away has allowed me to find wisdom in the maxim “know thyself.”
Our world is very different from when we last were together, yet still, it remains one of re-enchantment. These shared traditions remind us that even though there is no litmus test to belief entry in much of Paganism, there is a collectiveness in our community. I am so grateful that our digital age allows us to connect, co-create, and discover from folx whom we may not encounter daily.
I am also grateful to be home, here at The Wild Hunt with her readers. Blessings to all this Solstice.
Dark Blessings to all this Solstice.
JP Vanir is not responsible for links to external content.To join a conversation on this post