Mid Winter Ritual To Celebrate The Rebirth Of The

This ritual should be performed on the solstice eve. To prepare, decorate a bough of evergreen with red and gold baubles and bows of ribbon and surround it with a circle of five long-burning, pure white candles or a single candle with five wicks. The first candle will need to burn for 24 hours, the second for about 18 hours, the third about 12 hours, the fourth and fifth for shorter periods, although you can always replace a candle by lighting another.

We are keeping to the Celtic time and so our ritual will end with the beginning of the new day at sunset on the actual day of the solstice.

However, if you prefer, you can celebrate 24 hours later or at a weekend where you can be at home for a longer period. Some families move the ritual to the Christian festival and begin on Christmas Eve. Alternatively, you can work for a shorter period, combining the stages and using fewer candles.

This is a ritual you can share with family and friends or with your coven, or practise alone, as an antidote to the bustle and sometimes frayed tempers of Christmas.

* Just before dusk, extinguish all lights except a tiny one so you can see what you are doing, saying:

The light is gone from the old Sun, but we know it will return, pure and true, and with it the rebirth of our hopes.

* Sit for a few minutes in the darkness, avoiding conscious thought, merging with the energies.

* At dusk, light your first white candle, saying:

The light returns; we offer our light to join with those kindled around the world that the darkness may be no more.

* Leave the candle burning and spend an evening away from all the frantic preparations that will be there tomorrow; share a meal, listen to seasonal music, talk about Christmas past, its highlights and disasters.

* When it is midnight or just before you are ready to go to bed, light the next candle, saying:

The light increases, as the new Sun streams forth within the cave, soon to herald the new day; we offer this light, joining with our ancestor's and those as yet unborn to call forth radiance.

* Leave the candles in a safe place and when you awaken, even if it is not fully day, light the third candle, replacing and re-lighting the others if they are almost burned down, saying:

The Sun comes forth from the cave, in joy and glory and promise; we join our light with the rays of the new morning.

* Spend the morning out of doors, if possible, collecting greenery, or making tiny clay figures of the Nativity figures, santons as they are called in France, to create a personalised nativity, including figures to represent your family and friends.

* At noon, light the fourth candle, again after replacing any that are burned through, saying:

I rejoice that the light surrounds us; the Sun lives and thrives and multiplies in a thousand cascading sunbeams.

* If possible, enjoy a festive meal with family and friends and make a phone call or perhaps take a small present to someone who is alone at Christmas and might appreciate a visit; if they will not be offended, invite them to join your family table.

* Finally at dusk, light the last candle, saying:

Ever burn bright and warm on fields and sea and sky and all the creatures born ofthe Mother. We give thanks.

* At bedtime, extinguish your remaining candles, making wishes and saying:

Go in happiness, bring joy and peace and plenty to all in need. Blessings on this Yule and on you all.

14 - Magick For You

14 - Magick For You

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