Winter Solstice Ritual

Needed:

  • Bell
  • Purple altar cloth
  • Purple candles
  • Holly, mistletoe, ivy, etc
  • Cauldron
  • Kindling
  • Horned helmet
  • Short tapers

Note: The altar cloth and the candles should be purple. The Circle maybe decorated with holly, mistletoe, ivy, etc. There is a cauldron in the south, filled with kindling. The Priest's Horned Helmet is beside the altar. Short tapers (one for each Covener) lie on the altar. The bell is rung three times. Priest sits or kneels in the center of the Circle.

Covener: "Blessed are the Gods who turn the mighty wheel."

Covener: "Welcome, thrice welcome, to Yule; the turning point of winter is upon us."

Covener: "Here is an end to the solar year."

Covener: "But here, too, is a new beginning."

Priestess: "Brothers, Sisters, Friends. Let us show our love by sending forth our power and our strength to he who is the Sun God. At this turning of the year's tide, let us join our energies with his, that he may be reborn to ascend once more unto his rightful place."

Coveners and Priestess join hands and circle, deosil, chanting:
"Turn, turn, turn the wheel. Round and round; around it goes. The flame that died, it now doth heal. Round and round; around it goes. Return, return, return to life. Round and round; around it goes. Welcome sunlight; farewell strife. Round and round; around it goes. The Sun Lord dies; the Sun Lord lives. Round and round; around it goes. Death opens hands and new life gives. Round and round; around it goes. Turn, turn, turn the wheel. Round and round; around it goes. The flame that died, it now doth heal. Round and round; around it goes."

This may be kept up for as long as desired. Then, while still circling, Priestess says:
"Let us kindle fresh fire to light our Lord upon his way."

Covener: "Fire for strength!"

Covener: "Fire for life!"

Covener: "Fire for love!"

As they pass the altar Priestess first, then each Covener, takes up a taper and lights it from the altar candle. Continuing around the Circle, when the cauldron is reached the taper is thrown in, to light the kindling and then add to it. When all have thrown in their tapers, circling stops with Priestess before the altar. She takes up the Horned Helmet and moves around to stand before the kneeling Priest.

Priestess: "May all our power, Witches all, strengthen the new-born Lord."

Priestess places Horned Helmet on Priest's head. He comes to his feet and raises his hands high.

Priest: “Life! Love! I am the Sun Lord!"

He lowers his hands then moves slowly around the Circle speaking, as though talking to each individual covener as he moves around.

Priest: "I fell into deep darkness and death I knew. Yet was I of star-seed. On the tail of a comet I rent the velvet darkness of everlasting light. Ablaze with glory, I was reborn, To start again the perennial cycle of guardianship That evermore drives me through death and birth alike. With the companionship of our Lady I face into the wind, Knowing that we fly upon wings of time, Through timeless worlds, together."

Covener: "All hail, the Sun God!"

All: "All hail, the Sun God!"

Covener: "All hail the death and birth of Yule."

All: "All hail!"

Bell is rung seven times. Priest and Priestess join hands and lead coveners in a dance about the Circle. Bell is rung three times.

Then shall follow the ceremony of Cakes and Ale. After that the Clearing of the Temple is performed so that there is plenty of room for fun, games and entertainment. The evening concludes with a feast.