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5 Meaningful Ways to Celebrate the Winter Solstice

Sage has been celebrating the Wheel of the Year for 25+ years. Being a holiday junkie, she just can't get enough of the sabbats!

It's okay to spend a quite solstice doing small but meaningful things.

It's okay to spend a quite solstice doing small but meaningful things.

Pagan Yule Activities

The Winter Solstice is coming, and you’d like to celebrate, but you’re exhausted. It’s only half-past December, and already, all of the holiday hustle and bustle has you burning out. It's the time of the year that requires a lot of energy, resources, and, yes, money. But there are some ways you can spend your Yule that require little energy and still be a nice way for you and yours to spend time together and enjoy the holiday spirit.

1. Create a Holiday Playlist

Music is such a wonderful part of the winter season and while there may not seem to be as many Yule songs as there are for Christmas, they’re out there and can be inspirational during the season. Songs can be a great meditation aid; if you really sit there and let yourself go as you sing, they can be a ritual of praise in themselves. Google 'Yule songs' or 'Winter Solstice Music,' or search on Spotify or YouTube and see what you get. I bet you can definitely find a few things that are to your tastes.

One of the playlists I found while browsing was 'Pagan Yule Tidings,' on Spotify, curated by Clara Muno which I enjoyed quite a lot and suggest you go look at if you're looking for inspiration.

2. Meditate

Some people do New Year’s Resolutions, but what can also be good is reflection. As the sun sets the night before Solstice, think of the things you are leaving behind. Think of it as the sun setting on the past. Take what you can from it, and put what no longer serves you to rest.

When the sun rises on Solstice morning, think of the things that are to come. Get excited, get motivated. Remember that with the sunrise, comes a whole new time of possibilities, and you can take that energy and use it to your advantage.

You have survived this long, you've seen yourself through some hard times, even if it's not been recent. Take time to remember that you are a survivor, someone who has made it through so much already and can make it through what's coming next. Reflect on the things you've left behind, but more than anything, get excited for the life you are going to lead in the brightness of this new sun.

“No space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunity misused”

— Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Carol"

3. Tell Stories

Look for stories of family, magic, or kindness to share for this season. I've shared stories with my children and loved doing so. It’s just not Solstice Night without someone reading the Yule Elves by D.J. Conway, or 'A Visit to Mother Winter' from the Pagan family book, Circle Round. My kids are between the ages of 16 and 27, so you might think it odd we choose children’s stories, but they are so entrenched in our holiday traditions that we absolutely love digging them out once per year.

You might prefer to read myths about Sun Gods from your favorite mythology or retell a version of the ‘Oak King and the Holly King’ battle that happens at every Solstice.

My favorite book in this whole world that I brush off and read every single December is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. It doesn’t matter that it’s not specifically Solstice; it’s not overtly religious. This magical tale just seems to capture the spirit of the holiday season for me. It totally captures all those warm feelings of goodwill and peace on Earth that are befitting of my celebration. The Ghost of Christmas Present reminds me of the dying Holly King, and the Cratchit family is delightful! They remind me that it’s not about the gifts or the feast, but about being grateful for what you have.

Reading the same stories each year, making it a tradition, begins to make it very special to you.

Some Of My Favorite Sabbat Stories Are In This Book

4. Pray

Offer up prayers to the sun and be thankful for the sun, to have it grace you with its warmth and gifts. Remember how important it is in the life cycle. In doing that, you can also take the time to touch base and reconnect with your deities of choice, particularly any solar deities. If you've been feeling like you've been drifting away from your worship and/or practice, take this time to offer up prayers and maybe an offering as a thank you and to maybe help with some focus.

The new year is coming, and it's time to start making plans. A vision board showing what you find inspirational will do that.

The new year is coming, and it's time to start making plans. A vision board showing what you find inspirational will do that.

5. Make a Vision Board

One little bit of Solstice magic you can employ that will not require too much time or energy is a vision board. Grab yourself a corkboard, or a piece of poster board paper. Grab a bunch of old magazines as well and start cutting out images and words that reflect the kind of year you hope to have. You can add anything that inspires you or resonates with you, there are no limits. Pin them or glue them to your board, then pin it somewhere prominent.

This vision board is a magic spell in itself, with you weaving the thought energy of all your hopes and dreams into the project.

Solstice Blessings!

I hope your Yule is a blessed one, that you have many laughs, love, and light in your life and that you have good times coming your way.

© 2017 Mackenzie Sage Wright


Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on March 23, 2018:

Yes, avoiding commercialization of holidays is another good reason for low-key celebrations. Thanks MizBejabbers!

Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on March 22, 2018:

Thank you Florina; sorry so long responding but I moved halfway across the country! So the weather is more to my liking now (actual 4 seasons, lol) and I'm feeling great. Hope your 2018 is going well for you too. ;o)

Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on March 22, 2018:

Thanks Liz!

Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on March 22, 2018:

Thanks Ralph, mine too!

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on December 16, 2017:

We must remember that this is the holiday season for people of many beliefs, not just Christians. You've mentioned some good ideas for people of any belief. Myself, I abhor the commercialization of Christmas and can hardly wait for the Winter Solstice to see those short winter days start to get longer again.

Florina welcome on December 12, 2017:

Gather around the Christmas tree with season harmony, and enjoy your happy holiday season for the coming new year?

Florina welcome on December 12, 2017:

How are you doing and how is the weather up there in your home town, I wish you and your family the best spiritual new year?

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on December 11, 2017:

Great ideas! Good excuse to put the portable fire pit to good use once again; it's not only for summer and s'mores! ;-)

I like the vision board idea; I think I'll make one for my studio!


Ralph Schwartz from Idaho Falls, Idaho on December 11, 2017:

Great suggestions - many busy people could really use this type of relaxation - we always sit outside (in Idaho) around a fire for Yule, the cold and crisp night and the heat of the flames combine to create a perfect setting for conversation (no electronics allowed in our circle for any reason) - it's one of my favorite nights of the year.