Posted by: Banta | December 15, 2015

A Winter Solstice Celebration

Winter Solstice photo by Danny Richard Buxton

In honor of my Spirit Sisters and our many years of creating sacred space together, I share our Winter Solstice Celebration here. Please feel free to use it in circles of your own, with your families, or in any way that makes meaning for you. Part I honors the deep darkness. Part II invokes the Light.

Part I ~ Honoring the Darkness

We gather on this longest night to celebrate Winter Solstice, to honor the deep darkness and welcome the coming of the light. As the ancients did before us, we circle round the Yule log for ritual and story-telling. We breathe the warmth of the fire and the sacred aromas of frankincense and myrrh. And in this season when the ancients believed the sun stood still, we take time for stillness ourselves. May peace be all around us, in this room, in all the earth, and in our hearts.

All: Spirit of all Creation, we give thanks this night for the gifts of darkness and light. Help us to name and to honor the dark places within us. Remind us that when we grow still and listen, the darkness will teach us what we need to know.

A Litany of Intention

In the silence and the darkness, we honor the mystery of life, from which new creation emerges.

We remember how much patience is needed for incubation and growth: in the earth, the sea, the human heart, the womb.

We reclaim hope from the shadows of transition or despair, knowing that the seeds of change are always present. And we honor our energy to keep moving forward, even when we cannot see what lies ahead.

We give thanks for all living beings, for the organic cycles of nature, and for this Solstice time when the gates between the worlds stand ajar, allowing us a glimpse of what lies beyond.

On this night we partake in the most ancient of miracles, giving birth to the light. We bear witness to the renewal of the world and the renewal of our own spirits.

All: With humility and open hearts, we offer ourselves as vessels for the rekindling of Divine Light. May we each be made new in this season. In our experience of light within, may we bring forth the light of compassion, peace and wisdom more fully into our wounded world.

Lighting the Fire

All: We turn toward the light at a time of deep darkness, being together and of one heart, being at peace with the whole of creation. We dedicate this fire to the eternal light of Midwinter. May its warmth remind us of summer and the return of the Sun. May its glow awaken the Divine spark that lives in each of our hearts.

Calling the Directions

The great festivals of light – Solstice, Divali (Hindu), Hanukkah and Christmas – invite us to witness the birth of love within one another. As we circle around, we call forth the spirits of East, South, West and North.

The East brings the winds of awakening, the new life that spreads through the world in spring time. From east come fresh beginnings and a revival of the spirit.

All: Awaken, Guardians of the East! Bring the wind, the sweet smells of the season, pine and juniper, frankincense and myrrh. Blow the staleness away, fill our lungs with new breath. Let there be clear skies, clear minds for us to see our way. Let our words create a safe space. We welcome you to our circle on this sacred night. Blessed Be.

The South is the direction of fire, the heat of life that grows and ripens in the earth. From south we seek the roots of our lives, the stability that the hearth fire brings.

All: Awaken, Guardians of the South! Let the light of the Yule log shine in our darkness. Come into our hearts, thaw our frozen places. Rekindle energy and passion within us. Coax our emotions out of hiding. Warm and enliven us with your fire. We welcome you to our circle on this sacred night. Blessed Be.

The West is the area of water, restless seas and wandering spirits. West blesses us with fluid movement and emotion, and keeps us afloat as the year turns fall into winter.

All: Awaken, Guardians of the West! Bless us with your sacred water. Rain on us, quench our thirst. Help us remember the ocean womb from which we came. Reconnect us to one another. Let the drought of separation be over. We welcome you to our circle on this sacred night. Blessed Be.

The North carries the energy of earth in cold incubation, the energy of challenge and endings. It is the place of ice and snow, of things waiting to germinate and be born.

All: Awaken, Guardians of the North! Call all of Nature’s creatures to celebrate the renewal of the earth. Strengthen our resolve, keep us centered. Ground us in the here and now. Draw our roots down deep to that place where we find our common source. One earth, one people, one future. We welcome you to our circle on this sacred night. Blessed Be.

At the Center we meet our divine source, the seed of first light, the still point of the turning world. At the Center we connect with our core and with the primal energy of all creation. At the Center we all breathe as one.

All: Awaken, Guardians of Center! Here in the heart of sacred space, in the timeless present moment, new life grows from old, light is born of darkness, old wounds are healed. We welcome you to our circle on this sacred night. Blessed Be.

Entering the Silence  

On this, the longest night of the year, our ancestors planted seeds of hope for the Sun’s eventual return by making a “spiritual cradle” – a sacred space for the new Light to fill. Whether that space is within our community here, or within our own hearts, we are that spiritual cradle.       

As we rest in that spiritual cradle, let us surrender to the silence for a few moments. Celebrate the dark where your inner life is honored and nurtured. Re-light your inner light. What dreams do you carry inside? What are you visioning or hoping for? (excerpted from Women’s Rites, Women’s Mysteries by Ruth Barrett)

Time for Remembrance and Giving Thanks

Let us take a few moments to remember – either silently or aloud – those who are not present with us, those in need, situations of our own, in the world or in our community that compel our attention and our prayers. And let us give thanks.

In lighting our candles, remember to light one for yourself, saying aloud as you do so: “I honor the Divine Light that shines within me, and I carry that Light into the world.” (There follows a time of lighting candles and holding space.)


All: For all that enfolds us, for each word of grace and every act of care. For those who offer refuge, for each shelter given and every welcome space. For the healing of our souls, for balm and rest, for soothing and sleep. For vigils kept and for lights kept burning. Blessed be.

All: Divine Spirit of peace and love, companion in solitude, protector in exile, you inhabit the shadows of our communities. Show us the way to stand against injustice, to protect and nurture life, to live nonviolently. Help us to embrace simplicity, to be mindful of the value of all living things, to care tenderly for others. Teach us to conserve and preserve the natural gifts of this world. Help us to be fully present to one another. Increase among us a spirit of tolerance and good will. Bring us to the quiet still place of healing and transform our souls to become clear mirrors of your love and compassion. We offer these prayers in the name of all we hold Sacred. Blessed be.

Closing the Circle

All: Creator God, Holy Mother, Great Spirit, By the earth that is Your body, By the air that is Your breath, By the fire that is Your bright spirit, By the living waters of Your womb. The circle is open, but unbroken. The peace of all that is Holy go in our hearts. Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again. Blessed be.

Winter solstice sunburst

Part II ~ Invocation to the Light
by Stephanie Marohn

On this holiday eve, with our fragile planet hanging in the balance, we call upon all the angels of mercy who have ever shed a tear for the human race.

We call upon all the guardians of peace who have ever raised an olive branch or let fly a flock of doves. We call upon all the mystics who have ever crossed a desert in search of the truth.

We call upon all who have journeyed to the underworld and returned with the wisdom of the dark. We call upon all the ancestral spirits who know the pain of parting the veil.

We call upon the guardians of the four directions of the universe: East, South, West, North, open our hearts to your weeping whispers.

We call upon the luminous, numinous Center of the orb. Help us to embrace again the mystery of unknowing.

We call upon all the animal messengers who hold the secret of oneness. We call upon all the faeries and sprites who dance in the forest.

We call upon the undines, the gnomes, the sylphs, and the salamanders, the oracles of the mountains and the sages of the springs.

We call upon the elves, the pookas, the djinns and the genies, the heavenly nymphs, the houris and peris, the cherubim, the seraphim, the celestial choir, the witches, the magi, the prophets, the messiah, saints and avatars, paragons and virtues, archangels in waiting, wings, haloes, and music.

We call upon the three Fates, the three Graces, the nine Muses, and the seven Sisters, all the gods and goddesses of a thousand names and guises.

We call upon the Angel of the Abyss with the flame in his hand, the Angel of Memory who knows where we’ve been, the Angel of Truth, the Angel of Hope, the Angel of the Apocalypse who rides into the night.

Come to us now all forces of light. Help us find our way through the wilderness. Open our eyes to your sight.

~ May it be so.









  1. Great blessing! I can really use it these days! 🎄

  2. Thank you so much Banta. I still use this version for my now mostly solitary Yule ceremony. Miss the group!

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