From: “The Witches Year” ~ by Lucy Cavendish
The winter solstice is about, to with those of you in the northern hemisphere, a time of awakening, both symbolically and literally. Think of how you’ve felt recently – like the doona is your best friend, cosy and maybe a little lazy, as if special projects, dreams and wishes belong on the back burner. Your rightful place has been in front of the fire (or heater) curled up with Big Brother and a glass or three of wine. That time is over – from now on you’ll feel your energy start to flow anew, you’ll begin to feel refreshed and re-energised and ready to take on the world – without actually having made much of an effort. To really make the most of the solstice’s powerful influence, try these simple, satisfying rituals. This is a superb time for rising early and gazing at the early morning rays – because they’re going to be lengthening from now on. Turning your face to the sun means that you are welcoming the new life it brings. Be prepared for changes after solstice time. Old habits, jobs and boyfriends have a weird way of disappearing (reasonably painlessly – it’s the natural order of things) after this time. However, if you’re in the right place and with the right person, you will bloom and grow. It’s all about moving into the most fertile patch possible, so you can really grow over the coming months.
Symbolically this solstice represents the power of light triumphing over the power of darkness, and in reality it means the darkest days of the year are definitely over. It’s a time for wishing for regeneration, rebirth, hope and the growth of projects that are dear to you. As you see the last days of winter leaving, and feel the warmth in the air and see green shoots poking through the earth, you will see that your fortunes have changed for the better. But you can really reap the benefits if you just put a little magical effort into it. So, on the eve of the solstice, decorate a log with pine cones, holly and mistletoe, and tie colourful ribbons round it – you can pop this in the fire and it will smell and look gorgeous – and of course, you’ll feel the magic. Afterwards, take some ashes from the charred log, pop just the tiniest pinch into a glass of water and drink it down as you stand under the first rays of the sun. Keep a little part of your solstice log to rekindle next year’s fire – it symbolically links your hopes as you move into this season of energy and growth with next season’s new dreams and wishes.