The Winter Solstice AKA The Longest Night Of The Year Is Tonight So Here’s What To Look Out For

The mystical Winter Solstice occurs in Australia today and it’s a particularly sacred and special time for all, whether you’re a pseudo Stevie Nicks or not. This time isn’t just special because of the Solstice itself, and the fact that it coincides with the Strawberry Moon / Capricorn supermoon, but also because it’s the shortest day of the year / the longest night of the year.

Let’s get the boring sciencey stuff out the way first so we can get to the good part.

Solstice is latin for ‘solstitium’, which means sun-stopping (hence the shortest day / longest night vibe).

On this day, the point on the horizon where the sun appears to rise and set, stops its motion and starts to go backwards, kinda like a retrograde. The sun rises to the north of east, rather than from the direct east, and sets to the north of the west.

Okay, now the fun part!

Winter Solstice

What is the Winter Solstice?

The Winter Solstice has been celebrated for thousands of years by various religions and civilisations such as the Ancient Romans, Greeks, and Persians, to name a few.

In the Wiccan calendar, the Winter Solstice, also known as Yule (yep, that’s where Harry Potter got the Yule Ball from), is believed to be the Sabbat that kicks off the year.

The Yule Ball

Gonna channel Hermione at the Yule Ball tonight and wear pink and flirt with hot wizards. (Credit: Harry Potter)

The Winter Solstice is a fire festival that celebrates the return of light. From today onwards, the days will gradually become longer until we hit the Summer Solstice when the sun reaches its peak.

Although it might be dark and freezing, and summer feels like forever away, the Winter Solstice encourages us to bask in the beauty of the winter as there’s a lot to be learned from this period of downtime and introspection. The fire is a reminder that the sun is always present and it will rise again before you know it.

It’s believed that this day radiates special power because it is the longest night of the year and as we all know, the best magic happens at night (don’t ask me why, it just does).

Your connection with the moon will be stronger and therefore you should gather the girlies and perform some rituals, if that’s your thing.

This period is also about light and warmth as the sun begins its journey back towards us. A new day is dawning and the opportunity for transformation abounds us.

When is the Winter Solstice 2024?

The blessed event occurs in Australia on Friday, Jun 21, 2024.

What do I do on the Winter Solstice?

In terms of Yuletide celebrations, there’s no one specific way to ring in the day.

Here, I’ve listed a bunch of different rituals that you can perform to harness the potent energy of the Winter Solstice and celebrate the sun. Feel free to mix and match as many as you want and personalise for your own coven of mates.

Also bear in mind that as it’s a supermoon, you’ll receive an added power boost in your rituals.

Happy Solstice!

the craft

BURN, BB, BURN

The Craft

Because Yule is a celebration of light, it’s known as a fire festival which is convenient considering it’s alarmingly cold this week.

The most popular Winter Solstice ritual is the burning of the Yule log.

To make a Yule log, gather whatever sized log you can find and decorate it how you see fit. Traditionally one would dress it in sacred items like mistletoe, holly, pine needles, ivy, feathers, cinnamon sticks and festive ribbon. But go wild with whatever represents what you wish to manifest!

Other fire-based rituals could include lighting a bonfire or practicing candle magic (AKA carving a candle with symbols and words, anointing it with oils and watching it burn).

As the fire burns, write affirmations and anything you’d like to let go of onto a piece of paper and set them alight. It is believed that as the paper burns, the smoke wafts your desires out into the universe.

This doesn’t need to be a solemn celebration, feel free to whack on some tunes and throw back a few bevvies (preferably red wine) as you go.

This is a celebration, after all.

BUILD AN ALTAR

It’s always good to have a focus point for your Yuletide celebrations, namely an altar.

Designate a space for your altar, where you’ll place any or all of the following items:

  • A purple altar cloth
  • Yule log
  • Candles (preferably red, green, white, and gold)
  • Photos or symbols that indicate what you wish to manifest
  • Written affirmations / habits or situations that you wish to banish and let go of
  • A glass of wine (again, preferably red) to offer up to whatever / whomever you believe lives in the sky
  • A sage stick
  • Rosemary
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Incense

 

UP ALL NIGHT

The Craft

The truly devout among us can celebrate by staying up all night to greet the sunrise.

As the sun rises and the darkness fades away, envision all your problems disappearing.

Focus on everything you want to achieve and manifest as you greet the new day and with it, a new beginning.

SAGE YA LATER, HATER

Nothing says ‘fresh energy’ quite like a good old fashioned smudging.

Light a sage stick and walk through your home, allowing the smoke to waft through the air and purge your space of negative energy and evil spirits.

As the smoke settles, you will be cleansed and ready to welcome newer, happier times.

Happy Winter Solstice, my friends. Yuletide blessings to you all!

Matt Galea is the Managing Editor of PEDESTRIAN.TV, as well as our resident astrologer. His first book How To Spot The (Star) Signs is out now! You can find him on InstagramX and TikTok.

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