The winter solstice, on or about December 21st , is the longest night of the year, and the shortest day. John the Divine.. He appreciated our music, but I think it was the ecological dimension of our repertoire that convinced him we could be part of the Cathedral.
The premise of the invitation was entirely secular; it was not to have us play liturgical music. We could present any events we wanted, as long as we produced them ourselves. The winter solstice is the great turning point of the year. People felt a responsibility to participate in regenerative rituals to ensure the sun would wax again. Bonfires and candles, with their imitative magic, helped fortify the waning sun and ward off the spirits of darkness.
John the Divine is more than a site of liturgy. John the Divine is also one of its most extraordinary performance venues. The length of two football fields and tall enough to fit the Statue of Liberty under its dome, it was designed with sacred geometry to be a transformative space. John the Divine became the center of a vital community of thinkers and seekers working on issues of ecology, environment, and world peace. Take a moment to think about what the return of the sun means to you. The return of the light meant many things to different cultures. How does it affect you, and your loved ones?
When you're ready, go through the house and turn all the lights back on. If you're not too full from dinner, have some eggnog and cookies on standby, and take the time to bask in the light of your candles and eat some treats. When you're done, extinguish the candles from the outside of the altar working towards the center, leaving the sun candle for last.
It can be in a sunny color — gold or yellow — and if you like, you can inscribe it with solar sigils.
Yule Ritual to Welcome Back the Sun
If you like, you can do this ritual on the morning of Yule. Cook a big breakfast with lots of eggs, and watch the sun rise. If you do this, you can eliminate all the candles except the sun candle. Allow the sun candle to burn all day before you extinguish it. Share Flipboard Email. Patti Wigington is a pagan author, educator, and licensed clergy.
Welcoming the return of the sun – Suniti Essence
The Longest Night of the Year The ancients knew that the winter solstice was the longest night of the year — and that meant that the sun was beginning its long journey back towards earth. Face the candles, and say:. The wheel of the year has turned once more, and the nights have grown longer and colder. Tonight, the darkness begins to retreat, and light begins its return once again. As the wheel continues to spin, the sun returns to us once more. Light the sun candle, and say:. Even in the darkest hours, even in the longest nights, the spark of life lingered on.
Laying dormant, waiting, ready to return when the time was right.
The darkness will leave us now, as the sun begins its journey home. As the wheel turns, light returns.