A ritual for the Winter Solstice

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

Practising a ritual can be the perfect way to celebrate the arrival of the Winter Solstice. This seasonal transition arrives on December 21st, bringing with it the shortest day of the year and the official start of winter.

The Winter Solstice also coincides with the start of Yule, which is the celebration of light and the rebirth of the sun. It's an ideal time to embrace the cold, darker season, turn inwards and reflect on the past year.

Read on to discover a ritual for the Winter Solstice, allowing us to release what's no longer serving us and to make space for new beginnings.

A ritual for the Winter Solstice

What you will need

  • A bowl

  • Six candles (include one that symbolises the Sun e.g. that is bigger, or yellow or gold in colour)

  • Your journal

  • Small slips of paper

  • A pen

  • Matches

  • Pinecones, mistletoe, cedar (anything that symbolises winter)

Create your Yule altar

Find a surface (like a windowsill or table) in a quiet area of the house where you won't be disturbed. Alternatively, head outside and create an altar in your garden - just be sure to wrap up warm!

Place your candles in a circular shape on your altar. Put the candle that symbolises the Sun in the centre.

You can also add your symbols of winter, like pinecones, boughs of fir or mistletoe, as decorations around your candles.

How to begin your ritual

Fill the bowl with water and place beside the altar. Turn off all the other lights, and face your altar. Light the sun candle, followed by the rest of the candles, in the circle.

Take a few deep breaths to ground and centre. It might be helpful to listen to your breathing while being aware of your position on the ground and connection to the Earth beneath you.

Step one:

Spend a few moments to consider the thoughts, actions, and limiting beliefs that have held you back this year. This might be anything that made you feel unease or brought negative energy into your life. Some examples to help you can be:

  • What do I need to shed or leave behind from this past year?

  • Who do I no longer want to be?

  • What habits are holding me back? What is taking up too much space?

  • Am I living up to my full potential?

  • What limiting belief do I want to let go of?

Once you’ve considered these, write any thoughts down on your slips of paper.

Step 2:

Once you’ve finished writing, take each slip of paper and place it over the flame of the Sun candle. It’s time to let go of the thoughts. Let each thought burn away and erase from your mind.

Step 3:

As the paper burns, ask the fire to absorb the negative thoughts and limiting beliefs you want to leave behind. Drop it into the water to extinguish the flame. As the fire and paper hit the water, consider that old idea or belief erased from your mind.

Step 4:

Turn to your journal and begin writing a list. Include specifics of what you’re calling in for your life in the new year. Write with intention and from your heart, being as specific as possible. You can use the below prompts if needed:

  • What are my hopes and wishes for the new year?

  • What ideas are coming up for my life in the new year?

  • What am I the most excited about in the coming year?

  • What boundaries am I setting to support my growth and well-being?

  • What practices can I do to cultivate and create a beautiful inner world for myself?

Step 5:

Once you’ve completed the list, close with a mantra:

“I am both dark and light. I am purified and renewed. The Winter Solstice will light the spark of my hope and dreams for the upcoming year and give me the strength and power to bring them to life.”

When you’re done, extinguish the candles from the outside of the altar working towards the centre. Extinguish the candle that represents the Sun last. That’s it!

Feel proud of letting go and get excited about all the new possibilities that await you in the upcoming year.


About Erica Breen

Erica is a life-long mover and forever student. Trained in Pilates, Yoga and Ayurveda, Erica has a breadth of knowledge when it comes to the human body and its inner workings. Leading a nomadic lifestyle, you'll find Erica sharing her work online from all over the world! Find out more at ericabreenpilates.com.

Read more articles like this


Recent Posts

See All