Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice celebrations:
a.k.a. Christmas, Saturnalia, Yule, the Long Night, etc.

See our Rituals of Life Incense powders for the fragrance you may need for your celebration.

RTPLargeReligious people worldwide observe seasonal days of celebration during the month of December. Most are religious holy days, and are linked in some way to the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. On this day, due to the earth’s tilt on its axis, the daytime hours are at there shortest in the Northern hemisphere, and night time is at a longest. (In the southern hemisphere, the summer solstice is celebrated in December, when the night time is at it’s shortest and the daytime is at it’s longest. This article is written for those in the Northern hemisphere.

R-VernalEquinoxThe Winter Solstice occurs eat the precise time when the earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun at its maximum of 23° 26′. Though the Winter Solstice lasts an instant in time, the term is also known as Midwinter to refer to the day on which it occurs.

In pre-historic times, winter was a very difficult time for native people in the northern hemisphere. The growing season had ended and the tribe had to live off of what was stored and the animals they could catch. Survival was harder as the life-giving sun sank lower in the sky each day. After the winter solstice, they would have reason to celebrate as they saw the sun rising earlier and the days would become longer. The concept of birth and or death/rebirth became associated with the winter solstice.


incense-powder-topDruids of the Celtic performed the functions of modern day priests, teachers, ambassadors, astronomers, genealogists, philosophers, musicians, theologians, scientists, poets and judges. Druids led all public rituals, which were normally held within fenced groves of sacred trees. The solstice is the time of the death of the old sun and the birth of the dark-half of the year. It was called “Alban Arthuan by the ancient Druids. It is the end of month of the Elder Tree and the start of the month of the Birch. The three days before Yule is a magical time. This is the time of the Serpent Days or transformation…The Elder and Birch stand at the entrance to Annwn or Celtic underworld where all life was formed. Like several other myths they guard the entrance to the underworld. This is the time the Sun God journey’s thru the underworld to learn the secrets of death and life. And bring out those souls to be reincarnated.” A modern-day Druid, Amergin Aryson, has composed a Druidic ritual for the Winter Solstice.


R-YuleIn Wicca, a form of the holiday is observed as one of the eight solar holidays, or Sabbat. In most Wiccan sects, this holiday is celebrated as the rebirth of the Great God, who is viewed as the newborn solstice sun. Although the name Yule has been appropriated from Germanic and Norsk paganism, elements of the celebration itself are of modern origin.

See our Rituals of Life Incense powders for the fragrance you may need for your celebration.


Christmas or Christ’s Mass is one of the most popular Christian celebrations as well as one of the most globally recognized midwinter celebrations. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the Christian Deity God Incarnate or Messiah, Jesus Christ. The birth is observed on December 25, which was the Roman winter solstice upon establishment of the Julian Calendar. Christian churches recognized folk elements of the festival in various cultures within the past several hundred years, allowing much of the folklore and traditions of local pagan festivals to be appropriated. So today, the old festivals such as Jul, Коледа and Karácsony, are still celebrated in many parts of Europe, but the RTPLargeChristian Nativity is now often representational as the meaning behind the holiday. This is why Yule and Christmas are considered interchangeable in Anglo–Christendom. Universal activities include feasting, midnight masses and singing Christmas carols about the Nativity. Good deeds and gift giving in the tradition of St. Nicholas by not admitting to being the actual gift giver is also observed by some countries. Many observe the holiday for twelve days leading up to the Epiphany.

See our Rituals of Life Incense powders for the fragrance you may need for your celebration.
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