Welcome to the MoonCrafted Essentials Spell Book. Here you will find all the witchy ramblings and rituals that go along with our shop full of handmade magick. New here? Hi! Like what you see? Make sure to get on our email list for exclusive content and updates. Now, on to celebrating the Winter Solstice!
We all celebrate the coming of the winter season in one form or another. Through different cultures, in many religions, traditions are upheld to bring cheer and joy into our hearts and homes. I find this true in my household. We celebrate the season through natural traditions. I consider it as mixing both magick and paganism, as well as a sprinkle of my own way of honoring the coming winter.
While I am not one who follows the Nordic traditions, I love the 12 Days of Yule practices they have. Honoring virtues that make one a good person through a time when, in both the long distant past and modern times, we lean heavily on our community to thrive. Outside of the Nordic traditions, having 12 days dedicated to festivities is a widespread practice. Some do the 12 days leading up to the Solstice, others do it beginning with the eve of the Solstice, and Christianity does it from their Christmas day to January 6th , the Epiphany.
Here I will share a detailed list of the 12 days of Yule that I do in my home. These are not practices that can be attributed to any heritage or tradition, but what feels right to me in all the study I have done over the years. As a side note, the celestial date of the Solstice can vary, so I am not giving calendar dates as much as a timeline that can be used. Also, except for days one, two, and twelve, these celebrations can be mixed around as your schedule permits. It’s more about embracing the energies around you and opening your heart and mind than following a plan.
Day One, The Solstice Eve, Mother’s Night
- This is the night before the Solstice. Celebrations begin at sunset where the resting Goddess prepares for her labor to birth the Sun God. This night is a time to embrace the darkness from which everything is created (or born). I like to honor the feminine divine within myself, as well as the ancestral feminine line that links me to the past.
- This night holds a feast filled with family recipes from different women (pride of place is always my grandma’s spaghetti), offerings to the Goddess (birdseed, red wine, and rose petals), and preparing a Yule log (or branch, or twig…whatever you can safely burn later).
Make a Yule Log
A popular pagan tradition is the Yule log. It is honoring the spirit of nature, bringing them into your home to protect and nurture the household. I’ve seen many beautifully decorated Yule logs. They have been painted, glittered, wood carved, wood burned, wreathed, and had candles placed upon them. There are so many ways. Get creative in your own way of honoring the spirit of nature.
By the time of Yule, you either have the option to burn the whole log in ritual, or to light the candles.
I tend to not be able to hold bonfires (sadly) where I live, so I will decorate small twigs I foraged from the ground (never break it off a tree, take the offerings they have given already) and can burn in my small cauldron. Décor varies from year to year, but yarn or ribbon, flower petals, herbs, and anything else that strikes my fancy. My mini “log” will sit on my altar until the Solstice.
Day Two, Yule, The Winter Solstice
The new season is awakened, and the rising sun begins the Goddess’ labor on the shortest day of the year. She will labor through the daylight hours and the longest night of the year. With the next sunrise the Sun God is reborn!
The Winter Solstice is the day that the sun is its weakest for the entire year. Our celebrations focus on energy raising and light.
Begin with a breakfast with egg dishes (fertility/birth symbol) and apples (goddess symbol). Lunch consists of hearty vegetable soups (energy and health giving). Dinner will be baked or roasted foods (to symbolize the hearth and fire) that can be anything from pizza to roasted meats and potatoes. Don’t mock the pizza either, it’s round (like the sun), has tomatoes (sun loving fruits and symbols of the sun), and golden (you guessed it, like the sun), plus it’s fun!
As the light begins to fade from the sky, we light candles, capturing light and holding it safely through the darkness.
Lighting candles, or a fire if you can, say:
- “We give honor and thanks to the sun for its sustenance, warmth, and light. And as our blessed mother earth is reborn in the spring, so the sun is reborn in the morning.”
Now once the day passes, and we are met with the longest night of the year, it is time to burn the Yule log. Some simply light candles on the log, which is convenient for those that cannot enjoy a bonfire. But for those that can burn outdoors, it is quite an event. Tradition calls for waiting just before the sun rises. But often that isn’t the case for some that cannot stay up that long. So, burn at your own time.
I will place my little “log” into my cast iron cauldron and light it. With that comes the welcoming of winter and the turning of the wheel (of the year) or life cycle.
Begins with turning off all lights in the home. Lighting one candle, walk through the house, beginning at the front door. Chant:
Within the dark, the candle shall light the way.
For though winter is cold, it shall not reign.
Within the dark, our hope shall not die.
For soon the Sun will rise in the sky.
Within the dark, there is no despair.
For our shining souls will renew and repair.
So sing songs into the Winter night,
For soon the winds shall bring Spring light.
This is a beautiful ceremony, that blesses the long cold dark nights to come. You will notice a significant difference within the home once it’s been cast. Filled with warmth and hope. Either do this alone or with the family. It’s a nice way to do something together, and you can let the little ones hum lovely harmonies in the background. Or carry their own candles.
Side Note: Ashes of your Yule log can be kept for spell work. There is a beautiful tradition that says a piece of the Yule log should be pulled from the fire and kept until the next Solstice and used to kindle the new log, carrying on the power perpetually.
Day Three, the day after the Winter Solstice
Warm Tea and Tarot
Every new season I like to do a tarot reading to prepare and grow ever wiser of what is to come for the new season. What better way than to pair this together with a delicious warm cup of tea. Be brave and lay out your tarot spread. And see what the future, or the present, may reveal. If tarot isn’t your thing, use any divination tool you like or simply meditate and journal with your tea in a comfy spot.
Honor the Spirits
Everyone deserves a good merry cheer for the holidays, and that includes the spirits of the dear departed as well. The cold dark nights often leave us feeling nostalgic and alone, as we remember those that have left us. Therefore, I decided to dedicate a special day just for our loved ones. I begin by setting up a special altar for them. Pictures, personal items, winter flowers, candles, incense, and/or letters written for them, can all be placed on this altar.
The rest is up to you. Either research a special ritual, sing a favorite song, or write a prayer, whatever you feel is right. No matter what, they will hear you.
Walk in Nature
I found in the past few years that this has become an enlightening experience at every new season for me. At the start, take a pause to breathe deeply for a few moments to clear your mind. Begin the first step, without questioning where you’re going, but with what you will find at the end. Then, simply walk with a clear mind and see what comes. If a thought or emotion emerges, mull over that and find its center meaning as you reach the center yourself. Take your time, nothing may come right away, and that is alright. The path is simple. The rest of the journey is up to you.
Random Acts of Kindness
The title for this day alone explains it all. Though the winter season shouldn’t be the only excuse to be kind to strangers, it is a season for giving and to spread cheer. Whether you do acts of kindness in secret, or known, the moment we should all be looking for is the smile that brightens the day for a stranger. The fun part is thinking of ways to surprise someone, because that’s really what it’s all about.
Donate. Volunteer for charity. Pay for someone’s tab or tip 200%. Be kind. Speak it. Mean it. Do it. Be the example.
Make a 12 Herb Sachet
This is a brilliant gift to give to friends or family. Having one for yourself is especially potent as well. Consider this recipe a magickal potpourri. A gift that promotes health, love, and protection. You’ll need:
7 parts Juniper
4 parts Cinnamon
4 parts Allspice
4 parts dried Ginger
4 parts Caraway
2 parts Nutmeg
2 parts Rosemary
2 parts dried Lemon Peel
2 parts dried Orange Peel
1 part Clove
1 part Bay
1 part Peppercorn
Tie in a red cloth. Decorate it with symbols or jewels. Have fun with it. And give it to friends or family. You can substitute any of the ingredients with oils as well.
Make a Wish Ornament
Exactly how it sounds, this is a powerful time to work wishing spells. How so? This is when people everywhere are growing excited to reunite with family, to give and receive gifts, or to begin a new year. Energy is rising, and the air is being charged for magick. That is why this is a perfect time to create wishing ornaments.
This enjoyable DIY craft is easy to do, and about anyone can do this. You can find any of the supplies at craft or dollar stores.
Clear Ornaments (with easy to detach top)
Glitter (all shades of colors)
Herbs, Crystals, Flowers (optional)
Yarn or Strings (all shades of colors)
Strips of Paper
- Choose your wish carefully and write it down on the strip of paper. Decide on the proper glitter color that coordinates with your wish. Green for luck/money. Red for love/passion. Blue for health/peace. Yellow for creativity/success. Purple for power/spiritual assistance. Silver for earthly affairs. Gold for new beginnings. White for personal affairs. Mix of colors for a miracle.
- Match your string color with your glitter color or mix match, depending on the wish. Roll up the strip of paper with your wish on it, tie it with string, then slide it into the ornament. Sprinkle however much of glitter over it that you want. You can add any other herbs, crystals, or flowers that you want as well. Close the cover of the ornament.
- Hang this on your tree, or wherever you like. There are some that hang it outdoors, over their hearth, or in nature. I like to keep mine. Every year, when I redecorate, I like to look upon my old wishes and see how they had come to be. It’s a great memento and leaves me feeling thankful.
- So, wish wisely, and may your dreams come to be.
Bake Magickal Treats
Everyone loves sweet, delectable desserts. The sort that fills the belly with warmth and happiness. In every soft pastry there is a magick from people all over the world. As most have heard the saying, we put love in the foods we cook. The same goes for baking during the holidays. Although for some, they know all about the magickal meaning in the ingredients they combine.
Whether it be cookies, pies, breads, or puddings, look up the magickal properties that each ingredient holds. You never know that you may be baking a pie for love. Or cookies for luck. Know what you are baking, so you can spread the magick into the lives of those you love.
Gather with friends for meals and exchange gifts. Now is a time to make sure your roots and connections are strong. Gifts can be herb sachets, sweet treats, or more complex things. If you're looking for something special for your magickal people, don't forget that we have an entire handmade shop with intention candles, bath items, and simple ritual kits. What matters is the intent to share and exchange.
This time of year is when I tend to move inward. Weather in my neck of the woods is less than inviting so I am content to snuggle in the warmth of my home, letting the wind and snow do its thing. Welcoming winter and the lengthening light each day after the solstice give me the urge to clean. Cleaning yourself with ritual baths and showers (we have a soap for that 😉) is wonderful, but don't forget to fix up your space too.
My favorite sunlight welcoming ritual is to clean the windows with a simple spray and a little chant.
4oz distilled water
5 drops of lemon essential oil
3 drops of rosemary essential oil
2oz 90% rubbing alcohol (or vodka)
- Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake gently before using.
- To use, spray windows with an even mist and wipe with a lint-free or microfiber cloth. To avoid streaks, go over the glass a second time with a dry cloth.
- While wiping the windows, picture not only cleaning grime off your windows but cleaning negative energy as well.
- Chant or sing the following with each window.
Negative energy is sprayed away,
Clinging darkness is gone today.
Harmful energy is held at bay,
Growing sunlight here to stay.
Side Note: this spray can be used as a room cleansing mist instead of an herb burning option.
Day Twelve, Oath Night, Twelfth Night
This night aligns with our Nordic brethren once again and is a strong basis of the New Year’s Resolution practice. Oath night is the culmination of the Yule celebration and a night of great feasting. Also called Twelfth Night, the last night of Yule is celebrated by making oaths for the coming year.
Rather than oaths or resolutions to add more pressure to our already hectic lives, I prefer to focus on something to look forward to. Think back to your wish ornament. Take that energy and frame it into a personal affirmation you can use to manifest your dream. Remember, affirmations are present tense personal statements. They are active statements. Start the statement with “I am” or “I have” and finish the words to encompass your goal.