SOLSTICE: YULE & LITHA
My practices follow the seasons. They are not rigid or consistent but flow as prompted and guided by the Earth. I allow her to lead the way and simply listen to her wisdom, doing what feels right to me as reflected in her changing ways.
In the Southern Hemisphere, we welcome darkness – it is a time to go inward as we prepare for Winter, known as Yule. Yule is connected to the Crone Archetype (Hag, Hermit, Mystic & Baba Yaga). Being associated with the Earth Element, we may feel more grounded, logical, focused, loyal and stable over the coming weeks. It is a time of darkness that allows us to emerge renewed. Think of it as a fertile void to find renewal and new beginnings. Yule is also connected with the direction of North, which as an element represents power, organisation, insight and justice — Whenever one is in doubt, turn North.
This inward time honours the power of our shadow and deepens our connection with the natural world. This connection allows us to dissolve into the dreams of Mother Earth so we can trust and surrender and offer ourselves to realms unknown, to truly experience our wild. This is a time when as women, we are in our sovereign. We expand beyond the Earthly realm; we are expansive, and we connect to this part of ourselves in suspension: The suspending of a breath, the stillness it brings. It is a time when we have our feet between the realms that gift us access to the limitless potential within. In this time, listen intuitively, listen with your Third Eye, to integrate the subconscious: behind each layer of conditioning, there is another portal to connect to your creative genius, to connect to your creative centre, to your life assignment.
In the Northern Hemisphere, we welcome the light -- Summer Solstice known as Litha. Litha is connected to the Fire Element and is a time where we celebrate courage, purity, creativity, strength and passion. We can connect with this energy on the full moons that occur during this solstice period and feel her fullness represent us coming into our full expression and creativity. Litha is also connected to the direction of the South, which represents our emotions and the affairs of the heart — whenever you desire passion in your life, turn South.
During this time of gratitude, we can acknowledge all the things we have received and all that has come to fruition -- this is the season where we begin anew with the direction and clarity we gained at the previous Solstice (Winter/Yule). So throw yourself courageously into the creative fires and honour your wisdom and resilience through the expansive curiosities that present themselves over the coming weeks and months. Grow in strength and grow in power.
Transformation & Alchemy
Given these descriptions and this shared knowledge, we might begin to craft our personal Rituals honouring these days and the changing seasons.
I have been living in tune with the rhythms of the Earth for years – it is the basis of my Earth-based Spirituality that I’ve implemented and practised in my life via my Witchcraft lineage from the Reclaiming and Gardenarian traditions.
For the Mothers who join my free Chalice Community, I will be sharing the ways I intuitively honour the Earth and the way I am teaching my daughters and my family to do the same.
A ritual that I’ve found myself returning to lately is making the daily sourdough. When I reflect on this practice, it feels in tune with the energy we are moving into with Yule and the start of the winter season. While the practice of making sourdough was initially in response to healing my relationship with food, there is also another reason I feel the call to return to it. The practice of kneading, baking and caring for the dough encourages slowness.
Whenever the alarm gently beeps that one of the two-hour provings are done, it is my indication that the dough needs care. A few moments at a time, I drop into the present. The hypnotic state I naturally fall into as a result of working with the dough is reflective of that internal, reflective Crone energy.
Winter Solstice is the moment in which we feel the Crone archetype most strongly, in which we are attuned to the subtleties of the darkness – our internal landscape.
Alternatively, the energy is more active for those in the Northern Hemisphere.
The Yang to our Yin, the Sun, is strongest in the North as you celebrate the year's longest day. And so, the energy is buzzing, moving more quickly, encouraging the active becoming.
With the Sun's light shining on us, we are ready to be seen, in full bloom – in our full power and potential.
So while making sourdough may be part of your practice, it may feel like more of a chore. Some ritual practices may instead include: basking in the Sun's rays, being outdoors, observing the way nature is in full force, showing the first hints of vegetables coming to fruition in the garden; the juicy fruits ripening and their nectar dripping sweetly; the birds happily mating and welcoming young ones.
Summer welcomes the sweetness of honey and decadent indulgence. Summer is the Mother archetype, the fire, the Queen, and we might begin to see her come alive in many ways.
So, today, whether you are in the Southern or the Northern Hemisphere, I encourage you to choose a practice that honours the day. It doesn't have to be elaborate rather, a simple acknowledgement of the day, of the changing season.
Even if only for a few minutes, take a moment to choose a practice that encourages inward reflection that we naturally surrender to in the darkness or that opens your eyes to the buzzing bounty revealing itself under the sunlight.