If you happen to live in Sweden, or have Swedish friends, you will know that their concept of “hygge”, which is pronounced more like “hugger” is all about brining in light, warmth, and comfort to the darkest, coldest time of the year in the northern hemisphere. It is also about embracing the dark, hibernating and rejuvenating the body and spirit by taking time to rest, to heal, and to consider what you want for the year ahead. The winter solstice, December 21st, bring the shortest day of the year, and the optimists among you will already find yourself comforting those who suffer from SAD (seasonally affected disorder) by reminding them that the year has turned, and we are slowly heading back towards Spring and Summer.
The Winter Solstice Explained
The shortest day of the year happens when the Earth’s North Pole is tilted farthest from the Sun.
The Pagan, and Wiccan, celebration of Winter Solstice, also known as Yule, is one of the oldest Winter celebrations in the world.
Ancient peoples were hunters who spent much of their time outdoors. The seasons, day length and the weather played a crucial role in their lives, and their ability to survive. It therefore no surprise that, across the globe, the Sun was revered and worshipped as the giver of life.
Norsemen of Northern Europe regarded the sun as a giant whell, turning to bring the seasons into being. The Norse word for wheel is “houl”, which is believed to be the root of our word Yule. Yule was a time for lighting bonfires, drinking sweet wine and ale and telling stories to bond the people together.
The Ancient Romans held the feast of Saturnalia, which ran for seven days from 17th December, to celebrate the rebirth of the year. Houses were decorated with greenery as the outside was brought inside.
Yule celebrations pre-date Christianity by thousands of years, but, as with many other festivals, the Winter Solstice was subsumed into the Christian calendar in those areas of Europe where Christianity was taking hold
The Perfect Crystals to welcome the Winter Solstice
Create your own little kingdom of “hygge” by using, wearing and carrying these crystals:
Pride of place in our hibernation cave goes to the noble Citrine. This gem is full of light, warmth, joy and vitality, making it the perfect antidote to short days and colder weather. Citrine ignites a spark in your emotional body and deep within your soul to remind you that, dark days or not, there is always light and there is always hope.
The darker shades of Onyx and similar crystals also have a place in your preparations for the Winter solstice. Their energy is both grounding and protective, keeping you anchored to the benevolent warmth of Mother Earth’s healing energies. Onyx will soothe any turbulent emotions you may experience during the darker days, and will also promote vigour, steadfastness, and stamina.
The Winter solstice is a time for connecting people together. In Ancient times, this was vital for the survival of the tribe and the individual alike. These days it is equally vital for maintaining your emotional and mental health. Having Rose Quartz around will fill the space with love, compassion, and empathy. It will remind everyone to love unconditionally and to open their hearts to receive love wherever it is found.
Goals to Set and Crystal Rituals to Perform at This Time
The rebirth of the year is a good time to set new goals for yourself and your well-being for the next month, or the next year.
Gather a group of like-minded people together and create a Yule log. Surround your decorated log with candles and crystals of Clear Quartz. The crystals will amplify the energy as you each take a moment to voice your wishes, either aloud or silently, and affirm your intentions for achieving the changes you desire.
Celebrate the ending of the old and the rebirth of the new together with friends, and, if you decide to add in an edible version of the Yule log, so much the better!
Happy Yule and Winter Solstice Blessings.