A Mid-Winter Ritual

It is Mid Winter. For those of us who reside in California or a similar temperate climate, we can already see the first signs of life appearing. This is the season of celebrations, such as Ground Hog Day, Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, and Mardi Gras. All of these holidays have pre-Christian origins; Ground Hog Day evolved from the Celtic celebration Imbolc, Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras are thought to have evolved from the Roman festival of the Lupercalia. And of course Chinese New Year is, well, Chinese.

What they all have in common is that they are all celebrations of renewal. If you have not yet packed away your Christmas, Kwanzaa, Solstice decorations now is the time! It is also time to prepare for the growth that you want in your life for the coming year.

A Mid Winter Ritual

This simple ritual can be done as a family, a couple or by an individual.

Green altar cloth
A clear bowl of cool water
A white candle
Loose tobacco
A piece of fruit
A flower

Prepare yourself by taking a soothing bath or shower. Put on clean clothing.

Prepare the space…….
Select an area that is special to you in which to create sacred space. If outdoors, delineate the space with rocks, uncooked rice, flower petals or something that can help contain the space. Whether outdoors or in, cleanse the area of clutter, using your broom. Purify the area of negative energy using the sage. If indoors, leave a window open nearby.

Set up an altar area at the North by placing the green cloth down, preferably on the ground or floor. Arrange the bowl of water (to refresh the spirit), candle (for returning light), fruit (nourishment) and flower (new life) on the altar. Keep the tobacco nearby.

Gather around the altar, light the candle, and quietly reflect either silently or aloud on the year which has passed. Offer tobacco to the ancestor Spirits and thank them for their love and support during the past year. Reflect on what it is you would like to grow in your life during the coming Spring and Summer. Take as long as you need.

Ground yourself by singing a favorite song, and dancing with all your heart (don’t be shy!) Prepare your favorite meal and have a mid-winter feast!