Yule / Winter Solstice Rebirth: How I Prepare For The New Year (Podcast Episode 124)

Winter Solstice / Yule: Preparing For The New Year

The Winter Solstice (also known as Midwinter or Yule) is the shortest day and longest night of the year.

Celebrated around December 21 in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s known to some witches as the astronomical “new year.”

This time of year when the Sun is resetting itself for a new cycle, it can also be utilized as a reset point for us in our lives.

Many magickal folk like to take the space between the Winter Solstice and February 1st (Imbolc / February’s Eve sabbat) as an opportunity to begin gradually shifting into our new year’s resolutions.

In this Winter Solsticetide video, I’m inviting you to come along with me as I prepare for the new year witchy style!

The actual execution of getting ready for the new year can look totally different from one year to the next for me, but I do always return to the same list of important themes which resonate with this time of the year.

I’m fairly new to establishing “winter holiday traditions,” as I did not come from a family that celebrated a winter holiday every year, or was very big on tradition at all.

So last year in my journal, I wrote down the intention to begin more consciously building upon these themes that I so often have journaled and created content about in the form of traditions that expand beyond just my journal.

Because I’m in the process of manifesting my dream home, the natural direction this intention has led me to this year has been leaning into the kitchen/cottage witch vibes of each season.

This season is especially linked to what I like to call “home and hearth energy” because it’s the dead of winter, a time in my environment where the home is where the vast majority of my time is spent due to the weather.

So a lot of what you’ll be seeing in this video series will be related to creating a sacred space in the home, but the themes we’ll be focusing on can be applied to any area of your life that is calling for attention right now.

Each of these themes is focused upon in greater depth within my year-and-a-day journaling adventure. So if you feel called to really tap into your magick around any of these seasonal subjects, I invite you to either join the full year-long adventure, or just grab the prompt pages for the current season to dip your toe in the water.

Un-Decorating For Fall

While I’m not a stickler for the exact timeframe in which to fully change out seasonal decorations, I do find it really important to not leave things up for longer than the season itself lasts.

Not only do seasonal setups need to be removed so that you can clean the dust from the area, but the same thing kind of goes for the energy of the space.

For me, I often start to feel a stagnant energy when the same seasonal decorations are up for more than a couple of months – it feels like it’s time to refresh what I’m looking at each day, and to bring new life to the space both literally and spiritually.

This to me is all part of the “rebirth” theme that is an undertone of all wheel of the year checkpoints, but especially the Winter Solstice season.

On my personal path, I see the Winter Solstice as the “New Year.” It’s the time when the Sun reaches it’s lowest point and then begins to rise again.

Even though the Gregorian calendar has moved the “New Year” to January First, December 20-22 is still close enough to be considered all part of the same season for my purposes.

In fact, I find it really helpful to think of the concept of the new year in the same way that I relate to all the solstices, equinoxes and cross-quarter checkpoints – rather than feeling obligated to celebrate or do magickal workings on the one exact day of the holiday, I prefer to give myself the space between the checkpoints to fully integrate the themes of the season into my everyday life.

So by starting to celebrate the ending of one year and the beginning of a new one toward the beginning of December all the way through January, it eliminates the unnatural feeling of trying to change abruptly with New Year’s resolutions beginning on January 1st.

So before decorating for Winter, I like to do some physical cleaning as well as energetic clearing to bring in the new year with a fresh start.

Cleaning, Cleansing and Clearing

The Solsticetide season is a great time to try a spiritual cleansing of your home.

In the past, I’ve often done my Four Corners Home Blessing this season. But this year, I decided to try a new method which I just learned from Kristen Jett. It’s a room clearing spray made with a base of peppermint tea and some other magickal indredients.

In the course I’m taking with Kristen, she’s also included a similar spell to the Four Corners Blessing jars, but these recipes are specifically for the room where I conduct my business.

It’s fun and refreshing to do a little something witchy for the home and/or office… but it’s equally important to make sure we’re actually cleaning and refreshing the physical space as well.

This season, I’ve decided to not only deep clean my office/studio but also to move the furniture around to follow more of the guidelines of feng shui.

This too fits into the theme of rebirth because the transition into a new year is the perfect time to try a new modality that you’ve perhaps been interested in for some time, but haven’t yet prioritized exploring yet.

So now, even though I’m not crystal clear on what my business goals are for 2022, I at least have the mental and physical clarity in my freshly cleaned and organized office to see what my creativity feels drawn to as the new year approaches.

Winter Solstice Altar

Altar Update

One of my favorite things about the Solsticetide season is that almost every culture has a way of celebrating it.

Even what’s now known as Christmas is a combination of rebirth traditions from all over the world.

I love that regardless of one’s cultures of origin, religion (or lack there of) or where they’re located in the world, a solstice can be a reminder to check in with the passing of time and the changing of seasons in one’s life.

This year, in the spirit of building upon authentically inspired personal traditions with the potential for longevity in years to come, I’ve decided to choose a decoration theme that is focused on celestial Sun imagery.

This blue, gold and white theme with solar symbolism is perfect for me, because unlike the red and green theme that a lot of people decorate with just for the season, these celestial colors and patterns fit right in with the overall theme of my home that’s ever-present year-round.

This not only makes it easy for my home to feel “fully decorated” without having to put up too many items for the winter holidays – But it also makes for an easier transition into that non-Christmassy winter vibe of January and February.

I do like to extend the festive season throughout most of the winter, and these decorations can stay up for quite a long time without looking as out of place as red and green things would in my house.

Winter Solstice Junk Journal

Winter Solstice Journal Prompts

Where I do like to bring in those warming red colors is in my Winter Solstice journal.

This is where I respond to my Winter Solstice journal prompts about:

  • What this time of year means to me
  • What my intentions are for the year ahead
  • What aspects of my life are going through a rebirth right now
  • What loose ends I can tie up as I begin the next chapter in the new year
Winter Solstice Yule Junk Journal Book Of Shadows

I have been so obsessed with these seasonal journaling chapters that I’ve created in the past year. I came up with this idea during the Winter Solstice season last year.

As it was for many of us, 2020 was a really tough year for me. So in that little safe space between the end of one year and the beginning of the next year, I decided to give myself a total break from work-brain / from problem- solving brain, and I just gave myself permission to let my Inner Child play.

I decided that since the most powerful thing for me and my magical practice is journaling along with the seasons, why not combine that with my artistic skills and create some beautiful seasonal journals, both for myself and for the world?

Winter Solstice Yule Junk Journal Book Of Shadows

I was also watching a lot of junk journal book of shadows videos on YouTube at the time, and my Inner Child was loving it! So I decided to create my very first Winter Solstice junk journal.

Well, technically, it’s a journal signature, which means a bundle of pages essentially. I make a signature for each of the sabbats on the witchs’ calendar. At the end of the year, I’ll bundle them together into one big book.

If you are inspired by this journal, you can either make one yourself using the same principles that I designed for my journal, or you can order a pre-made signature from my shop.

If you are overwhelmed when you look at these crazy junk journals that I have created, and you would prefer to do it yourself in a more simple way, these page layouts are also available as full 8.5″x11″ sheets. You can simply print them out and stick them into any regular 3-ring binder.

Doing these same journal prompts each year in different journals or as binder refills has helped me and my Writing Witch patrons to up-level our capacity to experience fulfillment each year, and I want you to get to experience this magick too!

Are you also looking to connect with myself and other magickal mavens as you embody your most fulfilled version of yourself this season?

If so, I’d love to invite you to join our Early Winter Seasonal Living Challenge!

This challenge is for the Grimoire Goodies tier, Magickal Mavens tier and the Writing Witch Subscription Box tiers on Patreon.

Every Wednesday for the five weeks around Yule, I’ll be posting a prompt to help you maximize your fulfillment by harnessing the themes of the sabbat.

Patrons who post a response to every discussion prompt will be entered to win a package of paper craft goodies from my shop!

All you need to do to participate is be aware that…

  • The challenge begins on the first Wednesday in December when the first post goes live. There will be one challenge post per week for five weeks leading up to the final post which will come out in early January.
  • Challenge prompts will always be posted on Wednesdays around 11AM EST.
  • A winner will be selected randomly one week after the 5th and final prompt is posted.

If you’re not already an eligible patron, I invite you to sign up now! I’m so excited to get to know you better as we share our experiences with the seasons! I hope to see you there!

Winter Solstice blessings to you!

Afura Signature

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Want to get printables, and other goodies from my shop in the mail each month?

Patrons also get engage in discussion prompts in community with me, and to suggest what content I create next!

Looking for more Winter Solstice vibes?

Here is another episode you may enjoy:

Reclaim The Magick Of The Winter Holiday Season Podcast 2

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