Winter solstice, also known as Yule, is one of the most beautiful holidays of the year. Bringing us into Capricorn season and marking the longest night of the year, Yule is tied to renewal, reflection, recovery. After summer’s growth, after autumn’s harvest and decay, we now sit at the start of winter with its brief, dazzling days and long, chilly nights. There are many ways to celebrate, and to incorporate new rituals into your existing traditions for other seasonal holidays, but the key themes to remember are rest, healing, and finding light in the darkness.
Not every holiday, every transit, every change has to be marked by a big celebration — sometimes it’s enough to simply recognize where we are in the cycle. But the winter solstice brings a gentle, persistent invitation to be kind to yourself, to remember grace, to prioritize gentleness. What would it look like to respect these short, dark days; to recognize the world in hibernation and give ourselves the same opportunities for rest? What would it mean to turn off the capitalist, productivity mindset, to find magic in stillness? How can we be intentional about quiet, instead of constantly pushing ourselves to the breaking point? As my favorite astrologer wrote during last year’s solstice, “Nothing and no one is in a perpetual ‘growth’ season. So much simply cannot grow year-round; things need time to take a break and regroup. You do, too. If autumn asks us to notice death and decay — however distracting with its beautiful changing colors — winter asks us to consider the benefits of hibernation and stillness.”
Whether you identify as a witch or not, whether you love crafting spells and slinging cards or you just want to bring a bit of extra magic into your holigays, rituals around the winter solstice facilitate the kind of healing that so many of us are craving right now. I’ve gathered a variety of ritual kits, books, supplies, and tools to help you tap into the deep, powerful, recovery-oriented magic of this season. And if these ideas resonate, I urge you to give yourself the gift of time, space, and reflection, to enjoy these rituals fully, to show yourself as much kindness as possible.
Blessed Yule and happy holidays, dear ones.
Kits & Collections
If you want to go big for the holiday, or if you’d like a bit of guidance around intentional rituals for the solstice, kits and collections pull everything you need together into one handy package. I was honored to collaborate with Sovereignty Herbs for their solstice-focused Moon + Star herbalism collection, and there are some other wonderful sets here too!
MOON + STAR by Sovereignty Herbs & 3am.tarot includes 6 full-size handcrafted herbalism products, a 40 page ritual guide with tarot spreads and exercises, and a copy of the Spacious Tarot deck, all centered on the concepts of self, belonging, and community.
Yule Ritual Kit by DarkMoonHollow includes a dressed and blessed candle, oil, altar salt, resin grains, herb sachet, and cleansing bundle, all featuring their signature cranberry orange spice Yule fragrance blend.
Wiccan Yule Ritual Kit by AdeptInsight includes a cleansing bundle, candle, oil, incense, and full instructions on setting up your own ritual.
Winter Solstice & Yule Deluxe Ritual Kit by J. Southern Studio includes two chime candles with a holder, pine essential oil, three crystals, a cedar bouquet, ethically-gathered sage and palo santo, a feather, and printed instructions for the ritual.
If you want to keep your winter solstice ritual a bit simpler, lighting a candle with intention is a beautiful way to connect to the energy of the season. Big or small, these candles are already blessed and charged, ready for you to layer in your own personal magic or pair with unscented candles or tea lights that you may already have on hand.
Yule Candle by Odin’s Daughter is one of my favorite candle companies and one of my most beloved scents, featuring notes of amber, clove, frankincense, and myrrh. Everything this company makes is beautiful, and in addition to this limited-edition vessel they also sell ritual mists and bundles with their other winter candles.
Rest and Regenerate Sigil Pillar Candle by Hauntwell is a great option if you’d prefer an unscented candle. Long-burning and beautiful, these three sigils invite serenity, introspection, and cleansing.
Yule Log Spell Candle by Briarwood comes in two pillar candle options as well as a reed diffuser. This company offers a number of solstice-themed candles, oils, and perfume blends, and they’re always thoughtfully crafted and beautifully packaged.
Mistletoe Yule Tealights by TheShabbyWitch are perfect travel companions if you’d like to do magic on the go, or would prefer a less expensive option.
Wanna learn more about Yule, see how this holiday fits into the Wheel of the Year, or just get into the holiday spirit? Check out these written offerings.
Yule: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for the Winter Solstice by Susan Pesznecker offers a thoughtful introduction to the holiday, including history, lore, and simple spells to help you get into the spirit of the season.
The Return of the Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for the Winter Solstice by Carolyn McVickar Edwards is a collection of traditional stories and fairy tales that explores how different cultures mark this special holiday.
Year of the Witch by Temperance Alden helps to put Yule in context of the seasons and the Wheel of the Year, providing customs, traditions, history, wisdom, and rituals for each of the eight sabbats.
Wanting a Witch: A Winter Solstice Romance by Lauren Connolly brings queer, supernatural Yule romance between a witch and a vampire, and isn’t that what we all really want for the holiday? I haven’t gotten to read this yet but it might be just the thing to enjoy by the fire.
While there are plenty of beautiful tarot decks, crystals, and incense blends that you can work with year-round, I found some Yule-specific items that would make lovely gifts for your favorite witch, or for yourself.
Season of the Witch Yule Oracle Deck by Lorriane Anderson & Juliet Diaz is a 44-card deck with accompanying guidebook that explores themes of wisdom, celebration, reflection, and tranquility, and makes a great thematic companion to your favorite tarot deck.
Winterseer Animal Oracle Kit Card Deck & Guidebook Set is a 56-card deck that features Celtic and Norse lore through animal magic and mythology. With beautiful illustrations and a detailed guidebook, this deck can carry you through the winter and right into the new year.
Yule Incense Sticks by SacredMists includes ten sticks of hand-dipped incense made with bayberry and evergreen, perfect for atmosphere, magic, or meditation.
Winter Solstice Yule Crystal Set by cornish crystals is an affordable collection of six tumbled crystals, along with an information card on how to use these stones for peace, healing, and introspection.
Who doesn’t love a seasonally-appropriate sweater? If you’d like something that you can wear beyond the winter solstice, Yule is traditionally associated with the colors of rich red, dark green, bright white, and warm gold, so choosing something cozy, beautiful, and comforting in these colors can also be a lovely way to honor the season.
Yule Witch Long Sleeve by The Pretty Cult is part of a larger Witch Archetype series, and is a limited edition pre-order in their signature cozy cotton in sizes XS to 3XL. They also have a few short-sleeve shirts left in this design.
Ugly Yule Sweater by blackflameoddities can help you get into the spirit of the season, whether or not you have to attend an ugly sweater party. Available in sizes XS to 2XL.
Essential Cashmere Crew by Universal Standard is a soft and snuggly 100% cashmere dream that comes in a bright, bold shade of Yuletide red. (It’s also available in forest green, oatmeal, and a variety of other colors, and comes in sizes 4XS to 4XL.)
Emerald Velvet Robe by LelaSilk is a soft, gorgeous robe that makes a perfect layer over your favorite pajamas or lingerie. This company makes everything to order and can be customized for your exact measurements and specifications, and they also make a silk version.
What are your favorite things to give and receive for the winter solstice? Share your favorite memories, rituals, traditions, recipes, and ideas in the comments!