Midwinter, or Yule, usually falls around December 21, according to the year, and is a festival of hope. The midwinter solstice or shortest day, the forerunner of Christmas, runs from the eve of the shortest day for three days and is a time for welcoming the rebirth of the sun. Its origins lie before recorded history, when the early peoples lit bonfires as a magical gesture to persuade the sun to shine again. In Chapter 2, I described the solstice candle and suggested it could become a focus for quiet celebration at a time when tempers can be frayed and goodwill jaded in the run-up to the modern Christmas festival.
Our present festival is a glorious amalgamation of many ancient festivals that centered around the midwinter solstice — Norse, Celtic, Mithraic, Greek and Roman — as well as Christian celebrations. The common theme is that the sun it sell, the sun god or Son of God is reborn at the darkest hour of the year and life begins again. And so candles are a special way of creating light from darkness, warmth amid ice and snow, and abundance at a time when food was in short supply. The feasting of Christmas was another magical gesture to ensure that there would be food again in spring and good harvests the following year.
The three days around the solstice are a good time for prosperity and money spells, as well as abundance in less material ways. But the winter solstice energies extend until the eve of Brigantia on 30 January, and you can carry out this or a similar prosperity ritual at any time, using the candle colors of the midwinter solstice. In this case, the crescent moon — when traditionally we turn over our silver three times and bow to the moon — is best for spells concerning increase. For the midwinter solstice, use white, scarlet, brilliant green and gold candles.
A midwinter money spell:
Collect as many coins as you can — they need not be of any particular denomination — and place them in a clear glass or crystal jar. There is usually an amazing amount of loose change left lying around the average family home!
Collect a second smaller pot of money; this one should be of pottery and have a lid. Here we're following the tradition of the American Midwest copper jars that would be kept in family kitchens to attract wealth to the househdd.
Find as many candles as you can. This isa good opportunity to use candles left over from other rituals, as long as these were for increase and attraction spells and riot banishing ones. If you prefer not to carry out the spell with used candles or you need more, choose red and white household candles. Arrange your candles in any way you wish and use jars and bottles if you run out of holders.
Place your white or gold solstice candle — which should be as large as you can afford — behind the clear money jar, so that when it is illuminated it will shine on the coins.
Light incense of the midwinter (bay, cedar. juniper or rosemary) and a small white taper candle. If you are carrying out the ritual on the solstice eve, wait until dusk to light this candle.
Ignite your solstice candle and circle it with coins from your lidded pot.
Now begin illuminating your candles one by one in random order, taking a coin from the lidded jar and setting it in front of each candle so that the light will shine upon it. When all your candles are ablaze, sit in the bright candlelight, watching the flames glinting on the coins. Say: “Light of the sun, increase what now! have, so that I may have sufficient and a little more for myself and the needs of my loved ones. Money grow and
increase with the sun and moon.”
When it is quite dark, extinguish the candles one by one, returning the coins to the pottery jar. Leave only the solstice candle burning in a safe place.
When light breaks through, put the coins around the solstice candle into the lidded pottery jar once more.
Leave both jars in a warm place for a full moon cycle and give the money in the crystal jar to a good cause.
Spend the contents of the smaller pot of money on something for the home or the ingredients for a family meal.
Continue your money jar collections; give the larger one to charity and you will find your fortunes may prosper in a far greater proportion to your efforts than you would expect.