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2 Winter Solstice Projects

  • 1 of 3
2 Winter Solstice Projects

Each solstice falls upon the ecliptic midway between the equinoxes, when the sun reaches that midway point, generally about June 21 and December 21. Winter Solstice on December 21 is the shortest day of the year. After Winter Solstice each day becomes longer until the longest day of the year arrives around June 21st. The solstices have been observed and celebrated by cultures throughout the world.

A central aspect of the winter solstice rites observed by many Native American tribes includes the making and planting of prayer sticks. Prayer sticks are made by everyone in a family for four days before the solstice. On the day named as the solstice, the prayer sticks are planted – at least one by each person – in small holes dug by the head of the household. Each prayer stick is named for an ancestor or deity.Here’s how to make a prayer stick; they are usually:

  • Made out of cedar and are forked;
  • Are equivalent to the measurement from the maker’s elbow to the tips of
    their fingers; and
  • Are taken from a tree that the maker feels connected to.
  • Tobacco is offered to the largest tree of the same species in the area and
    permission is asked to take a part of its relative.
  • The bark can be stripped.
  • The bark can be carved on the stick.
  • One feather should be added to the prayer stick; traditionally this is a
    wild turkey feather.
  • A bit of tobacco is placed in a red cloth and tied onto one of the forks.
  • Fur or bone from an animal that the maker wishes to honor is tied onto the
    stick.
  • Metal or stones should not be tied to the stick.
  • It is also customary to say prayers silently as one makes the prayer stick.

Next: Winter Solstice Project #2

  • 1 of 3

Read more: Holidays, Life, Other Holidays, Spirit,

The stone project is an excerpt from Celebrating the Great Mother, by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw. Copyright (c)1995 by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw. Reprinted by permssion of Inner Traditions International.

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Cait Johnson

Cait Johnson, MFA, is the author of six books, including Earth, Water, Fire, and Air: Essential Ways of Connecting to Spirit, Witch in the Kitchen, Celebrating the Great Mother and Tarot Games. She has been a counselor for more than 20 years, and teaches workshops on seasonal elemental approaches to self-healing, conscious eating, and soul-nurturing creativity.

Go to the Source

Celebrating the Great Mother

A Handbook of Earth-Honoring Activities for Parents and Children.buy now

250 comments

+ add your own
11:57AM PDT on Jul 27, 2012

ty

6:45PM PDT on Sep 23, 2011

Una sensazione che coinvolge pericolosa applyed all'interno della Louis Vuitton Borse. Queste persone erano alla strategia per la tua vita in modo più approfondito. Più forza dell'economia in generale diventerà l'elemento superiore che a sua volta mostra il funzionamento particolare appartenenti al nucleo familiare. Tuttavia la forza dell'economia globale non significa di LV solito non prendere in; un sacco di gente sceglie di ridurre la quantità dei clienti. Signore inoltre modificare la tecnica del cliente. A titolo di esempio, queste persone non trovano il totes iniziale. Inoltre, verrà modificare la forma particolare della Louis Vuitton Borse in generale, come l'ammontare Così Ermete borsa Kelly 26 centimetri Louis Vuitton outlet di Orange è ragionevole.

11:56AM PST on Dec 22, 2010

I might skip the part that says 'fur or bone from an animal they wish to honour'.

12:23AM PDT on May 21, 2010

thanks

3:13PM PDT on Mar 19, 2010

Prayer sticks----let's make one!

2:30PM PST on Feb 21, 2010

I keep in the confines of my home several rocks collected over the years. When ever I begin to feel sad or lonely, I take out my rocks an in doing so, I remember when and where I have been as I have gathered this collection. It brings a quiet sense of stability and calms my spirit. I keep these treasured rocks in a decorative box made of wood. Looking at the boxes brings peace to my soul knowing that by opening the lid I can once again feel the joys it represents.

9:38PM PST on Feb 12, 2010

Thanks.

9:36PM PST on Feb 1, 2010

Winter solstice is the most Yang day of the year!

1:19PM PST on Jan 31, 2010

v interesting thanks

11:02AM PST on Jan 26, 2010

I like baking for the winter solstice and taking a basket of goodies to a local women's shelter. I always dress up the goodies as Pagan as I can because so often the poor are offered forced Christianity. There are many people who are poor and Pagan and this makes them feel that they are not forgotten.

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