“Bringing in” a bit of evergreen is an ancient wintertime tradition. For thousands of years, the evergreen tree has stood as a beautiful reminder that life can survive through the frigid months. Over the years, the tradition has evolved and become a beloved part of many holiday celebrations. With a little bit of love and reverence, my family has added a creative tree blessing to deepen our connection with the Winter Solstice and to Mother Earth.
Early in December, my family dons our warmest woolens and heads out of doors to walk amongst snow covered trees. Our foot prints press circles into the snow around the trees we admire as we search for “the one” that calls to us; whose energy aligns with ours. Before Daddy cuts down our special tree, we give thanks for the sacrifice it will make to become the heart of our holiday celebrations.
Once home, we place our tree in the stand and set it in the middle of the room. Before any lights or decorations go up, we gather a few simple items for a Solstice Tree Blessing.
Solstice Tree Blessing
Items to gather to represent the four elements:
Earth: A small bowl of salt
Air: A feather or a lit stick of incense (Take care not to burn yourself.)
Fire: A lit candle in a heat safe holder (Take care here as well.)
Water: A small bowl of water and a tiny branch from the tree
To begin, we put on quiet music, light candles, center our energy, and gather around the tree. There are four people in my family so each member has his/her own part of the blessing. Adjust the blessing however you need to best suit your family.
One person takes the small bowl of salt and walks around the tree, carefully sprinkling pinches of salt on to the branches of the tree saying:
“Salt represents Mother Earth. As she sleeps through the cold winter months, let us take comfort in the evergreen tree as it is a reminder of the seeds of spring that sleep just below the snow covered ground. New life will be born again.”
Next, someone takes the lit incense and walks around the tree lightly blowing the smoke through the branches of the tree saying:
“Feathers (or aromatic smoke) represent air. Let the fresh scent of greenery become the sweet-smelling reminder of the florae that will bloom in the spring.”
Someone then takes and holds the lit candle. As they carefully walk a circle around the tree they say:
“Fire represents the sun. May the fires of winter stay lit for our family as we huddle together for the cold winter months.”
Lastly, someone takes the bowl of water and wets the small piece of greenery. As they walk around the tree, lightly sprinkling the water saying:
“Water is life. Let our worries be washed away as we celebrate the winter season.”
To conclude the blessing, someone says:
“Let this solstice tree be the focal point of the happy celebrations we will share with family and friends. May it remind us of warmer days to come. Blessed be!”
When the blessing is over, we adorn our special tree with our most cherished ornaments. After the tree is decorated “just right”, we sit back in the glow of the candles and twinkle lights and anticipate the joy of the many holiday gatherings and celebrations to come.
Jessie Bryson lives in Pacific Northwest Washington. You can find her at Luna Pacifica, where she chronicles her unique spirituality and the seasonal lifestyle of her family, and at Unplugged Sunday as a contributing writer.