Winter Solstice Greetings, Winter Walk and Wild Holly…

Winter Solstice Greetings

Winter Solstice falls early morning Sunday 22nd December or late evening Saturday 21st December this year. (In the Northern hemisphere). So essentially what you would perceive to be late Saturday evening between midnight and dawn. A perfect place to welcome in this time of year might be at the Ancient sites of Newgrange in Ireland or Stonehenge in England though many celebrations happen throughout the world and have done in many cultures since Ancient times.

Forest walking

Nature Walking

Hope you enjoy these photos of one of my recent Nature Walks. I do like walking in Nature. Such an exquisite contrast to the life of cities.

forest walk

The Shortest day and the Longest night

The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day of the year and the longest night. It is one of the oldest Winter celebrations in the world. It is also known as Yule. Darkness has now reached it’s peak. This is the point of the year when we reach ultimate darkness which then gives way to the light. From this point the days will become longer and the sun is reborn.

A Walk in the Woods

Holly and Ivy and other plants and fruits associated with this time

There are many things in Nature we associate with this time of year. Holly and Ivy were abundant at this time of year and used for decorations and to welcome nature sprites. Apples. Oranges and Cloves are also associated with this time as are Evergreens and Yule Logs. Evergreen’s represented the eternal and immortality and civilisations like the Ancient Celts had strong beliefs in life after death.

Ivy Trees

Ivy on tree

Sacred Fires

In ancient times fires were lit at this time to bring warmth while people drank spiced ciders or wines with cloves and cinnamon. Hence mulled wine is traditional at this time of year. It was a time of merriment, warm fires brought light while people drank, feasted, engaged in theatre and made music. People welcomed and celebrated the turning of the year. If you cannot make merriment round a blazing fire with kindred souls, you can light a candle in the dark.


Saying Goodbye to The Darkness

After this night passes the Goddess gives birth to the Sun King and we say goodbye to the the dark part of the year. The sun is reborn and stays a little longer in the sky from now on. I like this light green leaf amongst the autumnal ones.

green leaf on forest floor

Turning over a New Leaf

This Dark time may be the perfect time to think about turning over a New Leaf… πŸ™‚

Brown Leaf

turn over a new leaf photo

A time for Reflection

Certainly a great time of year to reflect on what has passed and to consider setting new intentions.



There’s still a lot of mushrooms/ toadstools / fungi / about.

Toadstools mushrooms in forest

Toadstools by river

Berries abound

Spotted this tree. It is not a Holly tree and I am not quite sure what it is but it was very bright and pretty.

Unusual berries


In Ancient times Holly represented good fortune. It’s prickly leaves were thought to repel undesirable spirits, it’s red berries represented feminine blood and it was sacred to various Goddesses. Mistletoe was associated with the divine. It was deemed sacred in Druid traditions and seen as a healing and protective plant.


holly by the river

Holly Tree

This photo taken with a humble phone camera does not do this Holly Tree justice. It was bright, vivid and absolutely flourishing with fruit. It seemed to appear Magically as if overnight, bursting into existence. Nature’s Christmas Tree. Very beautiful to come across.

Holly Tree

Holly berries

Holly Branch by the river.

Holly growing by river

White Feather

A White Feather on the Forest Floor. If you are interested in symbology; should a white feather cross your path it may mean angels are near, a loved one is looking out for you, help may be close at hand or simply that everything is going to be okay,

white feather on forest floor

Sacred Renewal

The Night of the Winter Solstice, the longest night, is a time for introspection and nurturing, looking inward and planning for the future and rebirth. Time to stir up a fire in your soul so you can make manifest dreams and desires for the year ahead.

Find your Spark

It’s the Dark time of the year and you can hibernate and snuggle up in the warmth. Or you can choose to wrap up warm. embrace the elements and Dance in the Dark. πŸ™‚

Spot a Shooting Star

This Winter Solstice coincides with the peak of The Ursids Meteor Shower. If you’re lucky you might spot a shooting star!

Celtic Music

The Music above is “The Sacred Flame” by Composer Peter Gundry described as a “Celtic piece celebrating The Winter Solstice.”


(This post is by Anne-Marie at This article and all photographs in this article are the property of – No unauthorised reproduction without prior consent.)

18 thoughts on “Winter Solstice Greetings, Winter Walk and Wild Holly…

  1. Hello Anne-Marie, what a wonderful post! Thank you for this beautiful Winter Solstice blessing. I thoroughly enjoyed walking with you through the gorgeous Irish nature setting. Love the Celtic music and learning about the Celtic traditions. Great inspiration to consciously embrace this meaningful date today! I have felt very drawn to Ireland for years and it is number one on my travel wishlist. Thanks so much:) Happy Winter Solstice, Maria Elena

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been to the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge several times and I absolutely love it. ❀ If I dont go I feel like I’m really missing out. Solstice doesn’t feel the same if I’m not there. It’s my birthday too and the best time to visit as you get right into the stones. It’s the best way to experience the site. Winter one might be too cold for me. 😁 Hope you get to go one day.


        1. I was born 22nd June so day after. πŸ™‚ I’ve loved every Solstice there. There used to be an amazing youth hostel in Salisbury and there were buses all night to the stones. The hostel was sold though which is a shame as it was this lovely big house in beautiful gardens with a big tree. I’d go there every summer solstice if I could. 🌟


    1. That Holly Tree was splendiferous. In all my life I have never seen such a magnificent Holly tree. The photo doesnt do it justice as it’s a bit blurred and my phone camera is pretty naff.

      But it was such a deep green bursting with vivid red berries and had appeared very suddenly. Incredibly Magical and just flourishing. It looked like the perfect Christmas Tree out in nature. Great shape too.

      I looked for Holly songs couldnt find any. Never heard of that one. Will check out… 🌲🌲🌲

      Liked by 1 person

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