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A Solstice Spell

by Yarrow, Starhawk, and Sandra

This Solstice Spell, created by members of Reclaiming's activist email listserve* and written by Starhawk, was part of rituals in many locales in December 2000. This version was written by Starhawk, Yarrow and Sandra.

This solstice, besides our own cleansing and renewal, Reclaiming is weaving a spell for the renewal of the earth and of indigenous peoples everywhere.

We are inspired to do so by the U'wa people of Columbia, who have been resisting oil drilling on their traditional lands by Occidental Petroleum. The U'wa believe that oil is the blood of the Mother, that their sacred task is to be in communication with the spirit heart of the earth, and that if the oil is taken we will all die. Occidental began drilling on U'wa land in November, protected by the U.S-backed Columbian army.

The U'wa are only one of many groups threatened by economic forces that benefit others at their expense. In San Francisco, speculation has caused waves of evictions of the poor, of arts groups and nonprofit organizations. This solstice, we are asking Pagans and all people of faith to join us in both political and spiritual support for indigenous people who are struggling to protect their traditional lands and preserve their cultures, and for all people struggling against displacement, from the urban and rural poor to those threatened by development, land speculation, road and dam building projects, oil drilling, environmental threats, and global warming.

The spell we weave, or if you prefer, the prayer we say, was formulated by Yarrow:

"Let there be a rebirth of the land's wisdom. Let the land's wisdom stay with those who live it. Let the land's wisdom return to those who remember it, or whose grandmothers remember it. Let the land's wisdom come to those who seek it. Let all who would live wisely on their land be free to do so, free as of right."

Sandra, from the Netherlands, suggests a form:

"I always like to materialize a spell into something tangible. I thought of using a brown thread for the Earth, a green thread for all the plants and animals that live on Her and a multicolored thread for all the different people that live on Her. Then braiding those threads together to show the interconnectedness of everything.

"Then, when each line of the spell is said, tying a knot in the braid, forming a Witches' ladder of sorts, with five knots. Then I'd either bury the braid or put it on my altar."

And we suggest saving the braids for the actions coming up this year! As we speak these words, as the sun rises out of the longest night, may we remember that fire is also creativity and life. May it feed the cauldron of rebirth, and bring you renewal in the coming year.

For updated information on the U'wa struggle and what you can do to support them, check the Rainforest Action Network website:, or email

* - Visit for more information on Reclaiming's listserve groups.