“A Simple First Snow Rite”by Rev. Jan AvendeThis ritual is designed to take place during or shortly after the first snow of the season.Materials needed:freshly fallen snow1-4 bowls to collect snow4 candlesyour regular altar & Hallows setup, including a Wellan offering for the spirits of winter/a winter deity of your choiceStep outside into the snow with your empty bowl(s). I prefer to do this bare-footed and bare-handed, but use your best judgement as far as safety is concerned.“Spirits of winter, I have felt you stirring all about me. Now I see you, as you make your presence known. Be with me as I mark the turning of the season, and all that it entails.”Gather your bowl(s) of snow and bring them back inside to set on your altar. Next to each of the four bowls, or surrounding the single bowl, place your four candles. Light each candle as you speak:“As winter begins, I stand in the light, looking down into spreading darkness below. As this snow melts, let it signify that the light will make it through the dark.""Winter is a time of solitude and contemplation, a time to look within. As this snow melts, let it signify that companionship is as important as solitude.""Water freezes in the depths of winter, bringing with it much beauty. As this snow melts, let it signify the Waters of Inspiration are now free to rush forth and flow into me."For this last part, take one bowl of snow (or a small amount of the snow you have gathered) and place it in your Well. Then light the last candle and speak:"The Cosmic Waters run deep and cool beneath the earth. As this snow melts, let it signify the Cosmic Waters being renewed as the fresh ice flow from the winter nourishes them.”Prepare your offering for the spirits of winter/winter deity and speak:“I call to you now, Spirits of Winter. I see you come, stately and measured, showing off your beauty and destruction all in one breath. I see you, as you frost the land, bringing sparks of light to glitter in the dark. I see you, as you glaze the world with your presence. Spirits of Winter, I see you here, all around me now, and I acknowledge that this is your time of life and joy. As I make this offering to you, I ask that you bless me with the dichotomy of gifts you have to offer. Bless me with solitude and companionship. Bless me with light and dark. Bless me with contemplation and inspiration. Bring renewal to the world. Spirits of Winter, accept my offering!”Allow all the snow to melt. The melt from the first three bowls can be used to bless tools for the winter. I usually take a small sip of the water while it is still cold, so that I can better feel it course through my body. Then, I usually anoint and bless my writing implements and my musical instruments, since winter is the time that I am more prolific as a bard.