Sadness and fear die in the night of the Winter Witch.
It’s the shortest day of the year, officially the first day of winter. The sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn. Here in Northern England sunrise today is at 08:25, and sunset darkens at 15:39 (twenty-one minutes to four in the afternoon). In all we will have 7 hours and 14 minutes of grey daylight today.
It’s the winter solstice, which happens for everyone in the northern hemisphere at exactly 16:28 GMT today. The night will be dark as the new moon was only a few days ago on December the 18th. The next full moon will be on New Years Night, January the 1st 2018. This will be the Full Wolf Moon and it also means a fresh start, a time for reflection, self-awareness, and rebirth. This is the time for all of us to be born anew.
The winter solstice has been celebrated by pagans in England for thousands of years, and many of the traditions now associated with Christmas have their roots in winter solstice celebrations ~ basically Christianity ‘stole’ the winter solstice. (One wonders why Christmas isn’t actually on December the 21st.)
The ancient feast of the winter solstice was called Juul in Scandinavia and by the Germanic Peoples, (now Yule), or Saturnalia in Ancient Rome, Yalda in the Middle East, Tekufat Tevet in the Talmud, Dongzhi n China… Yule is a fire festival, and this is when the Yule Log is brought into the home ~ it should be Ash and it should burn for 12 days before being put out. (Which is where the 12 days of Christmas originate.)
In the Northern Hemisphere, friends gather to celebrate the longest night… a chance to still ourselves inside, to behold the glory of the cosmos, and take a breath with the Sacred. ~ T. Thorn Coyle.
The ancient monument at Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England, was built so that it actually indicates the solstice. Modern druids still go there to celebrate the shortest day of the year and the rebirth of the sun as the days begin to lengthen again. From today our physical, mental, and spiritual energies will begin to increase from the low ebb they have reached as the days have shortened.
This is the night The Goddess becomes The Great Mother and gives birth to the Sun King, (not the Son King). It is a time to eat, drink, and be merry ~ light candles, give gifts, gather greenery… It is a time to connect with the natural world in a way that honours the sacred immanent in all things, and a time to celebrate the interconnectedness of all things.
The Wheel of Life has turned again.
Marmaduke and I
Wish You A Happy Yuletide
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