21 December is Winter Solstice.
This is an ancient ritual celebrated world wide.
Here in UK, it is a a very important Pagan / Wiccan ritual. You can find the Druids on Primrose Hill during the Solstice. They believe in the cycle of life, revolving around the seasons, the sun and the moon.
It used to be known as Yule, from the Norse, Jul, meaning WHEEL. IT IS NOT A CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION.
‘Solstice’ means ‘Sun stands Still’.
BEGINNING OF WINTER: The Winter Solstice marks the first day of Winter and is the shortest. Days start to get longer and nights shorter around this time.
It is the start of the Solar Year, the NEW SOLAR YEAR. It is the celebration of LIGHT and the REBIRTH of the SUN.
The Northern Hemisphere (where London is) is leaning, the most away, from the sun for the year. While we have the Winter Solstice, in the North, the South has the Summer Solstice.
So much happening as mentioned earlier in my last post. This really is a potent time on many levels. Let us take them one by one.
Message of Winter Solstice
As someone who has brought so many profoundly beautiful gifts into my life this year I offer you these few thoughts…
As I’m sure you know, In the pagan tradition, the Winter Solstice starts at sunset tonight (20 December); when The Great Mother, in her Wise Elder Crone aspect, prepares to release her Golden Sun back towards the Earth.
Here tonight, starts the turning of the year, the weaving of the cocoon web of Yule, the chrysalis that will contain us, for the next 12 days, as we prepare for, the return of the Light.
It is an hermetic time where we are encouraged to turn inwards and examine and honour all we have achieved this year, including the hard-won wounds and fought-for victories.
And it is particularly, tonight, the longest darkest night of the year, that She is in her fiercest aspect; and in many Wytches homes there is the gathering up, of all that symbolises what we wish to leave behind in the dark soils of our life – for the great mulching that begins at dawn tomorrow: the turning of all the ‘negativity’ we’ve been through over the past few months, into the manure from which new seeds will grow next year.
It is particularly powerful to take photographs or papers that represent that or those who no longer serve us and burn them on the hearth.
I cannot begin to thank you enough for all the lessons you have brought and continue to bring to me: of kindness, forgiveness, spiritual authority, honouring, sacred family. You are my divine mother and I love you in the deepest possible way….
- A time to go within and gestate the seeds of a new cycle.
- It is a new breath, a new life.
- Time for deep inner reflection.
- The most mystical time of the year.
- More transformation and shifts.
- More change and movement.
- More flow and connection to the rhythm of life.
- A time to connect with Mother Nature.
Just like the Energy of the New Moon in Sagittarius this is a Time of Truth. Do you tell the Truth honestly and kindly or cruelly? Truths may to told in a way that deliberately harms another. Are you harming another deliberately by telling the truth? Or are you ignoring the Truth and Lying?
As mentioned on the New Moon Truth can be delivered straight as an Arrow, it can hurt or it can bring joy. The way a Truth is delivered is very important. A Truth that is delivered with cruelty stings directly at the heart. The same Truth delivered with Love will still hurt but perhaps the sting will be felt less cruelly.
We journey into the Darkness, as the Lights goes underground. This could be the journey back to your mother’s womb or long before you were born or conceived.
THINGS TO DO
Meditate on the Winter Solstice Eve and Meditate on the Winter Solstice. On the Eve of Winter Solstice you can meditate in the actual dark at night and welcome in the actual time of the Sunlight, Sunset. If you cannot stay up to the actual Sunset, simply meditate in the dark, then light a candle to represent the Sun Set – the BIRTH OF THE SUN. Meditate on World Peace.
- Pray and give thanks.
- Singing songs, chanting, and invoking appreciation, praise and joy (Pagan way).
- Playing Music with drums, rattles, etc.
- Sitting in a tree and meditating in silence with the tree.
- Create an altar with sacred symbols e.g an alter in the shape of the PENTAGRAM. Use electric lights (blue and white lights) in the shape of a Pentagram.
- Work with Sacred Pagan / Wiccan Symbols like Triple Goddess symbol of waxing, full and waning moon. We have the maiden, the mother and the crone
WITH THE GODS
Honour the Gods – The divine couple in Wicca, with the Lady as Diana, the moon goddess, and the Lord as Pan, the horned god of the wild Earth. The lower figure is Mercury or Hermes, the god or divine force of magic – as shown by his wings and caduceus.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiccan_views_of_divinity
Remember the Gods that remind us of Father Christmas – Thor, the Norse Sky God who rides the sky with his goats, Frey, the Norse Fertility God, Tomte, the Norse Land Spirit who gives gifts to children. Here are other Gods Roman Agricultural God: Saturn, Greek God: Cronos / Father Time, Celtic God of the Dying Year: the Holly King, Russian Winter God: Father Ice / Grandfather Frost, Scandinavian / Teutonic All-Father God: Odin / Wotan, who rides sky on 8-legged horse! Herne is the Celtic Horned God reminds us of Santa’s reindeers.
- For more gods check this link https://www.thoughtco.com/deities-of-the-winter-solstice-2562976
- Burn a log outside your home or in your fireplace if you have one.
- Sit round the Fire Circle outside burning a log of wood e.g. oak
- Gather round the Fire, eat, drink, talk, sing, dance, stay warm.
- It is believed that you save a bit of the log to start next year’s fire.
WITH PHYSICAL, MENTAL, EMOTIONAL
- Gather together – friends and family
- Celebrate with others – eat, drink, sing, play music, dance, etc.
- Gifting of Gifts – giving and receiving
- Meet up, call, phone, email, text. For me, I prefer to meet up, if possible, with those near and dear.
- Express gratitude and appreciation to loved ones and people who have helped you. Remember Gratitude is very important.
- Ponder the good and bad experiences you have had all year and reflect on the lessons learnt.
- FOR RELEASING: It is particularly powerful to take photographs or papers, that represent that or those who no longer serve us, and burn them on the hearth.
- Give to poor, shelters – food, clothes, money
- Volunteer at Charity
- Offer someone space to sleep in your home if you can
- Cook for poor and give them
- Teach to write CV, fill up CV form
- Decorate the house with flowers, herbs and colours.
- Decorate your home in colours such as red, green and white.
- Decorate the home with electric lights
- Place holly, ivy, evergreen boughs, pine cones around your home.
- Hand mistletoe above a major threshold and leave it there all year long to bring in good luck and good fortune.
- Make or purchase an evergreen wreath and put on your front door to symbolise continuity of life and the wheel of life.
- You may already have a real live tree – a harvested evergreen tree – which you could use as a Solstice Tree and decorate with Pagan symbols.
As I came to the end of this topic, the picture of this White Horse came up to say hello. It seemed to what to be included here with the Winter Solstice.
In Norse mythology Odin, Father of All Gods, rides a horse with 8 legs, called Slejpnir.
The White Horse is ridden by Epona, a Mother Goddess for the British and Celtics. The name of the Druid Animal Totem Horse is EACH. Horses have powerful and magical meaning with the Wicca. It is time to journey this Winter Solstice. In the physical world and in the inner world. Horse is quick, decisive, and fast. Horse brings energy and speed to your endeavours. EACH connects us to the Power of Land and Sun.
Each works with Epona, and, collectively and individually, they complete LIFE-CYCLE of BIRTH, DEATH, the AFTERLIFE and REBIRTH. EACH helps us to look at our areas of RESTLESSNESS and helps to balance any unease we have or restlessness we have in a given situation. Horse is sacred medicine bringing good luck and good fortune. It protects us from the evil eye of others and situations.
EPONA rides a white horse. In Rome she is worshiped on December 18. The New Moon in Sagittarius was a few days ago, 18 December. Interesting she should come up here. In Welsh tradition she is Rhiannon. In Ireland she is Macha and Etain.
EPONA IS A PROTECTRESS. she is the MOTHER-GODDESS. She presides over life cycles. She holds a KEY to unlock the GATEWAYS to the UNDERWORLD or OTHERWORLD. She shape shifts and turns into a horse and carries the Soul of the Dead across to paradise.
In Summer, the GATEWAY is the Gateway of Birth. Epona opens the Gates of Life at Beltane, allowing a flood of energy to come though. In Winter, it is the Gateway of Death – It is the Gateway of the Soul to leave the Earth – the Souls are carried to the AFTERLIFE, back to the Summerland to be RENEWED again. We see here again the life cycle of BIRTH, DEATH, AFTERLIFE, REBIRTH.
I hope you have enjoyed this read. It has taken me on a long journey full of intrigue and aspirations. So many cultures and religions are intertwined and have cross-influences every time. We really are ALL ONE. There is so much more on this topic, but I stop here. What are you going to do this Winter Solstice? Make sure you enjoy it. Are you going to do one of the above things mentioned? We are.