Archive for December 21, 2012


Woke up to a Solstice Wonderland this morning

Waking up to a Solstice Wonderland this morning

First off, I’d like to wish you all a Happy Solstice and Blessed Yule!  This is a liminal and very magical time of year that our Northern European ancestors took very seriously – celebrating it with feasting, drinking, gift giving, sacrificing and rest from work.  They knew the sun would be returning to warm the earth and the promise of spring and summer would be arriving soon…

The 12 Days of Yule also seemed to be a very auspicious time of year in which oaths were taken the most seriously and binding.  It was and is also still a time to reflect upon resolution – reconciling old debts and giving up that which no longer serves you now and in the new year to come.

Our Solstice started out this morning with aspersing ourselves with water and smudging with sage and lavender.  Offerings of oats was given to the Earth Mother, apple cider to the Nature Spirits, beer to the Ancestors and whiskey to the Shining Ones.

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Offering of oats, cider, beer and whiskey

We charged a gold candle with our “love wishes” of peace, love, happiness and thanks for our blessings (and unicorns – my daughter was especially thankful for unicorns, but hey, who isn’t?).  The candle stayed lit all day and is just now going out – well past sundown.

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Gold candle to symbolize the Sun

This was followed up with an offering of a make shift “Yule Log”.

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Make shift Yule Logs

Happy Solstice!

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As I was browsing the Internet later on this afternooon, I came across an article entitled the “12 Days of Yule Devotionals – Prayers for the Winter Solstice” by Patti Wigington.  She wrote, “The winter solstice is a time of reflection, during the darkest and longest night of the year. Why not take a moment to offer up a prayer on Yule? Try a different devotional each day to give you food for thought during the holiday season.”  I really love this idea!

On the 1st day of Yule, the first devotional is the Earth.  “Just because the earth is cold doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on down there in the soil. Think about what lies dormant in your own life right now, and consider what may bloom a few months from now.

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Cold and dark, this time of year,
the earth lies dormant, awaiting the return
of the sun, and with it, life.
Far beneath the frozen surface,
a heartbeat waits,
until the moment is right,
to spring.” ~ Patti Wigington

I think this would be fabulous to do upon arising every morning – perhaps with the lighting of a candle and making an offering (i.e. an offering of oats or cornmeal to the Earth or with whatever seems appropriate to you).

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“Amaltheia’s themes are success, humor, reason, devotion and providence. Her symbols are goat, cornucopia and stars.  In Greek mythology, this she-goat Goddess nourished Zeus as an infant. In later years, Zeus broke off one of Her horns, which became the cornucopia, providing sustenance for all earth’s creatures. For Her diligence and service, Amaltheia was transformed into the constellation Capricorn, where She remains.

This astrological sign begins on the first day of winter with the power of logic and reason to guide action, balanced by a keen sense of humor when the going gets tough. Those born under this sign strive tenaciously for success, like the stubborn goat they are.

To improve your personal tenacity, make a paper horn filled with fruit. From now until the end of the year, eat a piece of fruit each day named after the area of your life in which you need Amaltheia’s diligence. Take that energy with you each day so that by the end of the year you will achieve success.

Other ways of emphasizing Amaltheia’s power include keeping the image of a goat (perhaps cut out of a magazine, or one made of stone on your altar or in another place of honor today, carrying fortitude-inspiring herbs like gingerroot and carnation, or tucking in your pocket for the day stones that inspire victory (like marble).”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

amaltheia

“The Childhood of Zeus” by Jakob Jordaens

Patricia Monaghan wrote: “Whatever the name of Zeus‘ Cretan nurse (see Adamanthea), She fed the infant god on the milk of this magical nanny goat.  When he grew up, Zeus broke off one of Amalthea’s horns and gave it to his nurse; it then turned into the magical ‘cornucopia’.  Just as the magic goat could produce milk rich and copious enough for a god, so part of Her could provide sufficient nourishment for the children of earth.  After thus providing for humankind, the one-horned nanny disappeared into heaven, where She was transformed into the constellation Capricorn” (p. 41).

“In some traditions, the goat’s skin became the Aegis, the legendary shield of Athena.” [1]

 

 

 

Sources:

Lindemans, Micha F. Pantheon.org, “Amaltheia“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Amalthea”.

 

Suggested Links:

Theoi.com, “Amaltheia“.

Wikipedia, “Adamanthea“.

Wikipedia, “Amalthea“.

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