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