Tag Archive: winter solstice


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“Great sun, wheel of fire, Ra in your glory,
hear me as I honor you
on this, the shortest day of the year.
Summer has gone, passed us by,
the fields are dead and cold,
all of earth sleeps in your absence.
Even in the darkest times,
you light the way for those who would need a beacon,
of hope, of brightness,
shining in the night.
Winter is here, and colder days coming,
the fields are bare and the livestock thin.
We light these candles in your honor,
that you might gather your strength
and bring life back to the world.
O Ra, mighty sun above us,
we ask you to return, to bring back to us
the light and the warmth of your fire.
Bring life back to earth,
Bring light back to earth.
Hail Ra! Ruler of the sun!” ~ Patti Wigington

 

 

 

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yulethelongestnight/qt/SunGodYule.htm

“In the middle of winter, it’s hard to remember sometimes that light is coming back to earth. However, despite the gray, cloudy days, we know that soon, the sun will return. Keep this in mind during those dreary days when it seems winter will never end, by invoking the four classical elements.

"Solstice Eve" by Willow Arlenea

“Solstice Eve” by Willow Arlenea

As the earth grows colder,
the winds blow faster,
the fire dwindles smaller,
and the rains fall harder,
let the light of the sun
find its way home.” ~ Patti Wigington

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yuleprayers/qt/ElementPrayer.htm

The Celtic people knew the importance of the solstice. Although the Yule season marks the middle of winter, colder times were still to come. It was important to put aside staple foods for the coming months, because it would be many months before anything fresh grew again. Consider, as you think on this devotional, what your family has put aside — both material goods and things on the spiritual plane.

A flock of sheep grazing in the snow on the hills outside Doagh, County Antrim.

A flock of sheep grazing in the snow on the hills outside Doagh, County Antrim.

The food is put away for the winter,
the crops are set aside to feed us,
the cattle are come down from their fields,
and the sheep are in from the pasture.
The land is cold, the sea is stormy, the sky is gray.
The nights are dark, but we have our family,
kin and clan around the hearth,
staying warm in the midst of darkness,
our spirit and love a flame
a beacon burning brightly
in the night.

Beautiful-night wallpapers 8049 1680x1050

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yuleprayers/qt/CeltYulePrayer.htm

"Iris" by Howard David Johnson

“Iris” by Howard David Johnson

“Iris’ themes are winter, peace, protection, air, meditation, promises and beginnings. Her symbols are rainbows and water. This Greek messenger to the gods traverses between the Earth and heavens, appearing as a winged maiden on a shining, hopeful rainbow. In this form She represents the calm after the storm – the end of the year’s activities and the advent of a new beginning. Traditional offerings to Her include figs, cakes, wheat and honey. In some stories it was Iris’ job to gather water from the Underworld for use in taking sacred oaths.

The phrase Halcyon Days comes from the ancient belief that fourteen days of calm weather were to be expected around the winter solstice—usually 21st or 22nd of December in the Northern Hemisphere, as that was when the halcyon calmed the surface of the sea in order to brood her eggs on a floating nest. The Halcyon days are generally regarded as beginning on the 14th or 15th of December. Thus, the week before and after the winter solstice are said to bear both the halcyon’s and Iris’s calm ambiance and hopeful demeanor.

To inspire an improved outlook, find a rainbow sun catcher and put it in a window today so that Iris’s radiance can fill your home. Get an extra one for your car (or maybe a rainbow-colored air freshener), so you can keep that energy with you throughout the day.

For another aromatic approach, open a window briefly today and let Iris fly in on wings of change and refreshment. Burn some violet or lavender incense as you do. These two aromatics accentuate this Goddess’s vibrations.”

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

"Iris" by Josephine Wall

“Iris” by Josephine Wall

Patricia Monaghan wrote that “the rainbow Goddess Iris was Hera‘s messenger, a winged maiden who – when not delivering messages for Her mistress – slept under Hera’s bed.  It was Iris who, when Her mistress slept with Zeus, prepared their bed with sanctified hands.  She was one of the few Olympians who could journey at will to the underworld, where She fetched water for solemn oaths; for this reason, She was sometimes called a form of the witch Goddess Hecate” (p. 164).

 

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, “Iris”.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Goddess-guide.com, “Iris The Greek Goddess of the Rainbow“.

Illes, Judika. Encyclopedia of Spirits, “Iris” (p. 512 – 513).

Lady Zephyr. Orderwhitemoon.org, “Iris“.

Mythagora.com, “Iris“.

Theoi.com, “Iris“.

Hildreth, S.Y. Orderwhitemoon.org, “Iris“.

Wikipedia, “Iris (mythology)“.

"Oak King" by Tara Upchurch

“Oak King” by Tara Upchurch

“The Holly King is gone, and the Oak King reigns –
Yule is the time of the old winter gods!
Hail to Baldr! To Saturn! To Odin!
Hail to Amaterasu! To Demeter!
Hail to Ra! To Horus!
Hail to Frigga, Minerva, Sulis and Cailleach Bheur!
It is their season, and high in the heavens,
may they grant us their blessings this winter day.” ~ Patti Wigington

"Winter's goddess" by *frenchfox

“Winter’s goddess” by *frenchfox

 

 

 

 

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yulethelongestnight/qt/YuleOldGodsPray.htm

“Depending on where you live, you may be seeing snowfall long before Yule arrives. Take a moment to appreciate its beauty, both as it falls and once it covers the ground.

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From the reaches of the north,
a place of cold blue beauty,
comes to us the first winter storm.
Wind whipping, flakes flying,
the snow has fallen upon the earth,
keeping us close,
keeping us together,
wrapped up as everything sleeps
beneath a blanket of white.” ~ Patti Wigington

 

 

 

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yuleprayers/qt/SnowPrayer.htm

"Gathering Mistletoe" by Briar

“Gathering Mistletoe” by Briar

“Yule is a time to set aside animosity between yourself and people who would normally antagonize you. The Norsemen had a tradition that enemies who met under a bough of mistletoe were obligated to lay down their arms. Set aside your differences, and think about that as you ponder this devotional.

"Lady of the Lights" by Briar

“Lady of the Lights” by Briar

Beneath the tree of light and life,
a blessing at this season of Jul!
To all that sit at my hearth,
today we are brothers, we are family,
and I drink to your health!
Today is a day to offer hospitality
to all that cross my threshold
in the name of the season.” ~ Patti Wigington

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yuleprayers/qt/NordicYule.htm

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Colorado winter landscape at night by SILBECL

“The longest night has come once more,
the sun has set, and darkness fallen.
The trees are bare, the earth asleep,
and the skies are cold and black.
Yet tonight we rejoice, in this longest night,
embracing the darkness that enfolds us.
We welcome the night and all that it holds,
as the light of the stars shines down.” ~ Patti Wigington

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yulethelongestnight/qt/SunsetYulePraye.htm

“In early winter, we can see the skies becoming overcast, and smell fresh snow in the air. Take a few minutes to think about the fact that even if the skies are cold and dark, it’s only temporary.

"Dark Winter Morning"by `scotto

“Dark Winter Morning”by `scotto

See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way
for the darkness soon to come.
See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way,
for the world to go cold and lifeless.
See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way
for the longest night of the year.
See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way
for the sun to one day return,
bringing with it light.” ~ Patti Wigington

 

 

 

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yuleprayers/qt/BeginWinter.htm

“Yule should be a time of joy and happiness, but for many people it can be stressful. This is a season to take a moment and be thankful for the blessings you have, and to take a moment to remember those less fortunate.

Art by Julia Jeffrey

Art by Julia Jeffrey

I am grateful for that which I have.
I am not sorrowful for that which I do not.
I have more than others, less than some,
but regardless, I am blessed with
what is mine.

Celtic Mists Lapis + Onyx Pagan Prayer Beads (available from Sacred Mists Shoppe)

Celtic Mists Lapis + Onyx Pagan Prayer Beads (available from Sacred Mists Shoppe)

If you have a set of Pagan Prayer Beads, or a Witch’s Ladder, you can use these to enumerate your blessings, much as a Catholic would say a rosary. Count off each bead or knot, and consider the things you are thankful for, like so:

First, I am thankful for my health.
Second, I am thankful for my family.
Third, I am thankful for my warm home.
Fourth, I am thankful for the abundance in my life.” ~ Patti Wigington

http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yuleprayers/qt/CountBlessings.htm

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