Monday, 21 December 2015

12 Days of Yule - Day 2 - Solstice

Today is the official celebration of Yule or the winter solstice. It is a celebration of the return of the light. Today is the darkest day and after a couple of days without much change, we will slowly notice the days getting longer. Many pagans celebrate the rebirth of the sun and of sun gods at this time of year. Early Christians picked this time of year (a few days later when the light is more noticeable) to celebrate the birth of Jesus for the same reason. Seeing him as "the light of the world" it was only natural to coincide this festive time of year with the birth of their saviour.
In the Norse calendar this night is devoured to the ancestors and the Wild Hunt, lead by Odin. This has obvious correlations with Samhain - celebrating the dead, for many pagans. It is fitting that on the longest night of the year, we take time to honour those that have passed before. Halloween is not the only time when the veil is thin, Yuletide is another. It is only natural that our ancestors would draw close during a time of feasting and family get togethers.
This is a time when we often think of those who are not here in physical form to celebrate with us. This can be a painful and lonely time for some because of these losses.
Tonight is a good night to light candles for the return of the sun and to those who can't be here for the holiday season, wether through death or because they have moved away.

Yesterday I celebrated Mothers night with a wonderful dinner with my coven sisters and their family. It was so nice to get together to celebrate and visit and have some good laughs.
Today I celebrated Solstice with a ritual blessing my workbooks for planning the year ahead and my journals for writing in. Later tonight we will visit with more friends at their annual Yule get together.
How will you honour the solstice this year?

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