Happy Winter Solstice, or Yule! Of course, our spherical planet also gives us the beautiful symmetry of the Summer Solstice (Litha) being celebrated now by our Southern Hemisphere friends. For all of us, this year brings us the special treat of a full moon on the Solstice!
Some of the ways many of us are celebrating were published a few weeks ago. I hope all the preparations haven’t been too busy for you – but whether they have or not, now is the time to relax and celebrate! Everything doesn’t have to be perfectly prepared, after all. Read More
Though we are now seeing less and less of our closest star (in the Northern Hemisphere), the Sun will soon be returning! For me, the Winter Solstice is a celebration of all stars, near and far, ancient and current. Read More
In PaGaian Cosmology, and sometimes explicitly expressed in other traditions, Winter Solstice/Yule essentially celebrates the Birth of All, Origins (capitalized because it needs to be noted as a sacred and ultimate event). Winter Solstice is a good time to contemplate Creation stories. Here is one – a Poem from Jami 1414, with an image (from my ritual space – I call Her Radha):
“I wouldn’t go so far as saying I’m atheist! Those guys are always so angry”, my friend had told me in his truck in the middle of Nowhere, Wyoming a few years back. “Are they?” I replied, “I actually haven’t met any like that. Honestly, in the world of religion, atheists have got to be the most ostracized I’ve ever met. Every religion looks down on atheists or feel superior over them; they’re the nonbelievers. But I haven’t seen them angry- I’ve seen them more understanding.
So how will you be celebrating? There are less than three weeks left before Yule (the Winter Solstice)! This is going out a week early because for many of us, this is a Sabbat that takes a little more preparation (and if you are buying gifts, the HP Gift List here might help). Whether that’s due to cultural inertia, or kid’s expectations, the importance of Stars and this Sabbat, or whatever, it’s a big deal in our family. We’ve already started the Solstice doors and decorating. If you have been doing your Winter Solstice traditions for years, if you are just starting your family and are currently building the traditions which will bring the Universe to your kids, or anything in between, I hope that the traditions and practices here are found to be useful, inspiring, or just comforting.
For me, this Sabbat was my gateway – the first holiday I added to my life after leaving all Catholic holidays behind as insignificant to our human future. I started watching our Sun rise on the Winter Solstice – a tradition linking me to millions of Ancestors across the globe for thousands of years. I found out how real, powerful, and universal this holiday is in one way or another, and how natural it was for this season to capture our human attention. The rest of the Wheel followed easily from there.