“You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.
Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them.”

~ Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull ~

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

12 Days of Yule ~ Day 2

2nd Day of Yule – The Winter Solstice
December 21st

"The Winter Solstice represents the shortest day and the longest night. From this day onward Caillech Bheur gains strength and eventually breaks winter's spell. Celebrate Caillech's return and the fertility she brings!"

Yule (from the Anglo-Saxon 'Yula', meaning 'wheel' of the year) is usually celebrated at the Winter Solstice. It is a Lesser Sabbat or Lower Holiday in the modern Pagan calendar, one of the four quarter-days of the year, but a very important one. This year it occurs on December 21st with the Solstice being at 5:38 p.m. Central Standard Time. Pagan customs are still enthusiastically followed ~ the burning of the Yule log, the drinking of Wassail, and lighting the tree (which in times gone by was lit with candles). It is a time for reverence, joy and celebration.

On this beautiful and most celebrated of nights, the Mother Goddess gives birth to the Sun-God, thus setting the 'wheel' in motion again. The days start to get longer and we can look forward to warmer days and the coming of spring.

Tonight Brian and I will be celebrating the Winter Solstice at Circle Sanctuary, which I'm really looking forward to. We'll most likely celebrate at the weekend with our ham, some spiced cider and the burning of our Yule log. However, I am planning on getting up during the night (early morning) to take in the lunar eclipse and perhaps celebrate in my own quiet way with a nice cup of tea. Maybe I'll even make some homemade muffins. After all, it's not in every lifetime that you get a chance to celebrate a solstice with a total eclipse of the moon.

Weather permitting, the lunar eclipse will be visible from 12:33 to 4:01 a.m. Central Standard Time Tuesday, with the total eclipse starting at about 1:41 a.m. The last time a lunar eclipse happened on a solstice was 372 years ago, in 1638.

Sunset Prayer

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.

From our home to yours . . . may the Blessings of the Goddess be with you and yours and all joy and happiness be yours in the New Year!

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Henric C. Jensen said...

Lovely :) I really like the pictures. Thanks for sharing :)

MiniKat said...

This would be why my beloved and I chose the winter solstice for our handfasting/wedding. We missed the eclipse thanks to the clouds above the region.

Enjoy your celebration tonight!

Plumrose Lane said...

Oooh, love your tree Teresa and your home looks so beautiful all lit up!
Happy Holidays sweet friend!