Winter Solstice 2007
December 17, 2007
Volume 3, Issue 8
I'm dreaming...
dreary winter

Yes, it's dreary and cold outside. All day long, everywhere you look its gray and damp. And if we get lucky, December will be buried under a blanket of snow. However, once the sun goes down (at about 3pm!) we are reminded that this is a month of joy and renewal. Colorful holiday lights sparkle for the Yule Season, honoring the strengthening Sun. Inside, our homes are filled to the brim with evergreens, shiny ribbons, and candles. Yummy aromas of sugary treats and spicy cookies (or at least scented candles or oils) entice and ensure that we will have a "sweet" New Year!

 

Merry Magick Baby!

The main holidays in December are many - Winter Solstice, Yule, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Christmas - all are different names celebrating the wanning of the Dark Season and the return of the Light. As a witch, I celebrate the Winter Solstice, or Yuletide, and most Christmas traditions came directly from Yule. The boughs of holly and evergreens are symbols of eternal life. And the Yule tree, with lights that represent the stars, glass balls and other fruit shaped ornaments represent fertility, and of course a topper that is a symbol of the Divine Spirit - the star or angel. These decorations help us to celebrate this wonderful day all month long. This year start your Solistice celebrations the night before by doing a Ritual Sleep, or Vision Quest. Before going to bed on Solstice Eve, recite this bit from a Scottish Lullaby, "Cold be the night, lasting be my sleep. Eyes are closed, sleep is heavy. Bring visions of my soul to me." Then the next morning have a big breakfast with solar foods like eggs, pancakes and orange juice. Remember to wear red or another bright color to honor the growing Sun!

 

ornament
A Silent Night
cold moon

December's Full Moon is the Oak Moon or Cold Moon. It is the first of the winter season, shimmering through the snow, reflecting a frozen landscape. The candles we place in our windows are echoes of a time when it was crucial to encourage the Cold Moon to come, as it signaled the turning of the Wheel, bringing the elusive Spring one spoke closer to our icy fingers. Celebrate this year by having a meal honoring your "protectors", your spirit guides and angels, and any other ancestor or deity you feel close to. Make them each a plate at your table filled with dishes made of fruits, like apples and bananas, cornbreads and fishes. Provide red wine or juices. Make your special meal a full ritual by casting a circle and invoking your protectors, inviting them to dine with you. Then talk to Them about your fears and hopes, your angers and dreams. Ask them for strength and guidance. Be sure to listen as well. And donít forget to thank them and close your circle when the meal is done.

 

"Hear Them Ring!"

Another important day in December is New Yearís Eve, when we honor our past and focus on the future. This is often symbolized by an old man with a long beard (the old year), bowing down to a newborn child (the New Year). This is a great day to celebrate with family and friends. Have everyone wear a new piece of clothing. Enjoy a large feast that continues through out the night. Dance and play games. Have everyone write an old habit or negative trait on a piece of paper. Have the young ones in the family collect all the papers in a basket. Then have the kids stuff the papers into a small scarecrow or corn dolly Ė that they made earlier in the day while the adults where cleaning and preparing for the party! At midnight, throw the dollies into the fire, cheer and play noisemakers to ward off any impending dangers. Kiss loved ones for luck, and pass around grapes to eat and make wishes on for the New Year. Finally, have the youngest one in the house open the front door and great the New Year by ringing a bell. And at the same time have the oldest one in the house open the back door and ring out the Old Year with thanks!

 

Happy New Year
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December 23rd

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