We begin in the heart of the darkness. Winter is full upon the Earth; snow veils the landscape, thin trees are brittle with ice, and stars shatter the black mirror of the sky.
The air is cold, metallic, sharp to breathe; scarves of woodsmoke drift in the sky over rooftops outlined with twinkling lights, and porch lamps gleam from early in the afternoon until long into the night.
-Michele Morgan “Simple Wicca”
Merry Meet my friends! I have been so busy (as I know all of you have been too) that I haven’t had the time or the energy (maybe more the energy lol) to write in my blog. Yule is the day after tomorrow!! I’m ready though. How about you? This year my immediate family…hubby, daughters, son-in-law and grandkids are gathering on Yule Sunday for brunch and our opening of gifts. About 5 years ago we decided to meet as a family on a day other than Christmas Day. This year we opted for Yule as the date. Christmas is then spent with more extended family…grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc. Other than a few packages yet to wrap and some baking to do tomorrow, I’m ready. How are you doing with your preparations? Do you have a feast planned? Family coming over? A more private, solitary day? Whatever way you celebrate it, I hope that you’ve taken time in the all the busyness to BREATHE!
The Solstice for me…and many Pagans and Witches…is more about a time of quiet contemplation. Though the Solstice is the first day of Winter, the longest night of the year, it’s also the start of the nights shortening and the days lengthening. Though we have a lot of Winter left, we know that the Wheel turns, the Sun will return and strengthen, and Mother Earth will green and awaken again soon. But in the meantime, the dark time of the year is such a great time for nesting. To me, nesting is relaxing more, reading more, taking on projects around the house, perhaps writing, painting, working on your book of shadows, crafts, learning something new, and of course hanging by a fire and again….relaxing more. I just seem to have more time (well after the New Year especially) to work on myself a bit too. To look within, to be silent, to meditate better. Feeling like I’ve accomplished something over the Winter is always a good thing for me.
My altar is done…I kept it really simple this year and I think quite elegant. I’ll add more greens tomorrow and of course wine and cakes. After all my family goes home on Sunday, that evening I’ll have time to spend at my altar. I’ll be expressing my gratitude for the past year, throwing out what no longer serves or makes me happy, adjusting in my mind attitudes, angers, hurts, and putting out to the Universe (and myself) what I’d like to have happen in my life in the coming New Year. Now as a Witch, I did some of this at Samhain, the Witches’ New Year. But the New Year calendar- wise…well, it doesn’t hurt to reinforce it. Sometimes I take time to re-dedicate myself to my Path as well. It’s a quiet, solitary ritual that I enjoy very much. Especially in the middle of all the hoopla, chaos, drama, fatigue, over-eating, over-drinking, busyness that is the holidays!!!
On Yule night…light lots of candles and bring in the greens! Sweep out the old, usher in the new, spend quiet time, contemplate, read, relax….and know that you’ll have time to do this more over the next few months. Maybe a good snow will come and force you to stay in and that’s even better! In a few days, if you celebrate it, Christmas will be here and gone as well…then the New Year. Then Winter will be here in all it’s cold, stark beauty, and you can take a deep breath and say…..AAAAHHHHH!!! I know for many, seasonal depression can set in. Try to find something that interests you, makes you happy. Be alone when you need it and with friends and family when you need that. Be kind to yourself. Find the good things in your Life and hold on to them. Spring will come again..it always does.
Have a very Blessed Yule my friends. May the Mighty Ones bestow you with Peace, Love and Joy this Yuletide Season.
Blessings and Love, Autumn