21 June 2011

Winter Solstice - A Time of Rebirth

Light has given way to darkness and the coldness of Winter has its icy grip upon the land.  The trees are all but skeletons, having lost their leaves months ago.  The Sun is at its northern most point during its yearly migration across the sky, above the tropic of Cancer, meaning that whilst those of us south of the Equator are shivering with Summer all but a distant memory, the Northern Hemisphere is basking in the warmth and glory of the Sun. 

From this point onwards, however, as the sacred Wheel turns, we know it will only be a matter of time for we too feel those warming rays again, that will break through the chains of Winter. 

God giving Birth by Monica Sjoo
The pre-dawn silence is almost deafening as the world waits in anticipation.  Deep beneath us, the Great Mother Goddess, having entered her darkness aspect, is labouring in order to bring forth the Sun God, the Child of Promise, the Divine Saviour who will bring light and life back to this frozen land again.  In readiness, we too turn inward and complete on the warming months, on our inner goals and aspiration that we would like to bring forth. However in order to be able to do this, a sacrifice is called for.

What will we give up to the darkness night
in order to bring forth light again?

The sacred Wheel is turning and at the time of the Winter Solstice, we are given the unique opportunity to bring forth light and promise into our own worlds (the microcosm), just as the Great Mother brings forth her own Son of Light and Promise into the world as a whole (the macrocosm).

Hittite statue

Hindu statue

As the first fingers of day light sneak over the horizon we celebrate in the knowledge that hope has returned to the land.  That even within the darkest hour, there is light.  This precious gift of understanding has been bestowed upon us by the Great Mother and her eternal beloved consort and son.

Winter Solstice incenses:
  • For a citrus smell, combine dried peel of an orange, grapefruit, lemon and tangerine with some lemon essential oil.
  • For a more spicy smell, mix some dried pine needles, cinnamon and myrrh with frankincense and some dried skin of an apple.
  • Cedar and juniper berries mixed with frankincense can also be burned as an incense.


  "Return of the Sun" by Howard V. Sutherland
 Winter is passing. The inconstant sun--

Neglectful lover, therefore doubly dear--
Kisses the stern, white faces of the hills,
Melting their hearts to tenderness again;
Kisses the earth, still shiv'ring 'neath its shroud,
And whispers it of blossoms to be born.
Kisses the boughs and lures the fresh young leaves,
Spring's verdant heralds, from their hiding place;
Kisses the trees and tells them of bright birds
Seeking new homes for merry families.

Winter is passing. The inconstant sun--

Neglectful lover, therefore doubly dear--
Enters the hearts of long despondent men,
Bidding them smile and be consoled again;
Enters their souls and whispers them of God,
Of distant homes and friends that pray for them;
Enters our cabins and dispels the gloom
Of soundless days and never-ending nights;
Enters our eyes and bids us rise and see
Winter's interment, mourn'd by laughing Spring.

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