December 2, 2012

Calling the Sun Home

It is what happens at this time of year when the days grow ever shorter and snow falls, when rivers and lakes freeze over, an icy wind howls in nearby gutters and the eaves of our little blue house in the village. I pull the draperies closed early and shut out the gloom beyond the windows, taking refuge and delight in small seasonal rites. I brew pots of tea (one after the other), pummel loaves of bread, concoct fiery curries and spicy cookies, draw, read and dream, plot luxuriant gardens for next year (more roses and herbs, perhaps a whole Medicine Wheel garden) and forge grand schemes which will probably never see the light of day.

As dark as the days ahead may be, there is light to come. Here we are in December, and that means that in only three weeks, our northern days will begin to lengthen again. Hallelujah! It will be months until it is truly warm and light here again, but at least we will be on our way, and Yule just may be my favorite day in the whole turning year. When it arrives, there will be celebrations and silliness, candles, music and mulled cider to drive away the darkness and welcome old Helios back to the world. He is still here of course - it's the Old Wild Mother's seasonal wobble that makes him seem more distant than he actually is at this time of the year.  It is we and the hallowed earth who are in constant spinning motion, and not the magnificent star at the center of our universe.

As sunlight hours continue to wane between now and Yuletide, I am lighting a special candle each Sunday at dusk in the timeless observance called the "Solstice (or Advent) Sun Wheel". In so doing, I join a grand and gently glowing circle of kindred spirits in honoring the fruitful darkness and calling the sun home.

Being the elderly magpie creature that I am and a passionate collector of timely lore, I am very interested in your own "before Yule" practices

7 comments:

Tabor said...

You fill this gray time with bright jewels of activity. I can learn from that.

Prairie Star said...

Loved this post and so enjoyed reading about how the tradition of the Advent wreath (which I love!) began. Thank you for the link. I really liked reading about and knowing that there are a lot of us lighting candles, no matter what our tradition.

I have a lovely book, "Night Visions" by Jan Richardson that I like to travel with during Advent. I am so very grateful for a season that reminds me that sometimes I need to wait and allow things to unfold as they are meant to and will.

Love to you this day, Cate!

Mary @ Colony Mountain Folk Art Dolls said...

One of my daily pleasures is visiting you here. Thank you!

Pienosole said...

Awaiting the light :-)

Mystic Meandering said...

I have my morning "ritual" of sitting in the sun light pouring in through the window for the last 20-30 mins before it arcs over the house and out of sight of any window until late afternoon. Of course, if I got up earlier there would be more time in the sun :)lol. But it reminds me of how fleeting the light is... How fleeting our days are... It is a melancholy time... And yet the Winter Solstice is my favorite time of year! The real reason for the season. And I reflect on that...

Cindy said...

We light an Advent wreath every Sunday evening. We decorate a Yule log to burn on Christmas Eve. We watch old Christmas movies in our pajamas. I bake cranberry/orange scones. I mull wine and cider. We watch the cardinals in the trees and keep their feeders full. We hang peanut butter/seed pinecones in the trees. We play Medieval Christmas music throughout the house. We sponsor a family who is in need and provide for them. We have an outdoor fire pit we like to roast marshmallows over...a lot. And we give thanks, as always. And thanks to you, Cate. I love it here in this community of kindred spirits!

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Cate, beautiful..