Sunday, November 26, 2017

Calling the Sun Home

Days grow ever shorter and darker.  Skies are grey for the most part and snow falls now and then, but does not stay.  Rivers and lakes in the eastern Ontario highlands are freezing over, and an icy north wind cavorts in the eaves of the little blue house in the village.

When night falls, I pull draperies closed and shut out the gloom beyond the windows, taking refuge (and much pleasure) in small seasonal rites. I brew pots of tea (one after the other) and stir mugs of hot chocolate, concoct fiery curries and jambalayas, draw and read, plot gardens for next year (more roses and herbs, perhaps a whole Medicine Wheel garden), forge grand and fabulous schemes which will probably never see the light of day.

As crepuscular as these days are, there is more light just around the corner, and brighter times are ahead. Here we are at the end of November, and that means in only three weeks, our days will begin to lengthen again. Hallelujah! It will be some time until there is real warmth and light here, but we will be on our way, and for that reason, 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 earth's seasonal wobble that makes him seem more distant than he actually is at this time of the year.  We and our planet are the ones in motion, not the magnificent star at the center of our universe.

Beginning this evening and continuing until Yule, I will be lighting a candle at dusk every Sunday in an observance called the Solstice Sun Wreath. Now in its thirteenth year, the practice was initiated by the late Helen Farias, founder of the Beltane Papers and was adapted by Waverly Fitzgerald of the School of the Seasons. In lighting my candle tonight,  I join a circle of friends and kindred spirits like Waverly, Joanna Powell Colbert and Beth Owl's Daughter in honoring the fruitful darkness and calling the sun home. May there be peace, contentment, abundance and rude good health for all of us!

Magpie creature that I am and ever a passionate collector of seasonal lore, I am very interested in your own "before Yule" practices.


My Journey To Mindfulness said...

thank you for your uplifting words
myjourneytomindfulness :)

Tabor said...

I have no rituals. Something about me that avoids repetitive seasonal actions. Although, I am sure, if I really thought about it, it probably do.

sarah said...

It is almost Midsummer here (although summer goes on for many months past December) so my Yule traditions are different from what those of you in the north would do. Well, that is, they used to be. I don't really follow them any more. I tend towards a more inner practice of spirituality. The most I can say is that I listen to Snoopy's Christmas every year! But I do miss the old ways. Perhaps it was easy to give them up because I dislike summer so much, I'm not really of a mind to celebrate it! ;-) Or perhaps its just too difficult to do pagan seasonal activities in the southern hemisphere when the rest of the culture is celebrating festivals based on northern holidays and seasons.

Beautiful post, very warming and inspiring.