Tonight is the longest night. The Sun returns, born from the dark and nourishing womb of the Great Goddess. The Lord of Death is the Lord of Rebirth, and the darkness now gives way to light as each day grows longer. On this night we remember that darkness is not empty nor frightening. It is the infinite potential out of which the light is born. On this night we rejoice, for the dreams we have found inthe dreamtime now appear before us. On this night, we kindle the light of hope, for light is returning and with it, new life.” *Taken from Witch Crafting by Phyllis Currott.
What a busy weekend its been. The Ceres Winter Solstice celebration ‘Beautiful Darkness’ was good fun. Live music, a human beat box (a mixed blessing there!) and lots of lively company. As always it was truly a blessing to share it with good friend who I simply don’t get to see enough of. Lovely DocWitch was there with her lovely wee sprite – now 6 – full of beans and good humour but minus two front teeth. How I love a gap toothy grin. An absolutely gorgeous blend of mamma and pappa with a definite smattering of audacious original spirit.
I love the Winter Solstice(also knowns as Yule). Hell, I love winter. And I surely do miss snow with all my freezing northern hemisphere heart. The Winter Solstice means…standing-still-sun. Winter solstice is when because of the earth’s tilt, your hemisphere is leaning farthest away from the sun, and therefore: The daylight is the shortest. The sun has its lowest arc in the sky. Like many pagan festivals and celebrations, it has been appropriated by the dominant religion of the time and renamed ‘Christmas’ – the Rebirth of the Sun becoming the Birth of the Son! Out here in the Southern Hemisphere the Winter Solstice falls on 21st June – which really confuses a poor gal like me! – but which fits the weather perfectly. Here in the Nongs, surrounded by tree mist and softly falling rain, I could almost be back at home in Merry Olde Englande. We have spent many a night hunkered down in front of the roaring wood fire, incense burning sweetly in the background, a bit of Nick Drake or, more recently, a bit of Nigel Mazlyn Jones on the sterierierierio adding a lovely windswept air to the proceedings. All that’s missing is the mulled wine. Alas, this poor wino has had to forfeit many a pleasure recently (sugar, alcohol and they are trying to take my dairy away… noooooo) due to ongoing wrestle with aging body in an effort to produce another sprightly sprog. Yes, hopefully another witchypoo spirit will be joining its older sister earthside in just a jiffy. Keep thinking sensual thoughts people. Still, there is something magical about the first snowfall and I’ve been out here for so long now that I genuinely miss the crisp British promise of snow in the air and ahhhh, that feeling you get when the snow finally comes. The sky turns pink and big soft flakes float gently down to earth. Crunching white frosting underfoot on a moonless but still brightly illuminated night is something to treasure. Truly.
So – I will leave you for tonight. My memory still full of late night fire twirling, my little gumnut divebombing the legs of total strangers and generally running through the beautiful darkness like a loon and of mamma’s and pappa’s dancing with kidlets to the sounds of African Drumming and accoustic guitars – though thankfully not at the same time!
I hope your Solstice found you merry and bright and may all your Solstices be white.