Friday, November 15, 2019

Winter Solstice / Yule: December 21st, 2019


The Winter Solstice is a scientific event marking the shortest day and longest night of the year and has long been celebrated.  The most well-known in paganism is the historic Germanic holiday Yule, a festival that ran anywhere from 2 months to 12 days depending on the time period and locale.  Along with feasting, drinking, and blots (sacrifices), it was said that a ghostly procession came down from the sky, often with Odin at its charge.  This procession is known as the Wild Hunt and has a long history connected to numerous cultures.  Eventually, this holiday would be merged with Christmas during the Christianization of Germanic peoples.

Today, the Winter Solstice is a time of rest and contemplation as we observe it from sunset to sunrise with electronics turned off - only the light of the candles and decorations to guide us.  This solstice is a wonderful time for shadow work as we come to terms with that which we dislike about ourselves and accept ourselves for exactly who we are.  As we witness the sunrise, we welcome the warmth of the months to come.

Here in Kansas City, we're often just starting to see ice, snow, and the mere rumblings of the coldest part of winter. The solstice is a holiday where, after preparation for the winter, we turn inward to face ourselves.  It's a time of introspection, contemplation, soul searching, and, with the rising sun, hope.

This year's Winter Solstice occurs scientifically on Saturday, December 21st, 2019 at 10:19 PM CST.  Every year it shifts slightly, so I would suggest checking Archaeoastronomy.com if you're coming to this article after 2019.

Activities and Spells

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