Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Happy Solstice

If you dwell in the southern hemisphere as I do, I hope you had a great winter solstice - or if you are in the northern half of the planet I hope you had a wonderful summer solstice . Here, with the shortest day and longest night of the year it is the perfect time for dream incubation. Not too late to do it in the next few days either in my opinion- better late than never! Walking a labyrinth is a great inward thing to do and if you don't have access to one, draw a simple one on the sand or use chalk on concrete. You could even just draw a spiral large enough to walk within- it is the intention that counts with a ritual. You can choose to ask a question as you walk in, hold it in the middle and then wait for an answer as you walk out wards- which may come then and there or in time.

A winter solstice story I love is the German story of 'Mother Holle' which was recorded by the Grimm's Brothers. I love Starhawk's version 'A Visit to Mother Winter' in the book of seasonal celebration she co-wrote with two other women "Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions", but there are probably many versions on the internet.

I plan to celebrate tomorrow night with my family with a fire in our hearth and perhaps a discussion of dreams and a dream incubation ritual. I may get to tell Mother Holle around the fire if our 9 year old son doesn't veto- though we may ignore his vote as our seven year old daughter is likely to want to hear it!

According to my "Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets" by Barbara G. Walker, the Goddess Juno Lucina, the Mother of Light and Sabine Goddess later became St Lucy or St Lucia. In Sicily St Lucy continues to rule the winter solstice 'Festival of Lights'. In Sweden modern celebrations continued to feature a maiden wearing a crown of candles known as Lucibruden, or Lucy Bride. I tell 'Mr Fox' my sexy version of Italio Calvino's Bluebeard-esque trickster tale "Silver Nose, set the tale in the Italian suburb of Leichardt in Sydney, Australia, and I call the heroine Lucy in honour of the Goddess of Light. Have a great celebration.

In ancient Ireland the Winter Solstice was celebrated at Newgrange, with initiates entering the 'mother mound' the night before the solstice and returning reborn on the dawn. Read more here.