Anyone is welcomed to join us!
Sunday, December 20, 2015
6:00 to 7:00 PM CT
The Sacred Circle starts at 6:15 PM CT SHARP. Please be considerate and be on time or wait until 7:00 PM CT to join us for visiting after the circle has been opened!
Coven Life Chat Room
For information on how to find and get into the chat room or to figure out your local time please check out the banner on the left side of Coven Life Home Page.
PLAN FOR THE CIRCLE
Please click on this link to read the ritual we will be doing: http://covenlife.co/2015/12/07/winter-solsticeyule-ritual-for-coven-gathering-sunday-december-20-2015/
Just because it says coven does not mean you have to be in the coven to attend. All Pagans are welcome to join us! If you have any questions about the gathering please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I look forward to many of us coming together to celebrate this wonderful Sabbat.
December 19, 20 and 21st
Winter Solstice, Midwinter
The Solstice, taken from the Latin for “the Sun stands still,” is considered to be the true New Year—astronomically as well as spirituality. At this time, we see the simultaneous death and rebirth of the Sun-God, represented in the shortest day and longest night of the year. From this time forward, the Sun grows in strength and power as the hours of daylight increase.
Midwinter, or Winter Solstice, marked the end of the first half of the Celtic year. As with Samhain, which was the Roman festival of Pomona and the Christian All Souls grafted on to it, the Celtic Winter Solstice was subsequently confused with the Roman Saturnalia, and later the Christian Christmas. Mythologically, most of the Midwinter celebrations focused on the symbology of a new or younger God, overthrowing the older or Father God, which would then bring forth a new and more potent life to the people and the land.
Although the Solstice takes place on December 21, Midwinter(renamed Yule by the Anglo Saxons) covers several weeks on either side of the Solstice. In medieval times, Yule began around St. Nicholas’s Day and ran until Candlemas. Eventually, Yule was redefined to mean either the Nativity (December 25) or the 12 days of celebration beginning on this date. The word Christmas then replaced Yule in most English-speaking countries. However, the Danish preserved Yule as a way of maintaining their old style of festivities that incorporated several weeks of celebration.
In Wicca and modern Paganism, the Winter Solstice is the time of new beginnings, a time to reflect on the past and project for the future. Magickally, the Winter Solstice affords us a perfect time to formulate a plan of action, a goal we can work towards during the coming year.
Yule – December 20th-23rd
1. Return of the Sun God. As the solstice approaches, the return of Spring and Nature’s bounty cannot be too far off. It is difficult to belief that earlier people’s were uncertain about continued cycles, but there was not the scientific basis we have today. This was the height of Mid-Winter, and it was evident that there would be sufficient food, or that they would have to do with less until the Spring brought hunting and agriculture.
2. The longest night was also a mystical event. There is a strong tradition for staying awake all through Solstice night and holding vigil that the dawn might arrive. These can be powerful rituals. This was a time when the Goddess Hecate was considered strong, and her magickal world controlled the lives of those caught in heavy winter, and putting all their hopes and energies into surviving until the next season. Deaths were common, and the Lord of the Underworld was seen as real and near.
3. In contemporary culture, we are not at risk from the lack of Harvest and we focus on this solstice as the Day the Great Mother gives birth to the Sun. This is the culmination of the cycle of life and sexuality that began last May at the Beltaine festivities, and now the young God comes forth to begin the cycle anew.
4. Celtic Festival of Alban Arthan. Druidic festival. When the chief druid cut the sacred mistletoe from the Oak. (ABC of Witchcraft).
5. The Romans celebrated the Solstice with the Festival of Saturnalia, giving presents and social distinctions were erased. Masters served servants a feast. Riotous fun and merriment. This event celebrates an inversion of tradition.
6. Saxons celebrated the feast of Yule with blazing fires in the form of a Yule Log, one of the only remnants passed down to present day. They saved a piece of the Yule log from the current year to kindle the next Yule blaze.