|Our 2012 Winter Solstice tree – Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2012|
I woke up a little early the morning of the Solstice to begin preparations for our little feast. As I chopped potatoes, carrots, and onions, I kept my eye on the window and watched as the world grew increasingly illuminated. Although overcast, the sun rose again and I rejoiced by pouring an offering of whiskey to it. Although I did not get caught up in the end of the world hysteria (you know, I read and watched material from actual Mayan experts…), I found myself thinking about how beautiful it was that so many worried about apocalypse, yet there the sun was! I couldn’t help but think of our ancient ancestors and their worry about the sun not doing as we expect. Every day we witness the miracle of the sun, our source of life on Earth. Just because we know the science behind its workings doesn’t mean it is any less deserving of celebration. One day the sun won’t behave as it currently does, and the world will change. So for now, my little family and many other Pagans like us look to the sun on the Winter Solstice and say prayers of thanks.
That evening, my husband and I enjoyed a hearty meal, listened to Solstice music, and made an offering of cookies to the ancestors. It felt right to do so considering the knowledge and life they have passed on. They endured the harshness of winters past and, in doing so, gained wisdom on how to survive that we now benefit from.
Next we exchanged gifts – not too many! We have been working on moderation in our gift giving. My husband was so very thoughtful in his choices. One item he gave me (well, he said it was from the baby, heehee) is the book Celebrating the Great Mother: A Handbook of Earth-Honoring Activities for Parents and Children by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw. I’m very excitedly reading it and daydreaming of all the future fun (knock on wood)! Expect more commentary on it soon!
The next day was supposed to be spent with friends at Muin Mound Grove, but An Cailleach sent her snow and made travel worrisome. We had to cancel and opted to do some fun things closer to home – like seeing “The Hobbit” and buying me some much-needed maternity jeans. My regular jeans have become uncomfortable. I also announced my decision to step down from my elected and appointed positions within Muin Mound. I’ve been reflecting on it quite a bit since discovering my pregnancy, and the change is necessary for my energy levels. It will allow me to better focus on my health, the baby, and the growing North Country Druidic Study Group.
Thus the Winter Solstice brought many wonderful things – a deep joy through existence, two lovely evenings with my husband, thoughtful gifts, the beauty of snow, understanding from my old Grove, and renewed vigor related to the new. Here’s hoping these are signs of equally magnificent developments next year!