I’ve decided to try and reinvigorate my spiritual practice by joining the Three Cranes Grove and their “Yule Along”. They came up with a Norse-inspired schedule but have invited others to experiment with their own hearth cultures. So as I prepare for my normal Winter Solstice celebration, I’m also preparing for several days worth of spiritual work. It will likely consist of a lot of offerings and prayers. If possible, I will meditate. My plan is to work with my husband to set aside some time each night for quiet contemplation and togetherness. No tv, no video games, no movies, no social networking. Thankfully, this falls during my holiday vacation so I will have more free time throughout the day!
As I gear up, I am going to make sure I have enough offerings. I’m also going to add some seasonal decor to my altar in the form of evergreen boughs. Finally, I am planning my family Solstice meal. This year, I’m preparing to make a quiche. Weretoad has expressed an interest in making pecan pie – one of my favorites! I also want to start some new Solstice traditions that Bee can enjoy for years to come – family games, story telling, and maybe some singing.
Here is the rough draft of my schedule:
12/19 Greeting the winter wanderer – I am going to make offerings to Manannán mac Lir as the gatekeeper, tidy up the home, and mentally prepare myself
12/20 Mother’s night/Solstice vigil (which I can totally do because it happens on a WEEKEND!) – Call my mother, make offerings to my ancestors, especially my ancestral mothers, take a relaxing shower (since I’m a mother), and get ready for vigil
12/21 Solstice Day – family gathering with feasting and honoring Angus
12/22 Nature Spirits – take a walk outside and give offerings
12/23 Feast of Fools – not sure what to do here yet… Thoughts from fellow ADFers who have done the Yule Along before?
12/24 House spirits – offerings and tidying up
12/25 Spirit of hospitality and gifting – offerings to An Dagda and time with family
12/26 Celebrations of winter/snow – another walk outside and offerings made to An Cailleach
12/27 Celebration of the evergreen – special offerings to the evergreen trees
12/28 God/desses of the household (Brighid) – offerings made at her shrine in my kitchen, meditation if possible
12/29 Shining ones – offerings at the main altar
12/30 Bringing in the boar (Lugh – deities/spirits concerning oaths) – offerings made
12/31 Twelfth Night — Resolutions, divination, remembrances, gratitudes – a celebration with friends
1/1 New Year’s Day — Returning the home to regular time, putting evergreens back outside, cleaning the home, and thanking the gatekeeper