Posted by: Llywelyn Graeme, Executive Assistant
Of all the holidays in the Wiccan or Pagan calendar, the Winter Solstice is my favorite. Well, after Halloween of course. Everyone loves Halloween. But the Winter Solstice marks the end of the suns retreat from the sky. It renews the Goddess’s promise that the sun will return and that summer is at last on its way. The Dark King passes the veil and the young child of the sun is born this night.
I mark the day by eating (of course) cookies in the shape of the sun, spending time with family and close friends and a small ceremony. I always try to have a gaudily wreathed tree covered in stars and tinsel and (when it is safe to do so) candles in the living room. My family (on my Father’s side) came from Denmark in the 19th century and there the tradition of the Solstice tree dates back three or four millennia, our Christmas tree growing up was always very Pagan! One of the good things about living in Ukraine is that mistletoe is everywhere. When I want to decorate with it in the United States I have to have it imported at great cost from Europe. Here it is everywhere! I also usually have holly branches, thick with blood red berries, about.
In Seattle, where I have lived most of my life, we rarely have snow in the winter. That is another great thing about living in Ukraine. While it is still hard to get about in the ice and snow, it is wonderful to look out the window and see a lustrous deep blanket of snow turning the city into a fairyland on the longest night of the year.
The other good thing about the Winter Solstice is that my wife also celebrates Christmas, and in fact the Solstice is also our wedding anniversary! So this is a time of many great celebrations for me, and that is the best way to mark having a wonderful life, reflecting on the past year, sharing gifts and good times with friends and looking forward to the coming days. I hope you all have a safe and divine Solstice, Blessed Be!