A southern exposure and striking symmetry made Lulworth Cove, along the Jurassic Coast of England, planet Earth a beautiful setting during this December’s Solstice. Five frames in this dramatic composite view follow the lowest arc of the Sun, from sunrise to sunset, during the shortest day of the year. The solstice arc spans about 103 degrees at this northern latitude. Of course, erosion by wave action has produced the cove’s remarkable shape in the coastal limestone layers. The cove’s narrow entrance is responsible, creating a circular wave diffraction pattern made clearer by a low sun angle.
Today is Yule. It is celebrated on the Winter Solstice which is the longest night of the year. After this night the nights will start to get shorter and days longer. It is the rebirth of the Sun.
Ancient people were hunters and farmers and spent most of their time outdoors. The seasons and weather played a very important part in their lives. Because of this many ancient people had a great reverence for, and worshiped the Sun. The Norsemen saw the sun as a wheel that changed the seasons. It was from the word for the wheel, houl or jol, that the word Yule is thought to have come.
Every 6 months there is a Solstice. On the Summer Solstice the longest day of the year and shortest night the Waning Sun takes control of the skies and the days get shorter and nights get longer, the cold starts to set in and and vegetation on the earth begins to die. On the Winter Solstice the Waxing Sun takes over and the nights start to get shorter and the days longer, it is a sign that Spring is only a few months away where life will begin a new and the earth will start to blossom and bloom.
On Yule we celebrate the return of the Waxing Sun. In Wicca it is birth of the Sun God who has many names, Cernunnos, The Oak King, Apollo, Sol, Freyr, Horus, Mithras, The Horned God, The Green Man, Lord Of Light and more. The Goddess gives birth to him on this night, she sacrifices herself to give life to the Lord Of Light to ensure the earths survival.
In ancient tradition Yule was celebrated with a large fire where townsfolk and villagers would dedicate it to the Sun God. They would fill their home with evergreens and an evergreen tree to show that even though the land is barren and dead, life is still flourishing, They would decorate the tree and their home with shiny objects to encourage The Sun God to shine.
We use Holly and Mistletoe on Yule as symbols of the fertility of the God and Goddess as they grow in the Winter. The red berries of the Holly represent the blood of the Goddess and the white berries of Mistletoe represent the semen of the God to ensure a healthy Spring and harvest to come.
Fill your Yule altar with fruit, nuts and winter seasonal fare such as fallen leaves,fallen tree branches, acorns, evergreens and also anything bright and shining. Light yellow, green, red, white or orange candles to ensure a good year and honor the season. make an offering of wine, grapes, juniper berries, apples, nutmeg, cinnamon or cloves to the Gods to honor them and wish for a happy new year.
The Winter Solstice has been celebrated by many ancient cultures one of the most famous being Saturnalia.The ancient Romans held a festival to celebrate the rebirth of the year. Saturnalia ran for seven days from the 17th - 23rd of December. It was a time when the ordinary rules were turned upside down. Men dressed as women and masters dressed as servants, the servants were given lavish gifts and their masters made them a big feast. The festival also involved decorating houses with greenery, lighting candles, holding processions and giving presents. A Saturnalia Tree would be the centre piece of every home.
Yule is a celebration of light and of the Sun and it’s life giving properties upon the earth. It is a time to rejoice and to be thankful for all we have and to gather strength for the new year. It is a time to contemplate on the year that has gone and look to the future.
The Winter Solstice falls on the longest night of the year (this can fall from between (20th - 23rd December) and was celebrated in Britain long before the arrival of Christianity. The Druids (Celtic priests) would cut the mistletoe that grew on the oak tree and give it as a blessing. Oaks were seen as sacred and the winter fruit of the mistletoe was a symbol of life in the dark winter months.
It was also the Druids who began the tradition of the yule log. The Celts thought that the sun stood still for twelve days in the middle of winter and during this time a log was lit to conquer the darkness, banish evil spirits and bring luck for the coming year. To make a Yule log, cut a log into 12 pieces and burn a piece every day for 12 days, with each piece burned make a wish for the coming new year.
Today we welcome back the Lord of Light. Blessed Yule to all.
My craft is quite personal. I just follow my instincts and choose things that seem to call to me at the time, so you won’t find me posting spells very often. But as I was making up this spell bottle I thought I’d post it to inspire others to create something similar or to add a little magick to their holiday season.
This bottle contains:
-water (from my home) -a few drops of sweet orange essential oil (to keep my family close) -lavender buds (for less stress) -rose buds (for love) -bay leaf (for prosperity) -catnip (for my kitty) -sea salt (for luck in my craft) -dandelion (so my wishes come true)
While placing this bottle under the light of the holiday full moon, I will chant:
With this elixir I ask the Earth to be with me now and in this year’s new birth.
I plan to dab the charged water on my wrists and behind my ears throughout the year to empower me and remind me of my goals from the previous year.
Wishing you all Happy Holidays, and a lovely new year (:
Did you think that non-avian dinosaurs only lived in warm, tropical climates?
Well you were wrong! Plenty of non-avian dinosaurs lived at the poles, which were still warmer than today, but probably did on occasion experience, snow, and definitely experienced cold!
So here is a compendium of illustrations of non-avian dinosaurs in snowy conditions, for the winter solstice today :) And then some photos of modern dinosaurs playing in snow! Happy shortest day of the year!
Remember, Undertale teaches you the real spirit of this day. Next time you see someone who has been abused and bullied and no longer trusts others, like Gyftrot, help them out, help them lighten those decorations, they may not literally have a run away child’s family photo stuck to their forehead, but you can see when someone has shifted their suffering onto someone else when bullying. The emotional weight and depression is just as heavy as a confused Pomeranian.
You could leave them worse, you could blind them by unloading your own pain, but it won’t really help. Give them a gift, even if you are out of money it’s the thought that counts. You might get a gift in return, something worth more than what you spent getting them a gift.