Wheel of the Year

Twelve Days of Solstice: Day 1

Solstice Blessings !

For me, the 12 days of Solstice begins at sunset, this year on December 20th, as the Celtic day begins and ends at sunset on December 21st. This year, astronomical Solstice arrives precisely on December 21st at 15:59 UTC.

There are many traditions for celebrating the 12 Days of Solstice, some from the Celtic Fringe, others from Norwegian traditions . . . and those that we create our selves, aligning each day with our own spiritual belief.

Over the 12 Days I will be sharing daily some thoughts on what that day means for me, sharing from my own thoughts and the various traditions, and would love to read your thoughts on how the day manifests for you, and how you observe the 12 days.

In one source, Pagan’s Path, I read a lovely way these days were celebrated in Celtic traditions. I do not know if my ancestors followed this tradition but I love how the 12 days were observed following the Maiden, Mother and Crone goddesses . . and the rebirth of the gods.

For me, there is no “right” or “wrong” in how we observe the 12 days. We can learn so much from each other!

I honour two traditions on this first day of Solstice, that of the northern European tradition of Modranecht, Mothers Day, and that of the Maiden goddess.

I dip into the tradition of Mother’s Night, aka Modranecht, and light my Solstice Candle in honour of all the mothers in my lineages of blood, bone and spirit.

On this night connect with your spiritual mother ancestors in a meditation or journey, or perhaps on your altar.

I celebrate the Maiden goddess, who will help me create a new path — or stay on my current path — for the coming calendar year, and being in right relationship with Land, Sea and Sky. On of these Maiden goddesses who inspires me is Boann, the river goddess, and definitely with the insights and strengths of The Maiden. 

As Moon Mnà Karen Ward writes in her wonderful new book Goddesses of Ireland: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Women: “As a River Goddess, Boann shows us how to harness the power to flow with our decisions. She made brave choices when she decided o take a lover and dare to seek the wisdom of the Well, not knowing what lay on the other side . . .  Boann gifts us the ability to “be brave” when we craft new ways of beings, especially when we need to change our current story.”

For those in the Northern Hemisphere, blessings to you on Winter Solstice. In this image, Rowan Berries (a symbol of protection) are covered in snow, bringing a bright red note of cheer in the winter landscape.

For those in the Southern Hemisphere, blessings to you on Summer Solstice. In this image, St John’s Wort is a potent symbol of MidSummer . . . and one of my favourite herbs to forage at Summer Solstice.

Soul-stice Soul Work tip

Wherever you live, consider Standing Still (the roots of the word Solstice.

Take the day off or carve out some time during the day to just be. Unplug. Turn off (or mute) your devices. (phone, tablet) . Sit still. Reflect. Pause with Father Sun.

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