Wheel of the Year

12 Days of Solstice: the Feast of Potential

This third day of Solstice (starting at sunset on 22-DEC) was referred to as the “Nameless Day” and the “Feast of Potentials” (also known as the “Secret of the Unhewn Stone”). In some traditions, it was a stand-alone day, not associated with any lunar month.  Those born on this date were said to have strong intuitive senses and healing abilities.

And for many, the Feast of Potentials was also associated with Mistletoe which embodies the energies of both the Divine Masculine AND the Divine Feminine.

There was a powerful Druid ceremony called “the Ritual of Oak and Mistletoe” (pictured above) in which Druids climbed a sacred oak and cut the mistletoe growing on it. The only written record we have for this ritual is from the Roman writer Pliny the Elder  (in his “Natural History”). Why? The Druids believed that their traditions and rituals were preserved orally, and not written down.

Did Pliny get it right? He may have… but then again, perhaps not! He was most certainly vested in portraying the Druids — a threat to the sovereignty of the Romans in Britain — in negative ways. Per Wikipedia, he wrote: 

“We should not omit to mention the great admiration that the Gauls have for it as well. The druids – that is what they call their magicians – hold nothing more sacred than the mistletoe and a tree on which it is growing, provided it is a hard-timbered oak [robur]…
Mistletoe is rare and when found it is gathered with great ceremony, and particularly on the sixth day of the moon.... Hailing the moon in a native word that means 'healing all things,' they prepare a ritual sacrifice and banquet beneath a tree and bring up two white bulls, whose horns are bound for the first time on this occasion. A priest arrayed in white vestments climbs the tree and, with a golden sickle, cuts down the mistletoe, which is caught in a white cloak. Then finally they kill the victims, praying to a god to render his gift propitious to those on whom he has bestowed it. They believe that mistletoe given in drink will impart fertility to any animal that is barren and that it is an antidote to all poisons.

Soul-stice Soul Work

Solstice for me is a time of reflection and restoration, preparing for the coming new year and the spring that follows.

On this day of the “Feast of Potentials”, what potentials do you sense in your life?

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