Saturday, December 29, 2007

At the Turning of the Year (Herdman, Hills, Mangsen)

From Circle Round by Starhawk...

Yule is the ancient name for the Winter Solstice, the longest night and shortest day of the year. In northern climates, this is the darkest and coldest time of year. The sun seems to be weak, even dying and we fear the winter will last forever.

But just as soon as the Solstice passes, the days begin to grow longer again. The Solstice is a turning point in the wheel of the year when the sun symbolically dies and is reborn from the womb of the Goddess.

In our tradition, darkness is not something bad or something to fear. Of course we wouldn’t want the world to be dark all of the time----that’s why we’re so happy when the sun begins to return after the long nights winter. Light and dark must always be in balance. But we know that without the dark, nothing could live or grow. Without night, we would have no day, no chance to rest and sleep. We would have no dreams----and dreams are out gateway to the Otherworld. Babies develop in the darkness of their mothers’ wombs. Seeds must be put into the dark earth in order to send out roots and push up new shoots.

The countdown begins - may your 2008 sparkle with laughter, love and light!

At the Turning of the Year by Anne Hills

BOOK: The Night of Wishes by Michael Ende, Regina Kehn (Illustrator), Heike Schwarzbauer/Rick Takvorian (Translators)

POEM: The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.

They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.

And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - listen!

All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,

And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.

Welcome Yule!

QUOTE: "Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols." ~ Thomas Mann

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