The Winter Solstice was celebrated in the ancient world in different traditions. It is known in pagan traditions, and others, as the ‘longest night.’ There are similarities in various world beliefs.
The sun moves into Capricorn at this time and it is the start of the new solar year. This solar occasion is often seen as the rebirth of the sun, symbolized by a Goddess and the birth of her son, celebrated as a festival of light. The ancient cultures of India, Persia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Ireland and Wales all shared the belief of a son, born near the winter solstice on the 25th of December, and who died in the spring.
In pagan Europe, this holiday was known as Jul, which means wheel, or Yule. The ancient Egyptian myths of Isis and Osiris repeats in the story of Mary and Jesus. The modern day celebration of the birth of Jesus, is what we know as Christmas.
The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory ~ Gary Zukav
We can trace the date when Christmas was first established back to pagan Rome, in 274 AD, when Emperor Aurelian established the near solstice date, December 25 as the birth date of Sol Invictus, or the birth date of the “Unconquered Sun.” Later, in the 12th Century, Christian scholars syncretized the birth of Jesus with the birth of the Sun God.
Christmas as we celebrate it today retains many pagan symbols. We celebrate with lights, shiny baubles, and acts of kindness. We give gifts as the Magi of Egypt did, when they brought gifts of Frankincense and Myrrh to Mary and the baby Jesus. We use a variety of symbols from the Middle East, as well as ancient Europe, in our holiday decor. Santa Clause as a magical being, “The Spirit of Christmas”, also derives from pagan Europe.
Winter is a time when everyone comes in doors in the colder climates. We feast, gather with family and friends, and buy toys for the children. We tell the children stories of Santa, elves, and reindeer from the Far North, and I think we all, deep down inside, still believe in Santa Clause.
Pagans and secular people alike celebrate with lights, music, and festive décor. Even those who are agnostic or not Christians, acknowledge the holiday because the stories and myths of the birth of the son that is later sacrificed, is reflected from deep within nature, the stars, and the planets, as seen in Astrology, no matter how we interpret them.
He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter…. In winter the stars seem to have rekindled their fires, the moon achieves a fuller triumph, and the heavens wear a look of a more exalted simplicity ~ John Burroughs
We can align ourselves with the positive energies of the Winter Solstice in various ways. Celebrate in your own tradition and feel free to experiment with different new décor and explore other cultural beliefs. You might for example, burn a Yule log, stay up all night on the longest night, to spend some quiet time alone to reflect, rest, and meditate.
You can hang mistletoe, and a beautiful wreath, decorated with shiny icicles, snow, candles, and pine. Pine cones are lucky, as well as holly with red berries. Spend some quiet time alone to reflect, rest, and meditate. Burn a magical candle made of bayberry wax on Yule and chant,” A bayberry candle burned down to the socket, brings luck to the home, and money to the pocket.”
Lastly, relax, because we have 12 days to celebrate! I wish you all a Bright and Blessed Winter Solstice.
| PsychicAccess.com.A single mom, fashion designer, fitness trainer, and a natural born Intuitive, Leila lives a full and rewarding life in Texas. Her psychic practice includes a growing clientele that includes several famous celebrities. She’s mastered many metaphysical tools, including: Tarot, Runes and Astrology, and has been using her natural Clairvoyant, Clairaudient and Clairsentient gifts for more than thirty years, gifts that go back at least three generations. She can easily tune-in to a client’s energy, addressing their most urgent issues and needs. She’s always been a strong advocate for women, helping her clients to feel good about themselves, on the inside as well as the outside. Not only is Leila still very active in the Goddess community, but she’s a gifted mystic who can communicate with loved ones, interpret your dreams, perform guided meditations and accurately communicate your astrological path. If you’d like clear insights on your past, present and future that will help you embrace your most confident self, you can find Leila at |
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