SOLSTICE SUN CHANT
by Selena Fox
Solstice Sun, Shining Bright!
Shortest Day & Longest Night.
Solstice Wish of Hope & Cheer:
Peace on Earth, throughout the Year!
Have you been busy with your plans for this year’s Winter Solstice? You have just 2 days left to finish your decorating, getting your usual ‘supplies’ and preparing the Solstice ceremonies and meal. Winter Solstice this year is at 5:30 AM, Thursday Dec. 22.
One Wiccan site suggests the burning of incense-like substances such as pine needles, dried citrus, juniper berries [Wacholder beeren] and cinnamon. The fragrance from these scents invoke inner peace during these darkest of days of the year. Luckily these items are easy to fetch and prepare or one could purchase scented candles for an already-made perfumed light.
Light is the point or, lack of, to be more exact. I cannot imagine what that darkness is like in places like northern Sweden or Iceland where sunset comes in mid-afternoon. It is no wonder, then, that at these latitudes, solstice rituals were most important to these people. On another note, I was wondering about the people who inhabited the equatorial regions of the earth: winter solstice surely wasn’t too big of a deal in these cultures. Rather, the northern Europeans were most vulnerable to the yearly ‘sinking of the sun.’ To them, it was a matter of life or death.
In our electrified modern society, the time of the Winter Solstice passes pretty much unnoticed, although we do carry the customs of our northern European ancestors into our homes. Candles in the windows, lights on our bushes are remnants of a strong meme that lingers in our essence- a meme that knows that darkness is not good for humankind.
Light the yule log! Or, if there is no fireplace in your home, drill a few holes in it and insert some candles to light. The green candles represent evergreens- the sacred tree of ‘life’ of our early European ancestors. Red for the winter berries that color the winter woods. Assemble one for Thursday’s solstice.
Of course, candles are an essential part of the Solstice ritual, the circle of light. After the circle and perhaps some song befitting the occasion, a drink of Wassail could end the ceremony. After this comes the winter dinner which, in fact, looks a whole lot like the traditional Christmas dinner. I wonder why.
At any rate, I’ll have another post tomorrow during this festival of light.