"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)

Saturday, 21 June 2008

winter solstice ~ Australian style

today, we celebrated Winter Solstice, at exactly 9.59 am....

last night, I had a traditional Yule dinner with my children and their partners and my grandchildren.. even Harry took part..gurgling happily away in his bouncer as we all ate around the table...

I had the room in darkness with only candles lit.. I had ordered three luminaries from Sr.K..winter solstice - I placed them in front of where I would be sitting and put a tea light into each one... as we all sat around the table, gazing at candles, reflecting on our hopes and wishes for the coming year.. I gave a luminary to each woman... my two daughters and my daughter in law.. and told them to take this light into their home.. to keep the light of Mother Earth alive on their hearths and in their families, for the coming year. the girls were all quite touched and gasped in delight as they realized that the luminaries were theirs to keep..

today, Joe and I went to the Winter Magick Festival that is held every year... this year falling exactly on the Solstice date.. what fun! stalls, buskers, parades..

belly dancers and drummers...

women dressed as trees,

... crisp cold weather.. hot soup...a wonderful day to welcome the return of the sun...(not that I am ready for it, just yet)

I was lucky enough to be able to buy a wall plaque faery called 'Daisy'.. perfect for a remembrance of the last year gone...

and I will leave you with some of the last words that Daisy sent to me:

It is rebirth of the Oak King and the bonfires are lit in fields and trees are sang [wassailed to] and blessed with a wassailing cup. People would make lots of clove spiked oranges and apples and put in them in a basket lined with evergreen boughs and wheat stalks dusted with flour. The fruit represents the sun and the boughs of evergreen symbolic of immortality, and wheat stalks, fertility and harvest and flour triumphing light and life.
Holly, mistletoe and ivy decorated both the insides and outsides of the home and were an invitation to Nature Sprites to join the celebration. One of these sprigs of holly was kept for a full year beside the door to invite good fortune for the home owners.

Unfortunately, for us, the Yule log must be given as a gift or dragged from a forest, wood or field, but never bought. Before setting it alight in the fireplace it should be shaken with flour and doused in cider. A piece of last year's yule log should have been kept to light this year's and a piece of this year's must be kept for next year's. The log is supposed to burn throughout the night then smoulder for 12 days after and then it is ceremonially put out.


amy said...

Merry Yule! Sounds like you had a perfect solstice too. I love that there was a festival too where you live and the giant sun!

A bird in the hand said...

I enjoyed this tour...I wish we all celebrated like this, following the rhythms of Nature.
Happy, happy!!

Anonymous said...

That looks like a wonderful way to celebrate Yule. A lovely family photo too :-)

Pam said...

What lovely times you are having Robyn! It's great to see everyone enjoying the festivities.

smilnsigh said...

You have a beautiful family. And seem to have had a lovely time, both on the Eve and the Solstice.

But my, it doesn't look like winter, to me. :-) I'm more used to much colder in winter, in 'my neck of the woods.' :-))))


linda may said...

Robyn, I have listed you as a person to pass on an award I have recieved. Please have a look at my blog to get it. I hope you don't mind.
Your little prince Harry is so beautiful, I could almost smell that special baby scent looking at his pictures.

Sacred Suzie said...

What a fun celebration you had! And full of life and joy. I have never done the Yule log but I really like the sound of this ritual. In my family there was the Yule log cake and that's it.

Blessed Winter Solstice to you Robyn!

Bollinger Byrd said...

What a happy family time you are all having.
Seems no time at all since we first met here and you were celebrating the summer solstice.

peppylady said...

It sound like a great way to celebrate yule or winter solstice.
I had a couple over for the Lithia celebration.
First time hosting one.

Not much is done here about the pagan holidays.
I wish their was something done here like the picture you shown.

Gemma said...

Very handsome picture of your family. The three luminaries and your gift/wish for light for your girls is very touching. I wish the same for you Robyn.

Annie said...

Wonderful parade pictures, Robyn. I especially like the bold purple and green beauty in the first picture. If you've got it, flaunt it.

Peggy said...

What a perfect way to celebrate solstice!

Julie said...

Dear Robyn,

Happy Yule to you! What a wonderful ceremony for your children. And then you got to go to the festival. Wish we had something like that here - either for Midsummer or for Yule.

Love, Julie

amelia said...

It looks too warm to be mid winter!!

Your family are wonderful...

kim said...

How fun!

Nydia said...

Oh, I'm so sorry that only today I reached your Yule post! I forgot we're on the same hemisphere... clumsy me... What a special sabbath with your family!
Loved the parade too, that's fun!
Bright blessings anyway!
Kisses from Nydia.