Winter Solstice

I am the Holly King

I am the Holly King,
the dying Sun and King of the Old Year
Like the Phoenix who rises anew from its ashes
I too shall return, born anew
As the Child, the New Sun and King
I hold in my arms
He is my son and my heir
He is my Self
Having learned the wisdoms of the South
I now return to the North
To bring you warmth and light
And the promise of Spring
I am the Holly King.

~R.

Invoking the Holly King

Today we do bid Hail to our beloved Holly King
With these ancient carols, we do again sing

He who is called Father Christmas is returning yet again
As the Solstice’s longest night has finally begun
We await you, Santa Claus, Lord of Winter
To honor you on this day that you always were
Saint Nicholas, patron of children on Gaia’s sphere

This invocation, we pray you do hear
Come bless us, upon this season of the Yuletide
Great Holly King as you fly upon your sleigh ride
Whether your gifts to us be physical or spiritual
We know that they will always be most magical

Grateful, because we know your blessings’ great worth
We offer a blessing of our own — Peace on Earth!

by Ginger Strivelli

A Christmas Salutation

I salute you!
There is nothing I can give you which you have not.
But there is much, that while I cannot give,
you can take.

No heaven can come to us, unless our hearts find rest in it today.
Take heaven!

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant.
Take peace!

The gloom of the world is but a shadow.
Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy.
Take joy!

And so at this Christmastime, I greet you,
With the prayer that for you, now, and forever,
The day breaks, and the shadows flee away.

~Italian 16th Century Benison

Raven Power for the Winter Solstice

The solstice is the shortest day of the year The sun shines the least on this day, thus it is the darkest. From that day forth, the light shines a little more each day This is symbolic of the influence of raven. It teaches how to go into the dark and bring forth the light. With each trip in, we develop the ability to bring more light out. This is creation.

CHANT

Wing so black it shines like Moon at midnight,
O Raven, strong, hear my cry!
Teach me old magick, powerful, bold,
O Raven, eloquent and wise.

~Ted Andrews

Ice River


How do we get to travel beyond our own limitations and out and beyond the old barriers and cages of self? The ice river is a very ancient and also, a very well known way to do just that. It exists in many different permutations across the widest range of cultures; and it is a truly magical occurrence. Just as magical are the winter lands.

There is no accident in the fact that Superman’s “Fortress of Solitude” can be found at the North Pole, the palace of the Ice Queen and Father Christmas’s multi-coloured magical workshop “where all the toys in the world are made”. This is deep magic, very old, very powerful.

On this journey we do nothing but to scout these lands “beyond” and become more familiar with them, re-claim them as our own and begin to make a first connection to the magic which resides here and which truly, “cannot be found in any other place, in any other way”.

Many people spend a lifetime “looking for their magic” and this journey will show an aspect of this magic which is perfectly ours, perfectly our own and perfectly reachable – if we make the effort and seek it out with volition, get to know it and when the time is right, re-awaken it from its frozen sleep.

On a personal note, it was Ice River directly which taught me how to use my “night eyes” – to see the patterns of the energy world with a set of other senses than the physical eyes. What it might do for each individual of course, I cannot know – but I do know that I would like each person to at least travel there once and just make that first contact, so their own “north poles” are once again, a part of their world in awareness at least.

~Sylvia Hartmann

Ice River

Let’s transport ourselves for a moment
to a different place, a different time
of where the autumn turns to winter
scapes, a gentle merging as the sun
is low on the horizon and the air
tastes sharp and clear.

We would stand
in warming furs, well covered
snug within
and we would see ahead
a river white and wide
straight river, out into
the far perspective where
the banks have merged
before the low horizon
meets the single point
in distance.

And we would step upon
our starting point,
a frozen lake
so deeply frozen,
thickest glass
of white and blue
so solid now
beneath our feet
and as our feet
would quite without
our mind’s command
would now begin
to move and slide
and skate in
rhythmic pulses
left to right
and as our bodies
bend into the movement
and our arms begin
to reach as well
thus we begin
our journey
forward
upward
on the river white
and raise our eyes
to where the point
of far perspective lies
and we begin to travel

Faster, faster still
and lighter,
each forward pulse
increases the momentum
each forward pulse
adds speed and now we
seem to fly towards
the point of far perspective
where the land must
meet the sky and all is
one, and silent white,

pulse travelling
pulse carrying
pulse flying
as the point expands
and seems a light
that seems to grow
in brightness and
you know

the doorway
lies before you
as you keep your eyes
towards the gate of far perspective
as you approach
and it grows more defined
and clearer
in your vision

soft white
and pulsing with a beat
that is the same
that pulses in your body
that brings you closer
closer with each beating
of your heart

It grows
the doorway grows
and now it fills your vision
here it is,
here you are
here you have arrived
at the gate of far perspective
and another pulse or two or three
bring you into the white
and white is right
and all there is
and for a moment there is
nothing but the movement
on continuing and phasing

slowing from the impetus
relaxing down and slowing more
until you passed the gate
and you become aware and see: T

he winter world before you
and the river still
and frozen still it is for
you to travel glass and icy smooth
and yet it is a river and it turns
and loops through winter land.

Slowly and without the slightest effort
you begin to glide the Winter River
and you see all along
the banks on either side
fantastic landscapes, crisp and white
the sky so radiant blue above
and all is winter still
and winter reverend.

Gently you glide by
and you perceive
enchanted castles,
frozen wells
and there’s a knowing
that there’s sleeping things,
snug and safe
in timeless slumber
deep beneath
the sweeps and crests
of ancient ice
that lie a frozen ocean
stretching far
and further still.

Gently you glide by
and you perceive
ice mountains,
sparkling glass
fantastic sculptures
that are beautiful
and they are here
as they could be
not anywhere
but here

Gently you glide on
and know that this
is now a world
that others never seek
to seek, nor seek to
travel.

And as you travel,
and observe,
and as you travel
and you marvel at the beauty
and the clarity
the timelessness
and perfect beauty of the white
your world grows larger
and a part that has been
long denied
has taken and is taking now
its rightful place
at last.
And you can know
as darkness falls
and Northern Lights play
in the sky
beneath your closing arc
that there is magic here
that there is much
you never thought to seek
that you might think
of coming here again
to seek and find
to learn and love
to stand before
the vastness and the beauty
and you might find
the kind of treasure here
that simply cant be known
in any other way
in any other place.

Glide by
Beneath the banding lights
of dancing jade and purple,
celestial blue and green
in hues you’ve never known
you glide on by to find
the gate of far perspective
for your journey here
was one of recognition
and of admiration
and of re-connection
to a something
that you might have thought
you had forgotten
and yet that lives
and sleeps and breathes
forever in a beauty
that cannot be found
in any other place.

Beneath the diamond stars
in stillness you return
and close the distance gently
as the gate grows from the point
of far perspective
widening on your approach
and with a tiny sense
of deep regret
at leaving once again so soon
and with a small decision to return
when time is here and time is right
you move towards the growing gate of white
that takes you back and through into
your time of mind,
and back and through
into your time of here and now,
a gentle dis-so-lucian
of the magic and
a gentle drifting back to self
in thought, in mind, in
physicality
as your awareness of the here-and-now
comes back in gentle waves,
in gentle waves of feelings and sensations
here and now
and bright aware
retaining and remembering.

~Sylvia Hartmann

Hymn To The Sun

Shamash was the Sun God of ancient Babylon. The prayer that follows is one of the longest and most beautiful of the hymns that have come down to us in cuneiform. I think this would make an awesome invocation, prayer, or meditation to greet the Sun as morning dawns after the longest night of the year (The Winter Solstice).

Hail Shamash

You climb to the mountains surveying the earth,
You suspend from the heavens the circle of the lands.
You care for all the peoples of the lands,
And everything that Ea, king of the counselors, had created is entrusted to you.
Whatever has breath you shepherd without exception,
You are their keeper in upper and lower regions.
Regularly and without cease you traverse the heavens,
Every day you pass over the broad earth. . . .
Shepherd of that beneath, keeper of that above,
You, Shamash, direct, you are the light of everything.
You never fail to cross the wide expanse of sea,
The depth of which the Igigi know not.
Shamash, your glare reaches down to the abyss
So that monsters of the deep behold your light. . . .
Among all the Igigi there is none who toils but you,
None who is supreme like you in the whole pantheon of gods.
At your rising the gods of the land assemble,
Your fierce glare covers the land.
Of all the lands of varied speech,
You know their plans, you scan their way.
The whole of mankind bows to you,
Shamash, the universe longs for your light. . . .
Every single person is entrusted to your hands;
You manage their omens; that which is perplexing you make plain.
You observe, Shamash, prayer, supplication, and benediction,
Obeisance, kneeling, ritual murmurs, and prostration.
The feeble man calls you from the hollow of his mouth,
The humble, the weak, the afflicted, the poor,
She whose son is captive constantly and unceasingly confronts you.
He whose family is remote, whose city is distant,
The shepherd [amid) the terror of the steppe confronts you,
The herdsman in warfare, the keeper of sheep among enemies.
Shamash, there confronts you the caravan, those journeying in fear,
The travelling merchant, the agent who is carrying capital.
Shamash, there confronts you the fisherman with his net,
The hunter, the bowman who drives the game,
With his bird net the Fowler confronts You.
The prowling thief, the enemy of Shamash,
The marauder along the tracks of the steppe confronts you.
The roving dead, the vagrant soul,
They confront you, Shamash, and you hear all.
You do not obstruct those that confront you. . . .
For my sake, Shamash, do not curse them!
You grant revelations, Shamash, to the families of men,
Your harsh face and fierce light you give to them. . . .
The heavens are not enough as the vessel into which you gaze,
The sum of the lands is inadequate as a seer’s bowl…….
You deliver people surrounded by mighty waves,
In return you receive their pure, clear libations. . . .
They in their reverence laud the mention of you,
And worship your majesty for ever. . . .
Which are the mountains not clothed with your beams?
Which are the regions not warmed by the brightness of your light?
Brightener of gloom, illuminator of darkness,
Dispeller of darkness, illuminator of the broad earth.

There Is Always Rebirth

In lighting the fires, in stringing the lights, we do more than stave off the darkness, even more than honor the sun. We also stand with fierce courage to say to the darkness, “You may come this far but no further!” We have given the darkness its due, we have watched it leach the light from our lives for as long as we had to; now the long night is over, we can tentatively bring our own lights back from hiding, and let the new days begin.

This Turning of the Year, the returning of the light, this most hopeful of all days,has been celebrated across cultures and throughout millennia so, however you choose to participate, you will be part of an ancient tapestry. Whether you float old ideas and sorrows out to sea on paper mache boats with candles, make a Yule wreath to honor the sacred circle of life, death and rebirth, find a Yule log and burn it in your fireplace, or join the Fairies in ringing bells on Solstice morning to welcome back the sun, remember that this is a festival of inner rebirth. No matter how dark it seems, how completely dead the world appears, nature – including the holly and the ivy and the oak – teaches us that there is always rebirth.

Source: Fairywoodland.com

Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful!

For a pagan approach to Christmas, Yule, or the Winter Solstice, here is a variation to the traditional Christian Christmas Carol, “Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful! ” Same melody, just different words. Enjoy!

Oh, come, all ye faithful
Gather round the Yule fire
Oh, come ye, oh, come ye,
To call the Sun!
Fires within us
Call the Fire above us

O, come, let us invoke Him!
O, come, let us invoke Him!
O, come, let us invoke Him!
Our Lord, the Sun!

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee!
Born again at Yuletide!
Yule fires and candles flames
Are lighted for You!
Come to thy children
Calling for thy blessing!

O, come, let us invoke Him!
O, come, let us invoke Him!
O, come, let us invoke Him!
Our Lord, the Sun!

From Green Egg Magazine

Gloria

For a pagan approach to Christmas, Yule, or the Winter Solstice, here is a variation to the traditional Christian Christmas Carol, “Gloria ” Same melody, just different words. Enjoy!

Snow lies deep upon the Earth
Still our voices warmly sing
Heralding the glorious birth
Of the Child, the Winter King

Glo — ria!
In excelsis Deo!
Glo — ria!
In excelsis Dea!

Our triumphant voices claim
Joy and hope and love renewed
And our Lady’s glad refrain
Answer Winter’s solitude.

Glo — ria!
In excelsis Deo!
Glo — ria!
In excelsis Dea!

In Her arms a holy Child
Promises a glowing Light
Through the winter wind so wild
He proclaims the growing Light.

Glo — ria!
In excelsis Deo!
Glo — ria!
In excelsis Dea!

Now the turning of the year
Of the greater Turning sings
Passing age of cold and fear
Soon our golden summer brings.

Glo — ria!
In excelsis Deo!
Glo — ria!
In excelsis Dea!

From Green Egg Magazine

Glory to the New Born King

For a pagan approach to Christmas, Yule, or the Winter Solstice, here is a variation to the traditional Christian Christmas Carol, “Hark The Herald Angels Sing” Same melody, just different words. Enjoy!

Brothers, sisters, come and sing
Glory to the new-born King!
Gardens peaceful, forests wild
Celebrate the Winter Child!

Now the time of glowing starts!
Joyful hands and joyful hearts!
Cheer the Yule log as it burns!
For once again, the Sun returns!
Brothers, sisters, come and sing!
Glory to the new-born King!

Brothers, sisters, singing come
Glory to the newborn Sun
Through the wind and dark of night
Celebrate the coming light!

Suns glad rays through fear’s cold burns,
Life through Death the Wheel now turns!
Gather round Yule log and tree
Celebrate Life’s mystery
brothers, sisters, singing come
Glory to the new-born Sun.

From Green Egg Magazine

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