Winter Solstice

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

Silent Night

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

Silent night, Solstice Night
All is calm, all is bright
Nature slumbers in forest and glen
Till in Springtime She wakes again

Sleeping spirits grow strong!
Sleeping spirits grow strong!

Silent night, Solstice Night
Silver moon shining bright
Snowfall blankets the slumbering Earth
Yule fires welcome the Sun’s rebirth

Hark, the Light is reborn!
Hark, the Light is reborn!

Silent night, Solstice Night
Quiet rest till the Light
Turning ever the rolling Wheel
Brings the Winter to comfort and heal

Rest your spirit in peace!
Rest your spirit in peace!

From Green Egg Magazine

Gods Rest Ye Merry Pagan Folk

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

Gods rest ye merry Pagan folk
Let nothing you dismay
Remember that the Sun returns
Upon this Solstice Day!

The growing dark is ended now
And Spring is on its way

O, tidings of comfort and joy!
Comfort and joy!
O, tidings of comfort and joy!

The winter’s worst still lies ahead
Fierce tempest, snow and rain!
Beneath the blanket on the ground
The spark of life remains!

The Sun’s warm rays caress the seeds
To raise Life’s songs again!

O, tidings of comfort and joy!
Comfort and joy!
O, tidings of comfort and joy!

Within the blessed apple lies
The promise of the Queen
For from this pentacle shall rise
The orchards fresh and green

The Earth shall blossom once again
The air be sweet and clean!

O, tidings of comfort and joy!
Comfort and joy!
O, tidings of comfort and joy!

From Green Egg Magazine

Joy to the World

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

Joy to the World, the Light has come
Let Earth receive her Lord
Let every heart, prepare Him room

And Heaven and Nature sing
And Heaven and Nature sing
And He-av’n and Heaven and Nature sing!

Welcome our Lord, who brings us Light
Our Lady gives him birth!
His Living Light, to warm our hearts,

And wake the sleeping Earth
And wake the sleeping Earth
And wake and Wake the sleeping Earth.

Light we the fires to greet our Lord
Our Light, our Life, our Lord!
Let every voice, sing holy praise

And Heaven and Nature sing
And Heaven and Nature sing
And He-av’n and Heaven and Nature sing!

From Green Egg Magazine

Ye Children All of Mother Earth

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

Ye children all of Mother Earth
Join hands and circle around.
To celebrate the Solstice night
When our lost Lord is found.

Rejoice, the year has begun again
The Sun blesses skies up above
So share the season together now
In everlasting love!

From Green Egg Magazine

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