Posts Tagged ‘Was Hael’

The Thirteen days of Midwinter Solstice

The Thirteen days of Midwinter Solstice

Yule has its roots in the old-Nordic word ‘iul’ or the Anglo-Saxon ‘hweol’, both meaning ‘wheel’, which points to the ever turning year and natures cycle of life, death and rebirth.
The lunar calendar, which has a powerful influence over the growing things upon the Earth, leaves about 12 days left over each year, the thirteenth day signifies the start of the new cycle. So the twelve nights of Yule were considered neither part of the old year, nor part of the new year.  These days being outside of the year establish a liminal time when the veil between the worlds is thin, a time when the gods walk the earth and people may see the elves or other spirits that live around us.

Yule begins on Mother Night or ‘Módraniht’ (December 20th) and ends 12 days later on ‘Yule Night’ (1st January) also known as Twelfth Night. Most pre-Christian mystery cults celebrated the Mother Goddess and mothers everywhere as creatrixes of all life. On Mother night, the longest night of the year, we make a feast to honor the protective feminine ancestors that watch over us. Nature is now sleeping and the newborn Solstice Sun is the gift of the Mother Goddess to the world which then prepares for the bright and warmth of the coming spring, the next step in the great circle dance of life. At the culmination of this time we celebrate the beginning of the new year.

Fire festivals, celebrating the rebirth of the Sun, held on the Winter’s Solstice can be found throughout the ancient world. The Roman festival of Saturnalia was held on the winter solstice, boughs of evergreen trees and bushes would decorate the house, gifts where exchanged and normal business was suspended. The Persian Mithraists held December 25th as sacred to the birth of their Sun God, Mithras, and celebrated it as a victory of light over darkness. In Sweden, December 13th was sacred to the Goddess Lucina, Shining One, and was a celebration of the return of the light. On Yule itself, around the 21st, bonfires were lit to honour Odin and Thor.

Adapting the lovely pealing quality of the pagan carol The 13 Days of Solstice by Pashta MaryMoon with its lines culminating each verse in an accrued repetition of the gifts given, I have followed an old tradition in rewriting this song to be both shorter – easier to manage, and to contain a seed of inspirational meaning for those with enquiring minds to follow.
Note the thirteen days in the title and verses rather than the twelve days of the more widely known christian carol, this is because although there are twelve solar months in a year there are thirteen lunar months and it is these that govern the pagan year as they hold sway over nature itself..

 


The Thirteen Days of Midwinter Solstice

On the first day of Solstice the Goddess sent to me
The Wiccan Rede of ‘Harm Ye None’…
Who hears my carol and takes it away,
On Mother’s Night will be a cherished one.

On the second day of Solstice the Goddess gave to me,
God and Goddess Blessings….
Who hears my carol and takes it away,
On Winter Solstice will in joy be dressing.

On the third day of Solstice the Goddess revealed to me
The Eternal Three Fold Law…
Who hears my carol and takes it away,
Their Courage – worthy and free.

On the fourth day of Solstice the Goddess showed to me
The Four Directions called….
Who hears my carol and takes it away,
In Truth will be enthralled.

On the fifth day of Solstice the Goddess gifted me,
The Five Pointed Pentagram…
Who hears my carol and takes it away,
Natures Honor will convey.

On the sixth day of Solstice the Goddess gave to me
Six rays of Sunlight…
Who hears my carol and takes it away,
In Fidelity will be bright.

On the seventh day of Solstice the Goddess explained to me
Seven Secrets of the Septagram…
Who hears my carol and takes it away,
Hospitality to thee the Elves will pay.

On the eigth day of Solstice the Goddess showed to me,
The Eight Sacred Sabbats…
Who hears my carol and takes it away,
With Discipline will turn the seasons wheel.

On the ninth day of Solstice the Goddess heaped on me,
Nine Noble Virtues….
Who hears my carol and takes it away,
By Industriousness will be worthy and free.

On the tenth day of Solstice the Goddess saw in me
Ten Transformations…
Who hears my carol and takes it away,
By Self-Reliance will show the way.

On the eleventh day of Solstice the Goddess illumined me,
With Eleven Runes of Power…
Who hears my carol and takes it away,
In Perseverance  across three realms will flower.

On the twelfth day of Solstice the Goddess conveyed to me
Twelve Heavenly signs..
Who hears my carol and takes it away,
On Twelfth Night will understand the star’s designs.

On the thirteenth day of Solstice the Goddess granted me
Thirteen Full Moons Shinning…
Who hears my carol and takes it away,
Radiant and Luminous will be they.



c. Celestial Elf 2014.

In ancient times, calendars were more widely acknowledged as a link between the Divine universe and humankind, as sacred tools providing instructions for when to plant, hunt or migrate between cold and warm climates. In terms of the lunar or solar calendars, as is well known, the phases of the moon and thus the lunar calendar has a significant bearing on the growth of plants, the tides of the oceans and the turning of the seasons, thus the pagan use of the lunar calendar reflects the pagan involvement with nature itself.
Although Spring will not arrive for many weeks yet, with the new Sun in the sky and days growing longer once again,  assured of its arrival we celebrate to give thanks for the safe passage throught the darker, leaner times and with hope for the warmth and new life to come..

To the eternal Goddess then and to the ever changing God, 

to Nature herself,
& to You the inimitable reader,
Happy Yuletide & Waes Hael!
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