I was moved to express our experience of Solstice & the Return of the
It started to snow the day before (on Friday) & was still snowing
heavily by the time we snuggled into our coats, hats & scarves,
gathered up our bags of ritual goodies, and set off down the snow-
packed street. The crystalline snow was light & fluffy, but it was a
balmy 25 degrees with little wind. The roads were empty - we had the
winter wonderland to ourselves. (The two other possible participants
As most of you know, there is a big hill up to the ridge from La
Farge. With a silent prayer of thankfulness for Gravel roads (thank
You Squat - Goddess of automobiles, roads & parking spots), we just
barely made it to the top. A good omen.
I followed big Iacchus's footprint trail across the open field. Only a
few crows announcing our presence broke the fluffy silence of falling
snow. The snow was so light it reminded me of walking through chiffon
pie. Iacchus had fashioned a torch to light the Yule fire, made from my
old 'holy' wool socks. The torch-handle worked well as a walking stick
as I tried to keep up with the longer strides of my mate. The snow
liked to stick to our coats & hats - we were walking snow-people by
the time we arrived down at the circle.
Iacchus had stacked some big elm logs, log cabin style, with an opening
in the top filled with tinder. The elm was the one near the circle
with the fire extinguisher attached. It was also the one that gave its
life for a nice crop of Morels a couple Springs ago.
We cast the circle with singing bowl & incense, welcoming the watchers
of the quarters to witness our rite. We welcomed Earth, Air, Fire,
Water, ancestors, descendants & community with shouts & laughter. We
acknowledged our invisible connection with many others performing
their own celebrations of the Return of the Light.
We lit a green candle on the altar, then, as we spoke of the Sun
King's long journey back from the underworld, we lit the torch from
the candle. More Joy! More Hope! More love! More Wisdom! More peace!
We shouted blessings as Iacchus held the torch high & then plunged it
into the center. The image of the chalice & blade came to our minds &
At first, smoke appeared. Thick roiling smoke reached to the sky. It
curled like a living DNA strand. We laughed about sending smoke
signals to the Sun. Then, suddenly the wood pile seemed to take a deep
breath. The fire sprang suddenly into life. We sent off more blessings
& our chant morphed into one that we knew very well: "Power, Wisdom,
Clarity, Compassion". We released our intentions for a more beautiful
& peaceful world.
Then we brushed off the snow from our chairs & shared wassail. Jack
made this with apple cider, ale, apples, raisins, cranberries, spices
& some 10+ year old mead that has been aging in our basement since
before we moved to La Farge. We realized that by this time next year,
our house will be built. We drew Runes & talked about the future. We
are so blessed! Our new house will have more room for guests, and we
look forward to housewarming parties & visits with friends.
Evening drew near. We left some dried cranberries & an apple as a gift
for the critters. We thanked the watchers of the directions & took
down the circle. Merry Meet! Merry Part! Merry Meet Again! Then we
banked the fire, and slowly made our way up the hill. We talked to
each other on the way to keep our minds off of how tired our legs
were! It was still snowing when we took the road back home. We came
back home smiling .... and hungry! :)
I wish each of you all a merry holiday and a joyful & fruitful New
Year! Everyone who has been part of SweetWood has touched our lives in
deep & meaningful ways. We are truly grateful for our friends & lovers
- even when we disagree.
It's been way more fun than a decent person needs!
Lets do more next year! ;)
Peace & clean cool water. I pass the cup to you.