The spirits will be roaming, too. This day, when the veil between the living and the spirit world is thinnest, the spirits will roam at will. So light your fires and keep a light burning all night to keep the creatures of darkness at bay.
Then hang your kissing ball, burn the Yule log and the remainder of last year's mistletoe in your Solstice fire, and let the merriment of this season begin in earnest!
I used to dread November and December. The short days and lack of light made me feel depressed and lethargic. Then I began learning about solstice and realized how very special this time of year is. A time of rest and renewal, a time to feel the stirring of new life even in a frozen world, a time to reflect on the past and start looking ahead once again. Now I look forward to the winter months, and enjoy every minute of the season.
I think the poet Susan Cooper says it best:
The Shortest Day
So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Yes indeed! Welcome, Yule!
And fittingly, there is a carol to go with this Solstice Day:
Welcome Yule, welcome welcome Yule!
Welcome Yule, welcome Yule!
Welcome Yule, thou merry man!
In worship of this holy day!
Welcome Yule in good array!
Welcome be thou, Heaven-King!
Welcome born in first morning!
Welcome for whom we shall sing!
Welcome be ye, good new year!
Welcome Twelfth Day both in fere (together)!
Welcome saints loved and dear!
Welcome be ye Candlemas!
Welcome be ye, Queen of Bliss!
Welcome both to more and less!
Welcome be ye that are here!
Welcome all and make good cheer!
Welcome all another year!
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.