also known as: Yuletide, Alban Arthan.
Yule is the time of greatest darkness and the longest night of the year. The Winter Solstice had been associated with the birth of a "Divine King" long before the rise of Christianity. Since the Sun is considered to represent the Male Divinity in many Pagan Traditions, this time is celebrated as the "return of the Sun God" where He is reborn of the Goddess
Solstice is the time when the sun appears to stand still in His yearly migration across the heavens. Be it in the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere, the journey of the sun pauses, deliberately and when his journey resumes the tide of the year has once again begun to ebb and flow. Together we journey into separate halves of the year, very much two sides to the same coin, each coupled to the other, as Light is coupled to Dark, without Light there would be no Dark as without Dark there would be no Light -- much like we find without a path there would be no journey.
Solstice is as much about the light as it is about the dark. Irregardless of where we stand, Solstice marks the time of great change, as we in the Northern Hemisphere begin our yearly accent into the light half of the year, our counterparts in the Southern Hemisphere begin their decent into the dark half of the year.
Be it accent or decent, the holiday is about hope, which remains the constant from wherever we journey the Wheel and our lives, independent yet connected with hope being the beacon for all.
As we begin our journey into the promise of Summer, we know that there are winter storms and gales that lie ahead, but the promise of summer lends its warmth through the coldest of days and the stormiest of nights. It is that promise, that certainty, that even in the darkest of nights, there is the promise of dawn. That in the frozen earth, there is the warmth of life. That even in the dimmest of times there is the glimmer of hope. It is that which we celebrate. The joy of hope eternal which wells from deep within the Earth Herself and Heavens above -- we are forever cradled in the endless promise of hope.
The South begins Her decent into the dark, with the sweetness of summer still dancing about, we know the tide of the year has changed. Summer will fade into fall, and fall into winter. We know the dark times are coming and change abounds, the Earth will slow her rhythm and beat, and seeming stillness will set. Even in the assurance of the decent, is the promise of the accent, from light to dark to light again.
Assent and descent, light and dark, ebb and flow - are imperative in the journey of life, two sides to the same coin, like North and South, East and West, light and dark, summer and winter. Times, they change and then change again, in the promise of change, is the hope of change and in the hope of change is the joy of change.
The Sun makes His deliberate pause in the year, urging us to pause as well in our lives, to mark the season of change... again. Change is the constant, constant is the change, from light to dark and dark to light -- the hope is not stopping in the events from which we draw joy -- but hope is in the promise of change -- and in the ever changing change we discover the joy of life and ourselves.
It is in this circular symmetry that surrounds all that is, we turn the Wheel once again -- North and South; Light and Dark; Summer and Winter, Male and Female. The seasons change and so do we.
May the Blessings of the Solstice be yours, in times of light, times of dark, and all those changing times between. For wherever you pause, may you always remember that you carry with you the seeds of hope, the seeds of joy, the seeds of change to plant in the changing light of the year.
Blessed Be to you and yours!
We judge of man's wisdom by his hope -- Ralph Waldo Emerson Blessed Solstice!
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