Winter Solstice -  Yule
December 21, 2014 at 6:03 p.m., E.T.
The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year.  
It was believed the Sun stood still in the sky...
…then, the next day, he continued on his way, and  the days began to lengthen!

                The word Solstice evolved to Middle English, from Old French from Latin solstitium,
from Latin (combination of sol, the sun, and stitium, to stand still.)  
                The word Yule - [Old English geōla, originally a name of a pagan feast lasting 12 days; related to Old Norse jōl, Swedish jul, Gothic jiuleis]

For the Sun, 
who scattered into flight the Stars before him 
from the Field of Night,
Drives Night along with them from Heaven,
and strikes the Sultan’s Turret with a Shaft of Light.
I Rubaiyat
Omar Khayyam


  Called All Hallow's Eve or Ancestor Night, it is when the veil between the two worlds is most pervious.  
                Observance begins at sundown on October 31. 
                This third and last of the three pagan Autumn harvest festivals acknowledges a time of cleansing and preparation for the darkness of Winter.  It is the most important of the four "greater Sabbats."   

All to myself, I think of you.
Think of the things we used to do,
think of the things we used to say,
think of each happy yesterday.
Sometimes I sigh, and sometimes I smile;
but I keep each olden, golden while
All to my self.
 Wilbur Dick Nesbit ~
American.  1871-1927



Autumnal Equinox
One of the four solar holidays; the second of the three pagan autumn harvest festivals

The hills are bare now...
And autumn leaves lie thick and still...
"Flower of Scotland"
Roy Williamson



Summer Solstice - Midsummer

One of the four solar holidays; the turning point at which summer reaches its height and the sun shines longest.


 “I wake slowly. Already
my body is a twilight: Solid. Gold.
At the edge of a larger darkness. But outside
my window
a summer day is beginning. Apple trees
appear, one by one. Light is pouring
into the promise of fruit.”
Ceres Looks at the Morning
Eavan Boland


One of the four solar holidays marking the beginning of spring.  The rejoining of the Mother Goddess and her lover-consort-son, who spent the winter months in death; or the Goddess returning to her Maiden aspect (e.g., Persephone returning from the Underworld.)

A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period --
When March is scarcely here

A Color stands abroad
On Solitary Fields
That Science cannot overtake
But Human Nature feels.

It waits upon the Lawn,
It shows the furthest Tree
Upon the furthest Slope you know
It almost speaks to you.

Then as Horizons step
Or Noons report away
Without the Formula of sound
It passes and we stay --

A quality of loss
Affecting our Content
As Trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a Sacrament.

~ Emily Dickinson, A Light Exists in Spring ~

Muntins Series IV #6:  "Springtime"