Winter Solstice -  Yule
Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 05:44 a.m.

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]

Solstice Sunrise

“Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high
If I had a wish that I could wish for you
I'd make a wish for sunshine for all the while.”

John Denver


Monday, October 31, 2016

            …when the veil between the two worlds is most pervious.
            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."  
            Observance begins at sundown on October 31. 

"Though the tenderest roses were round you,
The soul of this pitiless place
With pitiless magic has bound you~
Ah! woe ... the loss of your laugh with its lightness...
Ah! woe for your eyes and their brightness~
Ah! woe for your slippers of red."
Fairy Pendant


“Pulnabrone, the Burren, Galway”
(Photo CDI)



          Autumnal Equinox
                                                Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 10:21 a.m.

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

 Derry na Flan Farm, Ireland 
[photo CDI]

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."

Albert Camus - 


Summer Solstice - Midsummer

One of the four solar holidays; the turning point at which summer reaches its height and the sun shines longest.
Monday, June 20, 2016 6:30 p.m.

"Fire Sky"
A something in a summer's Day
As slow her flambeaux burn away
Which solemnizes me.

A something in a summer's noon --
A depth -- an Azure -- a perfume --
Transcending ecstasy.

And still within a summer's night
A something so transporting bright
I clap my hands to see --

Then veil my too inspecting face
Lets such a subtle -- shimmering grace
Flutter too far for me --

The wizard fingers never rest --
The purple brook within the breast
Still chafes it narrow bed --

Still rears the East her amber Flag --
Guides still the sun along the Crag
His Caravan of Red --

So looking on -- the night -- the morn
Conclude the wonder gay --
And I meet, coming thro' the dews
Another summer's Day!

~ A Something in a Summer's Day ~
 Emily Dickinson



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.)


Abstract #26
To become Spring, means accepting the risk of winter.
To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence.” 

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince ~


            Brigid's Day, one of four "fire festivals" of the Wheel of the Year, and is strongly associated with the goddess Brighid.

            Brigid represents the light half of the year, and the power that will bring people from the dark season of winter into spring, her presence is very important at this time of year.

            a celebration of the lengthening days and the early signs of spring. Lighting of candles and fires represents the return of warmth and the increasing power of the Sun

Ancient Garden
(Monotype plate)

… she shines
…like  the rose-fingered moonrising after sundown,
erasing all stars around her,
and pouring light equally across the salt sea 
and over densely flowered fields lucent under dew.