A prayer on Solstice
As I walk surrounded by the chill air of December, may I feel cleansed and renewed.
May I be blessed as I walk in the clear clean light of Solstice morning
May I feel ready for new challenges as the year changes to the light from the dark.
I ask that nine signs of winter solstice protect and guide my way
Chill of wind awaken me
Morning light excite me
Honk of Canadian geese overhead inspire me
Warmth of friends bless me
Sharing of food nourish me
Love of family bless me and all who I hold dear
Sounds of singing sooth me
Long cozy nights refresh me
Candle flames enthrall me
May I be inspired to create for the enjoyment of those I love
Every day and every night
From nightfall through the breaking of dawn and all the day.
SILVER MOON (to the tune of “Silver Bells”)
City witches, busy witches,
dressed in festival style
In the air there’s a feeling of ritual.
Women laughing, Chalice passing Sharing smile after smile,
And ’round every hearth fire you hear:
Silver moon, Mother moon,
It’s Goddess time in the city. Circling, hear them sing,
Soon it will be Solstice Day.
Strings of candles, held by handle With a flickering glow,
As the witches weave magickal treasures.
Touching changing, changing touching,
This is Diana’s scene,
And with all of the blessings you hear:
Silver moon, Mother moon,
It’s Goddess time in the city. Circling, hear them sing,
Soon it will be Solstice Day.
Another Comma special bastardization
Aisling sat staring out into the sheep pasture. She’d volunteered to stay behind while almost everyone went over to Si an Bhru’ (Newgrange) to watch the Sun return. She knew that the sun would return after her night with the Chief Druid. Her teacher was due to give birth soon and she was in no condition to walk to the barrow so a few healers and Aisling had volunteered to stay behind and have their own quiet Solstice celebration.
Aisling looked up at the stars. The night was dark and calm. The stars twinkled over head like a million tiny gems and thought of the watch taking place not so very far away. She was going to keep watch this night for all that were left here in the village.
She could hear the soft breathing of her teacher as she slept inside. She could see the candles in the windows of the healer’s cottage down the path. She knew it was very late because all was so still. The sheep were bedded down near their fold. The cattle were in their barn drowsing and it felt like she was the last person left in the world. And so she was the only who kept watch.
She vowed she would not fall asleep like last year. She was a year older now and not the baby who was always in trouble. She thought of all the interesting things that had happened this year. She put her head on her knees and wrapped the sheepskin tighter around her. It was getting cold and she wondered how much colder it was going to get before morning and whether it was time for a warm drink.
She looked in the direction of the barrow and it seemed like the there was a light coming over the ground from that direction. It lit the way as if someone had drawn a path in light. She had never seen that before and she wondered what or who was causing the lighted path. She wished she could follow the path but her duty was here tonight watching to see is the baby would come.
As she was watching the lighted path deer started to appear and walk confidently down the path and through the village. Aisling watched in awe. She had never seen so many reindeer and never in the village and she wondered where they had come from and where they were going. Following the reindeer was a woman in a dress made of the reindeer’s hides and she wore a cowl with horns from the reindeer. The woman left the herd and walked over to Aisling.
“Blessings to you this Solstice night.” The woman said to Aisling. “Come with me, Aisling.”
“Blessed Solstice to you as well.” replied Aisling, a little startled that the woman had even seen her sitting here in the dark. “Where have you journeyed from and would you like something hot to eat or drink?” Aisling offered.
“I wouldn’t mind a cup of warm cider that is on the hearth.” The woman said.
AIsling suddenly knew that this was not an ordinary meeting if the woman knew what was inside and shivered a little as she got up to get a cup for the woman. She hurried back out and handed the cup to the woman.
“I have come from far and I have farther still to go tonight but thank you for the warmth of the drink.” The woman said and drank slowly from her cup. Aisling watched her shyly and wondered if she could ask what she was doing when the woman spoke.
The woman smiled as she said. “I’m Elen of the Ways and tonight I walk the leys and you need to come with me tonight.”
“The Leys?” asked AIsling.
“Yes,” replied Elen. “The paths on which energy travels easiest on the earth. I walk to connect them so you can use them in your workings.”
Aisling thought a bit. She knew her teachers had said it was easier in some places than others to work magic or create poetry. And she knew that the village had been sited along one of those paths as was the barrow where everyone else in the village was keeping watch.
“Did you just come from the barrows?” Asked Aisling.
“Yes, and the Chief Druid said you could come with me tonight. Now please, grab a cloak and come. Nothing will happen while we are gone.”
“You’re sure?” Aisling said anxiously.
“I’m sure.” Elen said emphatically and helped Aisling get astride the reindeer that was patiently standing.
The woman started walking directly east and she walked faster that any normal human being could.
Aisling asked Elen where they were going. “Your Chief Druid thought you might like to help me open the way for the sun’s return in the east.”
“We’re opening a way for the sun?” Aisling was trying to understand but she couldn’t quite get there.
“Yes, I open the ways and that includes the paths of the sun energies to flow.”
They rode and walked until they reached the edge of the sea. It was just before dawn and the light was starting to turn a bit greenish in front of them. Elen stood with her staff on the edge of the cliff and motioned for Aisling to join her. The reindeer gathered round them keeping them warm in the chilly night.
“Stand here next to me, Aisling.” Aisling moved to stand next to Elen.
“What do we do?” Asked Aisling a little worried. Could she really have stopped the sun last year? Was the Chief Druid wrong? Aisling was getting even more worried. What happened if she did this wrong? Would the sun not return?
Elen looked at Aisling. “Don’t worry. The sun will always come back. We just open the way for the energy to flow across the land. It’s like opening a damn so the energy will flow. It slows down in the dark times and now will speed up again and you want it to bring health to the land.”
Aisling thought and then nodded, that made sense. “So what do we do?”
“We stand right here where the sun will hit our land first and then we open our hearts to the new sun reborn. Can you do that?”
Aisling thought she could do that but wasn’t sure exactly how because the sun appeared as a tiny light in the east and Elen flung out her arms and Aisling did the same facing the sun as it peeped over the edge and started to rise. Aisling needn’t have worried. The sight of the sun filled her with joy. She felt full to bursting with love and happiness and Elen gave a loud laugh and cry and Aisling felt the energy rush away.
The sun rose and Elen turned to Aisling. “Time to go until next year”, and she touched Aisling with her staff. Aisling shook her head. She looked around and she was back on the doorway of the cottage. She looked to the East and the newborn sun was rising above the meadows. She looked to the west and saw a herd of deer and a small figure wave and she was gone.
Just then behind her, she heard her teacher give a gasp. “Aisling, go get the healers.”
Aisling ran across the way. Time for a new son or daughter to be born here. Aisling smiled. This was a good day.
Bunnihotep bring your light
Once upon a time in the dark of a mid-winter night a star fell to earth. BunniHoTep heard a loud thump and rushed out of her cozy nest. She really hated to leave it. It was nice and snug and soft and a chilly mid-winter night all together a lovely place to sleep.
But she knew a noise that loud probably wasn’t a good thing and she was the Finder of Lost Objects so she had better go.
She got to the steps of her Temple and a bright light met her eyes. She threw a paw in front of her eyes and drew her soft shawl closer around her and hurried towards the light.
The light was quite a distance away from the street of Temples out in the desert. And as she got nearer she could hear it making strange noises like laughing. So she hurried across the sand as well as she could. She didn’t know where the other gods and goddesses were. It had been quite a loud noise but she seemed to be the only one who had wakened.
As she got nearer she noticed the light was human shaped but also was very like the Sun. The shape kept changing colour. First it looked like an Egyptian, then it looked like the pale men that came from the North in ships, then it was dark as beautiful polished ebony like her friend Yemaya. Next it was golden as cream and very small. Then it was a reddish bronze. BunniHoTep was very curious and as she got close to it for it was changing from boy to girl with each change colour she stopped and asked, “Who are you? Do you need help?”
A laugh rang out that sounded like the sweetest of the Temple bells. “Oh, no, I’m fine. I lost my bearings for a while. I’m Love and I’m here because you called me.”
BunniHoTep sat down with a thump. “I called You? How on earth did I do that?”
“Remember when you wished on a star awhile ago for people to get a long and be nicer? We, the stars heard you. So we decided I’d come for a while to see if just for a while, all the people would be kinder to each other. I can only come for a small time. You see all the people all over the world will see me born this night in their likeness. Some people will call me Saturn, some will call me Mithras, some will call me Jesus, to others I will just be the light of Love, but all will see me as their symbol of Love and as the Sun who is born in mid-winter. And maybe for a while the world will be a magickal place of kindness and peace.”
BunniHoTep was quiet for a bit thinking. “You aren’t a god?”
“Oh no!” the Child of Light laughed again. “I’m much bigger and smaller than a god or goddess. Love has all kinds of shapes. I’m just here to remind the people and you of that.”
“Every year I will come again at this time and maybe sometime in the future all people will be kind and loving to each other and I won’t need to come, and if they don’t remember you will have to help me.”
“How do I do that?” BunniHoTep asked.
“By being yourself, BunniHoTep and as a symbol and to guide me here will you do something for me?” Love asked. “Would you light candles and lanterns in the trees around your Temple?”
“Oh yes,” BunniHotep agreed.
And that is why people all over the world are reminded to be kind and loving at mid–winter. And why people light the way for Love to return all over the world. So when you light the tree you brought inside remember to guide Love back to your heart.
Chocolate Hearts or Stars
These are my all time favourites and they really aren’t a cookie. They are a confection because they have no flour.
3 oz of bitter chocolate
1 lb powdered sugar
2 or 3 unbeaten egg whites
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Melt 3 oz of chocolate
Add 1lb of powdered sugar
And mix thoroughly
Work to a stiff yet pliable paste with the unbeaten egg whites
Add 1 tsp of vanilla
Roll ¼ inch thick and cut with cookie cutter
Sprinkle the board with powdered sugar instead of flour
Place on oiled or foiled pan
And bake until firm at 325 degrees
Remove from pan after standing a minute to cool