I have had more elegant Yules than this, when there were more decorations up: more evergreen swag, a larger altar covered in small candles and mistletoe, a Yule log burning in a hearth. There have been years when I marked the Solstice with Yule feasts, parties, festivals, days and nights full of reveling, gluttony and socializing.

Across town, across my networks of family and friends, tonight, this whole week really, is full of these things. There are vigils around sacred fires, out on the prairie, at the edge of forests. There are hearths alight with sacred flames, and altars set up in warm homes and under chilly starlight. Tables loaded with venison, or pork, roasted root veggies mashed in butter. I think about my beloveds, far and wide, and send them love, as they vigil the night through, or call upon the Old God in his passing, or libate the Divine Mother. So many magickal, magickal things happening.

I took a long walk this afternoon and found ivy, pine and holly for my altar. The weak sunlight had winked out and snow was starting to fly. I hurried home and dressed the altar, and waited for Chinese food to be delivered. I watched Star Wars with my family, we played cards and watched snow fall as the last of the daylight faded to stormy gray.

Tonight, when I sit in front of my altar, I feel the Mother of Night embracing so many souls, shivering in the cold, so many children of the earth, suffering, hungry, ill. So many calls to us to extend compassion, to expand the circle of our light, to welcome perhaps a stranger to our table, a fellow creature to our fire. With so many demands on us every day, for our attention, our labor, our money or time or skills, there is still a tiny core of flame within us all, the Child of Promise symbolized by the Rebirth of the Sun. The days will grow longer, we will begin the work of the year. But in this moment, when all things are new, when all things are as dark as can be, we can touch the Unconquered Sun within, and find new springs of joy, peace and compassion.


In a dark season, we can be the light for each other. Blessed be and Happy Winter Solstice!