Tag Archives: Solstice

Blessed Solstice!

I have had a magnificent last 48 hours.  These two days have seen the arrival of all of my shrine keeping materials that I had packed away in 2013/2014 when I had to get ready for simpler living, as well as some very unexpected Solstice gifts for myself and the kids.

Last month, my daughter expressed to me that she would like to start experimenting with pottery, and this morning someone brought her a little pottery wheel!  I thank this someone, along with Apollon, because He was clearly listening.  The baby got some nice new stimulating toys, and I got a few things that I needed, too.  What a surprise!  I am so, so grateful!

So, now that the shrine accouterment have arrived, I can begin arranging things to Apollon’s liking.  I still have a hard time believing it’s actually happening.  My hands start shaking with joy and excitement when I think about it.  He deserves this, so much.

How is everyone else’s Solstice going?

Happy Solstice!

I have only a quick post for today, since it is the Solstice and I will be celebrating the honor of Zeus our Father, and His birth, rearing and defeat of the Titan Gods.  This is not an historical observation, and indeed some may see this celebration as a bit of a stretch, however, it truly makes perfect sense to me and mine, and we have upheld this tradition for several years now.

There will be a savory meal prepared for us to share with Zeus, our Father, Mother Rhea, and with Gaea, our Great-Mother.  And we will stay up late into the night to mark off the individual observations that we have for this holy night. And during the night, as Mother Rhea labors to bring forth our Father, we will bake sugar cookies in the shape of the Sun, which will be finished near to the time of His delivery (as we have conveniently and perhaps arbitrarily determined for our own household).  And while we eat our cookies, we will tell the tales of our Father’s youth, and we will dance for Him and His glory.

And after all of that, those of us still awake will sit quietly, awaiting the Sunrise.  In those moments of twilight, we will honor the lifting of the darkness, as Zeus, young and virile, leads the Olympians to ultimate victory. We will then praise Him in the light of the young Sun, for ending the time of darkness and stagnation, and for ushering in a new age of light and growth.

And this shall be our celebration for the Winter Solstice.  How shall you celebrate, friends?

The Boundary of Ages

From the Old, Into the New

On this seventh day of the lunar month, on the eve of the Winter Solstice of 2012, it is fitting that we should be greeted at this boundary, by the god Who governs all boundaries.  Gates, doorways, mirrors, half-remembered friendships, as well as familial estrangements.  I hope everyone has cleared and sealed the liminal spaces in their lives.  These are the areas in which we may first begin the feel the effects of the change.  The air is charged, and the sense of anticipation coming from the Other Side is quite unmistakable.

For me, it began on the Deipnon of November, when I felt those first stirrings of newness in the world settling over my consciousness. It was like watching a quiet snowfall, while it slowly piles upon the streets. Layers, upon layers, upon layers… and still it falls.

The spirits are restless. The gods are showing Their impatience, and the humans are losing their minds, killing one another, as they are wont to do whenever there is impending change on the horizon.  It is upon us.

Today, and throughout the last week and a half, as I’ve awaited the fruition of a great many things, I’ve taken much time to hone my bodily and spiritual purification techniques. I have no idea what to expect, but hopefully, there will be minimal ill effects in my vicinity, if any.

Only two and a half hours left to wait.  I stand at the Threshold, at my Beloved’s side, by His request.  What danger, what toil, what pain, and what joy awaits our human societies?  None of us know, those of us who cross over boundaries, for whom a glimpse into the depth of the world is as easy (or not) as a stroll in the park.  There is more depth here now.  So much more.  And even still more which comes from sources long overlooked, by us.

So, what shall we do?  What can any of us do?  We can merely wait, and choose to flow along with the river of change, as it swells, and washes away what is stagnant.  We can also choose to be that change, and so transform our world.  So, fear not, for what is there to fear about the sunrise?

Hail Apollon, Prince of the Rising Sun!

The Chariot

The clouds part as the Chariot nears
Beloved Sun, rising in the East
Bear witness to these, my words
Partake of me upon Your return
Partake of this life, and this body
Be one with this soul
And if You must, dear Love, do not cease
But devour me in the entirety

~

~

Candle’s Wick

I burn
Like a candle’s wick
In fire so pure, that
My soul is the fuel
While the wax melts
I burn
Because I can bear it
I can endure, the
Licking agony
Again, moaning His name
I burn
Offering my worth
Sacrificing sweet sensation
In the dancing flame
For the Purifier, for Katharsios
I burn

~

~

Tomorrow

If tomorrow is the fateful day
Remember with joyous hearts, and say:

…She cloaked herself within His flame
Together, they played the burning game
She did it all, but not for fame
T’was for love’s arrow only she could tame

And He was happy at her breast
For she had passed His final test
And is now satisfied to rest
Within the arms of Princely best…

So, if tomorrow I have gone away
Remember, it’s true love’s price I pay

Have a very blessed Litha/Midsummer/Solstice, everyone!  <3

Winter Solstice: Honoring Zeus

Over the years, I’ve celebrated the Winter Solstice in varying ways (and in varying degrees), for the honor of various gods.  Apollon and Helios, both being Hellenic deities who are highly associated with Solar imagery, are never lacking in devotion during this season of long nights, while we await the Sun’s eventual rebirth.  Of course, this attention to those two gods in particular is natural, understandable, and logical for any Hellenic Polytheist who, like myself, chooses to observe these seasonal changes.  However, this year, as the Solstice drew nearer, I found that I was not meditating on the profundity of either Apollon’s or Helios’ roles in this shift of seasons, indeed, this shift of awareness, this shift of Power that will continue with the lengthening of days, and the warming of the land.  This year, my thoughts were/are concerned with showing honor to Zeus, King of Gods and men.

Now, I am not one to arbitrarily assign birthdates to gods just to fit them into a certain season, but it seems to me that honoring the birth of the King, who would grow to free all of his siblings from the darkness of Kronos’ belly, is just as fitting as any other celebration taking place at this time of year.

Just think… if Poseidon, Hades, Hera, Demeter and Hestia had never been twice-born.  What kind of world would exist in place of this flawed world that we are so fortunate to enjoy?  Would we even exist in such a world?  My guess is probably not.

When Zeus was born, hope was born along side him.  The hope of freeing the Universe from Kronos’ tyranny.  The hope of releasing the world and its inhabitance from stagnation, and the fear of inevitable change that I believe the swallowing of Rhea’s daughters and sons represents.

So, as the Kouretes danced their war dances around the tree-hung cradle of the baby Zeus on Mt. Ida (in one version of the myth), hope and a new beginning blossomed into being.  Zeus, having grown strong and ready to deliver his brothers and sisters, and indeed the world, from darkness, becomes an even more profoundly symbolic manifestation of the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year.

I see the Solstice (the actual point in time that the solar shift occurs, which falls at around 11:30 CST) as the moment of the King’s birth, while the subsequent hours of darkness before the dawn are representative of Zeus’ maturity.  And the dawn itself, for me, becomes that glorious moment of triumph when Kronos regurgitates the other gods, freeing them, and all of their evolutionary powers.

Of course, we understand that the tale doesn’t end there.  The war between the Olympians and Titans raged violently for some time after.  However, through the release of his siblings, Zeus (with Metis’ aid) becomes the catalyst for change, a reminder that the best hope against these dark days, and harsh realities, comes from the wisdom to accept that nothing ever stays the same.  Seasons change.  Autumn passes into Winter, which in turn passes into Spring.

So, tonight, as many others are paying their respects to my Lord, and to Helios as well, I will be mindful of Zeus, our Father and King, who led the Olympians to victory over the Titans.  And I will honor his mother, and her mother also, for their pivotal roles in Zeus’ birth and upbringing.  In fact, I am so moved by this new (for me) revelation of the importance of the King’s birth, that this celebration may become a yearly event at my house.  Yes, that feels right (for me and my family).

How ever you intend to celebrate the turning of seasons and the solar cycle (if indeed you do), I hope this Winter Solstice is a joyous and moving night of awe and reverence for the divine.  Blessed Solstice, friends.  And of course…

Hail to Zeus, King of Gods and men, Glorious and Skillful Son of Mother Rhea, Grandson of Gaea, Great-Mother of the Gods!  Hail, and Blessed Be!