Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Feminine Gifts of the Solstice

Colorado astrologer Ingrid Jeffries ( offers a complementary viewpoint to Ken Kalb's (see 12/20 entry). She writes:

"Astrologically, the Solstice points are connected to our work in the world. The Sun in Capricorn is when we review our commitments and obligations. Capricorn is a sign that is associated with established orders, business and worldly concerns. We often envision its planetary ruler, Saturn, as an old man with a scythe; symbolic of the reaper, the God of Agriculture, and Father Time. The placement of Saturn in your birth chart indicates where a karmic debt has occurred. This debt will require concentrated effort and discipline to master and overcome its obstacles. Yet, Saturn also points to the aspects of one's life which can become your greatest strength if you are willing to face your fears and difficulties honestly, and work with them patiently. In Capricorn we reap what we have sown in the world, for this reason gift giving has long been an integral aspect of the myriad of festivities associated with the Solstice.

"Ultimately Capricorn is an earth sign and as such is feminine. Of all the astrological signs, Capricorn carries the symbolism of the triple Goddess. We often see images of the mother and her child at this time of year with the imagery of the crone/wise women found in the magi. Many of the traditions associated with this time of year are pre-Christian and involved divination, foretelling the future, as the turning of the season was considered a magical time.

Here are a few:

· In Russia, there's a Christmas divination that involves candles. A girl would sit in a darkened room, with two lighted candles and two mirrors, pointed so that one reflects the candlelight into the other. The viewer would seek the seventh reflection, then look until her future would be seen.

· In Spain, there's an old custom that is a holdover from Roman days. The urn of fate is a large bowl containing slips of paper on which are written all the names of those at a family get-together. The slips of paper are drawn out two at a time. Those whose names are so joined are to be devoted friends for the year. Apparently, there's often a little finagling to help matchmaking along, as well.

· In Scandinavia, some families place all their shoes together, as this will cause them to live in harmony throughout the year.

· And in many, many cultures, it's considered bad luck for a fire or a candle to go out on Solstice (or Christmas Day in more recent times.)

Rituals & Traditions for this time of Year:

· Strengthen bonds with family and friends by visiting and/or exchanging gifts and greetings. This is a season of honoring the ancestors.
· Decorate your home with lights, greens, and holiday colors. Bless your home with a Yule wreath on your front door and sprigs of mistletoe inside.
· If you are part of a group, take up a collection of food and/or clothing at your Yule gathering and give what you collected to a social service agency to distribute to the needy.
· Place sunflower seeds outside for wild birds to feast upon.
· Greet the Sun at dawn on Solstice morning by ringing bells.
· Work magic for a more peaceful planet.
· Honor the new solar year with light. Do a Solstice Eve ritual in which you meditate in darkness and then welcome the birth of the sun by lighting candles and singing chants and carols.
· If you have a indoor fireplace or an outdoor fire circle, burn an oak log as a Yule log and save a bit to start next year's fire.
· Volunteer time at a social service agency.
· Put up bird feeders and keep them filled throughout the winter to supplement the diets of wild birds.
· Meditate for world peace.
· Make a pledge to do some form of good works in the new year."

The Earth breathes but one breath each year: from Summer to Winter, a long exhalation, a letting go; at the Winter Solstice, a moment of stillness and emptiness between breaths; then the long inhalation back into the Summer's time of fullness. ~ Miriam Klamkim

1 comment:

jazzycat said...

Check out photo meditations