A Blessed Winter Solstice to All from the Coven of the Catta and Lady Ember Willow Hawk 3rd*

We have arrived at Yule , The Winter Solstice and counterpoint to Midsummer. The longest night of the year is before us, yet in spite of this shortest day and long cold night this is a solar festival and a time of hope and promise. We come together to celebrate the Great Mother giving birth to the Divine Child and to embrace the hope of that rebirth being echoed in nature in the months to come, even though snow still lies heavy on the ground. The Oak and Holly Kings are not part of the mysteries in our coven but we do often have those elements present for the midwinter rites in the form of the Yule log , made of oak and decorated with fir and holly, as their significance to this time of year is enduring and resonates on a deep level. At this time we also see the hope of the ending of the Dark Half of the year and the coming of warmth and light that makes this such a special and important celebration in the yearly cycle. In times past fires were lit on this night to symbolize the sun , urging it to return in strength and bring warmth to the frozen ground. In the present fires are still lit on this night symbolizing the movement of the year from it’s darker cycle into warmer ,brighter times and also symbolizing what this time of year has meant to so many cultures and differing faiths and traditions : Rebirth , Renewal and Hope. These are such powerful and enduring concepts and forces and on this night we embrace their gifts and let their promise burn in our hearts even as other fires burn in our hearths or upon our altars. Wishing a Joyous and Blessed Yule to all ! BB, Aren