Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Winter Solstice 2010

Today marks the end of one and beginnings of a new cycle in the Earth. Today is the Winter solstice the shortest day. Here in Somerset there will be special celebrations held as important sites late tonight primarily on Glastonbury Tor but also at The Chalice Well site. In our neighbouring county of Wiltshire there will be similar gatherings at Stonehenge.
The Pagan celebration of Winter Solstice (also known as Yule) is one of the oldest winter celebrations in the world.The Druids (Celtic priests) would cut the mistletoe that grew on the oak tree and give it as a blessing. Oaks were seen as sacred and the winter fruit of the mistletoe was a symbol of life in the dark winter months. It was also the Druids who began the tradition of the yule log. The Celts thought that the sun stood still for twelve days in the middle of winter and during this time a log was lit to conquer the darkness, banish evil spirits and bring luck for the coming year.
Many of these customs are still followed today. They have been incorporated into the Christian and secular celebrations of Christmas.
Yule is a time throughout time that honours love and new birth, as well as the collective unity of man. Just as Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, Yule celebrates the birth of the Sun God - child of the Goddess in the Pagan belief system. Yule is primarily the celebration of the rebirth of the Sun. Many people associate the Winter Solstice, or winter itself with death, as it is the season in which nature is dormant, and in which many plants die off and crops are scarce. Conversely, the Winter Solstice, although it is the longest night, (boasting more than 12 hours of darkness), it is also the turning point of the year, as following this night the sun grows stronger in the sky, and the days become gradually longer once more. Thus the Winter Solstice is also a celebration of rebirth

 Today also saw the first Eclipse of the moon on Winter solstice in 400 years.....................

So happy Solstice to you all.

In tomorrow's blogpost there will be a special surprise guest so pop over and visit .


  1. Happy Solstice and I love yor photo of the moon over the church - beautiful x

  2. Well written Jo and I had no idea that there was an eclipse last night (or is it tonight??) xxx

  3. Oh, you got a fab photo! We tried, but we couldn't see anything at all here. Mind you, it is -11, so we weren't hanging about outside for long!

  4. Wonderful post, Jo! That is a great photo of the eclipse too. I am sorry that I didn't know about it until too late...
    The story about Yule and Solstice is great - I knew some of it, but you explained everything so nicely.
    Thanks for sharing. It's a lovely post.

  5. Isn't it fascinating to learn the beginnings of the traditions we take for granted? Thank you for sharing all this information.
    The moon picture is lovely, we certainly didn't get that kind of view from our corner of the uk.

  6. Your picture is beautiful Jo, happy solstice to you x


Hello and thank you so much for stopping by. It is always a pleasure to read the comments I receive and to meet new friends. I try and reply to comments on friend's blogs as much as possible. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog and look forward to seeing you here again soon. Love Jo xxx