Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice - Total Lunar Eclipse

The Full Cold Moon, Moon before Yule, or Full Long Nights Moon as is called by the native North Americans of the northeast happened in the predawn hours today. In case you missed it, as I did, here is a time lapse of the lunar eclipse as it occurred this morning:



... and the Winter Solstice or Yule day, begins at 6:38 EST

Here are some prayers to mark the 12 days of Yule beginning today:

Prayer to the Earth - Yule day 1
Just because the earth is cold doesn't mean there's nothing going on down there in the soil. Think about what lies dormant in your own life right now, and consider what may bloom a few months from now.
Cold and dark, this time of year,
the earth lies dormant, awaiting the return
of the sun, and with it, life.
Far beneath the frozen surface,
a heartbeat waits,
until the moment is right,
to spring.
Sunrise Prayer - Yule day 2
The sun returns! The light returns!
The earth begins to warm once more!
The time of darkness has passed,
and a path of light begins the new day.
Welcome, welcome, the heat of the sun,
blessing us all with its rays.
Prayer to the Winter Goddess - Yule day 3
Despite the fact that some people hate cold weather, it does have its advantages. After all, a good cold day gives us an opportunity to cuddle up indoors with the people we love the most.
O! Mighty goddess, in silvery ice,
watching over us as we sleep,
a layer of shining white,
covering the earth each night,
frost on the world and in the soul,
we thank you for visiting us.
Because of you, we seek warmth
in the comfort of our homes and hearths.
Prayer of Thanks - Yule day 4
Yule should be a time of joy and happiness, but for many people it can be stressful. This is a season to take a moment and be thankful for the blessings you have, and to take a moment to remember those less fortunate.
I am grateful for that which I have.
I am not sorrowful for that which I do not.
I have more than others, less than some,
but regardless, I am blessed with
what is mine.
Prayer for the Beginning of Winter - Yule day 5
In early winter, we can see the skies becoming overcast, and smell fresh snow in the air. Take a few minutes to think about the fact that even if the skies are cold and dark, it's only temporary.
See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way
for the darkness soon to come.
See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way,
for the world to go cold and lifeless.
See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way
for the longest night of the year.
See the gray skies overhead, preparing the way
for the sun to one day return,
bringing with it light.
Sunset Prayer - Yule day 6
The longest night has come once more,
the sun has set, and darkness fallen.
The trees are bare, the earth asleep,
and the skies are cold and black.
Yet tonight we rejoice, in this longest night,
embracing the darkness that enfolds us.
We welcome the night and all that it holds,
as the light of the stars shines down.
Nordic Yule Blessing - Yule day 7
Yule is a time to set aside animosity between yourself and people who would normally antagonize you. The Norsemen had a tradition that enemies who met under a bough of mistletoe were obligated to lay down their arms. Set aside your differences, and think about that as you ponder this devotional.
Beneath the tree of light and life,
a blessing at this season of Jul!
To all that sit at my hearth,
today we are brothers, we are family,
and I drink to your health!
Today is a day to offer hospitality
to all that cross my threshold
in the name of the season.
Snow Prayer - Yule day 8
Depending on where you live, you may be seeing snowfall long before Yule arrives. Take a moment to appreciate its beauty, both as it falls and once it covers the ground.
From the reaches of the north,
a place of cold blue beauty,
comes to us the first winter storm.
Wind whipping, flakes flying,
the snow has fallen upon the earth,
keeping us close,
keeping us together,
wrapped up as everything sleeps
beneath a blanket of white.
Prayer for the Olde Gods - Yule day 9
The Holly King is gone, and the Oak King reigns
Yule is the time of the old winter gods!
Hail to Baldur! To Saturn! To Odin!
Hail to Ameratsu! To Demeter!
Hail to Ra! To Horus!
Hail to Frigga, Minerva Sulis and Cailleach Bheur!
It is their season, and high in the heavens,
may they grant us their blessings this winter day.
Celtic Yule Blessing - Yule day 10
The Celtic people knew the importance of the solstice. Although the Yule season marks the middle of winter, colder times were still to come. It was important to put aside staple foods for the coming months, because it would be many months before anything fresh grew again. Consider, as you think on this devotional, what your family has put aside -- both material goods and things on the spiritual plane.
The food is put away for the winter,
the crops are set aside to feed us,
the cattle are come down from their fields,
and the sheep are in from the pasture.
The land is cold, the sea is stormy, the sky is gray.
The nights are dark, but we have our family,
kin and clan around the hearth,
staying warm in the midst of darkness,
our spirit and love a flame
a beacon burning brightly
in the night.
Elemental Blessing - Yule day 11
In the middle of winter, it's hard to remember sometimes that light is coming back to earth. However, despite the gray, cloudy days, we know that soon, the sun will return. Keep this in mind during those dreary days when it seems winter will never end, by invoking the four classical elements.
As the earth grows colder,
the winds blow faster,
the fire dwindles smaller,
and the rains fall harder,
let the light of the sun
find its way home.
Prayer to the Sun God Ra - Yule day 12
Great sun, wheel of fire, Ra in your glory,
hear me as I honor you
on this, the shortest day of the year.
Summer has gone, passed us by,
the fields are dead and cold,
all of earth sleeps in your absence.
Even in the darkest times,
you light the way for those who would need a beacon,
of hope, of brightness,
shining in the night.
Winter is here, and colder days coming,
the fields are bare and the livestock thin.
We light these candles in your honor,
that you might gather your strength
and bring life back to the world.
O Ra, mighty sun above us,
we ask you to return, to bring back to us
the light and the warmth of your fire.
Bring life back to earth,
Bring light back to earth.
Hail Ra! Ruler of the sun!

2 comments:

nerstes said...

Wow!This is fascinating, Thanks!

Ms Corpse Cafe said...

You are welcome!