Come sit by the fire.
Welcome, pull up a log and a mug of something warm.
It seems fitting that my first blog post be today; Winter Solstice. Winter is my favorite season – a time of log fires, mulled wine, magical walks through thick mists and naked forests. I also love the ocean in winter; big storms equal big waves! (No, I’m not a surfer I just love visual drama.) It is also a time I am most productive with my writing – the cold weather is conducive to staying indoors – the ultimate “bum-glue” as Stephen King would say. However, it is also the nature of the season as well. Traditionally winter is a season in which things ‘slow down’ and ‘go within’. It is a good time for quiet reflection, restoration, and renewing your relationship with your inner muse and with light (yes, I have a very active relationship with my muse but that’s another post ). But what is Winter Solstice and why is starting to blog on this day significant?
The origins of the mythos surrounding Winter Solstice are ancient and span many cultures across Europe, Asia, Africa and America. It the longest night of the year and marks the middle of winter. Some cultures refer to the Winter Solstice as Yule and have the traditional burning of the Yule log (sometimes even a whole tree) that represents warmth, safety, and joy. While in some cultures it was important the log remained as unsullied as possible, in other cultures magic spells and people’s hopes and wishes were carved upon the log along with prayers of thanks. Traditionally Winter Solstice is a time to start welcoming back the light because from this point on the days start becoming longer; the light starts returning. It is a day that the Gods and Goddesses of light were traditionally honored e.g., Apollo and Dionysus.
Winter Solstice is often celebrated with loved ones, around a fire with good food and, of course, mulled wine. (It seems all the best celebrations involve a party, fire, food and wine.) It was also considered a good night to think about what you wanted to leave behind, even writing what you no longer needed on a piece of paper and letting it go into the flames. It was then time to turn your focus towards not only the fact you had survived winter thus far (yay!) but also celebrating the dreams you wish to bring to life as the light and energy of nature grows again. It was also considered a good night to connect with loved ones near and far because it is often their love that sees us through the darkest hours. It can therefore be a good day to write letters of gratitude. For Witches it is considered a good night to cast abundance spells. Other traditional rituals included keeping a sliver of the Yule log to protect the home for the coming year, often hanging it above the doorway. The ashes of the Yule log were sometimes spread across the fields to bless the coming crops. Fire is considered to be one of the oldest and most sacred elements in protecting humans against all things dark – makes sense, huh? So Winter Solstice was, and is, a pretty big deal.
So, I guess this blog entry, on this day, captures three things that I would like this blog to be about. One, I want to leave the fear of my identity as a writer and fear of blogging behind (yep, I’m a writer with a fear of blogging. I never claimed to be a LOGICAL writer). I want to focus on just being creative, following the flow of inspiration, connecting with the art community, and chasing my dreams. In short: just do it! Second, as you can probably already tell, I have a strong and active interest in anything mythological or paranormal. So this blog will be a collection of my interests in that area. Finally, as we move towards the light and think about dreams and connections, I would like to start sharing my journey with you, my fellow artists, authors, and readers, as well as shed light on my inspirations, my current projects, art works, poetry, and introducing you all to other fellow artists who inspire me and hopefully may inspire you too. I can think of no better way to do all this than through the written word.
Most of my posts will be accompanied with a song and a photo of some artwork I am drawing inspiration from at the time. I do this to not only share my journey with you but to promote all forms of art because I believe we are all in this together. Artists are some of the bravest people I know. It’s a hard industry and I don’t mean just surviving financially. For by putting your art out there, you are in some ways also putting your soul out there; and not just to be seen, but also to be criticized. If anything defines courage – I think putting your soul to paper and inviting criticism is it.
At the moment I am drawing a lot of strength and inspiration from Pearl Whitecrow’s works; especially Origins. It seems fitting for the season and beginning of this blog. I will let the image speak for itself.
I am also in quite an expansive mood – so I have been listening Eluvium as I write (YouTube Channel coming soon!)
This is my first post so I apologize if it is a bit of a ramble. I promise I will get better over time… maybe. I will also start sneaking in photos of my cats and dogs because that’s what we do on the internet – right? Anyway, I should get back to my fire, mead, husband and friends. How are you celebrating the Winter Solstice? I would love to hear your stories. Or, if you have never heard of this celebration before, I have included some links in the text where you can learn more about it. I find nature, her seasons and the mythos around this cycle my greatest inspiration.
I want to say a special thank you to Nicolette my critique partner at RWA and Nicola at RWA, who both inspired me to write this post. I am currently reading Magical Gains by Nicola Sheridan and can’t wait to write a review – if you like romance and magic, you have got to read this. Not to mention the mouth watering chapters of A Warlords Lady that are currently available at her website here: http://www.nicolasheridan.com/ I am also reading Game of Thrones, like everyone else in the universe, but I can’t talk about that right now. I am still too traumatized by the last TV episode…
May north be true,
P.S. I know there are those of you living in the north of the globe that will be celebrating summer solstice, by the pool, in the sun, with a cocktail in hand. But I am just pretending that isn’t happening right now as I pull on my third layer of thermals.