A small but joyous group gathered to celebrate the Winter Solstice on December 19th. A little early for the astrological occasion, but we used the time to celebrate and anticipate the growing strength of the sun. We honored Aengus, the Young God, because of his associations with joy, youth, and love. In particular, we reflected on the compassion he showed to others such as Étaín. Transformed into a butterfly by sorcery, and injured by a storm, Aengus took her into his home and healed her in his sun chamber. We also reflected on his connection to Newgrange, which has solar associations with the Winter Solstice. We made charms of dried fruit and cereal and filled them with our intent to cultivate light and show compassion to others. Songs were sung and offerings were given to the Kindreds. It was a joyous ritual!
We did something a little different in that we feasted in the middle of our ritual as our “return flow.” We visualized the blessings of the Kindreds flowing into our feast. Guests brought a variety of goodies! There was a sunny Solstice veggie pie, a pile of homemade rolls, mac and cheese, nacho dip, loaded baked potatoes, veggies, pumpkin juice, and several sweets! There was much indulging.
Grey Catsidhe acted as ritual leader and seer. She took the omen using the Druid animal oracle. The Nature Spirits gave us the otter which symbolizes playfulness and joy. The Nature Spirits urged us to enjoy the winter season and get in touch with our inner children! The Ancestors gave us the snake which is associated with healing and shedding that which we no longer need. Interestingly, a similar omen was drawn at our Samhain ritual. The Ancestors are reminding us that we must continue the spiritual work we started on their feast day. Finally, the Gods and Goddesses gave us the hind/doe. She symbolizes grace and the magic of the fairy realm. The Shining Ones urge us to commune with them, and to take what comes between now and Imbolc with grace. The omens spoke of change, but also playfulness and elegance. Overall, they were very positive!
In addition to some seasonal caroling and a gift exchange, the protogrove also took an additional collection to benefit Wellesley Island Wildlife Rehabilitation. Northern Rivers Protogrove is proud to say we raised $58.42! Grey Catsidhe is going to add to make it $60, and she will buy a Petco gift card to help Sue-Ryn continue her wonderful work!
Thank you to everyone who came and made our Winter Solstice gathering one to remember. Happy New Year!