Today I would like to share some treasures for the Winter Solstice including this article titled Plants of the Winter Solstice:
Oak and holly play an important role in many of our holiday celebrations surrounding the winter solstice. In ancient cultures the holly tree symbolized the waning sun commencing with the summer solstice and the oak tree symbolized the waxing sun commencing with the winter solstice...Placing a ring of holly on doors originated in Ireland since holly was one of the main plants that was green and very beautiful with its red berries at this time of year and gave poor people a means of decorating their dwellings. Decorating one’s home with holly was believed to bring protection and good luck to the inhabitants in the coming year....
The “mighty oak” was the most sacred tree of Europe, representing the waxing sun, symbolized endurance, strength, protection, and good luck to people in the coming year. On the winter solstice, on the longest night of the year, people would place and set afire a giant oak log in a community fire pit or families would place a smaller oak log in their fireplace. This log became known as the “Yule log.” ...
The article goes on to discuss mistletoe and the Christmas tree (which many of us know as the Yule tree), pointing out the earthwise traditions associated with both. This comes to us from the US Forest Service.
Books and CDs for Yule & Sostice:
Celebrate the Solstice: Honoring the Earth's Seasonal Rhythms Through Ceremony and Ritual by Richard Heinberg
The Winter Solstice: The Sacred Traditions of Christmas by John Matthews
The Return of the Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for the Winter Solstice by Caroline McVicker Edwards
The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice by Wendy Pfeffer
The Winter Solstice by Ellen Jackson
A Solstice Tree for Jenny by Karen Shragg
Beautiful Darkness by Jessica Radcliff
And Winter Came - Enya
Firedance: Songs for Winter Solstice by Jaiya
Midwinter Night's Dream by Loreena McKennit
Lights of Winter: Winter Celebrations Around the World by Heather Conrad
We are snowed in today. I will bake some Yule cookies and play with the kitten. Madame, our newly adopted dog, would also like a walk - its seems she loves the snow.
Blessings of the season to you and yours,
Welcome Yule! Music, Dancing and Revels
Berry Walk: Yew Berries
Photo: Mistletoe - US Forest Service Site
Poster: Nest in Holly Tree by Gay Bumgarner
Image: Cover: A Midwinter's Night Dream