My Winter Solstice Observance.

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James Parton
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My Winter Solstice Observance.

Post by James Parton » Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:24 pm

All,

On the morning of Yule, the Winter Solstice, I headed for a nearby forest to celibrate in ritual the Winter Solstice. In observance of this, I wore my camoflage clothing and boonie hat, for I am a woodland druid. I also wore a moonstone ( I think ) pendant, that I got from my sister to honor and represent the solstice eclipse that I missed because of clouds.

Hiking in with staff in hand I found two nice tall holly trees which I found fitting to have my Yule celebration under. Holly symbolizes the season and represents the Holly King, who mythologically is now in power. Upon arriving I said a prayer to God ( I am a Christian Druid ) and Mother Earth ( Dana ) thanking them for the blessings of the season and for the soon return of the sun to a higher postion in the sky. I also prayed for the well-being and protection of the forest. I also prayed for the acceptance and blessing of my items used in ritual.

After the prayer, I set up my ritual items. A tiny chiminea with a tealight candle inside which I used to represent the warmth and light of a returning sun, A holly twig, which I cut from a nearby tree, which I asked permission from and pledged a " vow of service " to in return. The holly represents the evergreens of the season and is the ruling tree of the season. It's leaves represent the Crown of thorns used during Christ's crucifiction and the red berries the blood of Christ.

Then I placed my dirk below the holly. It represents the battle between the great trees of the season. The Holly rules now but upon the return of the sun, and spring the Oak will rally and win back it's position from the Holly. But for now, the leaves of the Oak lie all around the Holly signaling the Oak's defeat. And it was the dirk that I used to cut the branch from the holly, after all I don't have a golden sickle!

http://www.nativetreesociety.org/myths/ ... _kings.htm

With the implements in place and the candle lit, I sat at the base of an even taller nearby holly to do a grounding meditation and commune with the forest. A few tens of yards away is a big white pine that is just over 135 feet tall. The biggest tree in this part of the woods. Down farther still is Lake Julian.

After a 45 minute meditation, which got a bit interrupted by noisy cars a hundred yards away or so, I sat in thought under the holly. Then I said a short prayer to end the ritual and then carefully packed my things back together in my small pack and holstered the dirk. I took the holly twig to give to my daughter Sarah for use in her Christmas celebrations. Then taking my staff in hand I hiked the short distance back to the car, patting the two holly trees and thanking them before I left.

It was a short but rewarding ritual that left me refreshed.
Winter_Solstice.jpg
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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jamesrobertsmith
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Re: My Winter Solstice Observance.

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:49 am

All right!!

Very cool way to ring in the new year!

Joe

Re: My Winter Solstice Observance.

Post by Joe » Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:37 pm

J.P.,

Didn't the early Catholic Church repress the Druids?

Joe

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James Parton
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Re: My Winter Solstice Observance.

Post by James Parton » Sun Dec 26, 2010 6:17 pm

Joe,

Yes, the Catholic Church pretty much destroyed the ancient druids and the coming of Christianity changed Celtic culture forever. Much of ancient druidism was gone by the eighth century but some bardic schools made it until medieval times, around the fourteenth century. The ancient druids spread their teachings by oral tradition. Many of their teachings and legends were not written down on paper until Christian monks put it to pen in the early 1st millinnium after Christ.

Many of their pagan holidays were converted or assimilated by the Christian Church ( Catholicism ). It made the pagan celts easier to convert to Christianity. Many of our modern holidays have a lot of pagan customs integrated into them. Especially Christmas, Easter and Halloween.

Modern Neo-Druidism emerged in the early to mid 1600's and was influenced by the romaticist movement, reconstructualist paganism and freemasonry at that time. Today, freemasonry and reconstructionalist paganism's influences are still apparent in neo-druidism. In fact modern druidry can be called " Reconstructed Druidry " because it is only loosely connected to the ancient druids and because so little is known of the ancient druids to begin with.

But still. I think the ancients would be proud of modern druids. We at least help keep their memory alive and prosper in their ancient tales. The celts themselves are not dead either. Just assimilated into modern culture and spread throughout the world. And three million people can still speak a celtic language, at least to some degree. I aspire to be one of those.
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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James Parton
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Re: My Winter Solstice Observance.

Post by James Parton » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:41 pm

To add..

The Bardic colleges continued to operate in Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, for many centuries, but eventually the last one was closed in the 17th century. However, the pull of this tradition was too strong and soon poets such as William Blake rediscovered the voice of the Bard. These Bardic revivalists, who revelled in the beauty of nature, met in the quieter rooms of public houses at the end of the 18th century, and thus the thread spins on....

Damh the Bard.


It appears the bardic colleges may have made it quite a bit a bit later than I had learned from other sources or would have thought. About the time they were dying out Neo-Druidry was being born.

JP
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

Joe

Re: My Winter Solstice Observance.

Post by Joe » Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:00 pm

I've heard it said that the reason there is so much alcholism in those countries is that the dam Brits treated them like dirt; took away their land, took away their language, and the Catholic Church tried to turn their women into nuns- pure, like the Virgin Mary. If I were treated that way I think I'd have a drinking problem too.
Joe

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James Parton
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Re: My Winter Solstice Observance.

Post by James Parton » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:11 pm

Joe,

The Scottish Celts, like the American Indians were highly abused and run over, being thought of a primitive and barbaric by their technologically superior adversaries. But the Brits like the early Americans were the true savages. Alcoholism is bad in the Native American peoples today too. But I don't think many white Americans are much better. It seems that many today can't have fun without it. I have known so many that can't go fishing or camping without taking a beer cooler or keg along. A beer or two would be ok but 12 in a row? Right.... We may have gotten it from our Irish and/or Scottish ancestry, at least initially. The rest is stupidity.

Back in the 1920's the American Government made Alchohol illegal. That flew like a lead brick and did not last long. Weed will be legal before long.
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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