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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in winternights

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Just Winter

It's just Winter now, and I took down all the Yule decorations this weekend—the tree, the ornaments, the pine garland on the mantle, the wreath, everything has been been taken down, put away, discarded. The boxes are back in a shadowy corner of the basement. Like Narnia, where it was “always Winter and never Christmas,” the trees are bare, snow is inches deep, the wind is icy, and now dark nights are even darker, there are no Christmas lights still lit to soften the darkness.

It's just Winter, and the bills we ran up during festive Sagittarius, have come due in austere, disciplined Capricorn. The holiday season has ebbed, and in its wake is a return to the small and cautious, to the frugal, to the tightening of belts, the tyranny of the budget, the austerity of a cleaner diet. It's just Winter, just a cold season with many weeks to Spring, still hibernating and quiet, too soon to plan Spring's garden or Summer's vacation.

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Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Many years ago, from some long forgotten source, I read that the goddess Hecate's sacred festival was celebrated on January 31. Although I have never been able to find the source or corroborate this information (Stewart and Janet Farrar's classic “The Witches' Goddess” mentions August 13 for her annual festival as well as the night of the Full moon), I have celebrated this feast every year, in preparation for Imbolc and as an entry into the coldest (but not darkest) part of the Winter.

My experience of Hecate is as a seasonal Goddess. I sense her presence in October, as the frost bitten garden finally dies back, as the light deepens into honey and amber, in the first tantalizing days of Hallowstide, the first days of the thinning Veil. She is present in the Descent, and in the Underworld, and in the solemn, silent movements of our beloved dead. She is present in the rapidly darkening year, and she helps to midwife in the promise of the sacred Child, reborn as the Sun at the Winter Solstice.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Leisa Reynolds
    Leisa Reynolds says #
    My mother passed 21 years ago this Jan 31 and every year since her passing I have gotten up and taken a deep breath and thought to
  • Leni Hester
    Leni Hester says #
    Thanks for sharing this, Leisa! My mom and gramma have died in the past 2 years, and the loss is so present with me, at this time
  • Deborah Blake
    Deborah Blake says #
    I love this :-)
  • Leni Hester
    Leni Hester says #
    Thanks, Deborah! signed, squeeing fangirl of your work!

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