Yule Ritual Meditation

Settle yourself. Close your eyes. Feel your body relax. Feel as the tensions drain from your face, your neck, your shoulders, your arms, your torso, your legs. Sense the whole of your body, calm, heavy in its relaxation. Center yourself. Feel for that calm, comfortable center, in which you are whole. Ground yourself. Extend yourself into the earth, your mother. Feel as your roots grow into the ground, as you find your connectedness with her again.

This time is the time of Yule, the Winter Solstice, when the sun clings most closely to the horizon. It is a time for rebirth. While many months of winter still await us, the days now begin to lengthen, holding behind the hoary frost the promise of the gentle breath of Spring.

Extend your senses beyond the walls, to the world outside. Smell in the crisp cold a hint of snows yet to come. See, in your mind's eye, the clear clean air. Old dry leaves, long fallen, rustle as they tumble around, caught finally in the tangled stems of dormant shrubs. Bark cracks in the hard frost, and breaks away, falling unnoticed to the earth.

The last of the fall berries dance and sway in the wind, the wind that moans through black branches, crooked fingers that rip the bellies of low heavy clouds. Snow swirls silently into the frozen tracks of squirrels and foxes, rabbits and raccoons, revealing their secret paths. Jays call raucously, as sparrows fluff their breast feathers, puffing up and huddling close to conserve their meager heat.

The fields lie bare, the harvest of wheat, pumpkins and corn safe in the barns. The crows scavenge for stray grains which escaped the harvester's blade. The orchards are empty, their leaves tossed by the storms, their fruit deep in the cellars.

We — we are snug, cocooned in the warmth of our homes and the warmth of our kith and our kin. The winds will howl with the wolves as we remember the harvest just past, and we rest and regenerate as we look to the rebirth of life in the Spring. For now the sun is returned, beginning his slow journey, regaining his ascendancy, as the wheel turns again.

Now, rouse yourselves, and join us, and dance and sing, and celebrate the birth of the sun!

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