Winter Solstice and the Full Moon Eclipse

The night before the 21st of December I dutifully texted several of my like-minded friends to tell them about the eclipse and what time it would be on the morning of the 21st. On Solstice morning I got up at 6.30am as usual to get my son ready for school and clean forgot that there was an eclipse. It wasn’t until Daisy’s dad rang me excitedly at 7am saying; ‘are you watching the eclipse then?’ that of course I realised my blunder! I swiftly ran out the front door and looked up into the sky to see the breathtaking sight in the clear starry sky of the full moon being eclipsed and was almost three quarters obscured by then. It was an amazing sight of beauty, wonderment and magic and I could not take my eyes off it, even though I was supposed to be getting ready for the day ahead. Everything stopped for the eclipse. There was thick snow on the ground which glimmered as if someone had thrown glitter upon it, the moon was being magically shaded and the stars shone. I realized how lucky I was to see this sight when I texted a friend in England who said that he couldn’t see it as it was so cloudy where he was. Here in Orkney, Scotland the sky was clear and cold. Perfect.

Thus began our Winter Solstice; a bewitching beginning to the shortest day and the longest night. Daisy, Alcina and I had planned a Solstice ritual; our outfits, the spells and Yule log were set to go. We were looking forward to celebrating the pinnacle of the magical year. As always it was a really busy day in the run up to Christmas. There had been the school disco in the afternoon and generally everything had been in a flurry of activity for all of us. Daisy and Alcina were exhausted and so was I by the time evening drew in. We decided to forgo the full blown ritual until Thursday when school would have ended for the term. Our Plan B was to watch The Snow Queen DVD and then have a very short, ten minute honouring of the Solstice and the moon afterwards. We could not let this special night pass without observing it in some way.

Daisy, Alcina, her brother Tomkin, our poodle Bax and I snuggled up on the sofa with cups of tea and Yule log to watch The Snow Queen. With the snow outside, huge gentle flakes still falling and the full moon nothing else was needed to make us feel more magical and festive.

When the film finished it was well past 11pm and I knew I had to get Daisy home before long. None of us felt like a ritual of any description by that time, but we knew that we couldn’t end the night without doing it. I had an impulse to take the girls outside; I just knew that we should be out in the snow. It was bitterly cold and the girls needed some coaxing. ‘I promise you it will be worth it,’ I had said. ‘Even just five minutes outside in the snow on Winter Solstice will be amazing.’ Daisy had never done a ritual outside before and looked sceptically at me. I grabbed the bottle of mead, lit a candle in a glass lantern and we all donned warm clothing and wellies.

Now…I may have mentioned this before; it has been noted that when I am with Daisy and Alcina I regress to being a teenage girl being an approximate age of fourteen. Tonight was definitely no exception. It was as if I had received an adrenaline rush. We all ran outside giggling and running through the deep snow, kicking up the powdery white stuff in an exuberant mood. It was almost midnight, but we didn’t need a torch as the snow and the full moon reflected upon everything and we could all see perfectly well. Words cannot convey the magical-ness of that night. The light of the moon and the glittering of the snow lit up our faces. In our garden, as you may remember we have a large wooden ring of mushrooms. I jumped into the middle of the ring and the girls did the same. We all held hands and tuned into the Snow Queen and Jack Frost, our chosen deities for that special night. I asked them both to imagine the Snow Queen faerie walking the perimeter of the ring gliding around in her long white, flowing dress which skimmed the surface of the snow as she went. It was as if we had all been transported and we were in a little bubble surrounded by the Snow Queen faerie. We each said a few words in honour of the Solstice and the full moon. When working a ritual outside the energy is different, almost raw in quality and as I explained to the girls, we were going for quality, not quantity tonight and we felt we had touched it. Connected. It wasn’t hard, in fact it was effortless. It is proof of the good work that we have already done in the Ring that we are now working very much in harmony with one another and in tune as a collective mind to the faerie realms. No elaborate ritual was required or any magical tools whatsoever, as connecting to the night itself was all that we needed.

Then we passed around the bottle of mead as we each took a swig in turn, as usual amid torrents of giggles. Our mood was collectively reckless. We decided that as it had taken six years to finish the bottle of mead and Alcina had downed the last drop, we should smash the bottle in celebration. I tried first, as I clanged it against the dry stone wall which encompasses our garden. Feeble effort. Daisy grabbed the bottle and then threw it hard at the roof of the house. It smashed spectacularly into hundreds of pieces, just like the mirror had in The Snow Queen movie we had just watched.

That ended our Solstice celebration and for some reason we were all as high as kites running around the garden at midnight throwing snowballs at one another. I‘ll never forget that Winter Solstice; sometimes being totally spontaneous can make the best rituals. It certainly worked for us this time.

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