Midwinter Solstice

I realise that it’s a couple of weeks since the Midwinter Solstice, but I’ve been busy with Christmas preparations, social activities and sleeping as I’m in my third trimester and very tired.

As you know, I usually cast a circle with jars which contain milk, salt and a candle. For more information, search for my blog post on circle casting. This time I couldn’t do it as my pregnancy makes it very difficult to bend down. So I resorted to just drawing a circle on the ground. It worked just as well, but I prefer to use the milk, salt and candle method, especially as it makes a physical boundary which is easier to see.

I did my usual ritual and afterwards wassailed the elder tree in my back garden. I usually wassail all the guardian trees in the district, but again pregnancy prevented this so I did a symbolic wassailing for all of them.

Midwinter Solstice

Last Saturday I celebrated the Midwinter Solstice. Before breakfast I went out and did my ritual. It started well and then the rain came down. Despite my candles being in jam-jars the rain kept putting them out, so I gave up on the candles and did the rest of the ritual anyway.

After lunch I went wassailing. This is an old ritual where cider was splashed on apple trees and the trees were beaten to ensure a good harvest. I’ve adapted the ritual and I use it for the guardian trees around here, including my tribal tree. I use sloe gin, which is made from local blackthorn sloes I harvested awhile ago.

It’s celebrated in an old rhyme “a woman, a dog and an apple tree, the more you beat them the better they be”. Since I wish to become pregnant, I took the rhyme and applied it to myself and wassailed myself under my tribal tree.

I know this ritual is not Irish, but I am living on English land and the observances for that land need to be carried out.