The Shortest Day Marks the Turning Year


A wondrous and happy solstice to all!

This card is an exploration of the old favorite carol, and what its roots might have been. Those compelling images of the royal trees of the forest, the rising sun, the deer running . . . I love a good merry organ and sweet singing in the choir, but my imagination was still out there in the fields, wondering at the meaning of those symbols and recalling to my heart the reason for the season. “So the shortest day marks the turning year, and spring will soon draw near.” Just a little rewrite to capture the midwinter holy day.

I have been immersed in the traditions of those I live among. In the last day I’ve been to a posada next door, and an Azteca solstice celebration around a fire this morning. The house fills with the smells of anise and orange zest as my husband entertains his Italian ancestors by making pizelles. My roots, like the holly and ivy, are from a set of islands and a continent far away, and the old ways perhaps are buried a little deeper in time. Walking the pagan path has led me not only to connection with many other kinds of celebrations for this time of year, but also deeper into my own.

Blessed Yule to all!

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Jacqueline 12/21/2013, 11:34 pm

    Absolutely beautiful.

  • Bhana 12/30/2013, 7:39 am

    I like this so much. My family and I have been looking for ways to celebrate the winter Solstice that honor its significance without entering the realm of fantasy. Your artwork and adaptation of these verses fit the the bill nicely. Thank you for the thought and effort you’ve clearly put into your work.

  • Cate Kerr 01/01/2014, 3:03 pm

    I loved this post, Cari, and your art is simply gorgeous. Happy happy New Year!

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