Yule: It Starts Very Quietly

Sun Wheel Advent Wreathe Air Fire Water Earth

It is the time to be still, like the sun. Tonight I light all four candles on my Sun Wheel Advent wreath, for Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Tomorrow is the winter solstice and I will light the center candle, and on every night until Christmas, when the sun will begin to move again. This ritual is now worldwide and held in sacred space by Beth Owl’s Daughter on her site.

This particular chant is one that often comes to me when I am feeling quiet and introspective, which is how I want to feel at the winter solstice. Often there is too much hustle and bustle to drop into it, but this year it has been easier. Just one of the silver linings of this strange and terrible time. The gift of quiet.

I learned this chant from Margot Adler, many years ago in a workshop. I wanted to remember all the songs we sang that day, but my old flip phone wasn’t equal to the capture. A nice young man sitting next to me offered to send me his sound file when he returned home to Germany, and in a few weeks he did. The format was unfamiliar but my son the sound engineer teased it into a form my computer could read, and even divided it into the separate songs and chants.

Margot was a gifted writer; her Drawing Down the Moon was one of the first books about modern American paganism, published in 1979, at the very beginning of my journey. But she was also a creative and beloved ritualist, and I count myself fortunate to have been in that room with her that day.

I share this one now with you. It is simple and easy to remember, and if you are like me, you will mix up the words and that will be ok. May it bring you the silence and solace you might need on these darkest and longest nights of the year, Yule 2020.

Take a few deep breaths when you have listened to it through to the end. This is my wish for you, for all of us. Blessed be all we.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Alicia Bay Laurel 12/20/2020, 9:50 pm

    Thank you for this tranquil offering. I love the voice of Margot Adler, which has the same centering effect as your writing, Cari.

  • Bee Smith 12/20/2020, 10:18 pm

    Beautiful rendering of that sweet chant. I am listening to it in the dark as I wait for daybreak.

  • John Cutrone 12/20/2020, 11:19 pm

    Perfect ending: “blessed be.” Happy Midwinter to you and yours, Cari.

  • Carmela 12/21/2020, 8:49 am

    Solstice Greetings, Cari. Thank you for this peaceful beginning to the new year!

  • Beth, Owl's Daughter 12/21/2020, 10:20 am

    Thank you for this beauty, and for your honoring of our beloved elder, Margot. I treasure that you created this way to be in harmony with her, across the many years and worlds. Blessed Yule, Cari!

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