To the Druids, long before Christianity, Christmas was about the Birth of the Faery Babe, or Radiant Child. This is the story that I see being played out what other people call the Glastonbury Zodiac on the Somerset Levels, a 10-mile wide circular landscape temple where the “stars have fallen to the Earth” to create 13 giant earthworks – as the map shows below:
Tonight, we enter the Winter Solstice in the sign of Capricorn. To me, this is such a beautiful time when there are unique energies at play from the “Christmas spirits” that can heal the emotional despair and suffering accrued during the previous thirteen moons, and send rejuvenation, fresh hope and inspiration for the coming turn of the calendrical Wheel.
In Earth alchemy and Arthurian legend, the longest night of midwinter, caused by the Sun reaching its furthest point away from the Earth and then returning three days later, on Christmas Day, is symbolised by the death of the Old Wounded Fisher King and the birth of the new King, otherwise known as the Radiant Child. This bursting forth into joyful and victorious rebirth was symbolised by alchemists as the Peacock’s Tail, for which, I think, the aurora borealis is the perfect sky metaphor.
The Winter Solstice will fall just before dawn breaks over the British Isles after the longest night of the year on Thursday 21st December. To me, this is such a beautiful time when there are unique energies at play that heal the emotional despair and suffering accrued during the previous thirteen moons, and send rejuvenation and fresh hope and inspiration for the coming turn of the calendrical wheel. Continue reading
If you’re feeling a bit jaded about Christmas, you don’t have to dig too far underneath all the bling and glitz – and the Judaic narrative – to discover that it’s actually a real and very potent time of year for Earth magic, as the fiery arrow of Sagittarius flies towards the Taurus bull of fertility and the Horned One of Capricorn springs into action at the Birth of the Radiant Child on the Winter Solstice today.
The Birth of the Radiant Child has been celebrated across all the Three Worlds – the Underworld, the Bright World of Earth, and the Upper World – from time immemorial, because the divine child’s conception involves the co-operation of and communion between all three realms. Continue reading
If you dig deep enough, underneath all the plastic hype, bling and glitz, Yuletide is actually a real and very potent time of year for Earth magic, as the fiery arrow of Sagittarius flies towards the Bull of fertility, and the Horned One of Capricorn springs into action at the Birth of the Radiant Child on the Winter Solstice.
In this article, I explain how you can join in the magic too, wherever you are, by turning yourself into a living and breathing advent calendar! Continue reading
As we celebrate the Winter Solstice, we might wonder how these special times were marked by our prehistoric ancestors. Was it a way of symbolically bringing the dead back to life or a means of making their transition to the afterlife smoother? Here, Mike Williams, the author of Prehistoric Belief, explains what’s known about these midwinter practises in the Neolithic.