Winter Solstice – Dark Season

by Angeliska on December 21, 2008

Tonight we will celebrate the Winter Solstice,
hopefully under the stars with good friends
around a roaring fire- mugs of something
steaming and spicy in our hands.
Right now it’s so cold and blustery outside
that my hands are almost too numb to write!
I was reading about solstice traditions around
the world this morning and came across these
two goddesses I’d never heard of-
Beiwe and Rozhanitsa.


(Drawing by Julianna Swaney)

The Saami, indigenous people of Finland, Sweden and Norway,
worship Beiwe, the sun-goddess of fertility and sanity.
She travels through the sky in a structure made of reindeer bones
with her daughter, Beiwe-Neia, to herald back
the greenery on which the reindeer feed.
On the winter solstice, her worshipers
would sacrifice white female animals
and thread the meat on sticks which
they bent into rings and tied with bright ribbons.
They also cover their doorposts with butter
so Beiwe can eat it and begin her journey once again.


(You can order this and stick your own twigs in it from walkingthings)


(Photo by Dora Alexandra Nacsa)

In twelfth century Russia, the eastern Slavs worshiped
the winter mother goddess, Rozhanitsa,
offering bloodless sacrifices like honey, bread and cheese.
Bright colored winter embroideries (usually red on white)
depicting the antlered goddess and her children
were made to honor the Feast of Rozhanitsa in late December.
For her feast, small, white-iced cookies shaped like deer
were given as presents or good luck tokens.


(Photo by Julia Aumann)

I also discovered Neil Morris’ perfumes,
and couldn’t resist ordering a sample to try
after I read his description of Dark Season:

“Dark Season is a scent impression of a time I spent in Finland visiting friends —
cold, dry shimmering nights. One evening our group took a walk
through the winter woods in Lahti. The night was crystalline with cold air,
and a majestic forest. The snow started to fall —
it was an other worldly landscape. The stars were like frozen lights,
as if they would break in a thousand crystal pieces, if you breathed on them.
We had to return home as the north wind was getting too potent.
My friend lives on a street (Pohjanakanpolku)
that translates: Path of the Northern Hag.
In the distance we could smell the warm fires and the saunas.
Out in the cold and elements, a dry cold,
we felt the promise of something warm in the distance,
the hearth burning. My friend served gloggi, a mulled wine
— a perfect evening.”

It is composed of:
Cinnamon, Labdanum, Oakmoss,
Myrrh, Fir needle, Dark vanilla,
Indonesian patchouli
I can’t wait to smell it!


I covet very much this necklace made by Element Lux-
Mlle. Verhext found it at Theatre of Dreams..
Also, be sure to check out Tamera’s 12 Hexmas Tidings!
There are so many wonders there- especially her Hiver flickr collection!


I’m lighting trails of candles like this one,
found from Emma Fexeus,
where I found some of these other wonderful images-
design and style from a Scandinavian perspective, indeed!


It is the longest night of the year!


(Photo found on Jed Root)
Makes you want roll around in birch leaves
with an unlaced bodice and pink jellyfish frills, doesn’t it?


(Photo by Sandra Juto)
My winter wish to all as we enter
the belly of the night
is for convivial companionship,
serene dreams, and bright hearth fires.
It will be spring before we know it.
Stay warm, kittens!

More solstice magic:

Winter Solstice – Bright Stars + Firelight

WINTER SOLSTICE – BLOOD MOON

Winter Solstice – Messe de Minuit 

14 comments

& what a wintery nite in austin it is tonight, wind howlings and all. mrrr.

by lau on December 21, 2008 at 5:30 pm. #

fact: birthday angel prizes were gotten on this trip. now shhhhhhh!

other things: Snegoyrachka! & La Befana!

by verhext on December 21, 2008 at 7:42 pm. #

Oh, I cannot wait for longer days. This truly is a night to celebrate.

Thank you.

by Lara on December 22, 2008 at 12:48 am. #

It actually feels… like winter outside! I shall sip hot cocoa and apple ciders. Also wear fuzzy slippers and cuddle with dumb dogs. The little lady in the belly making squirmies is helping to keep me warm, too! Can we share that necklace, BTW?
I send you all the squishes!!!!

by Nicole on December 22, 2008 at 9:57 am. #

Thanks for posting this. Dec 21 is the best day of the year; I love Winter Solstice lore & traditions.

by Megami on December 22, 2008 at 12:36 pm. #

oh beautiful deer women and long, long blustery nights!!! now i am in the land of snow and ice, where all the deer i see are scrawny, so i leave corn and old veggies out for them to munch on amid the drifts of snow. it looks like a fancy hexmas cake outside! drifts 4 feet tall and blue-sunshine everywhere. i hope you had a wonderful solstice evening…here’s to celebrating the rebirth of the sun soon!!! love, p

by Patience on December 23, 2008 at 10:39 am. #

Oh, Finland things, how they always sound so exciting when someone foreign is writing.. I’m a long-time stalker, and an admirer of your delicate and beautiful entries, and I wish you a wonderful birth of the new year.

by Veterok. on December 23, 2008 at 2:49 pm. #

Have you ever heard of Amaterasu the Japanese goddess of the sun that hides in a cave and is tricked by the other gods with a loud celebration, she peeks out to look and finds the image of herself in a mirror and is convinced by the other gods to return, bringing sunlight back to the universe. More of a New Years thing, but I think it is funny that they have a loud party to trick her out of the cave.

by addam on December 24, 2008 at 9:27 am. #

I am also a lurker of your journal and look forward, with relish, reading your entries. I found you through a mutual friend, Saelok. May you and yours have a wonderful and healthy New Year.

Miss M~

by Moonchld on December 26, 2008 at 12:13 pm. #

Hi Miss Angel! I went walking to my beach 2 days ago, and the snow was thick and untouched by human feet…When I returned yesterday for another walk, a wandering deer, or perhaps antlered goddess of the northern woods, had chosen to use my day-old footprints as a guide for hers! See you in a few short days!

by Patience on December 30, 2008 at 8:33 am. #

I love the pictures!!! Oh my goddess!!! *Heart attack* blegh.
Blessed be!

by Michaela Darkoak on February 25, 2009 at 2:38 pm. #

I love this entry, keep going. I was on the same page today. Spent my whole day researching Dec 21st.

by Rebecca Weber on December 21, 2010 at 4:21 pm. #

Could you please furnish more information on the Winter solstice picture with the crescent moon above the sun over the winter landscape. Specifically, the date and location and who took the picture.
Thanks.
frenise@hotmail.com

by FRENISE A. LOGAN II on November 20, 2013 at 2:11 pm. #

Hi there,
Sorry, I don’t have any of that information – I found the image randomly. You might have luck searching through with TinEye – it’s a reverse image search engine. http://www.tineye.com/

by Angeliska on November 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm. #

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