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)
“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,
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!
(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: