Alban Arthan Celebration
21 and 22nd June Southern Hemisphere
21 and 22nd December Northern Hemisphere
The Sun-god mates with the goddess
of the land and makes a new life.
Winter Solstice Meaning
Just as a dark moon heralds in a new one, the Winter Solstice ( Alban Arthan) marks the birth of a new year. We come out of the darkness and into the light. From the dawn of time, people all over the world have celebrated the return of the sun as a life-giving time of great significance. It promises new life.
In ancient times some communities were not even certain if they would survive through the long cold winter months. In the Northern Hemisphere starvation was common in winter between January and April, (also known as ‘the famine months’).
The Alban Arthan winter solstice festival was the last feast before deep winter began. Cattle slaughtered because there was no food for them, keeping only the best breeding stock for the next season. The event is seen as the reversal of the Sun’s ebbing presence in the sky, suggesting myths of birth or rebirth of sun gods.
In ancient Rome this was Saturnalia. It was a festival of light leading to the winter solstice, with the abundant presence of candles symbolizing the quest for knowledge and truth. The festival lasted for 12 days (the 12 days of Christmas) and presents exchanged and great orgies of over-indulgences went on. One source mentioned that the master served the slave at these festivals. The renewal of light and the coming of the new year celebrated in the later Roman Empire as the birthday of the Unconquerable Sun.
Alban Arthan Ritual And Celebration
Go through the house and turn out all the lights and spend some time feeling the darkness. Try to tune into how your ancestors felt in their time.
Go to bed early with a seed catalogue and plant a winter veggie patch.
Sleep in a sack without a torch.
Decorate your house with winter greens and berries.
Celebrate and drink mead for the rebirth of the year.
Treat this time as the ending of the year and look forward to the year that is beginning by planning your coming year.
Set goals – long-term and short-term.
Eat fruit cake, Plant garlic. Visit a cemetery.
See where the sun enters or leaves your house and garden. Dance a moving meditation – start lying flat on your back and slowly wake up, get up and begin moving to some joyous music. Acknowledge all that has gone before and is no more. Give gratitude for the new that is to come – as nature abhors a vacuüm.. © Jyoti Eagles – Wheel Of The Year Handbook