Come the New Sun
Happy Solstice to all and sundry - sources disagree whether it was last night or tonight, but in any case, lighting a candle or two in honor of Sol Invictus can't hurt.
Patrick writes more on this over at newly-bloggified Thing in a Jar. Go forth and comment.
For my own thoughts on this, I wrote up a midwinter blessing three years ago that pretty much sums it all up for me:
The long night is almost here. As each of us prepares for our personal celebrations of the winter holidays, let me send all of you my thoughts and blessings - a bit of cheer to keep with you at the winter's darkest hour.
Remember that, whatever holiday we honor, sacred or secular, festive or ceremonious, we also gather together to keep light in the darkness, reminding us that day and warmth and light return, and that death and bleak winter are necessary for the turning of the Wheel. Remember this in the colors of the season:
Remember it in deep red, color of blood and wine, for the sharing of life and joy and hearth with your best-loved, and the ties of hearts' blood and shared cups binding you together; and for the fire of vitality coursing in you and around you, even at the darkest of times.
Remember it in green, color of life and the earth, for the tenacity of evergreen trees in the cold winter, for the promise of summer's return in its time, and for the web of life that ties us all to each other and the world.
Remember it in silver and gold, for the richness of lives filled with good things, material and otherwise; and for light, sun's gold and moon's silver and the million glittering stars, honoring that which both lights your path and awakens you to the vastness and glory of creation.
And remember it in white, the pure white of new snow and winter skies; the white of blank canvases for new beginnings in a new year; of transcendence and spirit and intangible things; and of the pure light of the returning sun, about to be reborn and ascend, full of cleansing and possibility.
To all of you, my love and best wishes. May the coming year bring you richness and joy, and may you be merry and in good company always. You are in my thoughts.
If I don't get another chance to say so, happy holidays to you all, and my love. Keep the fires lit tonight.