Tribute to the Winter Solstice

Below are two pieces written in tribute to the solstice.

Solstice Celebration

We sat in a circle on small wooden stools. The fire burned at the centre of the group and made my face feel hot despite the chilly weather. All around us on the hillside was white sparkling snow. I loved the smell of the wood smoke and Sarah had perfumed it with herbs and pine cones. Flasks of mulled wine were shared amongst us to warm our bodies.

The drumming began low and slow. My beater against the goat skin seemed to take on a life of its own as my heart joined the rhythm. We drummed as one being, connected to earth and spirit. The hypnotic sounds echoed out into the hills as the moon rose slowly, majestically over the far peak. It was a perfect winter solstice moon, haloed with a blue shroud of glowing ice crystals. The sky was clear and dotted with brilliant stars. We sat in a hollow amongst the hills at a place where the ley lines converged and all of the spirits of this powerful place came together in a whirl of emotion and energy.

Wrapped warm against the cold, I realised that even my hat was gaining a coating of frost. It felt like a turning point. I felt part of this group and had never known such a belonging before. Even now I could see Andrew across the circle, his shy looks confirmed my feelings of connection and I wondered if this attraction could grow into something more promising.

Winter solstice, but not just any winter solstice, a solstice combined with a total eclipse of the moon. This pairing had not happened for four hundred years and I felt privileged to be here to witness the magical event.

Our leader, Sarah, cloaked magnificently in white with a fur edged hood was speaking and I drew my thoughts back to her. She thanked us for our support in 2010 and wished us well for the New Year. She acknowledged that the past year had been an intense journey of healing for many of us and boy was that true for me. During the year I had often felt extremely uncomfortable. It had been a big test of my trust in the unfolding of my life purpose. Sarah said it was now time for us to shed our old fears and to jump into the new with enthusiasm and knowing. I felt ready. I felt sure. My time was coming, I could feel it in my bones, like the chill in my toes. She told us to dream wildly and wisely, a sentiment that sent my active imagination into overdrive.

Our drumming increased in pace and intensity, encouragement for the moon and sun in their dance across the skies. My fingers were growing numb, but somehow my bodily comfort did not matter. I could see golden light around my companions as our auras joined and became one. My body swayed with the music of our tribute to the skies.

We fell silent as the sun began its passage across the face of the moon. It was as if it was slowly being eaten by a dark shadow, hidden from our view to take part in some mystical process of renewal. We collectively held our breath as the last fragment of shadow passed away and then we were cheering and drumming again with an otherworldly rhythm of togetherness, sending ripples of love out to the Universe and all of its beings. Our ceremony of prayer and healing became a glorious celebration of life and growth.

As we rose to make our way back to the farmhouse for a communal breakfast, Andrew fell into step by my side. He held my elbow when I stumbled a little on the uneven snowy ground and it felt right, so right.

© Morton Gray 2010

The Chosen Ones

Ancient ones feel closer.
Two score candles glow.
From the sacred beaker,
Blood drawn symbols flow.

Fire-lit red dolmens
Scented flower gowned.
Ceremonial tensions
Circle all around.

Power crystals twinkle.
Prophecy we seek.
Sacred water sprinkle.
Spirit energies peak.

Chanted incantations.
Trance provoking dance.
Soul remembered patterns.
Mistletoe enhanced.

Wode, chalk, red ochre
Painted on white faces.
Revere departed souls
Gathered in dark places.

Greet the wakening dawn
One with earth and sky.
Scanning misty heavens,
“Good harvests” we cry.

© Morton Gray 2010

By Morton S. Gray

Author of romantic suspense novels.


  1. Hi Morton, loved this post! I'm a pagan too and it's the summer solstice here. One thing I enjoy about being Down Under is being able to separate the pagan festivals from Christian ones. We now celebrate Yule in June and it's not tangled up with Christmas any more. We always have a toast 'to the return of the sun'. So Happy Yule, and may the goddess bless you and your family!


  2. Thank you so much for sharing these Morten. I love the winter solstice but cant find any others around me who seem to hold it in the same esteem, coupled with having a nasty cold bug, I sort of missed it this year. I think this has much more of a magical feel than the summer solstice, which takes us into shorter days – the winter solstice shows us the promise of the return of the Sun and a renewed earth (and ourselves). No wonder, the ancient Church chose this celebration to attach their own Christmas one to.
    A lovely, heart warming post 🙂


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