The Crone of Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice celebrates the rebirth of the sun. The Norsemen of Northern Europe viewed the sun as a wheel that changed the seasons. The Celtic Druids cut mistletoe from oak trees and blessed the mistletoe. Many of the traditions we follow today were practiced by the Celts.

We honor the Crone during Yule, or the Winter Solstice. Yule is derived from the Norse word Jul, meaning ‘reborn’. The Crone is symbolic of life, death, and rebirth. She is the gatekeeper of death and transformation. The Crone’s cauldron is a vessel of rebirth. Winter brings rest to the earth and reminds us of mortality. What is born dies and what dies is reborn. We all return to the earth.

Here is a meditation to honor the Crone on Winter Solstice. You can do it inside, but try to perform it outdoors if you can. Prepare your self and your space with a purification ritual.  Smudge your meditation area with sandalwood, frankincense, rosemary or sage, all of which possess purifying qualities. Take three deep cleansing breaths for your mind, body, and spirit. Allow yourself to be open to any messages you may receive and to be open to meeting the Crone.

If you perform the ritual outdoors, make sure you will be safe and bring your ritual tools with you. Light a dark colored candle. The colors that represent the Crone are dark blue, purple, black and dark green.

Sit in a comfortable position either in a chair or on the floor, or ground. Wear a ritual robe and a crown of holly or ivy. Burn a Yule log during the ritual. Light some fragrant incense such as frankincense, cinnamon and myrrh, which are appropriate for Yule. Think of how our ancestors celebrated Yule. They knew the sun would bring back the light.

Close your eyes and visualize a mist showering over you until the light surrounds you. Relax your entire body. You are in a magical forest. You pass through a parted veil and enter the woods to meet the Crone. You can sit down on a tree stump or boulder. You hear animals around you. You are rooted to the cold earth and feel its energies around you.

Wind stirs the leaves on the fallen trees. Old rotted tree trunks surround you, covered in faded leaves. Small birds burrow through the tangled and aged tree branches to their nests. Sounds grow louder: birds’ cries, wind, and the creak of the boughs. The deep stillness fills your soul. Your feet grow cold and tingle. A peace fills you as you feel the pulse of this forest. The ground is matted in leaves and pinecones.

You see someone standing before you and recognize her as the Crone. She blends with Nature and yet you know she is the Goddess.  Greet the Crone reverently. Leave an offering of mistletoe or apples. Ask for a message or a prayer for healing or something to aid you in your spiritual development. She will bless you with her wisdom. Before you walk away, thank her for her presence and guidance.

Leave the forest and return your awareness to the room you are in. When you are ready, open your eyes. Be sure to ground and center yourself. Visualize roots extending from the soles of your feet into the earth and draw up energy. If you are outdoors, relax before jumping to your feet to leave.

Pay attention to any messages or auspicious signs that you may encounter in dreams or a meditation. Sometimes, auspicious signs emerge in your daily life, like an image on a tarot card. Reflect on what the messages may mean and record them in your journal.

Ask yourself if you accomplished everything you wanted to and if you grew in your spiritual development in the past year. Think about what you might learn from the Crone. She is the great teacher of mysteries of life. The Crone reminds us we are all mortal and death is a natural fact of life. Winter is the ideal time for introspection, meditation, and prayer. We have much to learn from the Crone and to be aware of her cycles of life, death, and rebirth.

[Heddy Johannesen is a freelance writer and clairvoyant. She has been published in over twenty magazine articles, and has appeared in ezines and anthologies. Her article on the Crone of Samhain appeared in the Crone E-Newsletter for Crone Magazine this Samhain at http://www.bbimedia.com/eMail1/newsletter/news120_cm.html. She is also a Celtic Kitchen Witch and keeps a blog.]

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