December 19, 2016 – Greeting The Winter Wanderer, Preparing The Altar

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Getting crowded for the holidays!

Happy Yule everyone! Many blessings and warm hugs to you all! It is on this day, the first night of Yule, when we greet the Winter Wanderer. They dance between worlds, even in these times when sunlight strains against the growing night, guiding guests to our flame.

Our home’s honored gatekeeper, Nantosuelta, receives offering and thanks this night for her jet-feathered companion flies beside her, perches atop her dovecote, and sings in the night. A beautiful and wise guide for those seeking passage, indeed.

Too, this night, we prepare the vessels for the flame that will slowly spread across the altar as each evening of this season greets us. I wanted to truly provide an adequately festive increase in offering and light for this very special time and as a result I find the altar increasingly more crowded than ever. A protective, sealing bowl has been brought to cat-proof more robust offerings overnight, that those coming to join our home may enjoy them without fear of mischief or harm. The twelve candles in addition to the center flame have also been added and blessed, prepared to light the way in coming nights.

On this night all the lights, all the tools brought here for Yule are gathered and blessed with clean water.

May you be made pure that our words and offerings be pure.

The candles and tools are censed with oils.

May you be made sacred so all passing through you are sacred.
May our words and offerings pass through you to attain the holy,
as blessings and gifts to the Kindreds.
So be it.

The lantern is lit, the vessel from which we shall light each of the twelve candles of Yule.

We begin by lighting the first flame of our Solstice rite,
and bless this space in preparation of the work to come.
On the eve of the Yuletide season we greet you, Winter Wanderer.
You who dares walk between the realms in this time of darkness,
when the spirits of all worlds move freely among us.
We humbly offer these gifts of wine and bread to nourish you on your travels,
and bid welcome to those whom you lead to our fire.
May the light of our fire shine bright for all who come in peace,
friends and kin all.
Winter Wanderer, may your travels bring blessings of prosperity and love
in every place you rest.
Winter Wanderer, accept our offerings!

It is with these words, these gifts, and this warm flame that the altar is set and this space is made whole and holy for this most beautiful of seasons. May all come together around the flames of Yule, hand in hand, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers and children all, to welcome the rise of the sun once more to the Earth Mother’s snow-laden, slumbering embrace.

Sidenote: I witnessed the sunrise and sunset both today. It was the first time I’ve seen both in a day in quite some time, if ever. It was something to behold. I pray it never leaves my heart.

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