Earth Wisdom Tarot Sacred Art

The Shortest Day

in Winter Solstice, Yule

Do you know this poem?   We read it at the beginning of each Lucia Party, and again on Solstice Eve.   It’s by Susan Cooper and is part of the Christmas Revels.   I love these words.  We couldn’t celebrate the Solstice without it.

So the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • Ellen-Mary Fri - Dec 21st 2007 4:43 pm

    Beautiful! Thank you.
    Happy Solstice

  • Cate (kerrdelune) Sat - Dec 22nd 2007 6:03 am

    Lovely, Sister Joanna, and I am reading Susan’s “Dark is Rising” books now, as I always do at this time of year. Yule blessings to you and yours!!! Love and BB, Cate

  • Janine Sat - Dec 22nd 2007 6:40 am

    Thank you, Joanna! I made many copies and will bring them to the parties I’m attending tonight…Happy Solstice!

  • dulcimergoddess Sun - Dec 23rd 2007 7:28 am

    Thank you for sharing that! I think I’ll use it in my own Yule ritual this afternoon.

  • Hecate Demetersdatter, Runnymead Conspirator Sun - Dec 23rd 2007 1:41 pm

    Ah, beautiful!
    Our dawn here on the East Coast was unnaturally warm, and misty, and wet. We banged pots and pans, beat tambourines, clapped our hands, and yelled old Sol Invictius up in the East. Drank schnapps from shot glasses made of ice. Went out for breakfast at the local diner. Went to the CodePink DC house to bring them things they needed: olive oil and shampoo and blankets and coffee and tea. We did a protection spell on their house and then we took breakfast to a circle sister diagnosed this week with breast cancer. The Wheel of the Year turns and turns and turns. Ivo Evoe!