On the eve of winter solstice Dec. 20th (or Dec 24th depending on your standpoint) we take a moment to pay homage to our ancestral matrons, as well as the Goddess who is about to rebirth our sun. This night was considered to be the most holy night to traditional Anglo-Saxon heathens.
During this time we offer food, and messages of gratitude to the women who have given of themselves to bring us into existence. At the end of the night the offerings of food are usually buried near your homestead. The same practice is given unto the Goddess who through the darkness gives unto us of herself once again.
Alter items required:
3 silver candles
Frankincense resin or incense
Materials to hand make 1-3 yuletide all natural wire-free wreaths
Materials to cleanse your home, the other materials you’ll use tonight, and yourself.
*A material possession you covet for personal sacrifice. (for some this is earthly value such as money or gold. This item will no longer be yours, it will belong to the Goddess)
Food items will include:
Lean Meats (low in animal fat, well-done)
Dark Greens (highly nutrient rich edible plants)
Berries (rich in antioxidants)
Plain Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
Natural juice (no added sugar)
Not all items required. This offering is meant to represent a healthy meal that our ancestral matrons would consume during pregnancy. For this reason nearly any safe prenatal nutrient-rich food items will do. Prepare these foods with just as much care as you would your own; as you will be asked to consume a portion.
Before the sun goes down you will need to accomplish….
Cleansing your home, alter items, and all materials used from the food to the wreath (these are oath wreaths so you want to be sure no others intentions are impressed upon the materials)
Wreath making (the wreath should be small enough to fit on your alter yet big enough to sit around your candles)
Plate offering composition (3 plates)
Drink composition (water, juice, and or milk)
Two bowls of milk and honey
Set myrrh oil, frankincense incense, candles, sacrificial coveted possession, and wreaths at or near your alter
As well as laying out a clean set of ritual garments (or just any clean clothes).
After the last ray of sun has fallen begin tonight by taking a hot bath. You can add things to the bath to enhance it, but plain hot water is all that is required. Take your time making sure you have washed away all impurities both physical, and psychic even down to your feet. Once you have finished prepare yourself as normal, then adorn your clean ritual garments.
Proceed the night by honoring your land spirits/house wights/landvaettir. Take one of two bowls of milk, and honey outside where you feel fits best. With the bowl in both hands say…
“Landvaettir, with this bowl I offer to you my continuing respect, and gratitude for your presence in this land.”
Present the offering one of two ways. 1 you can pour it out onto the ground. 2 you can leave the bowl.
On the inside of your home repeat this process. With both hands on the second bowl present the offering and say…
“Landvaettir, with this bowl I offer to you my continuing respect, and gratitude for your presence in this home.”Leave the offering in the bowl anywhere you feel is the best fitting place in your home.
With two plates of food offerings, and two or four glasses of water, and or juice make your way to your alter.
Cast a circle around your station however you normally do. Once you are through casting, and blessings your circle position yourself directly before the alter.
Take the myrrh oil, and silver candles. Grasp a candle in the middle with one hand. With the other place the myrrh oil on your forefinger, and thumb. From the middle stroke the candle upward till covered, then equally from the middle stroke downward. Repeat this process with each candle.
While you anoint the candles whisper, or say softly…
“ego consecrare haec te” (I dedicate this to thee) Translation by Baal Kadmon
Once the candles have been consecrated position them for burning.
Take your wreath in hand, and silently swear an oath to the Goddess, and or wish. Place the wreath around the candles. Keep these wreaths here till the candles burn out. Once the candles are burned out move the wreaths near your hearth. On the 12th day of Yule take these wreaths, and burn them on the Yule Log.
Present your sacrificial treasure, light the frankincense, and candles. Kneel before your altar…
” O Holy Mother, gracious and most divine creator of life. It is from your heart that nothingness can bare fruit, and it is from your godly womb the great spark of life is born.
You who have given of yourself time, and time again to both the devout, and the petulant. You who have shown us what it truly means to love without end, and without condition. You who are the ultimate mother.
To your daughters, shaped in your image, you entrust with the power of the immortal gate between worlds, that which is the cradle of life.
To those daughters you give the gift of strength that can over come all pain, as well as the drive to brave, and light the way through all darkness; it is the power of a mothers love.
On this night we pay tribute to you, and give thanks for your continual grace given unto us on our darkest night, and the grace you give unto us through that which are your life bearing daughters.
Blessed art thou divine mother of creation.”
Present one of two plates of your perishable food offering, and corresponding drinks.
Turn your attentions towards the Disir/Ancestral matrons of your family
“Daughters of the great mother, my blessed family matrons. Tonight in honor of your sacrifices, that which were necessary to bring forth our family, I give unto thee praise. Dine with me tonight as we celebrate the wonders of life, and love.”
Present your second plated offering, and corresponding drinks. At the end of the night bury or burn the food offerings.
Tonight you feast, and make merry with the Landvaettirs, the Goddess, and your family Disir.
Grab that third plate of food you cooked, kick back, and enjoy.
Have a blessed Yuletide sisters, and brothers!
About our guest: Tiffany Pierce writes online at The Witch Phosphorus, and her collection there includes some fabulous rituals and invocations.