Winter Solstice 2013

This is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year. What does that mean for those of us who know the Old Gods? To us, this is Mother Night.

In the colder climates, it is easy to see that all the living things in nature have bedded down for winter. Essentially, they have returned to the womb of the Earth to wait out the right time to be reborn in spring. After tonight, the days will grow longer and the time of that rebirth will grow closer.

The lengthening days and the rebirth of all of nature would be a good enough reason to celebrate. That's not all we do though. This is also a good time to think of all the mothers. In all likelihood, you have a mother of your own. She may not be around or you may not get along with her, but the idea of a mother is still there. Just as important, both of your parents probably had a mother too.

In a religion such as ours, where ancestors are so very important, we give thanks to our ancestral mothers. A Dis (Ides for those of you who lean Saxon) is a woman who cared so much about her family that she became the guarding spirit for the family. Your family may have more than one, as several women may have signed up for this duty over the centuries. This woman (or women) will try to do what they think is best for their descendents. Unfortunately, very few of their descendents will listen these days.

During your celebration of the Solstice, take some time to honor the Disir (Idesa) and thank them for all they have done for your ancestors and all they will do for your descendents. Make sure that what you say is truly heart-felt. They do what they do out of love.

Please note: if you are adopted or don't know who your family was, you probably still have a Dis somewhere who cares about you. After all, these are supernatural beings and don't require that you know who your ancestors were. What's more, if you are adopted, the adopting family's Disir may adopt you as well!

You don't have to wait until Mother Night to acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices of your Disir. Any time that you can be sincere and truly thankful it is a good time to offer up thanks. It wouldn't hurt to have a permanent place in your home or on your altar for honoring the Disir. Just say to yourself, "I am thankful to all my ancestors, but I especially thank who chose to hang around after passing just so they could look after us and our descendents. They really care, and I really care about them. They are family."

Have a good Solstice.