We are approaching the time of the Winter Solstice. On December 21st, we experience the longest night of the year, a celebration of darkness and a hopeful first glimpse of the returning light. It is a time of new beginnings and rebirth.
Many modern day pagans celebrate Yule at this time of year, revitalizing traditions and symbols swallowed into the Christianized version of Yule we know as Christmas. Historically, Yuletide, the time of Yule, was observed on and around the Winter Solstice, anywhere from a few days to up to two months. Kay Louise Aldred, author of Mentorship with Goddess, writes:
The homes of our ancestors were adorned with evergreens, such as holly, ivy, mistletoe and the bows of sacred trees such as yew. The wheel (of the year) was honored by placing evergreen wreaths on the door. There would be gatherings, candle lit processions and celebrations with caroling and feasting.
Caroling holds a very special place in our hearts. For many years, Spiral Muse gathered in community during yuletide for a Goddess Christmas Carol Sing-Along, singing familiar Christmas tunes with liberating lyrics written by Rev. Jann Aldredge Clanton. In 2015, we recorded a holiday album featuring some of Jann's songs. This season, we are releasing an updated version of this album, "Sing of Peace: Goddess Christmas Carols for Liberation and Hope."
As it turns out, great Goddess minds think alike.
This year, we will be coming together with women musicians across the globe to celebrate Yuletide with a Solstice Carol Sing-Along. This online event will be hosted by Spiral Muse's Kathleen Neville-Shinn and "Voice Witch" Kristin Jensen. Among the presenters will be our collaborator Rev. Jann Aldredge Clanton as well as Trista Hendren, founder of Girl God Books, sharing songs from "Songs of Solstice: Goddess Carols."
Solstice Carols for the Goddess a gorgeous meeting of hearts and voices to celebrate the Winter Solstice, “Solstice Carols with the Goddess – an online Divine Feminine Sing-along for the Holiday Season”. Come sing with us to ground yourself in peace, healing, joy, and community as we head into Winter Solstice! Please register here to join us.
The Spirit of Yule continues throughout season. We look forward to releasing videos of holiday music we will record together this December. In addition to live, 2023 versions of songs from our newly released holiday album, we will be sharing our favorite Solstice carol, Shauna Carol's "Blessed Be." We recorded our version of Amy Grant's "Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song)" earlier this year.
As the instinct toward hibernation continues, Dionne Kohler's 2022 solo project Bear Medicine Journey takes you from the trek into the bear cave through the long, deep sleep to the moment of emerging in the Spring. These meditative, trance-inducing drum and voice tracks transport us to other realms. They also hearken back to the Women's Drumming Circles and Winter Solstice retreats that Dionne led for many years before her retirement.
These sacred offerings of music are free of charge and we are gifted by your sharing them. For further gift ideas that support Spiral Muse artists and other Goddess creatrixes, see the list below.
Unwrapping Christmas by Spiral Muse violinist Lana Dalberg narrates a journey through holiday events that will make you want to laugh and cry and dance. From eating dangerous tamales to performing with Salvadoran rebels to celebrating the Winter solstice in a Lutheran church, Lana recounts experiences that make for a fascinating read, however you celebrate the holidays.
Pain Perspectives: Finding Meaning in the Fire is an anthology about women's experiences of chronic pain published by Girl God Books featuring a chapter by Alison Newvine entitled, "Rebirthing through the Underworld Goddesses."
Celebrating Intercosmic Kinship of Goddess is a groundbreaking anthology by Mago Books featuring essays, poems, fictions, photographic works, artworks, and art essays that voice the conviction that we all are interconnected on a cosmic level. The final chapter was contributed by Alison Newvine and is entitled, "Flesh of the Goddess: A Compassionate and Critical Examination of Western Consumptive Practices from Ice Cream to Ayahuasca."
Reiki in the Arms of the Goddess with Kathleen Joan Neville-Shinn. These sessions gently surround and infuse the mind-body system with ki, or life force energy, bringing deep relaxation and supporting healing on all levels. Give the gift of healing with the Divine Feminine (to yourself or someone else)!"