I took this image more than a week ago and I think it's got some brilliant red colors to enjoy and mark the important, but often forgotten, point of the whole season of holidays: the return of the sun after the longest night of the year. Unfortunately, my monitor crapped out on me and I've had to temporarily replace it with an ancient Compaq monitor that only has 32 bit color. So, I'm not quite sure if this photo is very red or not. Either way I seem to remember liking this image, so I hope you do too!
I read on The Wild Hunt how some 300 people came to Stonehenge to celebrate the Solstice on the wrong day and I just couldn't believe it. Or, rather, I was incredibly dismayed by it. I know I'm a hardass about celebrating the solstices, equinoxes and cross quarters at the right time (I don't celebrate Samhain on Halloween, for example, but on the actual cross quarter which usually occurs a full week after Halloween) but come on folks! You call yourselves pagans? And you didn't even realize that our holydays are based on astronomical events and thus don't always occur on the same calendar date? You know so little about what it means to be pagan that it never once occurred to you to check the date? I wish I could meet those folks and slap them silly! I guess I wouldn't have to slap them silly since they are already! Okay, stepping off soapbox now.
I stayed up all night on Yule and kept the fireplaces and candles burning all night. I like the idea of making it a tradition; it's a beautiful way to not only recognize the solstice but show respect for the sun. I've read before how keeping candles/lights burning all during the Yule night will help draw the sun back or otherwise help the sun find its way back. I don't think the sun needs our help but I like the idea showing my support. There's also that little fact of it being seriously cold to encourage one to keep fires going!
Here's hoping you and yours stay warm and happy during this season and all the years to come!