In the dying light of the afternoon sun we gathered around the fire. It was at the home of one of our grove mates, a new space for our rites, but with the fire, altar and friends, it was the right place. We were honoring the gods of the Slavs, the gods of our Eastern cousins, as we did last year.
We remembered and thanked the earth mother, Mati Syra Zemlya, who lies sleeping, beneath the snow. We remembered our ancestors, who have the experience countless winters within them. Then, with the ancestors in our thoughts and community around us, we called to Dažbog to return, to bring his light and warmth back to the world. Though we know that the sun isn’t truly dying, we also know the real effects on people from winter in northern latitudes. As the days shorten, the light of the sun in our hearts dims, and it is this fire we seek to rekindle, to brighten the light within us that gives us hope.
From the seer, we were each given a glimpse of the personal blessings from the kindred, while the blessings on the community were revealed by the youngest girl at the rite. Those blessings were to remember to trust in ourselves and our intuition and to find opportunities to see the things to celebrate beyond the mundanities of daily life. To rekindle the light within ourselves in this season we need those small things in life that we can celebrate.
May the sun shine long and bright upon you this winter,