The Pans Celebrate the Winter Solstice
On December 21 we gathered on Pan Mountain with the Pans to celebrate the Winter Solstice. They told us the story of the struggle between Sol and Luna, and they gave us a gift. They left a gift for those who could not attend. They will be there through today (Sunday, December 22).
SOL VERSUS LUNA
Gather round to hear of the yearly struggle between Sol, known to most as the Sun, and his sister Luna, known to most as the Moon.
Most of us see the sun rise, then set and then the moon takes over, rising then setting. What many do not think about, is that it is not all half and half. Half the day in daylight and half the night bathed in moonlight.
Many of you may have noticed that the days are growing shorter. Luna is strong, her recent Full Moon is a sign that she is at Full Power. Sol had used so much of his power for Spring and Summer, warming the ground for the plants to grow. Once the harvest was in, he had started to take a break, so tired.
The sunlight of days grew shorter, the night was filled with darkness but for the rising moon. The temperature grew colder with less warmth from the sun. Luna was rising high with power, and Sol was a shell of himself, feeling weak and tired.
The Druids of the old days along with the Brotherhood of Pans, and others, saw the longer nights and grew worried. What if Sol could not recover? What if Spring and Summer did not come? The stores that had been put aside at the harvest would not last long if Sol did not regain his power.
Something had to be done!
The Brotherhood of the Pans and Cathbhadh, then the chief druid, combined to perform a ceremony to speak with Luna. To request her to help to return her brother Sol to the Heavens.
When they recovered from the ceremony, they did not have good news to report. Luna felt no reason why she should give up her rights to reign over the sky, when her brother was in no condition to take his stand.
Attempts to reach Sol were not successful, he was just too weak, feeling depressed. There is no reason for me to strive for longer days, no one needs me Sol said and would say no more.
We must show Sol how much his light, his warmth is needed! We need Sol to return to the Sky and keep our days from being so short that we will end up living in darkness.
So the people went out to the forests and the area, collecting all the wood they could gather. Little children even helped, bringing back wood on sleds pulled by them to the large clearing where gatherings were held.
You can help now as well, all of you have brought with you a source of light, a source of heat, bring them out now! Show your desire for the warmth of the Sun, for longer days, to bring Spring back to the land.
And so a huge bonfire was lit, and people chanted for Sol to notice and to see he was loved, he was needed. All the strength the people could put into their chants and requests they did to give their strength to Sol.
Sol heard and he tried to rise up, I will return, I will make the days longer. But Luna was happy to be in charge, to have the Moon riding high and longer in the sky. She challenged her brother.
Sol accepted the challenge, and all the faithful put their faith in Sol They danced around the giant bonfire they had built. They brought out their drinks and the hunted meats for the feast as they worked to lend all their strength to Sol for his struggle with Luna.
The battle took days, and as Luna grew weaker, her full moon became just a crescent in the night sky. The end off the battle is the Solstice Celebration. From this day forward, in this hemisphere, the days will grow longer, the warmth of Sol will start to thaw the frost.
The warming of the Earth will bring another spring, another summer. We thank you all for your help to bring Sol back for longer days. We offer you, as a gift, a sign of his victory over Luna, his victory over the night sky, a staff with a Crescent Moon.
Yes the Moon will wax and wane in power, and Sol will again need to rest after the harvest is in, but we will all stand guard to insure that Sol returns from his rest every year, and that the night, and Luna, do not take over our world. May you all have a Grand Solstice celebration.