The walls between the worlds are thinned;
The Gods’ might is at its peak,
The wights and the dead walk freely among the living.
Let us remember them on this Mother Night.
— from a Heathen rite posted on the Internet some years ago, original source unknown.
This is the Eve of the Winter Solstice. It is the great celebration of Mother Night.
Mother Night is a Germanic/Scandinavian Midwinter festival that begins the 12-day Yuletide season. It is customary on this night to pray for auspicious dreams, which are said to foretell the year to come. As the longest and darkest night of the year, this is considered the womb of the New Year.
Wait! Is tonight the longest night? Or tomorrow?
This time is called “Solstice,” because it comes from the Latin “solstitium,” from sol, which means “sun” and –stitium, “a stoppage.” For several days, in fact, it appears that the sun’s arc from sunrise to sunset is unchanged, and the daylight hours are unchanged. However, the precise moment of Solstice occurs when the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn, which will be at 6:38pm Eastern time tomorrow (Tuesday the 21st). So, in fact, several nights during this time period are of equal length.
Mother Night is observed in honor of the Dark Goddess, who holds us at our beginnings and our endings. In particular, Freya, the Goddess of Love, female fertility and creativity is now honored with evergreens and fires, feasting and singing at the start of Her festival, which later became the 12 days of Christmas. The word Yule comes from geola, the “yoke” that joins the old and new years.
Whether you know Her as Frigga, or Freya, the Crone, or nameless, this is Her doorway, after which the days of Yule begin.
This pause between the deepest Dark and the return of the Light is an ephemeral moment, overflowing with magic. Tonight, especially, it comes with the power of a Full Lunar eclipse, in the last possible degrees of Sagittarius (where the Sun is) and Gemini (where the Moon is). This Solstice Eclipse also occurs within three degrees of the Galactic Core, so it is a fantastically rare, perfect alignment of the Moon, Earth, Solstice Sun and Galactic Center.
Robert Wilkinson writes, “This Lunar Eclipse is a prelude to the very powerful Partial Solar Eclipse on January 4 at 14 Capricorn which will primarily affect Europe, North Africa, and Central Asia. Both eclipses are shutting some old ways of life down forever (as all eclipses do), leaving us space to embrace new mutations that are coming on strong.”
Astrologer Lynn Hayes makes it crystal clear. She explains, “We are being primed for a period of cellular evolution, whether or not we are consciously aware of the change that is occurring. The climactic opening occurs from the inside out and it’s quite likely that there will be no evidence of this transformation in our outer world. It may require a quiet listening from within to experience the dramatic unfolding in its full force.”
The precise thing that we should do on Mother Night.
May She bless you well.