An Observance for the Winter Season

The Sun sits low in the sky and dips even lower as his year draws to an end. The pale light of day soon passes to night. The tide ebbs. Each flower, each tree, each head of grass and grain, has shrunk to back to kernel: to hard seed, to nut, to reserved essence, biding the time until the light grows again and roots find a way through nurturing soil.

epona beasts
Epona on a funeral stele from Gaul

For now, Epona traverses the paths of the dead, riding through the dark, through earth and sea, each life that has passed moving with her, finding the way that she opens for them, losing the memories she closes behind them. The Sun will return and a new year begin, but now is the time of repose.

Epona, we are with you in the time of waiting, we pause with you now in the dark of the year.
We mark the time until the longest night when you stir the deepest well of the darkness like a river rising from the caverns of gloom.

 

Darkness falls
on the ivy leaf

Yulelight glistens
on the holly bough

As red fire stirs
in the kindling.

We count three days
to the longest night

Three more till the glimmer
of a longer day

Then seven to the eve
of New Year Calends

These days we count
from the Feast of Epona

First festival
of the Year’s turning.