13 Goddesses Grove Presents
Merry Yule & Happy Solstice!
Each month Dream Goddess brings you one Pre-Hellenic Goddess to connect and commune with, and whose herstory and correspondences we will study. This page will stay online for one whole month until the earth turns and the next month arrives, at which time a new Goddess will appear for our connection and study.
With Gaia for the month of December, we celebrate Yule, or the Winter Solstice, on the shortest day of the year. This year the Winter Solstice falls, in local time here in New Brunswick, Canada, on December 21 at 6:44 am, Atlantic Standard Time. For your specific geographical time adjustment, go to http://www.timeanddate.com and type in your city.
What better occasion than in winter to include the Goddess Gaia with those festivities that celebrate the turning of the planet, the renewal of light as days get longer and nights are shorter. As we near again the seasons of sowing, growth and sustenance, we honour the Goddess who makes it all possible and it is She, also, who brings us the Light of Life.
Who Is Goddess Gaia?
“Gaia (also called Ge) is the ancient Earth-Mother who brought forth the world and the human race from ‘the gaping void, Chaos.’”~ Charlene Spretnak, Lost Goddesses of Early Greece, p.45
Not only is she Pre-Hellenic, Gaia is actually primordial, “existing at the beginning of time.”
Gaea is described as “Earth”, according to the Goddesses of the World with the keywords: Primordial Being; Creator of Life; Supreme Being; Family and Tribes.
“‘Earth.’ She is believed to have emerged from Chaos. A supreme power, she created everything – the universe, deities, and humans; an “all-producing and all-nourishing” goddess. She may have been an earlier Phoenician goddess whom the Greeks took as their own.”
Martha Ann & Dorothy Myers Imel, Goddesses In World Mythology
Gaia’s attributes are many and far-reaching for she has such a deep and all-encompassing influence on our lives. How can we incorporate her qualities and honour her natures as our own? For Gaia, like all Goddesses, like all beings and invisibles in the universe, contains all characteristics of her creation: she is Nature and thus she embodies the essences of birth and death alike, growth and senescence, positive and negative, and cause and effect, or consequence. She too is part of the cosmic universal plan that lives out its dynamic drama all around us, under us and above us every day. She is the plan itself.
With Gaia as the Goddess for the month of December, we celebrate Yule and the Winter Solstice in the same month and the same day with her in our ritual. To find out when the Solstice happens this year, go to http://www.timeanddate.com.
Winter Solstice Ritual & Yule Celebration
Preparing For The Ritual
This ceremony may be celebrated at any time of the day or night, and may have just one person present, or a group of people.
Your ritual for Yule can go any way you desire. If you are used to opening a circle before the ceremony, then do so. If you don’t create a circle already, then it’s not necessary to do so, either. You can have elements, or you don’t need to. What I’m proposing here is a simple Yule/Winter Solstice Ritual that celebrates GAIA as the Goddess of the month of December. You may adapt this ritual in any way that suits you, to fit into your customs and beliefs.
The following is a suggested process that I have adapted from being inspired by Goddess Gaia and her generous bounty of gifts that are all around us, and how she brings us the light in her life-sustaining turning of the seasons. May you be as inspired to add your individual and intuitive complements to this ritual!
The four parts of the Ritual are 1) Grounding, 2) Invocation, 3) Reading, 4) Meditation and the Closing of the Ritual
What You Will Need for The Yule Ritual
A suggested list of 13 items and Sacred Objects to include on your altar or flat table assigned for the Yule ritual purpose:
1) The Central Feminine Figure: a Goddess statue, figurine or portrait that represents Earth in some way, either surrounded, or represented by plants, spirals, animals or the elements.
2) A dark cloth of green, brown, gold or purple hue.
3) One candle for Gaia, brown or golden in colour. Brown is for the earthy essence of her soil that gives and nurtures life, and gold is for the precious values that she gives to us all.
4) A Smudging Kit: a smudge stick such as Palo Santo, White Sage, or other herb that you are familiar with; a holding bowl such as an Abalone shell or other shallow vessel to hold the smoking stick; a feather or a wand with feathers to fan the smoke in different directions.
5) A cauldron or some type of vessel or container made from a natural material: clay, metal, glass, wood, ceramics, etc.
6) A depiction in art or sculpture that represents the sun, such as a golden plate, a photo of a sunrise, or a yellow circle painted on a canvas or cardboard.
7) A small evergreen wreath made from Cedar, Fir or Pine, or their bare branches, preferably one that you’ve made yourself, but not absolutely necessary. You may substitute with an evergreen branch of any coniferous tree.
8) Include other natural objects such as pine cones, a spray of red berries, cinnamon sticks, seeds, and/or dried leaves or flowers. All these once-alive items symbolise the senescence of winter months and show us that, even with the bleak, seemingly lifeless landscape, life renews itself through earth’s seeds to grow the next generation in the spring.
9) & 10) For Gaia’s “bones,” have at hand one or both of these gemstones or crystals: 1) Amethyst, especially the raw crystals as they are still attached to their mother matrix, or tumbled Amethyst crystals, and 2) Green Aventurine, in whatever form is available for you.
11) A cup, goblet or small bowl from which you will take a drink in Part 2 of the ritual. A small amount of either distilled or spring water.
12) A piece of paper on which is written the Invocation “To You I Come” to be read in Part 2, Invocation:
“To You I Come”
I am blessed in your Goddess energy of abundance
You are the “Ground of All being”
the Field of boundless Energy that surrounds us
You are the atmosphere, the cosmos, the land, the trees, the water, the sky
You are the water, cells, tissues and organs in our bodies
The neurons in our nervous system
The blood in our veins
You are Gaia, Great Goddess of the World
To you I come for sustenance, spiritual nourishment, guidance, grounding in your life-force energy, and intuitive knowledge
You never say no, you always say yes
I am humbled at your bounty and generosity, Goddess of All
I come to you, here in trust that your shift will occur, that your season will change and Light will return to our land this Solstice Blessing Day
Pour your blessings over us all, that we may prosper and grow as your children have done for centuries
They our ancestors, taught us of your cycles, and today we follow the same rhythms they did for thousands of years
Bless us as you’ve blessed them
We honour you as you have been honoured by them for centuries
Goddess Gaia, Mother of all Nature
We love and honour you this Winter Solstice season
May the sun rise to shine in your beauty
May the days get longer in your honour
So may it be!
© Raymonde Savoie
And lastly, # 13) A piece of paper on which is written or printed the following excerpt “The Goddess Gaia IS The Light” from The Language of the Goddess by Marija Gimbutas, to be read during Part 3: Reading.
“The Goddess Gaia IS The Light”
In ancient times the sun was called into regenerative splendour at the Winter Solstice by invocation to the Great Goddess, Mother Earth, who is the Mother of All Life. To illustrate this salient point, I quote Marija Gimbutas, from her book The Language of the Goddess:
“ ‘Divine Goddess Mother Nature, who generatest all things and bringest forth ever anew the sun which thou hast given to the nations; Guardian of sky and sea and of all Gods and powers; through thy influence all nature is hushed and sinks to sleep…
Again, when it pleases thee, thou sendest forth the glad daylight and nurturest life with thine eternal surety… Thou indeed art rightly named Great Mother of the Gods… ‘
This prayer embodies a memory of a once omnipotent goddess who had the power to regenerate the sun… She is ‘The Mother of All Life’ and ‘The Great Healer.’ “
From Susan Griffin, in her book Woman and Nature:
“I know I am made from this earth, as my mother’s hands were made from this earth, as her dreams were made from this earth and all I know, I know in this earth, the body of the bird, this pen, this paper, these hands, this tongue speaking, all that I know speaks to me through this earth and I long to tell you, you who are earth too, and listen as we speak to each other of what we know: the light is in us.”
Blessings! All Goddesses are the One Great Goddess.
Performing The Ritual
Now you are ready to perform your Yule/Winter Solstice Ritual using the above tools from Mother Nature herself. I wish you a happy Yuletide time and festivities. When it is all in place, proceed with this suggested ritual process.
Part 1: Grounding With Gaia
Light your candle. Make sure you will not be disturbed for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Stand or sit in front of your altar and take a few moments to ground yourself. As Carol P. Christ says in her book, Rebirth of the Goddess, “We could not live, we would not be, without our grounding in the earth.”
In other words, there is no other grounding but that from which we receive from Gaia.
Realise your deep connection with Gaia by planting your feet firmly on the ground, taking three long deep breaths. Imagine the Earth’s energy as a flow or a wave emanating from her centre, coursing upwards, through the mantle, the soil, the building in which you live, and right up through your feet to the top of your head. Now see this energy as a particle separating itself into multiple same particles that go to every organ, every tissue, and every cell of your body. You are now grounded in Gaia’s energy system.
It’s time to light your smudging stick. Once lit and the flame blown out, pick up the smudging stick, bowl and feather. Do a complete circle around your own body and all the table’s contents in order to continue with the ritual. Your thoughts are calm and neutral as you seek only to clear the atmosphere and the energy fields in your environment. Next comes the grounding with the gemstones.
The Amethyst and the Aventurine are themselves grounding and cleansing stones. One at a time, allow them to transfer their groundedness from the Earth to you.
Take Amethyst in your hands and allow its healing, protective and intuition-generating energy fill your whole body. From the depths of Mother Earth, Amethyst deepens your connection to Goddess Gaia and all her inhabitants as a manifesting crystal. Think upon where it comes from to reach you this day. Thank Gaia for her geological magic that made Amethyst possible.
Next, take the Green Aventurine, with its innate ability to shake loose and release all the negative blockages held in by your bodymind, and contemplate what it is that you wish to cleanse away from yourself at this time. It is known to help with the emotions by sloughing away unresolved issue remnants and integrating them into your conscious mind, where they become benign memories instead of nightmares.
The Grounding accomplished, it’s time for the Invocation.
Part 2: The Invocation
Read “To You I Come”
Part 3: The Reading
Read “The Goddess Gaia IS The Light”
After the Invocation and the Reading, take the water and pour some into your goblet. As you drink it, know that you are receiving sustenance from the Life Force and the Light of the Universe herself.
Part 4: Meditation
Amethyst & Aventurine Messages
Look into the purple depths of Amethyst once again and meditate on its translucent message from within. What is it that Gaia wants you to know, to realise, or to dream into being? What do you wish would manifest for yourself in this month, the coming month, the coming year? As the light from the sun reflects back at you from Amethyst and Aventurine, connect with the source of life and know that she provides sustenance for you, that she energises you with her Life-Force. If you have any requests or queries, it is good to speak these at this time.
The Closing of the Ritual – Smudging and personal prayer of gratitude to Goddess Gaia
Bring yourself back into mundane space by repeating the grounding as at the beginning of the ritual. You may do another smudging to close the ceremony.
Lastly, give thanks to Gaia and All Goddesses for your well-being and daily sustenance, for our planet and the immense miracle that is our human consciousness. She is at the ready always to grant you her generous blessings.
Goddess Study Prompts & Correspondences
For further study, if you wish to bring your mediation to your journal, here is an inspirational prompt and correspondences that might be useful in your devotions or spiritual practice with Gaia this month.
How does Goddess Gaia inspire you with her attribute of being The Light that rises, not only as the Earth in us (Griffin) but of the whole world when the Solstice arrives and she turns to face the sun ever closer once more?
Use the following correspondences and word stems to write your own essay on Gaia and the Winter Solstice, and how you celebrate Yule.
Goddess Gaia Correspondences (only a few included here)
Her Tree: Quaking Aspen
Her Gemstone: Amethyst
Her Energy Access: Connection
Her Tarot Card: The World
Her Archetype: The Collective Unconscious
For Gaia’s Month of December, from my Gaia Synergy Book of Days
13) Active Imagination
25) Stones & Bones
I hope that you have gleaned some meaningful tidbits from this Goddess Study of Gaia this month and the Ritual for Yule/Winter Solstice.
Did you find that this Goddess Study and Ritual was helpful in any way with your practice of Feminine Spirituality?
If you wish, leave me a comment and I will respond as soon as I can.
Or, if you wish to keep your communication private, please contact me via the form on the right sidebar of the main page of my website, here: Dream Goddess Portal
Gaia is Light! Many Blessings of Yule!
The following are the References that I drew from to write this essay, Goddess Gaia and the Yule Ritual:
Ann, Martha, and Dorothy Myers Imel, Goddesses In World Mythology, ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, California, 1993
Christ, Carol, Rebirth of the Goddess, Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Inc. Massachusetts, 1997
Cowan, Eliot, Plant Spirit Medicine: A Journey Into the Healing Wisdom of Plants, Sounds True, Colorado, 2014
Gimbutas, Marija, The Language of the Goddess, Harper San Francisco, New York, 1989
Griffin, Susan, Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her, Harper and Row, New York, 1978
Johnson, Robert A., Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth, Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1986
Spretnak, Charlene, Lost Goddesses of Early Greece: A Collection of Pre-Hellenic Myths, Beacon Press, Boston, 1992