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The Yule Union

December 23, 2012

I’m always at a loss as to what to do for Yule. Not being a sun-aligned person I just don’t get with the whole “welcome in the sun” thing. However, this year I was given the notion that I needed to be more welcoming of the sun, so for the first time I found a suitable place to welcome the sun back at Yule – Castlerigg stone circle.

When I had been trying to find a suitable location I had first considered some of the sites listed on the we site:-

  • Newgrange
  • Crick Barrow
  • Harold’s Stones
  • Long Meg and Her Daughters

For various reasons these were not suitable on this Yule day, either due to the distance I would need to travel. The only one that seemed a likely candidate was Long Meg in Cumbria. I made note of the useful information about the Winter Solstice at the excellent web site. Here are the sunrise times for the Winter Solstice as taken from the west of England:

Date Sunrise Sunset

Dec 20, 2012

8:24 AM

3:55 PM

Dec 21, 2012

8:24 AM

3:56 PM

Dec 22, 2012

8:25 AM

3:56 PM

Dec 23, 2012

8:25 AM

3:57 PM

Just before I left, though, I found out that Long Meg’s Solstice alignment is with the setting sun! Oh no! A quick change of place, then. Same area, but now I would go to Castlerigg – a circle that held particular resonance for me this year, being the site at which I had freed and merged with a Merlin energy. With a time and place set I now began to consider what this particular Yule sunrise signifies for me this year.

Sunrise at Castlerigg – but not on the 2012 winter solstice!

The Galactic Alignment and The Re-Union

Much of the work I have been involved with this year has been themed on the concept of Union and Re-Union.Whether it has been merging with Merlin, being re-united with ancestral energies, or spending a holiday on Iona, an island whose very energy frequency is that of union – the theme has been consistent for me throughout the year.

So it is for the year of 2012 itself. The ultimate re-union moment in the cycle of of the Earth’s processional movement in relation to the stars is the alignment of the Milky Way’s dark patch (female aspect) with our Sun (male aspect). This will be the symbol of celestial union between a powerful celestial symbol of the feminine and masculine principles (or energies) at work around us. This year sees the pinnacle of this 30-or-so year alignment process between these celestial objects.

The Mayan Long Count Calendar is also supposed to be timed to complete a Long Count cycle at this particular moment.This signifies both a moment of union, but also a rebirth into a new year, and this seems particularly suitable for the celebration i was intending for Yule,

11:11 at Castlerigg

So I drove with M up to Cumbria. The day was drizzly and overcast, so there would be no revelatory appearance of bright sunlight over sacred stones this morning. As it turned out that wouldn’t have mattered anyway – something was conspiring to keep me away from the 8:24am sunrise moment. There was one other time I could do the visit instead – the actual moment of the solstice event:


Now, M was particularly keen to be there at that time. Recently she and my sister-in-law had spontaneously and simultaneously begun to talk about how they were beginning to see the time 11:11 on many occasions (i.e. most mornings and evenings). This had “spooked them out” a little, but the significance went deeper, because M had a birthday on 11th November – 11/11. As many of you will appreciate, the noticing of coincidences is one of the main methods of beginning to awaken to your inner magickal abilities. So, she was very keen to be there at 11:11am.

We arrived and settled in just before eleven. I sat outside the circle whilst the many other people there took their places inside. Some were dressed in a very pagan way, others seemed more casual visitors. Yet, it was clear that everyone had come here for this same one event at the same time. A special hum and buzz began to develop as the time approached.

I lit incense around me – Dragons’ Blood – and then made sure I had everything I needed – my meditation incense, my elemental crystal set (the same set I had used here on my last visit), and my staff all ready for action. I prepared my way by dowsing for my correct entrance and approach path, which I quickly memorised. I didn’t go into the circle yet. I would have to feel my way once I got inside soon enough.

The Moment Approaches

I got up and walked the ritual path into the southern entrance, waiting at the boundary of the circle for an invitation in response to my greeting. I introduced myself as Gwas Myrddyn – Vassal of Merlin. This was the moment when I got a positive response to enter! A wonderful confirmation for me that my year’s work was bearing fruit.

On entering I was in a light trance still from my meditation work outside the circle. In a daze I walked without seeing to The Dream Seat, around it, and then into the Sanctuary. Although there were many people inside the circle luckily no-one was sitting on my power centre in the Sanctuary, so I was able to sit down where I needed to be, and to surround myself with lit incense, then lay my elemental crystals at their associated cardinal points.

Again I connected, even though there was a distracting babble of voices as visitors from over the ocean informed us all about how spiritual they were. I set a circle around me and then settled in to see what work I might conjure up. In my mind I set one picture – Gwalchmai as a hawk. Merely setting this image seemed to begin a cascade of further images and thoughts. The hawk made me think of the sky, of the stars, of the possible union taking place far above my head in this open-topped temple of stone.

The Hawk of May’s emblem

Then I settled on the word ‘union’. As I reached this word the circle’s hum went to hush. I understood that it was close to the solstice event. At that moment I saw energy descending from the sky, going through me sat on top of the Earth, and going deep into the planet. Then the energy cycled back around, travelling up through me and out into the sky again. This channel of energy movement continued, with me as the centre of this motion.

I knew several things at that moment:

  1. We humans are needed to bring unity of the energies between the sky and the land. Our intention makes this process occur in ways that are important to us.
  2. I knew that once upon a time we realised this importance, and that we are slowly coming back to this realisation through the work that I and many many others are doing.
  3. At that moment I felt the isolation yet the interconnectedness of my work – I alone could do this work in this way using my energies, but there were many of us here today trying to do similar connections and acting as channels for these forms of energy.
  4. I realised we energy workers are the union points for energy, and we are united in our work. This was the meaning of the Union work I had been doing this year.

At this moment a man stepped forward out of the hush and pronounced that he was going to do a “ritual ceremony” and that anyone was welcome to join him. Everyone moved in to form a circle with two exceptions. Me and M. She was sat on her power centre inside the circle and I was inside the Sanctuary. We looked at each other and smiled. We knew we only needed ourselves to do this work.

The ritual proceeded and I waited until it had finished before I moved, not wanting to draw attention away. It sounded like the kind of ceremony that I do not find inspiring or useful at all. I was very glad to have stayed doing my own work. Yet again I find that my Hedge Druid appellation is true to my nature.

Here in the year of union I still find that my work is solitary, and that the only union I need is with Nature!


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