The next Southern festival is Midwinter Solstice on June 21, @ 3.05 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time.
This is the shortest day and the longest night of the year south of the equator, the time when we give thanks and presents, feast with friends and family, and gather round the fire to tell the old stories, to reflect on the blessings of home, and warmth, and family, in a time when the world is cold and dark.
It is a time to plan for the coming Spring when the new green shoots will penetrate the soil, to reach for the returning Sun. Midwinter is the time of the Goddess of the Cold Darkness and of the birth of the Divine Child, the reborn Sun God, who is known by many names in different cultures some of which are Jeheshua, Baldur, Mithras, Dionysus, and Arthur.
It is a time of rebirth and of the turning of the earth force, celebrating the Return of the Sun and warmth to the land. This time was called Alban Arthuan by the Druids, and was also called Yule.
It is the festival of green and red, of the Yule log, of mistletoe and holly and hanging small bells in a live tree that you brought indoors for Yule, so when one of the bells rang you knew a fairy was present in your tree and magic was afoot in your home.
This is a good time to work for consciousness-of-abundance and with both the Moon and the Sun in Cancer on June 21 in 2012, Cancer is the sign of the homemaker so this time is good to focus on issues regarding your home, domestic life and emotional support networks to make use of Cancer’s nurturing energy.
A Cancer moon is an excellent time for kitchen and garden witchery, also for divination, to purify and protect the home, to calm emotional turmoil, and to heal pain from past wrongs in family relations.
If you do decide to host a party to celebrate Midwinter, do ask your guests to bring a plate to share … this is one of the best ways ever to introduce your friends to abundance consciousness for the coming Return of the Sun, when you experience the joy of sharing food that you have prepared.