Winter solstice is a time of stillness. Yule was the reset button for ancient Europeans: the time to listen to the guidance of the ancestors as the sun is reborn. Megalithic monuments like Stonehenge and Newgrange were aligned with the Winter Solstice.
The Reindeer and Ancestral Wisdom
Last Winter Solstice was my introduction to an ancestral helping spirit who has taught me the importance of this time of year. I was feeling burned out and was practicing sodarshan: a Kundalini Yoga practice. As I struggled with the breathwork (and my runny nose), I began to see “visions”. I was in Northern Europe many centuries ago. I found myself in a tiny hut surrounded by tall thin trees that I did not recognize. The trees were bare and the ground was covered by snow. As soon as I fully saw this scene, I met a being who had deep respect and connection to reindeer. This spirit has continued to work with both myself and a relative this year.
Elen of the Ways and Sovereignty
Winter is associated with the earth element. Earth is a cold, dry element that represents “the get real” time of year. This can feel constricting or constructive, depending on how well the rest of the year has gone. Yet Earth, as Christina Pratt teaches, is also the element representing sovereignty. This element governs both personal sovereignty to claim our own inner authority – and our ability to live in balance with the land.
The symbol for this is the Reindeer Goddess. In Britain, she is called Elen of the Ways. The “ways” were originally reindeer trails that the ancestors followed during the ice age, as well as the red deer trails after the ice receded. In this article about Elen by Caroline Wise, she traces the relationship between hunter/gatherers, shamanic journeying and the health of the land:
“She is the Guardian of the ancient track ways, the Leys, the kundalini currents in nature, and as the Horned Goddess, she leads us to the first trackways, the migratory tracks of the reindeer and later, she leads us to the path of the red deer through the forests.”
Journeying with ley lines
Ley lines are spirit paths. They represent places where it is easier to travel from one power spot to another. Your energy field may feel connected to a holy place and you source from it. Lines of light called “cekes” connect you to this place. Honoring this place with ceremony or your intent strengthens this connection.
Soul travel can be made easily and safely this way. If you’re already familiar with the ley line, you can perform a middle world journey starting at one holy place and ending at the intersection of the ley line with another.
Thom Cowan describes a process for mapping out these lines. He suggests that you perform a middle world journey, skimming over the surface of your local area. As you note the location of water and other significant geographical markers, you may begin to notice areas that form a straight line. Or you may notice the energy lines themselves. If there are holy places in your area, these are definitely markers for ley lines or spirit paths.