The Winter Goddess

Exile on Peachtree Street

Today is Sankta Lucia in Scandinavia, or Saint Lucy’s Day.  Once upon a time before the calendars changed from Julian to Gregorian, today was the pagan festival of lights and coincided with Yule. For our ancestors, this was the day of celebration for the Mother Goddess and the birth of the sun. The longest night brought the promise of longer days. In modern times, with the calendar shift, we have Winter Solstice around December 20-23, and Christmas and Santa Claus are our inheritance. But, what of the Winter Goddess? What role did she play in the lore and mystery of Yule?

The St. Lucy’s Day celebrations retain many indigenous European Nordic and Germanic pagan midwinter elements. Some of the practices associated with the day predate the adoption of Christianity in Scandinavia, and like much of indigenous folklore, it is centered on the yearly struggle between light and darkness.

The first mention of the…

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