Today I honour the Cauldron of Regeneration, honouring the rebirth of the Sun, and the Divine Union between the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine. In our previous post, I wrote of the illumination that the shaft of Solstice light ignited at Newgrange. That light is now held in the cauldron as the transformations begin.
In many cultures, Celtic included, the cauldron is a potent symbol of physical nourishment (it cooks food over the hearth fire).Transformation takes place as the power of Fire cooks food and provides warmth. Over time the cauldron came to symbolize transformation and regeneration of all kinds, including the spiritual.
For me, each Solstice is a “cauldron time” to rest, revitalize, renew and rebirth. I am not alone in this; I am inspired by the traditions of our ancestors.
In one set of Celtic correspondences for the 12 Days of Solstice, we are now in the third of four sets of three days, that which honours the rebirth of the Sun God, and celebrates and welcomes his guidance in this physical world.
In many cultures, the birth/rebirth of the gods of the Sun and Light — such as Mithras, the Oak King, Lugh, Frey, Heracles, Osiris and Jesus — have been celebrated at Winter Solstice.
And before the Divine Masculine association, goddesses such as the Roman Anastasia were celebrated (the alleged origins of Mother Night, aka “Matrum Noctem” in Latin) and were associated with the Rebirth and Divine Union aspects of the Winter Solstice, with the light of Father Sun fertilizing the seeds of Mama Earth.
In one Irish Celtic tale, as Winter blankets the earth, the goddess Eríu — seen as both a beautiful woman and a “Hag”, or Crone — resurrects Lugh, her lover, and positions him high in the sky as the Sun. She shares her wisdom with him so he can once again reclaim his supremacy and strength. But her energy is depleted, transforming her from a young beauty to The Crone, and their cycle begins again.
In another variation, Lugh — who we celebrate at Lúnasa (aka Lughnasadh and Lammas) in early August (Northern Hemisphere) — is sacrificed into the land as seed following the harvest, transforming him into a god of the dark energies to be reborn at Solstice as a god of the Sun and Light.