A Solstice Legend

The Peacemaker

The Native American myth of Deganawidah ahs many astonishing parallels with the story of Christ

The Native American myth of Deganawidah has many astonishing parallels with the story of Christ

The influence of Christian myths may well have affected another story from Native American traditions — that of the Deganawidah the Pacemaker.  This semi-mythical character, also known as the Man from the North, was born into the Wendot tribe, later known as the Huron, who lived along the northern shore of present day Lake Ontario.  According to tradition, Deganawidah was born of a virgin who, when she confessed to her mother that she was pregnant but had never known a man, was revealed to have been visited by a messenger of the Great Spirit Tarenyawagon, who was sending a messenger to bring  lasting peace to humankind.  At first there was much doubt among the tribes-people, and it is even told that Deganawidah’s grandmother tried three times to kill the child after prophecies that he would bring no good to the tribe.  Yet Deganawidah survived, and grew imbued with wisdom, intelligence, and kindness.  He spoke with animals and birds, and began to teach a message of peace among his fellows.  The walking Huron found this distasteful and strange and tried to drive Deganawidah away.  On reaching manhood he wandered in the wilderness for a time and then set forth in a white canoe said to have been made, astonishing, of stone, to visit other tribes.  In the years that followed he traveled amongst the tribes and eventually founded the great Iroquois Confederacy, a democratic union of five tribes from amongst the northeastern woodlands, the concept that influenced not only the founding got of the United States constitution, but also that of the United Nations.

Deganawidah’s death remains mysterious, and like King Arthur, it is believed that he will return at the time of the his country’s need.  Remembered still as the Peacemaker, he is seen as a harbinger of peace and as messenger of God.  His life parallels that of Christ in many ways, especially in his birth and youthful deeds.  He is a perfect example of the Children of Wonder, who come in the dark heart of Winter to bring light and a message of peace to the world.


Deganawidah, the PeaceMaker, was brought up with intelligence and kindness and, like Jesus, went on to spread a message of peace and democracy

–From The Winter Solstice: The Sacred Traditions of Christmas by John Matthews


Hello, everyone.

We are approaching the Solstice, and here in the U.S. that means Paul Winter.

The annual concert is posted at National Public Radio (NPR), but if you click the links below you can here this beautiful music.  NPR’s write up follows below, as well.

Part 1


Part 2



For many, the sound of Paul Winter’s sax ringing out in New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine has become an annual marker of the Winter Solstice and the holiday season. But this year’s Paul Winter Solstice Concert kicks off with the cuatro, a member of the mandolin family and the national instrument of Puerto Rico, played by Pachito Vega, as he performs with Danny Rivera, the man they call the national voice of Puerto Rico.

Rivera is Paul Winter’s special guest for the broadcast of the 35th annual Winter Solstice concert. The concert also features American gospel singer Theresa Thomason and the Forces of Nature percussion ensemble, with sounds from African, Caribbean and European traditions — the mix that formed the sound of the Americas. This concert will ring out across North America via an annual NPR broadcast with WNYCNew Sounds host John Schaefer. So settle in and join the global village for this year’s edition of Paul Winter’s Solstice Celebration.





Solstice is the shortest day of the year. The cycle of life keeps turning and each day becomes longer

Solstice is the shortest day of the year. The cycle of life keeps turning and each day becomes longer





Stonehenge at solstice

Stonehenge at solstice

The Winter Solstice


Traditionally, the solstice is a time of quiet, dreaming, and the light and warmth of fire. The sounds all have a cold primitive purity as they ring out. The rivers are still and the land waits patiently for spring to come. Walking at night this time of year yields a pure silence which I think of as Divine. The sky is full of stars and planets which seem brighter and larger than usual.

During the season of the Solstice, try to atune yourself to Mother Earth and honor the four directions, the land you are standing upon. Allow yourself to become aware of the wind as it sweeps around you. Come into contact with the Universe inside and outside yourself.


A Litany for the Winter Solstice

For the return of the sun—blessing and praise!
For the gifts we give–and receive–blessing and praise!
For all of the gift givers—blessing and praise!
For the Children of Wonder—blessings and praise!
For children everywhere—blessing and praise!
For sunsets and starlight–blessings and praise!
For fabulous feast days—blessings and praise!
For those who cook them—blessings and praise!
For the tree in the corner—blessings and praise!
For the candles in the window—blessings and praise!
For the icicles on the trees—blessings and praise!
For light on the snowfields—blessings and praise!
For the gifts of friendship—blessings and praise!
For hand-bell ringers—blessings and praise!
For the robin and wren—blessings and praise!
For animals everywhere—blessing and praise!

Winter beach

Winter beach

Blessings to all as they celebrate this holy season for so many people on our planet. Committing random acts of kindness is a way to bless yourself and others in your life.