A group of little Faeries huddled in their home deep under the roots of a
giant oak tree. They were safe and snug in their tiny underground cave lined
with dandelion fluff, bird feathers, and dried moss.
Outside, the wind blew cold and the snow fell softly down to cover the
ground. "I saw the Sun King today," the faerie named Rose said as she pulled
her mossy cloak tighter about her. "He looked so old and tired as he walked
off through the forest. What is wrong with him?"
"Great Oak said he's dying," answered Daffodil.
"Dying? Oh, what will we do now?" Little Meadow Grass started to cry. "If
the Sun King dies, our little plant friends will not grow. The Birds will
not come and sing again. Everything will be winter for ever!" Lilac,
Dandelion, and Elder Blossom tried to comfort their friend, but they were
all very sad. As they huddled together, there was a knock on the tiny door.
"Open up, Faeries," called out a loud voice. "Why are you hiding instead
of joining us in our Solstice celebration?" Rose opened the door and the
little gnome Brown Knobby pushed inside, shaking the glistening snowflakes
off his brown coat and hat.
"We are too sad to celebrate," Daffodil said wiping her eyes, "The Sun
King is dying, haven't you heard?"
"He is dead you silly Faeries." Brown Knobby's round dark eyes sparkled
with laughter. "Now hurry, or we'll be late for the celebration!"
"How can you be happy and laughing?!" Elder Blossom stamped her little
foot and frowned at the gnome. "If the Sun King IS dead, it will be winter
always. We will never see the Sun again!"
"Silly little child-Faeries." Brown Knobby grabbed Dandelion by the hand
and pulled her to her feet. "There is a secret to the Winter Solstice. Don't
you want to know what it is?"
The Faeries looked at him in surprise. "Secret?," they all said together.
"What secret? We are only new little Faeries, you silly gnome. We've never
been to a Solstice celebration before."
"Come and see. Come and see. Get your capes and come with me." Brown
Knobby danced and jigged around the room. "Hurry, Hurry, don't be slow! To
the Sacred Oak Grove through the snow!" He danced out of the door and
"What did that gnome mean?" Rose asked as she gathered up her cloak of
dried rose petals held together with cobwebs and lined with goose down.
"I don't know, but the Lady lives in the Sacred Grove." Meadow Grass
pulled on her hat.
"Perhaps if we go to see the Goddess, She can explain what Brown Knobby
was talking about".
The Faeries left their snug little home and trudged off through the snow
toward the Sacred Oak Grove. The forest was dark with only the light of the
Moon shining down through the thick fir branches and bare limbs of maple and
hawthorn. It was very difficult for them to get through the snow because
they were very, very small. As they waded through the wet snow and shivered
in the cold wind, they met a fox.
"Where are you going Faeries?" the fox asked.
"To the Sacred Grove," they answered, very cold and shivering.
"Climb on my back and I will take you there swiftly."
The fox knelt down so the Faeries could climb up. Then he raced off
through the dark.
"Listen!" Lilac said as they neared the Grove of Sacred trees. "Someone
is singing happy songs. A LOT of someones."
The beautiful music carried over the cold, still, moonlit air. It was the
most beautiful music the Faeries had ever heard. The fox carried the Faeries
right to the edge of the stone altar in the center of the grove, then knelt
"Look!" said Elder Blossom as they slid to the snow covered ground.
"There is the Maiden and the Mother and the Old Wise Crone, and many other
"They are all smiling and happy," said Lilac as she looked around at all
"All the animals are here too," whispered Dandelion. "Why are they all
looking at the Mother?"
The Faeries moved closer to the three Ladies seated on the altar stone.
The Mother held a bundle close in Her arms, smiling down at it. The Maiden
reached down and took the Faeries gently in her Hands. She held them close
to the Mother so they could see what She held.
"A Baby!" the Faeries cried. "A new little Baby! Look how he glows!"
"He is the newborn Sun King," said the Maiden smiling.
"But Brown Knobby and the Old Oak Tree said the Sun King was dead," the
Faeries answered her. "How can this little Baby be the Sun King?"
"That is the great secret of the Winter Solstice." The Old Wise One
touched the Baby's cheek with her wrinkled hand. "Every year the Sun King
must come to the Sacred Grove during the darkest days of winter where he
dies. I take his Spirit to the Mother who gives him new life again. This is
the way for all creatures, not just the Sun King."
"You mean everything lives and dies and lives again? The Faeries looked
down in wonder at the Baby Sun King, nestled in the arms of the Mother.
"Yes, Little Ones," answered the Old Wise Crone. "There is never an end
to life. This is the great mystical secret of the Winter Solstice."
The Faeries laughed because they were so happy.
"I think the little Sun King should have gifts," said Rose. "I will show
him where the wild roses bloom in the early summer."
"And, I will teach him to call the birds and listen to the songs of the
wind," exclaimed Dandelion.
"When he is older and stronger," said the Mother, "then the flowers will
bloom at his touch, the birds will return to sing their songs, and the air
will be warm from his breath, and winter will be gone for a time. Then the
Sun King will run and play with you in the forest."
The little Faeries sang to the Baby Sun King, songs of the coming spring,
the sweet smelling flowers, the bumbling bees, and all the secrets of the
forest. And all the creatures within the Sacred Grove sang with them. Then
the fox took them back to their snug home under the roots of the giant oak
tree where they dreamed wonderful dreams, waiting for the warmth of spring
and the fun they would have with the little Sun King.