Yule – December 20th-23rd
1. Return of the Sun God. As the solstice approaches, the return of Spring and Nature’s bounty cannot be too far off. It is difficult to belief that earlier people’s were uncertain about continued cycles, but there was not the scientific basis we have today. This was the height of Mid-Winter, and it was evident that there would be sufficient food, or that they would have to do with less until the Spring brought hunting and agriculture.
2. The longest night was also a mystical event. There is a strong tradition for staying awake all through Solstice night and holding vigil that the dawn might arrive. These can be powerful rituals. This was a time when the Goddess Hecate was considered strong, and her magickal world controlled the lives of those caught in heavy winter, and putting all their hopes and energies into surviving until the next season. Deaths were common, and the Lord of the Underworld was seen as real and near.
3. In contemporary culture, we are not at risk from the lack of Harvest and we focus on this solstice as the Day the Great Mother gives birth to the Sun. This is the culmination of the cycle of life and sexuality that began last May at the Beltaine festivities, and now the young God comes forth to begin the cycle anew.
4. Celtic Festival of Alban Arthan. Druidic festival. When the chief druid cut the sacred mistletoe from the Oak. (ABC of Witchcraft).
5. The Romans celebrated the Solstice with the Festival of Saturnalia, giving presents and social distinctions were erased. Masters served servants a feast. Riotous fun and merriment. This event celebrates an inversion of tradition.
6. Saxons celebrated the feast of Yule with blazing fires in the form of a Yule Log, one of the only remnants passed down to present day. They saved a piece of the Yule log from the current year to kindle the next Yule blaze.
On ‘National Regifting Day’ remember that anything you receive that once belonged to someone else, no matter for how long, needs to be cleansed and cleared of what Feng Shui calls ‘predecessor energy.’ This applies even if you’re the one doing the re-gifting. Just light a sage smudge stick or some sandalwood or frankincense incense. Let them burn for a few seconds and then blow them out before using the smoke to help clear away any and all other energies. Now the gift is good as new. Well, almost.
By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com
You’re operating at a slower speed today, and may feel a very real loss of momentum and drive. Guard against moodiness by surrounding yourself with people you love and respect. Your ultimate comfort today comes from people who know you best.
About the Number 9
Encompassing a love for all, Compassion, Patience, Selfless
(Inca: Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador)
The Inti Raymi or Festival of the Sun was a religious ceremony of the Inca Empire in honor of the sun god Inti. It also marked the winter solstice and a new year in the Andes of the Southern Hemisphere. One ceremony performed by the Inca priests was the tying of the sun. In Machu Picchu there is still a large column of stone called an Intihuatana, meaning “hitching post of the sun” or literally for tying the sun. The ceremony to tie the sun to the stone was to prevent the sun from escaping. The Spanish conquest, never finding Machu Picchu, destroyed all the other intihuatana, extinguishing the sun tying practice. The Catholic Church managed to suppress all Inti festivals and ceremonies by 1572. Since 1944 a theatrical representation of the Inti Raymi has been taking place at Sacsayhuamán (two km. from Cusco) on June 24 of each year, attracting thousands of local visitors and tourists. The Monte Alto culture may have also had a similar tradition.
29: Dangerous Depths
General Meaning: Exposure to passing dangers brings good fortune to those who move beyond them. Like boaters passing through white-water rapids, when you are faced with serious challenges, you must remain alert, take all available precautions, and above all, keep going forward so as to remove yourself from harm’s way. Once the danger has passed, good fortune.
The positive aspect of challenges is that they offer an excellent chance to cleanse the senses and strengthen the spirit. Surviving crises brings tremendous reinvigoration, and sharpens the eye and mind for future challenges.
It is reckless to court danger, but critical to inner development not to shrink from it either. Those who respond to challenges most effectively are those who are able to establish an inner bubble of calm in the midst of the action. A calm center keeps one rooted in the moment, alert and focused. Courage at such times springs from focused attention, from a willingness to penetrate the moment of danger to its very core, so as to shape it and transform the situation.
This Tarot Deck: Celestial
What has traditionally been known as the Star card is about reconnecting one’s Soul with the Divine — the transcending of personality, family, community and reputation. It has to do ultimately with the freedom to be one’s Self. The Soul is responding to celestial influences — forces that can provide the personality with a stronger sense of purpose. The Star card helps us to remember our exalted origins and our attraction to a Higher Union.
This card could also be called the “Celestial Mandate” — that which refers us back to our reason for being, our mission in this lifetime. The Star reminds us that, in a sense, we are agents of Divine Will in our day-to-day lives. If we let go of the idea that we are supposed to be in control, we can more easily notice and appreciate the synchronicities that are nudging us along. In this way, we become more conscious of the invisible Helping Hand, and we better understand our place within — and value to — the larger Cosmos.