December, the Twelfth Month of the year of our Goddess, 2014

YuleBlessings

The Light Has Been Reborn

(Tune:  “Good Christian Men Rejoice”)

The Light has been reborn
Upon this happy morn.
Sing O sing in jubilee.
Oh, oh, Io Io Evohee!
Sing O sing glad tidings.
The round of life is new begun:
Mother – Father – Daughter.
Mother – Father – Son.

—-words by William Baldwin

christmas-divider2December – Oak Moon

December is the twelfth month of the year, its name derived from the Latin for “ten,” as it was the tenth month of the Roman calendar. Its astrological sign is Sagittarius, the archer (November 23 – December 23), a mutable fire sign ruled by Jupiter. Winter owns the land now. Snow covers the land and ice silence the streams. Still, this is a month of joy and renewal. Holiday lights litter, and kitchens fill with spice fragrance from holiday season sweets and pastries. Yule, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas are the holidays of December. At Yule, we celebrate the return of the Sun God and burn the Yule log to honor the strengthening Sun. As we decorate the Yule tree, we honor the evergreen as a symbol of eternal life. The decorations we use on the Yule tree are rich with symbolism. The lights represent stars, fruit shaped ornaments represent fertility and the star atop the tree is a symbol of the divine spirit. December’s Full Moon, the first of the winter season, is known as the Cold moon. It is a white distant Moon that shimmers above the frozen landscape. Acknowledge her by lighting a single white candle in the window. As the wheel of the year makes its final turn, we arrive at New Year’s Eve, a time to honor our pass and think of the future. The endless rhythm of the seasons continues.

christmas-divider2Oak Moon

THE OAK MOON is the thirteenth esbat. It is one of the most magical full moons because it doesn’t occur every year. This high moon draws upon the power of the mighty oak. A tree of tremendous magical power, everything that grows on an oak is sacred. As the “Forest King” of endurance, and the tree of the Norse God Frey, oak is the primary wood of the sacred fire of the Goddess, associated with fertility, ancestry, and love. Its fruit, the acorn, is a symbol of the Goddess. Faeries, elves, and lovers meet and dance under the oaks and the sacred mistletoe graces the mighty tree. This thirteenth moon is a time to generate strength, endurance, success, and protection. It represents the completion of a cycle.

— Wiccan Spell A Night: Spells, Charms, And Potions For The Whole Year

Sirona Knight

christmas-divider2DECEMBER CORRESPONDENCES

NATURE SPIRITS: Snow faeries, storm faeries, winter tree faeries

HERBS: holly, English Ivy, fir, mistletoe

COLORS: Blood red, white and black

FLOWERS: holly, poinsettia, christmas cactus

SCENTS: Violet, patchouli, rose geranium, frankincense, myrrh, lilac

STONES: serpentine, jacinth, peridot

TREES: Fir, pine and holly

ANIMALS: mouse, deer, horse and bear

BIRDS: rook, snowy owl, and robin

DEITIES: Hathor, Hecate, Neith, Athene, Minerva, Ixchel, Osiris, Norns, Fates

POWER/ADVICE: To endure, to be reborn, Earth tides turning, Darkness, a time to reach out to friends and family and those in need.

christmas-divider2Symbols for the Month of December

December’s Sign of the Zodiac
Sagittarius:  November 22  – December 21
Capricorn:  December 22 – January 19

December Birthstone
Blue Topaz or Turquoise (modern)
Zircon, Turquoise, or Lapis Lazuli (traditional)

November Birth Flower
December’s Birth Flower is the Narcissus.
The Narcissus stands for self-love.

Characteristics of Sagittarius
Great sense of humor, idealistic, generous.

christmas-divider2December’s Month Long Observations

  • World AIDS Day (December 1)
  • International Day of People with Disability (December 3)
  • The Residential Golf Tournament (December 6)
  • Pearl Harbor Day in the United States (December 7)
  • Day of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. (December 8)
  • In the Ásatrú religion, Egil Skallagrimsson’s Day (December 9) is a day of remembrance for the Viking hero.
  • Nobel Prizes awarded (December 10) on the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death.
  • Human Rights Day (December 10)
  • Saint Lucy (December 13)
  • Honolulu Marathon is held on second Sunday in December.
  • Monkey Day (December 14)
  • Bill of Rights Day (United States). (December 15)
  • Hannukah (December 20 in 2011)
  • First day of winter (December 21)
  • Solstice (called the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere) occurs on dates varying from December 20 to December 22 (in UTC). See also Yule
  • HumanLight (Humanist holiday), (December 23)
  • Christmas Eve (December 24)
  • Christmas (December 25)
  • Boxing Day (December 26)
  • Day of Goodwill (December 26)
  • Kwanzaa (December 26 to January 1)
  • Philippines – Rizal Day (December 30)
  • New Year’s Eve (December 31)
  • Yule (December 20 to December 31)

christmas-divider2History of Yule

A Festival of Light:
Many cultures have winter festivals that are in fact celebrations of light. In addition to Christmas, there’s Hanukkah with its brightly lit menorahs, Kwanzaa candles, and any number of other holidays. The Pagan holiday called Yule takes place on the day of the winter solstice, around December 21 in the northern hemisphere (below the equator, the winter solstice falls around June 21). On that day (or close to it), an amazing thing happens in the sky. The earth’s axis tilts away from the sun in the Northern Hemisphere, and the sun reaches at its greatest distance from the equatorial plane. As a festival of the Sun, the most important part of any Yule celebration is light — candles, bonfires, and more.
Origins of Yule:
In the Northern hemisphere, the winter solstice has been celebrated for millenia. The Norse peoples viewed it as a time for much feasting, merrymaking, and, if the Icelandic sagas are to be believed, a time of sacrifice as well. Traditional customs such as the Yule log, the decorated tree, and wassailing can all be traced back to Norse origins.
Celtic Celebrations of Winter:
The Celts of the British Isles celebrated midwinter as well. Although little is known about the specifics of what they did, many traditions persist. According to the writings of Pliny the Elder, this is the time of year in which Druid priests sacrificed a white bull and gathered mistletoe in celebration.
Roman Saturnalia:
Few cultures knew how to party like the Romans. Saturnalia was a festival of general merrymaking and debauchery held around the time of the winter solstice. This week-long party was held in honor of the god Saturn, and involved sacrifices, gift-giving, special privileges for slaves, and a lot of feasting. Although this holiday was partly about giving presents, more importantly, it was to honor an agricultural god.
Welcoming the Sun Through the Ages:
Four thousand years ago, the Ancient Egyptians took the time to celebrate the daily rebirth of Ra, the god of the Sun. As their culture flourished and spread throughout Mesopotamia, other civilizations decided to get in on the sun-welcoming action. They found that things went really well… until the weather got cooler, and crops began to die. Each year, this cycle of birth, death and rebirth took place, and they began to realize that every year after a period of cold and darkness, the Sun did indeed return.
Winter festivals were also common in Greece and Rome, as well as in the British Isles. When a new religion called Christianity popped up, the new hierarchy had trouble converting the Pagans, and as such, folks didn’t want to give up their old holidays. Christian churches were built on old Pagan worship sites, and Pagan symbols were incorporated into the symbolism of Christianity. Within a few centuries, the Christians had everyone worshipping a new holiday celebrated on December 25.
In some traditions of Wicca and Paganism, the Yule celebration comes from the Celtic legend of the battle between the young Oak King and the Holly King. The Oak King, representing the light of the new year, tries each year to usurp the old Holly King, who is the symbol of darkness. Re-enactment of the battle is popular in some Wiccan rituals.

—-By Patti Wigington

Article found & owned by About.com

christmas-divider2How to Make a Yule Log

A Time-Honored Tradition

As the Wheel of the Year turns once more, the days get shorter, the skies become gray, and it seems as though the sun is dying. In this time of darkness, we pause on the Solstice (usually around December 21st, although not always on the same date) and realize that something wonderful is happening.
On Yule, the sun stops its decline into the south. For a few days, it seems as though it’s rising in exactly the same place… and then the amazing, the wonderful, the miraculous happens. The light begins to return.
The sun begins its journey back to the north, and once again we are reminded that we have something worth celebrating. In families of all different spiritual paths, the return of the light is celebrated, with Menorahs, Kwanzaa candles, bonfires, and brightly lit Christmas trees. On Yule, many Pagan and Wiccan families celebrate the return of the sun by adding light into their homes. One of our family’s favorite traditions – and one that children can do easily – is to make a Yule log for a family-sized celebration.
A holiday celebration that began in Norway, on the night of the winter solstice it was common to hoist a giant log onto the hearth to celebrate the return of the sun each year. The Norsemen believed that the sun was a giant wheel of fire which rolled away from the earth, and then began rolling back again on the winter solstice.
As Christianity spread through Europe, the tradition became part of Christmas Eve festivities. The father or master of the house would sprinkle the log with libations of mead, oil or salt. Once the log was burned in the hearth, the ashes were scattered about the house to protect the family within from hostile spirits.

Gathering the Symbols of the Season

Because each type of wood is associated with various magickal and spiritual properties, logs from different types of trees might be burned to get a variety of effects. Aspen is the wood of choice for spiritual understanding, while the mighty oak is symbolic of strength and wisdom. A family hoping for a year of prosperity might burn a log of pine, while a couple hoping to be blessed with fertility would drag a bough of birch to their hearth.
In our house, we usually make our Yule log out of pine, but you can make yours of any type of wood you choose. You can select one based on its magickal properties, or you can just use whatever’s handy.

To make a basic Yule log, you will need the following:
A log about 14 – 18” long
Pinecones
Dried berries, such as cranberries
Cuttings of mistletoe, holly, pine needles, and ivy
Feathers and cinnamon sticks
Some festive ribbon – use paper or cloth ribbon, not the synthetic or wire-lined type
A hot glue gun
All of these – except for the ribbon and the hot glue gun — are things you and your children can gather outside. You might wish to start collecting them earlier in the year, and saving them. Encourage your children to only pick up items they find on the ground, and not to take any cuttings from live plants.
Putting it All Together

Begin by wrapping the log loosely with the ribbon. Leave enough space that you can insert your branches, cuttings and feathers under the ribbon. In our house, we place five feathers on our Yule log – one for each member of the family. Once you’ve gotten your branches and cuttings in place, begin gluing on the pinecones, cinnamon sticks and berries. Add as much or as little as you like. Remember to keep the hot glue gun away from small children.
Once you’ve decorated your Yule log, the question arises of what to do with it. For starters, use it as a centerpiece for your holiday table. A Yule log looks lovely on a table surrounded by candles and holiday greenery.
Another way to use your Yule log is to burn it as our ancestors did so many centuries ago. In our family, before we burn our log we each write down a wish on a piece of paper, and then insert it into the ribbons. It’s our wish for the upcoming year, and we keep it to ourselves in hopes that it will come true.
If you have a fireplace, you can certainly burn your Yule log in it, but we prefer to do ours outside. We have a fire pit in the back yard, and on the night of the winter solstice, we gather out there with blankets, mittens, and mugs full of warm drinks as we burn our log. While we watch the flames consume it, we discuss how thankful we are for the good things that have come our way this year, and how we hope for abundance, good health, and happiness in the next.

—-By Patti Wigington

Article found & owned by About.com

 christmas-divider2Holding a Family Yule Log Ceremony

If your family enjoys ritual, you can welcome back the sun at Yule with this simple winter ceremony. The first thing you’ll need is a Yule Log. If you make it a week or two in advance, you can enjoy it as a centerpiece prior to burning it in the ceremony. You’ll also need a fire, so if you can do this ritual outside, that’s even better. As the Yule Log burns, all members of the family should surround it, forming a circle.
If you normally cast a circle, do so at this time.
This first section is for the adults – if there is more than one grownup, they can take turns saying the lines, or say them together:
The Wheel has turned once more, and
the earth has gone to sleep.
The leaves are gone, the crops have returned to the ground.
On this darkest of nights, we celebrate the light.
Tomorrow, the sun will return,
its journey continuing as it always does.
Welcome back, warmth.
Welcome back, light.
Welcome back, life.
The entire group now moves deosil – clockwise, or sunwise – around the fire. When each member has returned to his or her original position, it is time for the children to add their part. This section can be divided amongst the children, so that each gets a chance to speak.
Shadows go away, darkness is no more,
as the light of the sun comes back to us.
Warm the earth.
Warm the ground.
Warm the sky.
Warm our hearts.
Welcome back, sun.
Finally, each member of the group should take a moment to tell the others one thing that they are thankful for about their family – things like “I am happy that Mom cooks us such wonderful food,” or “I’m proud of Alex because he helps people who need it.”
When everyone has had a chance to speak, walk sunwise once more around the fire, and end the rite. If possible, save a bit of this year’s Yule log to add to the fire for next year’s ceremony.

—-By Patti Wigington

Article found & owned by About.com

christmas-divider2 Silent Night

(Tune:  “Silent Night”)

Silent night, Solstice Night
All is calm, all is bright
Nature slumbers in forest and glen
Till in Springtime She wakens again
Sleeping spirits grow strong!
Sleeping spirits grow strong!
Silent night, Solstice night
Silver moon shining bright
Snowfall blankets the slumbering Earth
Yule fires welcome the Sun’s rebirth
Hark, the Light is reborn!
Hark, the Light is reborn!
Silent night, Solstice night
Quiet rest till the Light
Turning ever the rolling Wheel
Brings the Winter to comfort and heal
Rest your spirit in peace!
Rest your spirit in peace!

 —-Ellen Reed

christmas-divider2yule candle

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Have a Very Blessed & Happy Afternoon, my sweets! Till Tomorrow…


Winter Comments & Graphics

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May Goddess hold you in the palm of Her hand.

Have a very blessed afternoon, my dear brothers & sister…

Love ya,

Lady A

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts | 1 Comment

Magickal Goody of the Day for Dec. 17th – Salt Dough Ornaments

Magickal Goody of the Day

Salt Dough Ornaments

Salt dough is one of the easiest things in the world to make, and you can create just about anything from it. Use it with cookie cutters to make your own Sabbat ornaments.

Ingredients
  • 4 Cups flour
  • 1 Cup salt
  • 1 ½ Cups hot water
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
Preparation

Combine the salt and flour, then add the water until the dough becomes elastic. Add the oil at this time and knead the dough (if it’s too sticky, add more flour). Once it’s a good consistency, make your decorations with cookie cutters. Bake ornaments at 200* until hard (about 20 – 30 minutes). Once they’ve cooled, paint them with designs and symbols, and seal with clear varnish.

If you’re planning to hang them, poke a hole through the ornament BEFORE baking them. Then after you’ve varnished them, run a ribbon or thread through the hole.

 

Source:

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Incense of the Day for December 17th – Binding Incense

Incense of the Day

a5c57-censing-incense-with-thurible5b15d

BINDING INCENSE

4 Parts Nettle
4 Parts Thistle
4 Parts Knotgrass
1/4 Part Nightshade
1/4 Part Aconite (wolfsbane)

Burn with caution during outdoor rituals to destroy baneful habits or thoughts. Use small amounts only.

*Do not inhale fumes!

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Crystal of the Day for December 17th – Galena

Crystal of the Day

Galena    


Hardness: 2.5+                     
Specific Gravity: approximately 7.5+                    
Chemistry: PbS, Lead Sulfide                            
Class: Sulfides                      
Crystallography: isometric                     
Cleavage: perfect in four direction forming cubes        
Fracture: uneven and rarely seen because of the perfect cleavage         
Streak: lead gray           
Luster: metallic to dull

Healing: Galena is called a Stone of Harmony. Excellent for use in grounding. Galena reduces inflammation and increases circulation of the body. Used to increase the assimilation of selenium and zinc. 

Do not use as an elixir.

Workings: Astrological sign is Capricorn. Vibrates to the master number 22 Use during meditation.

Chakra Applications: used to align the chakras

Foot Notes: Galena is the most important ore and the principal source of lead. It is found throughout the world. In the United States it is found inMissouri, Idaho, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Utah as well as in Australia, Canada, England, France, and Mexico. Galena specimens tarnish when exposed to air becoming dull in luster. Galena from certain regions is rich in silver.
Source:
Author: Crick
Website: The Whispering Woods
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Herb of the Day for December 17th – Elecampane

Herb of the Day

Elecampane

 

Medicinal Uses: Elecampane is used for intestinal worms, water retention, and to lessen tooth decay and firm the gums. It gives relief to respiratory ailments. It is usually used in combination with other herbs. Elecampane is a specific for irritating bronchial coughs, especially in children. It may be used wherever there is copious catarrh formed e.g. in bronchitis or emphysema. It may be used in asthma and bronchitic asthma. Elecampane tea is much used to quiet coughing, to stimulate digestion and to tone the stomach; for bronchitis, urinary and respiratory tract inflammation, and menstrual problems. Elecampane oil is used for respiratory and intestinal catarrh, chronic diarrhea, chronic bronchitis, and whooping cough. The decoction or tincture is used for worms, and externally as a wash or fomentation for skin problems such as scabies and itches.

Elecampane has been used in the treatment of tuberculosis. The bitter principle makes it useful also to stimulate digestion and appetite.                                                                                                                                             

Externally it is used as a wash for wounds and itching rashes. It is burned to repel insects.                                       
Elecampane combines well with White Horehound, Coltsfoot, Pleurisy Root, Lungwort and Yarrow for respiratory problems.

Magickal uses: Add this herb to love charms and amulets of all kinds. Used with mistletoe and vervain, it is especially powerful. Use when scrying for better results. Place leaves and flowers into a pink pouch to attract love or for protection. Burn as incense to increase visions when scrying. Scatter the root around the home to attract the Fae.

Properties: Expectorant, anti-tussive, diaphoretic, hepatic, anti-microbial. Contains volatile oil, containing sesquiterpene lactones, main lyalamtolactone ( helenalin or elecampane camphor), isoalantolactone and their dihydro derivatives, alantic acid and azulene. As well as Inulin and miscellaneous; sterols, resin etc.

Growth: Elecampane enjoys roadsides and damp fields and pastures. Plant it in full sun in a damp, but not soggy, location. It is a perennial that grows 3 – 6 feet tall. The fibrous, top-shaped rootstock is brown outside and white inside. The stout, round stem is coarse and woolly. It bears large, alternate, ovate, serrate, olive-colored leaves with white veins. The large, yellow flower heads are solitary or grow in paniculate clusters from July to September. The fruit is a brown, quadrangular achene.The root is most commonly used. It is indigenous to Europe and temperate Asia, naturalized in the USA, and cultivated widely in Europe and also China.
Source:
Author: Crick
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Deity of the Day for December 17th – Minerva, Roman Goddess

Deity of the Day

Minerva

Minerva (Etruscan: Menrva) was the Roman goddess of wisdom and sponsor of arts, trade, and strategy. She was born with weapons from the godhead of Jupiter. From the 2nd century BC onwards, the Romans equated her with the Greek goddess Athena. She was the virgin goddess of music, poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, and magic. She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl usually named as the “owl of Minerva”, which symbolizes that she is connected to wisdom.

Stemming from an Italic moon goddess *Meneswā (‘She who measures’), the Etruscans adopted the inherited Old Latin name, *Menerwā, thereby calling her Menrva. It is assumed that her Roman name, Minerva, is based on this Etruscan mythology, Minerva was the goddess of wisdom, war, art, schools and commerce. She was the Etruscan counterpart to Greek Athena. Like Athena, Minerva was born from the head of her father, Jupiter (Greek Zeus).

By a process of folk etymology, the Romans could have linked her foreign name to the root men- in Latin words such as mens meaning “mind”, perhaps because one of her aspects as goddess pertained to the intellectual. The word mens is built from the Proto-Indo-European root *men- ‘mind’ (linked with memory as in Greek Mnemosyne/μνημοσύνη and mnestis/μνῆστις: memory, remembrance, recollection, manush in Sanskrit meaning mind).

Minerva was part of a holy triad with Tinia and Uni, equivalent to the Roman Capitoline Triad of Jupiter-Juno-Minerva. Minerva was the daughter of Jupiter.

As Minerva Medica, she was the goddess of medicine and doctors. As Minerva Achaea, she was worshipped at Luceria in Apulia where votive gifts and arms said to be those of Diomedes were preserved in her temple.

A head of “Sulis-Minerva” found in the ruins of the Roman baths in Bath

In Fasti III, Ovid called her the “goddess of a thousand works”. Minerva was worshiped throughout Italy, and when she eventually became equated with the Greek goddess Athena, she also became a goddess of war, although in Rome her warlike nature was less emphasized. Her worship was also taken out to the empire — in Britain, for example, she was conflated with the local wisdom goddess Sulis.

The Romans celebrated her festival from March 19 to March 23 during the day which is called, in the neuter plural, Quinquatria, the fifth after the Ides of March, the nineteenth, an artisans’ holiday . A lesser version, the Minusculae Quinquatria, was held on the Ides of June, June 13, by the flute-players, who were particularly useful to religion. In 207 BC, a guild of poets and actors was formed to meet and make votive offerings at the temple of Minerva on the Aventine Hill. Among others, its members included Livius Andronicus. The Aventine sanctuary of Minerva continued to be an important center of the arts for much of the middle Roman Republic.

Minerva was worshipped on the Capitoline Hill as one of the Capitoline Triad along with Jupiter and Juno, at the Temple of Minerva Medica, and at the “Delubrum Minervae” a temple founded around 50 BC by Pompey on the site now occupied by the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva facing the present-day Piazza della Minerva.

 

Source:
Wikipedia

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A Little Thought From Me to You….

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WOTC Cartoon of the Day – “Happy Holidays Truth”

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