The Sabbats

The Scottish Song “The Thirteen Days of Yule”

The Scottish Song “The Thirteen Days of Yule”

The 13 Days of Yule was sung in Scotland as far back as the early 1800’s, to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

“Yule” was originally a heathen feast that lasted for 12-13 days.  Eventually it came to represent the midwinter season of December and January.  Later it became synonymous with Christmas.

The Thirteen Days of Yule

The King sent his Lady on the first Yule day, A papingoe*, aye. Who learns my carol and carries it away.

The King sent his lady on the second Yule day, Two partridges and a papingoe, aye. Who learns my carol and carries it away.

The King sent his lady on the third Yule day, Three plovers**, three partridges and a papingoe, aye. Who learns my carol and carries it away.

The King sent his lady on the fourth Yule day, A goose that was grey, Three plovers, three partridges and a papingoe, aye. Who learns my carol and carries it away.

The King sent his lady on the fifth Yule day, Three starlings, a goose that was grey, Three plovers, three partridges and a papingoe, aye. Who learns my carol and carries it away.

The King sent his lady on the sixth Yule day, Three goldspinks, three starlings, a goose that was grey, Three plovers, three partridges and a papingoe, aye. Who learns my carol and carries it away.

The King sent his lady on the seventh Yule day, A bull that was brown, Three goldspinks, three starlings, a goose that was grey, Three plovers, three partridges and a papingoe, aye. Who learns my carol and carries it away.

The King sent his lady on the eighth Yule day, Three ducks a-merry laying, a bull that was brown, Three goldspinks, three starlings, a goose that was grey, Three plovers, three partridges and a papingoe, aye. Who learns my carol and carries it away.

The King sent his lady on the ninth Yule day, Three swans a-merry swimming, three ducks a-merry laying, A bull that was brown, Three goldspinks, three starlings, a goose that was grey, Three plovers, three partridges and a papingoe, aye. Who learns my carol and carries it away.

The King sent his lady on the tenth Yule day, An Arabian baboon, Three swans a-merry swimming, three ducks a-merry laying, A bull that was brown, Three goldspinks, three starlings, a goose that was grey, Three plovers, three partridges and a papingoe, aye. Who learns my carol and carries it away.

The King sent his lady on the eleventh Yule day, Three hinds a-merry hunting, an Arabian baboon, Three swans a-merry swimming, three ducks a-merry laying, A bull that was brown, Three goldspinks, three starlings, a goose that was grey, Three plovers, three partridges and a papingoe, aye. Who learns my carol and carries it away.

The King sent his lady on the twelfth Yule day, Three maids a-merry dancing, three hinds a-merry hunting, An Arabian baboon, Three swans a-merry swimming, three ducks a-merry laying, A bull that was brown, Three goldspinks, three starlings, a goose that was grey, Three plovers, three partridges and a papingoe, aye. Who learns my carol and carries it away.

The King sent his lady on the thirteenth Yule day, Three stalks o merry corn, three maids a-merry dancing, Three hinds a-merry hunting, an Arabian baboon, Three swans a-merry swimming, three ducks a-merry laying, A bull that was brown, Three goldspinks, three starlings, a goose that was grey, Three plovers, three partridges and a papingoe, aye. Who learns my carol and carries it away.

*papingoe = a parrot (though some people think it’s a peacock) **a plover is a type of bird

MamaLisasWorld

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‘Twas The Night Before Yule

Yule Comments & Graphics

‘Twas The Night Before Yule

‘Twas the night before Yule, and all through the Coven, The cookies were baked and removed from the oven. The bayberry candles were lit on the table, The altar was wrapped in a new cloth of sable.

The children were nestled, all snug in their beds, While visions of Yuletime danced in their heads. Their stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that some presents soon would be there!

With Rocker in his new robe, and I in mine, We were asking our Goddess her blessing divine. When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, We sprang from our Circle to see what was the matter.

Away to the window, tripping over my sash, My eyes were a-glamoured with a bright silver flash. The moon on the breasts of the Goddess and God Drew my eyes to behold the blessed Circle they trod.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But the manifestations of all those we hold Dear. The physical forms of those whom we pray to, Even Saint Nick, and his miniature sleigh, too!

Jehovah, Mohammet, Shiva, Hera and Thor. Zeus, Freya, Brahma, and many, many more. All the Spiritual Entities who’d ever been mentioned. Even some, like dear Loki, who sowed seeds of dissension.

They greeted eah other with smile, warm and sweet. Then, forming a Circle, they all took a seat. With multiple Voices all joined as One, The Corners were Called. And, when that was done.

The Chalice was passed from Hand to Hand. Then, a blanket of silence enfolded the land. A crystal clear Voice began to hold sway. Which Deity spoke? I could not say.

But, clearly, I heard all the love in that Voice. It caused my tired heart to take flight and rejoice. “Our Children, it seems, have missed the whole point. “We now join together, their hearts to anoint.

“Pour all of Our love O’er their hearts of stone. “Let them see that together they’re never alone! “Show them it matters not which of Us that they choose. “Their sad hate and mistrust cause each of Us to lose!”

As I stood there transfixed, I could suddenly see If we all stand as one, what a world this could be! Put ALL of our differences well behind us. Let the love of the Gods enfold and remind us.

We ARE all the same,though varied our skins. We all dream the same dreams, we all sin the same sins. With a look of enlightenment etched on my face, I beheld all the Gods in Their glory and grace!

They all bowed Their heads then said”So mote it be!” They all smiled at each Other bestowing winks on me. One by One they disappeared from my sight. Just the Goddess and God were left in the light.

As slowly They twinkled, fading by degree, “Happy Yuletide to all!! Blessed be times three!”

–Written by Mary, a.k.a. Wandering Poet, a.k.a. littlebit Permission to reprint granted to all who keep this credit line by the author.

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Rainbow Gryphon

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Praises to the Snow Queen


Praises to the Snow Queen

The lightness of Your touch may not be noticed
The brightness of Your presence may not be seen
The coolness of Your body may not be felt
Until You, Goddess of Snow, fall heavy
Until You, White Lady of the Forest, reflect sunshine
Until You, Ice Queen, want to be felt

Praises to the White Goddess
Praises to the Lady of the Ice Forest
Praises to the Snow Queen

Blessed Be

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Let’s Take A Look At the Many Winter Customs Around The World

Winter Customs Around the World

By Patti Wigington, About.com

Winter Around the World:

Whether you observe Yule, Christmas, Sol Invictus, or Hogmanay, the winter season is typically a time of celebration around the world. Traditions vary widely from one country to the next, but one thing they all have in common is the observance of customs around the time of the winter solstice. Here are some ways that residents of different countries observe the season.

Australia:

Althought Australia is huge geographically, the population sits at under 20 million people. Many of them come from a blend of cultures and ethnic backgrounds, and celebration in December is often a mix of many different elements. Because Australia is in the southern hemisphere, December is part of the warm season. Residents still hhave Christmas trees, Father Christmas, Christmas Carols and gifts which are a familiar Christmas and gifts, as well as being visited by Father Christmas. Because it coincides with school holidays, it’s not uncommon for Australians to celebrate the season on vacation away from home.

China:

In China, only about two percent of the population observes Christmas as a religious holiday, although it is gaining in popularity as a commercial event. However, the main winter festival in China is New Year celebration that occurs at the end of January. Recently, it’s become known as the Spring Festival, and is a time of gift-giving and feasting. A key aspect of the Chinese New Year is , and painings and portraits are brought out and honored in the family’s home.

Denmark:

In Denmark, Christmas Eve dinner is a big cause for celebration. The most anticipated part of the meal is the traditional rice pudding, baked with a single almond inside. Whichever guest gets the almond in his pudding is guaranteed good luck for the coming year. Children leave out glasses of milk for the Juulnisse, which are elves that live in peoples’ homes, and for Julemanden, the Danish version of Santa Claus.

Finland:

The Finns have a tradition of resting and relaxing on Christmas Day. The night before, on Christmas Eve, is really the time of the big feast — and leftovers are consumed the next day. On December 26, the day of St. Stephen the Martyr, everyone goes out and visits friends and relatives, weather permitting. One fun custom is that of Glogg parties, which involve the drinking of Glogg, a mulled wine made from Madeira, and the eating of lots of baked treats.

Greece:

Christmas was typically not a huge holiday in Greece, as it is in North America. However, the recognition of St. Nicholas has always been important, because he was the patron saint of sailors, among other things. Hearth fires burn for several days between December 25 and January 6, and a sprig of basil is wrapped around a wooden cross to protect the home from the Killantzaroi, which are negative spirits that only appear during the twelve days after Christmas. Gifts are exchanged on January 1, which is St. Basil’s day.

India:

India’s Hindu population typically observes this time of year by placing clay oil lamps on the roof in honor of the return of the sun. The country’s Christians celebrate by decorating mango and banana trees, and adorning homes with red flowers, such as the poinsettia. Gifts are exchanged with family and friends, and baksheesh, or , is given to the poor and needy.

Italy:

In Italy, there is the legend of La Befana, a kind old witch who travels the earth giving gifts to children. It is said that the three Magi stopped on their way to Bethlehem and asked her for shelter for a night. She rejected them, but later realized she’d been quite rude. However, when she went to call them back, they had gone. Now she travels the world, searching, and delivering gifts to all the children.

Romania:

In Romania, people still observe an old fertility ritual which probably pre-dates Christianity. A woman bakes a confection called a turta, made of pastry dough and filled with melted sugar and honey. Before baking the cake, as the wife is kneading the dough, she follows her husband outdoors. The man goes from one barren tree to another, threatening to cut each down. Each time, the wife begs him to spare the tree, saying, “Oh no, I am sure this tree will be as heavy with fruit next spring as my fingers are with dough today.” The man relents, the wife bakes the turta, and the trees are spared for another year.

Scotland:

In Scotland, the big holiday is that of . On Hogmanay, which is observed on December 31, festivities typically spill over into the first couple of days of January. There’s a tradition known as “first-footing”, in which the first person to cross a home’s threshold brings the residents good luck for the coming year — as long as the guest is dark-haired and male. The tradition stems from back when a red- or blonde-haired stranger was probably an invading Norseman.

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The Possibilities of the Yule

The Possibilities of the Yule

by P. H. Tiger Snake Lockwood

Birth leads to possibilities — from the heart of chaos rose the Mother,
Euronyme. In Chaos, there is still order. Within what is orderly is Chaos. She
arose from that Chaos, and in her movement, spread Chaos. In her spread of
Chaos, She formed order. Movement begets movement, spreading outward, that
which is colliding haphazardly with other parts of itself. Her awareness let
her know it was cold, so she danced to warm herself. If it were possible to be
cold, it was possible to be warm. If it were possible to stand still, it was
possible to move. Her dance created movement in all things.

What was beneath her feet moved in relation to her.  The stars all around her
moved, both in her vision, and of their own accord. The cold about her moved
and stirred and became the wind. She caught the North Wind, and by forming it
in her hands she made Orphion.

Orphion became aware. He became aroused by Euronyme’s dancing. They joined as Euronyme danced, and that which came from the joining had its’ own awareness. Each awareness, while it was common for all to have awareness, was unique in it’s perspective.

The power of awareness was new and disturbing. Orphion was aware of his part in creation, and became boastful. Euronyme, aware of Orphion’s boasts, aware of
having made Orphion herself, became angry. She stomped on the slithering
braggart’s head to remind him of the facts.

Each awareness that became had similar problems with the new power of this
awareness. They became so enamored of their uniqueness, awareness of others
lessened. Some became aware of the intoxication of awareness, and sought to
harness the power to prevent damage. Others did not, and they ended their time
quarreling. Many learned something of the intoxicating power of awareness, but
became confused as the powerproved dynamic, instead of static. How to
comprehend, even apprehend, the power of awareness, and avoid it’s intoxication was the question of the many. All became plunged into a darkness and cold, a void.

Awareness has many possibilities. If one looks deeply enough into their own
awareness, a face will be seen looking back. The face is not the skin over the
muscles and bones of one’s own skull, but it can be recognized as one’s own.
Yet, it does not belong exclusively to oneself. When one looks at others, still
that face will be seen looking back. To whom does this face belong then? What
is possible in that face? Recognition is shocking, and painful.

The dark night of the soul lay upon many. The many children of
She-Who-Has-Many- Names scattered over the world. They quarreled and fought, and committed atrocities against one another. Survivors of one atrocity would plot and overthrow those who had persecuted them. In victory, they committed atrocities of their own.

It was in this time of darkness and cold that something stirred once again. It
was something that had begun sometime before, but had to grow in the darkness Due to the cold, it had to be kept warm.

The darkness and cold was puzzling to many. The sun was close to the Earth, but
seemed so small, and its rays did little to warm the land. Rain fell as white
crystals, covering everything instead of being absorbed into the ground. Breath
was a white vapor that left the mouth as one spoke, and left the nostrils as
one breathed.

In the night sky, the stars moved, but the axis had shifted. The only thing
that continued, seemingly unchanged, was the moon. As the nights grew longer
her white form still hung in the sky, following her cycle. And the women
continued their own cycles, much like Hers. On that longest, coldest of nights,
another birth occurred. What had stirred in darkness, and had to be kept warm,
was brought forth in the pale light and scant warmth. What was born that night
was a male child whose face is the one all recognized as the one they have seen
before.

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MERRY YULE

MERRY YULE
By Jenness

We hope you will find this interesting and though provoking reading while you
are doing your Christmas shopping.

DID YOU KNOW THAT: “Christmas Trees” and “Hanukkah Bushes” are Pagan and forbidden by the Bible: “Thus saith the Lord: Learn not the way of the
heathen…for the customs of these people are vain. For one cutteth a tree out of
the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with
silver and with gold; they fasten it with hails and with hammers, that it move
not.” Jeremiah 10:2-6

DID YOU KNOW THAT: The celebrations of birthdays was forbidden by Jewish law? Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, states: “Nay, indeed the law does not permit us to make festivals at the births of our children.” The only
birthdays recorded in the Bible were those of two evil men, a Pharaoh (Genesis
40) and Herod Matthew 14:6-10.

DID YOU KNOW THAT: according to the evidence presented in the New Testament, Jesus could not have been born in winter, but probably in early autumn? Shepherds in Palestine do not “abide with their flocks in the flocks by night” in winter – its too cold. They bring them in to caves or stables by the end of October.

DID YOU KNOW THAT: December 25th was celebrated as the festival of the birthday of the Sun-God Mithra, as well as a host of other Incarnated Gods (Avatars) including Bacchus of Egypt, Bacvchus of Greece, Adonis of Greece, Krishna of India, Sakia of India, Shan-ti of China, Chris of Chaldea, and Jao Walpaul of ancient Britain: All were said to have been born of a virgin, perhaps because the astrological sign of Virgo, the Virgin, is newly risen above the horizon at this time.

DID YOU KNOW THAT: most of our customs in celebration of the Winter Solstice were taken from the ancient Pagan festival of Yule? Today the Solstice falls on December 21, but in ancient times, before the recent calendar changes, it was on December 25.

DID YOU KNOW THAT: the carol “Here we come-a-Caroling” was originally “Here we come a-Wassailing”? Wassailing was an ancient Pagan custom of singing and talking to the fruit and nut trees at Yule to insure an abundant harvest in the season to come.

We hope you found this interesting. No offense is intended, for this is a season
for happiness and joy. The joy that the Sun, which reaches its farthest distance
from Mother Earth at Yuletide, is now on its journey back to warm us. You are
welcome to celebrate our holiday, and may the Goddess bless your for it.

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Let’s Talk Witch – Christmas and Yule Customs

The “Let’s Talk Witch” is a little longer than most. I don’t know about most of you but when the mainstream Religious holidays roll around, I have to stop and shake my head.  For our Religion to have been so hated, what in the hell would the rest of the religions did without us? I can see all the similarities between our Religion and their religions. But we didn’t come up with those practices or beliefs they stole from us, they did. We are nothing but Evil, we have never had a good idea even come in our head.

I know the older I get it makes me angry. I just want to climb to the highest mountain and scream, “TELL THE TRUTH WOULD YOU, YOU DAMN THIEVES!” Wouldn’t do any good but it would make me feel much better. I have leaders of other faiths write me and want to know, “why are so many people turning to Witchcraft?” Perhaps they are finally learning the truth and coming to the realization of what they have been really following for so many years.

The following article is one of my favorites. It drives this point home and then some, I hope you enjoy it.

Christmas and Yule Customs
by Rick Hayward

Now that Christmas is fast approaching and the year has once more come full circle, most of us will soon be busy adorning the house with brightly coloured decorations, a Christmas tree and all the other paraphernalia that goes to create a festive atmosphere.

Holly and mistletoe will almost certainly be included in our decorations as evergreens have been used in the winter festivities from very ancient times and definitely long before Christianity appeared on the scene.

What Christians celebrate as the birthday of Christ is really something that was superimposed on to a much earlier pagan festival–that which celebrated the Winter Solstice or the time when the Sun reaches its lowest point south and is reborn at the beginning of a new cycle of seasons.

In Northern Europe and Scandinavia it was noted by the early Christian scholar, Bede, that the heathens began the year on December 25th which they called Mother’s Night in honour of the great Earth Mother. Their celebrations were held in order to ensure fertility and abundance during the coming year, and these included much feasting, burning of lamps, lighting of great fires (the Yule fires) and exchanges of gifts.

The Romans, too, held their great celebrations–Saturnalia– from December 17th to 25th and it was the latter date which they honoured as the birthday of the Unconquered Sun. The Saturnalia was characterised by much merry-making, sometimes going to riotous extremes, with masters and slaves temporarily exchanging roles. The use of evergreens to decorate the streets and houses was also very much in evidence at this great winter festival.

That we now celebrate the birth of Christ at the same time is largely due to the early Church Fathers who found it was much easier to win converts to the faith by making Christ’s birthday coincide with an already long established pagan festival. In fact, it wasn’t until the 4th century that Pope Julius I finally established the 25th as the official birthday of Christ; earlier Christians differed widely as to this date– some choosing September 29th, while others held that January 6th or March 29th were the correct dates.

As we have seen, the pagan element in Christmas lives on in the festival at the Winter Solstice. But these elements are also very much alive in our use of evergreens as decorations at this time of year.

Like most evergreens, the holly and mistletoe have long been held to symbolize eternal life, regeneration and rebirth.

Holly, with its bright red berries and dark spiky foliage, has been revered from ancient times as a symbol of life everlasting. It was associated with strength and masculinity and was considered useful in the treatment of various ailments which were seen to lower the vital spirits.

In old England, a decoction of holly leaves was considered a cure for worms; but most of all this prickly evergreen was looked upon as a luck bringer–particularly in rural areas where a bunch of holly hung in the cow shed or stable was thought to favour the animals if placed there on Christmas Eve. Many people used to take a piece of holly from the church decorations at Christmas as a charm against bad luck in the coming year. Holly was also considered a very protective tree which, if planted outside the house, was believed to avert lightning, fire and the evil spells of witches.

An old holly spell describes how to know one’s future spouse. At midnight on a Friday, nine holly leaves must be plucked and tied with nine knots in a three-cornered cloth. This is then placed under the pillow and, provided silence is observed from the time of plucking until dawn the next day, your future spouse will come to you in your dreams.

In certain areas of Wales, it was thought extremely unlucky to bring holly into the house before December 24th and if you did so there would be family quarrels and domestic upheavals. You would also be inviting disaster if you burned green holly or squashed the red berries.

Turning now to mistletoe, it seems that this is by far the most mystical of the plants associated with Christmas and has, from very ancient times, been treated as magical or sacred. It is often included in modern Christmas decorations simply for the fun of kissing beneath it and, though this seems to be a peculiarly English custom, it probably harks back to the mistletoe’s association with fertility.

The real reason why mistletoe is now associated with Christmas is very much a carry-over from ancient practices, when it was considered as somehow belonging to the gods. The Roman historian, Pliny, gives an early account of how the Druids would hold a very solemn ceremony at the Winter Solstice when the mistletoe had to be gathered, for the Druids looked upon this unusual plant, which has no roots in the earth, as being of divine origin or produced by lightning. Mistletoe which grew on the oak was considered especially potent in magical virtues, for it was the oak that the Druids held as sacred to the gods.

At the Winter Solstice, the Druids would lead a procession into the forest and, on finding the sacred plant growing on an oak, the chief priest, dressed all in white, would climb the tree and cut the mistletoe with a knife or sickle made of gold. The mistletoe was not allowed to touch the ground and was therefore caught in a white linen cloth.

On securing the sacred mistletoe, the Druids would then carry it to their temple where it would be laid beneath the altar stone for three days. Early on the fourth day, which would correspond to our Christmas Day, it was taken out, chopped into pieces and handed out among the worshippers. The berries were used by the priests to heal various diseases.

Mistletoe was considered something of a universal panacea, as can be gleaned from the ancient Celtic word for it–uile, which literally translated means ‘all-healer’. A widespread belief was that mistletoe could cure anything from headaches to epilepsy; and indeed modern research has shown that the drug guipsine which is used in the treatment of nervous illnesses and high blood pressure is contained in mistletoe.

Until quite recently the rural folk of Sweden and Switzerland believed that the mistletoe could only be picked at certain times and in a special way if its full potency as healer and protector was to be secured. The Sun must be in Sagittarius (close to the Winter Solstice) and the Moon must be on the wane and, following ancient practices, the mistletoe must not be just picked but shot or knocked down and caught before reaching the ground.

Not only was mistletoe looked upon as a healer of all ills, but if hung around the house was believed to protect the home against fire and other hazards. As the mistletoe was supposed to have been produced by lightning, it had the power to protect the home against thunder bolts by a kind of sympathetic magic.

Of great importance, however, was the power of mistletoe to protect against witchcraft and sorcery. This is evident in an old superstition which holds that a sprig of mistletoe placed beneath the pillow will avert nightmares (once considered to be the product of evil demons).

In the north of England, it used to be the practice of farmers to give mistletoe to the first cow that calved after New Year’s Day. This was believed to ensure health to the stock and a good milk yield throughout the year. Underlying this old belief is the fear of witches or mischievous fairy folk who could play havoc with dairy produce, so here mistletoe was used as a counter magic against such evil influences. In Sweden, too, a bunch of this magical plant hung from the living room ceiling or in the stable or cow-shed was thought to render trolls powerless to work mischief.

With such a tremendous array of myth, magic and folklore associated with it, reaching far back into the pagan past, it is understandable that even today this favourite Christmas plant is forbidden in many churches. Yet even the holly and the ivy, much celebrated in a popular carol of that title, were once revered as sacred and magical by our pre-Christian ancestors.

In view of what has been said, one could speculate that even if Christianity had never emerged it is more than likely that we would still be getting ready for the late-December festivities, putting up decorations, including holly and mistletoe, in order to celebrate the rebirth of the Sun, the great giver and sustainer of all earthly life.

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A Glorious Wednesday Morning To All Our Family & Friends!

God Rest Ye Merry, Paganfolk

God rest ye merry, paganfolk,
Let nothing you dismay. Remember that the Sun returns
Upon this Solstice day. The growing dark is ending now
And Spring is on its way. Oh, tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy! Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.

The Goddess rest ye merry, too,
And keep you safe from harm.
Remember that we live within
The circle of Her arms,
And may Her love give years to come
A very special charm.
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy!
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy!

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