Posts Tagged With: Winter solstice

Healing Arts and Pagan Studies ~ February 2; Celebrating Candlemas


Native American Comments & Graphics

Healing Arts and Pagan Studies ~ February 2; Celebrating Candlemas

One of the great cross-quarter days which make up the wheel of the year. It falls midway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox and in many traditions is considered the beginning of spring.

Awakening the Ground

In Western Europe, this was the time for preparing the fields for the first planting. Even in Seattle, you can begin turning over and enriching the soil in anticipation of the first sowing in March. Pamela Berger has written a book, The Goddess Obscured: Transformation of the Grain Protectress from Goddess to Saint, about the rituals celebrated at this time of year, when the ground is first awakened and the seed placed in the belly of the earth. This is a significant moment in a community which depends on the earth for sustenance. The fields were purified and offerings were made to the Goddess.

This medieval Anglo-Saxon plowing charm, recorded by Berger, was said by the farmer while cutting the first furrow.

Whole be thou Earth
Mother of men.
In the lap of God,
Be thou as-growing.
Be filled with fodder
For fare-need of men.

The farmer then took a loaf of bread, kneaded it with milk and holy water and laid it under the first furrow, saying:

Acre full fed,
Bring forth fodder for men!
Blossoming brightly,
Blessed become;
And the God who wrought the ground,
Grant us the gifts of growing,
That the corn, all the corn,
may come unto our need.

The promises of the return of the light and the renewal of life which were made at the winter solstice are now becoming manifest. It’s the dawn of the year. It’s the time when a woman who is pregnant begins showing. It’s time to creep out of the hibernation of winter, cautiously, like the Ground Hog who supposedly emerges on this day to check his shadow. It’s the time of germination. This is a traditional time for new beginnings. Covens of Witches usually initiate new members at this time.

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Courtesy of GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast

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The Witches Magick for the 1st Day of the Wolf Moon – Eyes of the Wolf Spell


Miscellaneous New Year Comments

Eyes of the Wolf Spell

 

As the first full moon after the winter solstice or Yule, the Wolf Moon is one of the most important of the high moons. A full moon occurs when the sun and the moon are aligned on opposite sides of earth. This alignment of the two celestial bodies has a strong effect on the earth, producing a time when energy is high. This is why full moon rituals can be incredibly powerful times for doing magick.

When looking through the eyes of the wolf the idea is to perceive the true nature of people, events and experiences. Expand your perception and awareness using the instincts of the wolf. The wolf is part of a pack that use their knowledge and wits to survive a time when the earth is cold and barren. This is also when new patterns are conceived, setting the stage for what is to come. This is also the ideal time for foretelling the future, clairvoyance, and divination practices.

At midnight, begin by drawing a circle of light. This is done by standing at your altar and pounding the stick end of your wand on the altar nine times. Pick up your athame and point it toward the north point of your circle. Starting and ending in the north, draw a magical circle of light clockwise around the circle. Next, call in the elements of earth, air, fire and water.

Standing in the middle of the circle, call in the power of the wolf:

On the night at this hour
I call now upon the ancient animal powers.
To guide me in the ways of the wolf
Where instinct and wit prevail
Through darkness, wind, rain, and hail
I am the wolf the wolf is me
So be it! Blessed Be!

 

As you enjoy your evening, imagine seeing through the eyes of the wolf. Imagine dreaming with the eyes of the wolf. In the morning pull up the circle and thank the elements. Also thank the wolf for its guidance and power.

Wiccan Spell A Night
Sirona Knight

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Your I Ching Hexagram for December 26th is 24: Returning

24: Returning


December 26th, 2014
hexagram09
There is a turning point that recharges you and eventually brings success. This hexagram is associated with a turning back of long nights towards more light, the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, the seasonal change when our hours of daily light begin to increase again. This is the beginning of a turnaround; a time of letting go of the old and making way for the new; a time of new beginnings. Ironically, it all starts with rest.

Don’t move too fast. The new momentum is just beginning; the turn-around demands that your energy be recharged by adequate rest, so that your life force will not be spent prematurely. This principle of hibernation, of allowing energy to renew itself and be strengthened by rest applies to many situations — recuperation after an illness, the slow return of trust after period of estrangement, the careful development of new relationships after a splitting apart of old ones.

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Year

How to Get the Most Out of Your Year

Author: Merlin Hekatos

In this article I will explain the eight Wiccan Sabbats and how I choose to celebrate them. First of all, why do we celebrate these seasonal festivals? And whom are we worshipping and honouring by doing so?

Wiccans, Pagans, and Witches celebrate these holidays to attune themselves with the cycles of nature and to build a connection to the Goddess and God. Most Wiccan festivals are connected to a specific Deity, such as Brigid on Imbolc and Lugh on Lughnassadh. The eight Wiccan Sabbats are the most popular Wiccan holidays; four of them are Greater Sabbats, which are agriculturally based. The remaining four are Lesser Sabbats, which are astronomically based. The days leading up to the Greater Sabbats are the days of the “Wild Hunt” in which the Horned One and his entourage soar across the skies. The word “holiday” is derived from “holy day”. Therefore, these days aren’t just an excuse to be lazy or have time off school or work; they are sacred!

Wiccan mythology promotes the idea of the “Wheel of the Year” which is symbolic; the phrase “the wheel has turned” means the seasons are changing or that another Sabbat has arrived. Throughout the “Wheel of the Year” the Goddess changes from Maiden to Mother to Crone.

The First of the Sabbats, which begins the “Wheel of the Year”, is Samhain, which is pronounced “sow-in”. This is the “Witches’ New Years Day” and a Greater Sabbat. Samhain also is known in the common tongue as “Halloween” and “Alls Hallows”. On Samhain it is a known fact (amongst Witches) that the “veil” between the worlds is thin, both the worlds of the Living and Dead and of the Human and Faery and possibly many others. Samhain is one of the most important of the Sabbats and is a time to honour our Ancestors and to acknowledge our shadow selves. You can celebrate Samhain by carving pumpkins and setting a lit candle inside to welcome friendly spirits and to scare away malicious ones. Bobbing for apples also is a traditional festive game; apples are sacred at this time and have many connections to magick. Just a few of these connections are that apples carry the Pentagram inside them (the ancient symbol of the five elements) and that their peel can be cast into water to divine the initials of your true love. Samhain means “summers end”. This Sabbat is sacred to most deities especially crones such as Hecate and Cerridwen. You can celebrate Samhain by trick or treating (if, like me, you’re still a child at heart). Or you can get together with other Witches and have a circle. You can also try a séance (commune with the Dead although I wouldn’t recommend using an Ouija board, unless you are either very experienced or with someone who is.)

Samhain falls on October 31st and November 1st. The God dies and descends under the Earth, thus autumn and winter begin because of the Goddess’s sorrowing, and she, too, descends under the earth to be with her lord.

Yule is a Lesser Sabbat, falling on 21 December. Yule also is known as the Winter Solstice and is the time when God the sun is reborn again. Yule is four days before Christmas; therefore it is rumoured that Christians heard that it was the birth of the sun, but then chose to teach that it was the birth of the son (Jesus). Yule is the longest night of the year; the following sunrise begins the ascent of the sun, and the days will become longer from now on. The Holly king rules at this time, and holly is sacred at this time, along with Mistletoe and Juniper. It is traditional to burn a Yule log as part of your celebrations; the wood used is traditionally oak. It also is traditional to sprinkle myrrh and frankincense resin on the Yule log along with handfuls of leaves and make a wish and let the smoke carry your wish up, to the newborn sun, which will grant your wish. You can either burn your Yule log in a fireplace or in a bonfire; it will not make a difference. Everyone can take home a piece of the Yule log, in a festive red or green bag, and you may put this under your bed to ensure a safe and happy home. Mulled wine is a traditional concoction of mulled spices, wine, apples, and brandy, too, (although I have been successful in making a non- alcoholic “mulled wine” with mulled spices, shandy , lemonade, apples and lemons, and even some shloer). Mulled wine is the perfect thing to keep you warm and enlivened throughout the Yule celebrations. At Yule we celebrate the sun’s growing strength. Solstice means “suns stand still” while Yule translates as “wheel”. The wheel is symbolic of the wheel of the year, the ever-changing, never-ending cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.

Imbolc, or Imbolg, is a greater Sabbat that falls on the 2nd and 3rd of February. Imbolc also is known as the festival of lights. Imbolc means “In the belly”. The first of the plants are beginning to grow again, and the first of the animals are been born as the Goddess resurfaces to renew the land. Imbolc also is known as Candlemas or Brigid; this holiday is sacred to the Goddess Brigid, the Goddess of fire, inspiration, and water wells. She is the bride; her entire desire and purpose is to find her mate. Imbolc, along with the Roman holiday of Lupercalia, honours the God of nature and coincides with the modern holiday of St. Valentine’s Day. Imbolc is a good time to spring clean both inside and outside your body.

Ostara or Oestara is a lesser Sabbat. also known as the Spring Equinox, Ostara falls on 21 March. Ostara is sacred to the Ancient Goddess Eostar or Astarte, whose symbols are the egg and hare and who give rise to the term Oestrus. She is probably the oldest Goddess of fertility and can be traced back over 4, 000 years. Ostara is the first sign of spring; it also is the Witches’ version of Easter. It is a time to celebrate that spring is here and that the land is alive.

Beltane is a Greater Sabbat and is the fertility festival falling between April 30th and May 1st. Beltane is time to honour creation itself and is sacred to the Irish god Bel. Beltane is the marriage of the Goddess and God. It is traditional to dance around a maypole (symbolic of the God) and wind ribbons around it (representative of the Goddess.) On Beltane the Lord and Lady will their magick, which makes the land fertile and the wheel dance. On Beltane you celebrate the sheer joy of being alive and rejoice in all of nature’s creations. Also on Beltane it is traditional to light bonfires that are named Bel-fires or Balefires.

Litha is a Lesser Sabbat that falls on 21 June and is celebrated on the 22 June. Litha also is known as the Summer Solstice, the shortest night of the year and the longest day. Litha also is known as Midsummer. The Holly king defeats his Twin brother the Oak king and begins his annual reign. From now on the descent of the sun begins, as well as the descent to winter. It is traditional to throw lavender on the fire to ensure safety for the coming year. Litha also is a traditional time of the year when we have rededication ceremonies, renewing our vows to follow the Lord and Lady. Litha is the best time to pick flowers for healing purposes, for the sun is at its strongest. Litha is the time to celebrate the joys life has brought and practice letting go of things that no longer serve your highest good.

Lammas or Lughnassadh (pronounced loo-nus-oo) is celebrated on 31 July and 1 August. Lughnassadh also is one of the Greater Sabbats and marks and honours the harvest. The Mother knows she must sacrifice her lover king to the wheel of time and for the good of all. Lughnasadh also is known as the Feast of Breads, so it is traditional to bake bread and to offer some to the Goddess and God on this festival.

Mabon ,also known as Madron, is the final harvest of the crops before winter. You can write down what you feel most proud of and throw the paper into the fire, along with a handful of sage, as an offering to the Goddess and God, asking them to bless and acknowledge your efforts. Mabon also is known as the autumnal or fall equinox; it is the other time of the year, along with the spring equinox, when night and day is in balance. It is the Witches’ version of Thanksgiving, and we celebrate the coming of the fall on 23 September.

Another powerful time that we Witches celebrate is every full moon, new moon, or dark moon; these are called Esbats. These are potent times for making magick of all kinds and are very appropriate to honour or to ask for the aid of the Goddess at her most visible and invisible phases, the Maiden at the New Moon Esbat, the Mother at the Full Moon Esbat and the Crone at the Dark Moon Esbat.

I hope this essay inspires you to become closer to the Goddess and God and shows you how. I hope I have provided some insight to the Wiccan Sabbats, and I would like to thank both Witchvox and all the people who read and commented about my last essay, the journey of my spirituality. You have been my inspiration to write this essay. Also thanks to the Goddess and God for providing me with the knowledge to write this.

Blessed Be!

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Daily Feng Shui News for December 22nd – “Wealth” Area

Yesterday not only commemorated the annual Winter Solstice but it was also ‘Flashlight Day’ and ‘Look on the Bright Side Day.’ Sensing a theme here? There is also a way to use a bright light to bring in prosperity, cash and coin. Put a flowing water fountain in the ‘Wealth’ area of your living space (far back left-hand corner) and shine a light on it, unless it can be placed where it gets natural sunlight. Look on the bright side indeed.

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

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Daily Feng Shiu News for Dec. 21 – “WINTER SOLSTICE”

Today celebrates the Winter Solstice, a time when the dead of winter is passing and we now wait for the coming of the light. The Yule log represents the rebirth of God and the returning of the sun. That is why many invoke magical energies by carving a figure of a sun into the Yule log. You can carve this same image into a red, orange or yellow candle if you don’t have a log. Traditionally, this ritual is enacted at dusk. This is also a perfect time to create mystical charms that represent your desires for the coming year. These include fruits for good harvest, coins for prosperity, and mistletoe for fertility, to name just a few. Happy return of the light! Your future is really bright.

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

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The Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice

The darkest day makes way for the return of light

Tarotcom StaffTarotcom Staff on the topics of winter solstice, capricorn, astrology

December 21, 2014 marks the Winter Solstice, which is the official beginning of winter, and the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. But there’s a light at the end of this tunnel — literally! As the temperatures fall throughout the winter, the light grows, representing new hope during a time of darkness.

Ancient solstice festivals were the last big feasts before food became scarce during the harsh winter months. This magical day was celebrated from ancient Rome to China, and by the builders of Stonehenge to the Mayans. In fact, we all remember the Winter Solstice on December 21, 2012, which was the apparent end of the Mayan calendar, causing many to believe the end of the world is coming. Obviously, we’re still here!

Many modern holiday traditions, such as Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s, have their roots in the Winter Solstice celebrations of yesterday. Winter festivals continue today, complete with lights, feasts, dancing and singing, and spending quality time with those we love.

Astrologically, the Winter Solstice marks the moment the Sun — the ruler of the zodiac — moves from adventurous Fire sign Sagittarius to the steady Earth sign of Capricorn. This is the dark night of the year, a day when the Sun appears to stand still. It’s a time for light and laughter, but also deep reflection.

The Sun’s move into steady Capricorn urges us to take some time to look back on 2013 before we make those New Year’s resolutions. What did we do right? What do we wish we’d done differently? Don’t fight the seriousness it brings to the festive holiday season — use it to start 2014 on the right foot! Just make sure to keep some of the Goat’s ambitious energy alive when the Sun makes its next move.

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The Witches Almanac for Sunday, December 21, Yule


Yule Comments & Graphics

The Witches Almanac for Sunday, December 21, Yule

Sunday (Sun): Healing, spirituality, success , strength , and protection.

Yule – Winter Solstice

 

Waning Moon
The Waning Moon (from the Full Moon to the New) is a time for study, meditation , and little magical work (except magic designed to banish harmful energies).

New Moon 8:36 pm

Moon Sign: Sagittarius
Sagittarius: Encourages flights of imagination and confidence. This is an adventurous, philosophical, and athletic Moon sign. Favors expansion and growth.

Moon enters Capricorn 8:25 pm
Capricorn: Develops strong structure. Focus on traditions, responsibilities, and obligations. A good time to set boundaries and rules.

Sun enters Capricorn 6:03 pm
Capricorn: Develops strong structure. Focus on traditions, responsibilities, and obligations. A good time to set boundaries and rules.

Incense: Frankincense

Color: Yellow

 

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