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.
Although we may want to be pragmatic as the Sun shifts into cautious Capricorn, marking the Winter Solstice, we are more likely to let our visions carry us away today. Blind optimism leads the way with the joyous Sun-Jupiter trine, enabling us to see the brighter side of life while the wild Sun-Uranus square encourages us to take risks. Meanwhile, the Moon’s entry into adventurous Sagittarius at 7:02 am EST affirms the current upbeat energy.
You cannot contain your excitement today as the barriers to pursuing your happiness fall away. Although you may be high on anticipation about your upcoming adventures, satisfaction might not be as close as you expect. Don’t be cavalier about the complexities you must still overcome. If you are serious about your goals, you just might be able to execute your plans successfully.
Last minute social commitments might add a bit of stress to your day by placing too many demands on your time. Although you’re capable of stretching beyond your usual limits today, don’t reach so far that you upset the balance between work and play. Being open to the spirit of the holiday season is fine, but don’t be afraid to retreat if your common sense tells you that you are overextended.
It’s tempting to go along with someone’s idea today because you are more concerned with enjoying yourself than with achieving success. Fortunately, the Moon’s presence in your 7th House of Companions can amplify the strength of another person’s strategy, further encouraging you to let go of your previous plans. Your cooperative spirit enables you to work well with others now, bringing greater satisfaction than doing something on your own.
Although you’re optimistic about what you can accomplish at work today, your expectations might be somewhat unrealistic. Streamline your to-do list before wasting lots of energy on tasks you can’t finish. Instead of spreading yourself too thin, focus on completing a few of the most important tasks; otherwise, you could exhaust yourself before the day is done.
You are feeling very creative today as the buoyant Sagittarius Moon enters your 5th House of Self-Expression. However, you aren’t in the mood to perform the repetitive tasks that may still be required. Be careful about reacting too impulsively because your frustration could explode into an emotional outbreak that turns your day upside down. Although it might be challenging to be patient now, it’s best to save your greatest inspiration for your personal pleasure.
You may believe that you can accomplish everything today, but your schedule could fall apart if someone’s need for independence clashes with your agenda. You might have to reinvent your day on the fly or postpone tasks when something requires more time than you expected. Your emotional reaction could upset a close friend or loved one, but your reassurances should be able to settle them down. Make sure everyone knows that you still plan to meet your obligations over the next few days.
If you try to stuff one more activity into this day, it could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. But you might not realize that anything has gone wrong until it’s too late. Even if you are quite confident that all is well in your world, it’s still smart to lighten up your calendar before you find yourself in trouble. If you stretch your commitments too far, the entire house of cards may need to fall in order to alleviate the tension.
Exercising financial caution is wise today because the optimistic Sagittarius Moon in your 2nd House of Possessions encourages you to spend more than you should. Your money may be more limited than you want to admit, so budgeting your resources makes good sense. It’s smarter to acknowledge how you can fool yourself before you end up facing an unnecessary negative cash flow situation. Fortunately, a little planning goes a long way to ease your concerns.
You are riding a wave of self-confidence, but it’s also easy to gloss over practical details that can get you into trouble today. Relying on your common sense now instead of your optimism is a good idea, but it’s not easy to keep your feet on the ground. Your visionary powers are strong, tricking you to think that you’re invincible. Positive thinking will improve the situation, but ignoring the facts makes things worse. Don’t avoid reality just because it’s unpleasant.
You may try to be rational in your approach to a complicated situation now that the Sun is shining in your sensible sign. Unfortunately, the current circumstances can defy logical analysis. Instead of unsuccessfully attempting to stay on the straight and narrow path, give yourself permission to be inspired by your imagination. Don’t try to justify your choices to anyone; simply trust in the process. Your intuition will not steer you wrong today.
Your dreams may be the source of inspiration today, but they can also lead you in a more practical direction than you realize. The Moon’s visit to your 11th House of Long-Term Goals lures you out of the present reality and into a world of potential. Luckily, these imaginative excursions can have a lasting impact on what comes next in your life. Instead of losing yourself in fantasyland, consciously paint your future with the colors of your mind.
You may be feeling very sure of yourself now, believing that you have the ability to improve your career path simply through the power of positive thought. Unfortunately, your visions might be slightly warped, enabling you to view your future through rose-colored glasses. Although there’s no reason to assume the worst, don’t avoid difficult facts just because you’re able to see so much good wherever you look. A reality check only improves your chances for success.
(Sámi of Northern Fennoscandia)
The Saami, indigenous people of Finland, Sweden and Norway, worship Beiwe, the sun-goddess of fertility and sanity. She travels through the sky in a structure made of reindeer bones with her daughter, Beiwe-Neia, to herald back the greenery on which the reindeer feed. On the winter solstice, her worshipers sacrifice white female animals, and thread the meat onto sticks which they bend into rings and tie with bright ribbons. They also cover their doorposts with butter so Beiwe can eat it and begin her journey once again.