‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for December 18th

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

There seems to be two important things to do in times of difficulty. One is to pray and the other to keep our sense of humor. The first is essential to make the basic correction and the other is necessary to balance the human spirit while things work out.

Without a sense of humor, we tend to become too serious about the personal self. It becomes all too important, too self-righteous, and far too self-centered.

At the first signs of trouble, we may want to find someone wiser in whom to confide and ask questions. And their advice may be most helpful, but it is still our own responsibility to get off our backs and do it with dignity and self-respect that will not lower our standards nor cause us embarrassment. And humor can help us do it.

There is humor in every situation if we can detach ourselves from the seriousness of it long enough to look for it. Abraham Lincoln knew the importance of his sense of humor and said, “With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.”

________________________________________

Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet: http://www.hifler.com
Click Here to Buy her books at Amazon.com

Elder’s Meditation of the Day
By White Bison, Inc., an American Indian-owned nonprofit organization. Order their many products from their web site: http://www.whitebison.org

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – December 18

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – December 18

“Parents have to demonstrate the value of trust, respect and honor.”

–Haida Gwaii, Traditional Circle of Elders

Children learn more by watching than by listening. If we want our children to understand and value trust, they know it by watching how adults live their lives! If we want the children to be respectful, they will observe what the adults do and say to each other. We need to walk our talk. We need to remember the children are watching.

Grandfather, help me learn these important values: Trust, Respect and Honor.

December 18 – Daily Feast

December 18 – Daily Feast

I watched her in the woods circling a red cedar not much taller than she was. It was her gift back to the woods that had given her so much peace and comfort – even when life outside the woods could be trying. She laid garlands of popcorn and cranberries over the sturdy limbs along with burr acorns and suet in mesh bags. Scattered beneath the tree were sunflower seeds and millet that cardinals and would attract unusual guests – miniature marshmallows were scattered in and around the tree, a sweet touch for woodland friends. A sweet touch, the best part of the gift. She gave, and peace would be given back to her.

~ Sometimes we prayed in silence; sometimes each one prayed aloud; sometimes an aged person prayed for all of us. ~

GERONIMO – APACHE

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days, Volume II’ by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Daily Motivator for December 18th – Offer encouragement

Offer encouragement

You cannot force other people to do the right thing. What you can do, and  what is extremely effective, is to encourage them.

If you offer threats, intimidation and low expectations, you’ll get  resentment and poor performance.  When you assume and expect the worst of  others, you’re very likely to get it.

A better choice is to expect the best, and to offer opportunities for those  expectations to be met. Though it’s true that people won’t always live up to  your positive expectations, it’s also true that most people would prefer to do  what’s best for everyone concerned.

Just about everyone responds positively to positive, genuine encouragement.  Let others know, clearly, precisely and in positive terms, what you expect, and  let them know you have faith that they’ll meet those expectations.

Instead of looking for ways to control, look for opportunities to support and  encourage. Instead of conducting detached transactions, seek to build ongoing  relationships.

Offer the encouragement to do what is right, what is good, what is valuable  and positive. Expect the best, in a supportive way, and it is much more likely  to happen.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Daily OM for December 18th – Conscious Decisions

Conscious Decisions
Going against What Is Popular

by Madisyn Taylor

Because an idea or way of doing things is popular doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone.

Just because an idea or way of doing things is popular doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. However, part of the way that something becomes popular is that many of us don’t take the time to determine what’s right for us; we simply do what most of the people we know are doing. In this way, our decisions about life are made by default, which means they aren’t what we call conscious decisions. There may be many other options available, but we don’t always take the time to explore them. This may be the result of feeling overwhelmed or pressured by family, peers, and humanity at large, to do things their way, the way things have always been done. Regardless of the cause, it is important that, as often as we can, we decide for ourselves what to do with our lives rather than just drift along on the current of popular opinion.

It is not always easy to make decisions that go against the grain. Many people feel threatened when those close to them make choices divergent from the ones they are making. Parents and grandparents may be confused and defensive when we choose to raise our children differently from the way they raised us. Friends may feel abandoned if we decide to change our habits or behavior. Meanwhile, on our side of the fence, it’s easy to feel frustrated and defensive when we feel unsupported and misunderstood simply because we are thinking for ourselves. It can be exhausting to have to explain and re-explain our points of view and our reasons.

This is where gentleness, openness, and tolerance come into play. It helps if we are calmly persistent, consistent, and clear as we communicate to those around us why we are making the choices we are making. At the same time, we have the right to say that we are tired of talking about it and simply need our choices to be respected. Our lives belong to us and so do our decisions. Those who truly love us will stand by us and support our choices, never mind what’s popular.

The Daily OM

Yules Lessons from Days of Yore: Perfect Love, Perfect Trust

Yules Lessons from Days of Yore: Perfect Love, Perfect Trust

Author:   Morbek   

This is the season to celebrate! Over one third of the people on our planet celebrate the birth of a God around winter solstice. Point-two percent of the world’s population celebrate a major holiday of light during this time and twenty-two percent of our brothers and sisters in the family of man have a celebration of new beginnings and, a week or so later, another holy day, which commemorates freedom. All of this celebrating occurs around the Yuletide season. For Wiccans and Pagans, we celebrate the birth of the God and the waxing of his power as the days from Yule will get longer which leaves the night less frightening because it is getting shorter and less intimidating.

So, why even think about other religions during our holy season of Yule? I can sum it up in two words… Available Energy! With all the positive vibes roaming around think of the amazing magic that can happen if we harness and direct that energy for the good of our home. Well over half of mother Earths population considers this time of year sacred and, in western countries; those that are not religious still exude positive energy due to the consumer driven need to present gifts to one another in the spirit of Santa. That is a lot of people putting out positive vibrations!

Merry making is, indeed, infectious. Think of the community events, the parties that are held both in our workplace and our homes, the carols that are played twenty four seven by various media outlets, decking the halls and dressing up our pets that goes on in our culture. I will diligently search every year (and then be sure to watch) for Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer and A Charlie Brown Christmas because it’s not the same on DVD as it is on commercial TV. The deeply held traditions anyone who celebrates during the Yule tied season adds a type of power boost to the energy already being exuded into the environment.

Do I feel that we should greedily gather up all of this energy and use it for our selfish ends? Absolutely not…no way! That point may be moot anyway. A great deal of the sentiment in our surroundings is that of giving and loving nature. I would be hard pressed to manipulate it so that it would become egocentric. I am a lazy person by nature and that sounds to me like way too much work just to attain something that I could have acquired with other magic or by simply going to a store. The attempt would leave me way too exhausted to trim the Yule tree. What, then, do I think we should do with it and why?

Let’s examine the basis of the season and discuss what drives human beings to celebrate our planets personal star’s return into our lives. The apparent reason for the season is the New Year aspect. Back in the day, thousands of years ago when knowing the seasons was a matter of life and death for the entire group, not just an individual, people had to know when the shortest day of the year was so that they could allocate their remaining resources in order to survive until mother Earth, once again, shared her bounty with all. But there must be more to it than that. After all, in a season where ancient man had to be frugal out of necessity, traditions of benevolent works arose and persist to this day!

From an anthropologic point of view, we could discuss all manner of reasons for this to be occurring but the most likely one is, in my mind, the need to draw closer to each other. We need love and acceptance. What better way to foster those emotions in others than by kindness? I expect that when humans were still nomadic or just beginning to settle into an agricultural lifestyle, kindness was a rare commodity. I find it hard believe that (wo) man didn’t desire to be kind; I just don’t think that there was a lot of time and opportunity to exhibit philanthropically motivated deeds. Life was short and hard what with procuring food and water, internal and external tribal struggles as well as trying to understand the greater world around an individual.

In a time of meager reserves, giving to another from what is essential rather than what is surplus without expecting payment of any kind would be seen as the ultimate act of perfect love and perfect trust. The act would have made a deep impression upon the receiver and any bystanders in the immediate area. It would have caused quite a commotion and, as we all know, humans love to gossip. There is no way that anyone can convince me that thousands of years ago, even before the advent of the city, (wo) man didn’t enjoy telling and retelling of an event that profoundly touched them. Every time the story was told, the original emotions were felt and the deed was imprinted a little deeper into the person’s psyche. The next thing you know, that person is committing similar acts of kindness and the circle begins again.

In order for my theory to be valid, one must recognize that there is an inherent and ancient respect for the concepts of perfect love and perfect trust. The people that walk upon this planet have known for millennia that if you live by those philosophies, you will live a wonderful life filled with more joy than sorrow.

Back to all that mirth filled energy! If you intend to do something for our world this Yule, as I do, take hold of as much of that joyous stuff as you can handle and visualize healing. Our planet needs to be healed from pollution, over grazing from stock animals and way too much concrete and blacktop. The animals that are supposed to continue evolving need healing in order to adapt and progress along the paths that are intended for them. They need proper habitat and to be untouched, as much as possible, by the hands of (wo) man. Last but not least, the amazing creatures that can ponder the problems and devise solutions need healing as well. Humans are struggling to become more than just a flesh sack that reacts to stimuli.

I have noticed throughout the years that spirituality is becoming, more and more, a central focus of many of my brothers and sisters in this very large family. The wounds that need healing are immense gashes in our spirits: fear, jealousy, hypocrisy, greed and loneliness. Those wounds lead to behaviors such as; addiction, selfishness, emotional pain that must be countered with physical pain and a worldwide economy that is in such a horrific state of hopelessness that the innocents among us are the ones who are paying the price. And that price is very high! It includes hunger, illness, illiteracy and homelessness. Saddest fact of all: Our children are the ones who are paying the largest percentage of that bill.

That list has been around for as long as we have been able to acknowledge ourselves as spiritual beings in a material world. We strive, generation after generation, to lessen the effects that those infections of the soul have on our lives. Now, with a little help from the witches, that healing can begin in earnest because the available energy that we will be using is already imprinted with the best desires that we have deep within ourselves.

Feel the amazing power that surrounds us this time of year, remember that it is borne from perfect love and perfect trust, visualize what you believe to be remedies for a planet and its’ inhabitants who are ill and send all of that imprinted energy out into the universe to work the amazing miracles that we know are just waiting in the wings for someone who respects, understands and strives to live within the construct of perfect love and perfect trust to give those miracles the cue to enter the stage and start dazzling all of us with the healing and understanding that we all need.

May you have a blessed Yule Tide season!

Spiritual Aspects of Yule

Spiritual Aspects of Yule

Author:   Crick 

As we approach the season of Yule (Winter Solstice, Alban Arthan) , I personally find myself entering a state of both celebration and reflection. When I reach out and touch the heartbeat of Mannuz, I can sense the intense joy of our Sacred Mother. For her son, our God, is about to be reborn, thus completing yet another segment in the Wheel of Life. When we entered the New Year, which commenced with Samhain and began our life travels anew, I found myself filled with an anticipation and excitement of that which is yet to unfold.

But before I look too far ahead, I muse on that which went before. The highs and the lows of the preceding year, that are now all but fading memories. For each experience is a contribution to our spiritual growth, whether it had a positive or negative impact.

I personally feel that spiritual knowledge is a gift and that the more knowledge that one attains that the greater the gift becomes. And there is no greater gift then that of a life experience that has had some effect on our lives.

As the wheel of the year slowly turned, there were at times life experiences that seemed insurmountable, but we found a way over. There were life experiences that caused so much grief, that we cried a river of tears, but we found a way across. And of course there were life experiences that had us laughing so deeply that we could barely catch a breath, but we found a way to breathe.

And so though the past year has been bittersweet, there is still much to rejoice about within the coming Yuletide season.

It is no secret that some religious belief systems have superimposed the alleged birth date of their God over that of the God of the pagans. This was done, in spite of the fact that the placement of the constellations from that period speaks otherwise. But then Yule is not a time to foment ill will, even if an established cause could be presented.

Instead I feel empathy for those who worship a distant and revengeful God to the exclusion of the Sacred Mother, for they are missing out on some of the most ancient joys of life. For not only do we as pagans have such a deep and enduring love from our Mother, but we also draw strength and wisdom from our sacred father. And between the two, we as pagans have an opportunity to walk the spiritual path with a steady sense of balance. It is through our own perspectives and actions that we maintain this balance or fall out of stride.

As individuals, the choice is ours to make. We have the opportunity to draw upon the spiritual aspects offered by both our Sacred Mother and Sacred Father in order to advance within our spiritual growth.

Yule is a feisty, twelve-day period of celebration, a time during which, feasting is a common activity. But while we feast on food to sustain the physical self, it is also a time to feast on the experiences of the year past in order to sustain knowledge for the journey ahead.
Yule is a time of reflection, then acceptance and then of moving on.

Upon the longest night of the year, our God is re-born from the slumbers of death. He brings with him the sacred light by way of the Sun. And from this moment forth the fertility of the land is once again restored. And so too are the fertility of fresh thoughts and new goals introduced into our hearts and souls. Our spirits cherish this moment of his birth for it is a time to shed the chains of the experiences past and to surge forth with a renewed purpose in our lives. The birth of our Sun God is an affirmation that life goes on and that the door to spiritual growth stands wide open.

Yule is a time to celebrate both the joys and the sorrows we have experienced up to this point. For both aspects, that of light and that of dark have strived to offer us knowledge of life that we can use to build upon as we travel forth. The rebirth of the Sun God, who brings so much joy to the heart of our Goddess is a sign that even within the darkness one can always find a ray of light. For his birth marks the time when the Oak King vanquishes the Holly King. This analogy of victory represents the power of light overcoming the power of darkness. This represents a balance and a sense of hope in the challenges of life that await each of us.

The nights become shorter and the days become longer as life begins to stir within the grasp of the Winter Solstice in anticipation of the coming of Spring.

It is a time to realize that no matter how tough or insurmountable a barrier may seem, we have been given the gift of our life experiences as a tool to achieve our spiritual goals.

As a time of celebration, Yule is also a time to be with family and close friends with which to share the joy of our Blessed Mother as she smiles with anticipation at the thought of reuniting with her son, as the time of the sacred birth draws near. For from such relationships we receive the gifts of love. And like a seed that has laid dormant, awaiting the warm touch of the Sun to sprout forth and prosper, we should take heed and allow these moments of love to define our actions and our mind set as we venture forth into the approaching segments of the wheel of life. To let such an experience to wither away with the passing of Yule is to cast such a special gift asunder.

And so with that I wish each of you a very joyous celebration of our Sun God.

How Much Yule Do You Put into Christmas?

How Much Yule Do You Put into Christmas?

Author:   Stazya   

This is a difficult topic. I didn’t think it would be until I started. In fact, I thought it would take about two paragraphs to describe how I celebrate Yule by myself and then participate in Christmas with the rest of my family. Until now, that’s the way it’s been – separate.

And lonely.

I remember last year vividly – I shut the bedroom door, laid out a full altar, substituted a small piece of pine incense for my Yule Log since we had no fireplace, and sang of my wishes in a hushed voice, trying to drown myself in the raised volume of the television. I did this not because I was hiding from my husband in the next room, but because I didn’t want to “disturb”e; him with my ritual. A week later, we were in Danvers, MA sitting in the Congregational church with his family and as I watched the minister light his candles and listened to his words, She leaned over and whispered in my ear. “You’ve been here before.” It clicked later, but at first I didn’t pay attention.

A year later and my life is as it should be – completely different. I still close the bedroom door for private rituals, but every now and then, I include my husband. He is definitely Christian, but he’s very tolerant and curious about everything I do. He helped me bless our seeds at Ostara. He attended an open festival at Beltane. He even sat with me to experiment with the open door ritual (Thank you Wren). And this summer, I managed to tell my mother and my best friend that I am a witch.

So now, as the days get darker, and the trees become bare, I am thinking ahead to the holidays. Suddenly, I am confused. Before, there was no question – I had to hide my beliefs. I had to keep to myself. This year though, I somehow have to figure out how much Yule to put into Christmas.

We flip-flop each season between my husband’s family, and mine. This year we will spend the holidays with mine. The only time my immediate family thinks of the birth of Christ on Christmas is if they happen to catch the Little Drummer Boy on TV. It’s never really been about religion with us – just food and family. Oh yeah, and presents. So my problem is not that I’m stomping on a holy cradle, but rather that I may actually inject something of a religious nature into the hors d’oeuvres and stuffing. I’ll be stomping on our traditions, which I’ve always thought to be a bigger offense.

For example, there’s the Christmas card tradition. Among us, cards are an obligation of sorts. You find the funniest one with Santa being farted on by Rudolph, or the sweetest one with puffy sparrows playing in bright red ribbon – but you never take the card that sends blessings to anyone. You receive these cards and then display them on your wall, or in the window, or on the front door. Really anywhere they’ll be seen by lots of people. I’ve always liked this tradition – it’s the one time my mailbox fills up with something other than bills. And yet, my principles tell me it’s a waste. All that paper, all those trees, sacrificed for vanity. So, what do I do?

Do I call everyone and say I don’t want to send cards anymore because we’re decimating Mother Earth? Do I tell them not to send me any? Do I tell everyone to only use recycled paper? Is it really my place to tell anyone anything at all?

And what of the Christmas feast? No one bows their head at my family’s table. I am the first. To make matters worse, I won’t be thanking God for the bounty before us. That would be acceptable to them, if uncomfortable. But I can just see the looks on their faces when I mutter my thanks to Mr. Turkey and the asparagus. At least I won’t have to mourn the passing of an evergreen. My mother’s tree is fake.

I start to think about my Yule rituals and wonder if they’d let me give out presents au natural. Or perhaps I can find some nice pine and sage incense to cleanse my mother’s house with and still be able to convince her she does not smell marijuana. And maybe she’ll allow me to light the front room with votives, being careful not to damage the fine finish of her furniture. Instead of presents, we’ll exchange wishes and burn them in my cauldron. Maybe I can gather my whole family into a circle, weaving it in and out of the sectional sofa and invoke the Goddess into our presence. Or we can gather together all the used pots and pans to drum and chant the evening away in merry camaraderie. Or maybe I’ll make one suggestion of a living wreath of flowers and seeds to wrap around the tree and endure the laughter and disdain the entire evening once I’ve stained the white carpet with cranberries.

Maybe I won’t do anything at all.

But then I remember Her voice in my ear and the warmth of Her breath on my cheek and I know what my answer is.

Tradition.

I know historically what Yule is all about. I know the story of the sun God’s return. But I also know that historical context doesn’t necessarily mean anything to us. We no longer sit huddled in sod huts with what’s left of our flock trying to keep warm. That the days are shorter now means we turn on the lights a little earlier. Why adhere to something when it’s meaningless? Why does my family still celebrate Christmas, even though Christ is no longer a part of it?

Because for them it isn’t about religion anymore. It isn’t even about presents or trees or cards. It’s about being together because we only see each other a few times a year now. It’s about coming together and reaffirming our faith in each other. It’s about touching base with the love that for some reason still exists, regardless of space and time.

How much Yule do I put into Christmas? The same amount I always have. I’ll bake nut tree pear bread for the family, and maybe an apple pie. We’ll all sit at the table and reminisce about the past year – catch up on each other’s lives. We’ll talk briefly about Dad and try to remember his corny jokes or some stray moment when you knew just how much he loved each one of us. After dinner, some of us will go for a walk and take in the beauty of the stark trees and icicle-laden eves. And when we’ve gotten our second wind, some of us will pile into the car and drive the neighborhoods to ooh and ah over this year’s most inspired displays. We’ll exchange tokens of love and admiration, and before we disperse, each will bless the other with love and happiness until we meet again.

If that isn’t a Pagan evening what is?

And what of next year when I find myself back in the Congregational church, surrounded by my husband’s family? Well, I will admire the four candles on the altar and the Christmas flowers that adorn the stage. I will listen with rapt attention as my mother-in-law lends her beautiful voice to the choir and her faith shines on her face. I will hold my husband’s soft, warm hand and watch the snow fall silently. I will bask in the warmth of the moment and listen to Her whispering in my ear again, but this time I will pay attention.

I was never alone.

Stazya

Bio: Stazya is one of the luckiest Pagans alive. She has an understanding, if skeptical, family and a husband who loves her. She receives daily snuffles from her dog, Igor, and provides a pleasantly warm lap for her cat, Potato. In her spare time, she is a writer and an editor in desperate need of actual work (Show me a writer who isn’t!). She keeps one leg in the closet, one finger in the cookie jar and her nose out of most peoples’ business. It’s all about balance. Blessings to all and to all a joyful turn of the Wheel.

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.

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.