The 16th Day Before Yule – Las Posadas (‘Inn/ Shelter’)


Yule Comments & Graphics

Las Posadas (‘Inn/ Shelter’)

(Mexico)

During the nine nights before Christmas, children dress up and process from house to house, looking for shelter in intimation of Mary and Joseph. The procession is led by a child dressed as an angel, followed by two clad as Mary and Joseph. The others carry lighted candles. They sing a carol at each house and beg for shelter, but they are always told to move on until they reach a house where the family sing “Let the chosen one enter”. On entering, they place their candles around the nativity scene and say a prayer and a blessing for their hosts.

Pastorelas (shepherd’s plays) are also performed. In them, a group of shepherds travel towards Bethlehem, but are tempted by devils. Angels rush in to rescue the shepherds and drive off the devils. These plays feature singing, dancing and satire, similar to medieval English mummer’s plays which were often performed during this season.

Official start of the MINCE PIE SEASON.

Anna Franklin, Yule (The Eight Sabbats)

Good Wednesday Morning To All Our Loved Ones! Have A Very Blessed Day!

DANCING IN A WICCAN WONDERLAND

 

Pagans sing, are you listenin’,

Altar’s set, candles glisten,

It’s a Magickal night,

we’re having tonight,

Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland

 

Blades held high, censer smoking,

God and Goddess, we’re invoking,

Through Elements Five,

we celebrate life,

Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland,

 

Queen of Heaven, is in Her place,

Triple Goddess, now the Crone Face,

Above and Below,

She’s the Goddess we know,

Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland

 

Now the God, is the Provider,

Supplying game for our Fire,

Above and Below,

He’s the Horned One we know,

Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland

 

In a Circle we can light a Yule Fire,

And await the rising of the Sun,

It’s the Great Wheel turning for the new year,

loaded with abundance and great fun.

Later on, by the fire, Cone of Power, gettin’ higher

It’s a Magickal Night we’re having tonight,

Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland

 

Authors: Alexander & Aarcher

A Yule Story Just for Your Children – The First Yule


Yule Comments & Graphics

The First Yule

“Grandfather can you tell us a story?” the children asked in unison as they ran up to the old man reclining peacefully by the fire.

The old man sat up straighter in the chair, took a puff from his pipe and asked with a grin, “What story should I tell? What story do you want to know? You there,” he said pointing to one of the children, the smallest, “you havent had a turn to ask for a story in quite a while. So you pick, tell me what you want to hear.”

In a small voice, the child said “Grandfather can you tell me of the story of the first Yule? I always liked that one the best.”

With a clearing of his throat and another puff on his pipe, the Grandfather started to spin the tale of the first Yule.

“We all know that Yule is at the end of December, but the story really starts much earlier. In fact over a month earlier. For you remember that in August the Harvest Lord laid down his sword of power and went away to Summerland to rest. Well the Goddess missed her husband so much that she began to grow old just with the grief alone and that is why we have Winter. The time when the Earth grows barren and cold.

“Well the Goddess because of her sadness after a time, left us also and went on a journey to Summerland to try and find him. Now she doesnt die now, she only goes on a vision quest. But she is gone so long that at Samhain her body passes on and when she is found frozen in the forest two weeks later a wake is held for her in the Holly Kings drinking hall.

“It took over a week for all the faeries and other mourners to come.For they came from all corners of Creation. But there was one unexpected guest, an old woman. She was so old that she almost looked like a walking skeleton. So of course everyone there was mean to her out of fright and disgust.

“Yet when she greeted the Holly King, calling him her Son, everyone realized with much fright that this was the Goddess returned to them. The very Goddess whose death, they were there to mourn.

“So angry was she, that she was treated so poorly, the Goddess passed a prophecy to the Holly King. That she had within her the Oak King, soon to be reborn. And for rebuking her the Holly King would pass to Summerland upon the birth of that child.

“Now this scared the Holly King that he decided to lock the old Crone away in the top room of the tallest tower in all the world. Then he walled up the doors and all but one of the windows so that she is trapped within the room at the top of this tower. The window he left open so that he could have the birds fly food to her.

“Now he did this hoping that he could escape the doom that was foretold to him. But the Crone knew that the birth of her child was her only hope of escape. The Crone then wove magick and took the light and warmth from the Sun, and passed it to her son. So that in just four weeks, she gave birth to the Oak King. Who ever after was also given the name of the Sun King. For he was born fully grown and glowing with a golden light so bright that it caused the dying of the Sun to be reversed.

“Those four weeks of magick are why we light the candles for the four weeks before Yule. One candle for the first week and two for the second and so on until we have four candles lit on the night of Yule. This represents the growing light inside her as outside the Sun grew weaker.

“But the birth was hard on the old Crone, so hard that she slipped into a sleep very near to Death. So the Sun King in his anger thinking that his mother was dead, flew out the lone window as a large golden eagle. All across the Earth he hunted the Holly King, Lord of the Wintertime. Finally cornering him at the shores of a great ocean.

“And when he found him he threw his magickal spear at him and destroyed him. The spear hit the Holly King so hard that his body just vanished. But dont worry, for the Holly King simply reappeared in Summerland. When he got there he found the Crone in one of her other aspects, the Young Maiden.

“She spoke to him of prophecy and the Wheel of the Year. She spoke of the new cycle that had been made in the last year. That the events of the last year would repeat themselves forever and ever.

“And although the Holly King had passed away now, he now knew that he would return just past the height of Summer to take the Sun Kings place again.

This is why the Holly King, as Santa Claus, brings us gifts every year to make up for the Winter that he brings with him. But he only brings presents to good little boys and girls because he wants us to learn to not be mean like he was to the Crone on that first night that he met her so long ago.

“Now back to the Sun King, when he returned to the Crone he saw that she wasnt really dead but only asleep. So he went out and found a large log, the first Yule Log, cut from the largest Oak he could find. In hopes that this would revive the Goddess. And for their lifegiving properties he decorated her room with evergreens. Even bringing in a tree and decorating it with his light.

“But all this magick did was to make her youthful again, so that now she was a beautiful youthful Maiden. Yet she still slept a deep sleep almost near death.

“So you see my grandchildren there are good reasons why we do the things that we do at Yule. They served a purpose long ago and it is good to recognize and honor that. “”But Grandfather,” spoke up the eldest, “What happened next? I know the Goddess didnt stay asleep forever. Please tell us more.”Shaking his head, the old man said, “Lunch is overdue and Im hungry so let us go to eat and then I will tell you all another tale. I will tell you of what happened next to the Goddess and to the Sun King. I will tell you the story of the first Imbolc.”

 

About the Author:

Patrick McCleary has been a Pagan dad for 8 years. Visit his Pagandad Website for more of Patrick’s wonderful articles and recipes. A great resource for celebrating the Sabbats and seasons with your children.

http://www.pagandad.com/

 

 

Got A Minute, Make Your Own Herbal Charm for Yuletide


Yule Comments & Graphics

Herbal Charm for Yuletide

Try this simple Yuletide charm as you hang up and arrange your Yuletide greenery in your abode this year. Deck your halls and mantles as you like; then, as you finish, repeat this charm with intention. This charm incorporates the four Yuletide plants: pine, holly, ivy, and mistletoe.

When a Witch decks the halls with boughs of holly

Expect that the Yuletide feast will be jolly.

Green ivy for good luck and fertility

Add pine boughs and branches for prosperity.

The Druid’s golden bough we called mistletoe

Encourages kisses and make cheeks to glow.

Now add a touch of magick and a pinch of glee

Welcome renewal in Yuletide’s season of peace.

Close up the charm with these lines:

By the bright magick of a midwinter sun

As I will, so mote it be, and let it harm none.

 

 

—Ellen Dugan, Seasons of Witchery: Celebrating the Sabbats with the Garden Witch

Yuletide Favorite – Brandy Snaps (perfect for gift giving)


Yule Comments & Graphics

Brandy Snaps

(perfect for gift giving)

 

3 oz butter

2 oz sugar

3 fl oz golden syrup

2 oz flour

1 tsp. ground ginger

Juice of ½ lemon

6 fl oz double cream

2 tbs. brandy

Method

Heat the oven to 180oC/350oF/gas mark 4. Grease a baking sheet. In a pan melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup over a low heat. Remove from the heat and add the flour, ginger and lemon juice. Beat until the mixture is smooth. Drop spoonfuls onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the biscuits in there to keep warm- if they cool they won’t be malleable. One by one remove them from the baking sheet with a palette knife and curl them round the handle of a greased wooden spoon. Ease them off and put them on a cooling rack. When you are ready to serve them, beat up the cream until thick and add the brandy. Whisk up again until stiff and pipe into the brandy snaps.

–Anna Franklin, Yule (The Eight Sabbats)

Magickal Yuletide Tip of the Day – The Magickal Origins of the Christmas Tree


Yule Comments & Graphics

The Magickal Origins of the Christmas Tree

Magick trees show up in lots of contemporary stories and films; some of the best known include the Evil Talking Trees in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Treebeard in Lord of the Rings, the Tree of Life in Avatar, and Mother Willow in Pocahontas. But the concept of enchanted trees dates back to ancient times. In early Germanic and Norse cultures, people believed the King of the Forest made his home in a fir tree. Others thought benevolent nature spirits lived in firs. People danced around magick fir trees and decorated them with painted eggs, charms and flowers. Quite possibly, Christmas trees have their origin in this old tradition.

Skye Alexander, The Modern Guide to Witchcraft: Your Complete Guide to Witches, Covens, and Spells

The 15th Day Before Yule – Consualia or Consuales Ludi


Yule Comments & Graphics

Consualia or Consuales Ludi

(Roman)

This was the festival of Consus, god of the grain stores and councils, who also had festivals on July 7th and August 21st. (His consort Opalia was honoured on December 19th and his August festival followed by the Opiconsivia in her honour on August 25th ). His name seems to be Etruscan or Sabine in origin and relate to ‘crops/ seeding’ (conserere = ‘to sow’). He may have become the god of secret councils from a misinterpretation of his name, from consilium (‘councils/assemblies), not to be confused with counsel (‘advice’).

At this time of year, the harvest was in stored vaults underground. The temple of Consus was also underground, near the Circus Maximus, with an altar covered with earth which was only uncovered for this festival. He was represented by a grain seed.

During the celebration horses, mules, and asses were exempted from work, and were led through the streets adorned with garlands and flowers. Chariot races were held this day in the Circus Maximus, which included an unusual race in which chariots were pulled by mules. Consus was often called Neptunus Equestris (‘Equestrian Neptune’) and seems to be connected with Neptune (Poseidon), the sea god who created horses.

Mars, as a protector of the harvest, was also honored on this day, as were the lares, the individual household Gods.

Anna Franklin, Yule (The Eight Sabbats)

Silent Night


Yule Comments & Graphics

SILENT NIGHT

Silent night, Solstice Night
All is calm, all is bright
Nature slumbers in forest and glen
Till in Springtime She wakens again
Sleeping spirits grow strong!
Sleeping spirits grow strong!

Silent night, Solstice night
Silver moon shining bright
Snowfall blankets the slumbering Earth
Yule fires welcome the Sun’s rebirth
Hark, the Light is reborn!
Hark, the Light is reborn!

Silent night, Solstice night
Quiet rest till the Light
Turning ever the rolling Wheel
Brings the winter to comfort and heal
Rest your spirit in peace!
Rest your spirit in peace!

Author: Ellen Reed