A Yule Story Just for Your Children – The Year’s Longest Night

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The Year’s Longest Night

 

It was dark and cold within the middle of the forest. It was not a forest on this plain, but one in the hearts of our souls and in the chambers of our minds. Within the middle of this dark cold forest was a old log cabin blanketed by snow and frost. With in the cabin was a roaring fire and lighted candles, the cabin was warm and dry and full of warm animal furs spread about on the floor and bed. The cabin smelled of pine and spices and a touch of warm rum.

The old women sat at the dressing table looking into the mirror slowing brushing her long white hair. The Crone’s hands were pale and wrinkled and her face as pale and cold as the snow outside. She closed her eyes and breathed in the smell of pine from the tree she had brought in from the winters cold and the incense burning and smoking on the Yule log gave her soft warm visions. The Crone saw her future; she saw her hair turning a light brown and her eyes giving off a bright twinkle. Youth would return and the Wheel would turn and spin–turn and spin. With her hands still brushing through her hair she saw herself young again a Maiden–waiting to dance with the young Lord Bright Sun/Son and Lord of the Dance.

Mama Crone saw her Maiden belly swell with life and as the Mother gave birth to the spring– to flowers and trees and animals and to the very heavens gave it a new shine. This future was to be soon, but not too soon. The longest night must come and Winter must play it’s self out as the Sun grows stronger day by day. The Dark Mother looked to her crown of thorns and bones and in her mind’s eye saw the green of spring a yellow of flower spring from it. The Old One rose from her chair and thought “not yet” and put on her crown of thorns and bones and pulled her cloak closed and pulling up the hood tight around her face she went to the cabin door. She pushed open the door and went to the forest clearing taking slow steps chanting as she walked and sat by a prepared bon fire. Mama Crone sat in front of the fire and slowly rocked calling to the Sun–calling to the Light Of The World to return–calling for the new beginning to come and the new cycle to come–the wheel to spin– the seasons to move–the dark to retreat and the light to come. The blessings to come.

May in the forest of your heart the old cry out to the new the old change with the coming Sun–the coming of the new. Blessings called from your heart for yourself and others. Cry out to the new with hope and prayers and good tidings. Blessings to you and yours in this season of joy and change.
by Endora

A Yuletide Favorite – Jólagrautur – Yule Porridge

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Jólagrautur – Yule Porridge

½ pint water

3 pints milk

6 oz rice

1 teaspoon salt

2 ½ oz raisins

Cinnamon and sugar

Milk

1 almond

When the water comes to a boil, stir in the rice and cook for 10 minutes. Add the milk to the pot and cook over a low heat for 1 hour. Add the raisins in the last 10 minutes. Add salt to taste. Add milk, sugar, and cinnamon to taste. The skinned almond is added and the porridge poured into a bowl. The housewife deals portions out and whoever finds the almond receives a small gift.

 

–Anna Franklin, Yule (The Eight Sabbats)

 

Interesting Facts About Yule – Odin


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Interesting Facts About Yule – Odin

Odin ruled over the month of December, which was called Jule. This period of time was referred to as Jultid, or Yuletide. Odin is pictured as an older man with a flowing white beard and an eye patch or a hat pulled low over his missing eye. He was typically covered in fur, as befitted his cold northern climate, and he also possessed a shape-shifting cloak. Odin rode through the winter skies dressed in warm furs on an eight-legged horse named Sleipnir. This magickal horse had runes engraved on its teeth.

Odin is a patron of shamans, occultists, and the keepers of secret knowledge. He is married to the goddess Frigga. Frigga stayed happily at home while her husband took to the skies for his wild rides. Frigga is the mother of Balder and is associated with spinning, the keeping of hearth and home, wisdom, fertility, and children and their protection. If you have ever lost a child, as Frigga lost Balder, it was believed that Frigga has claimed you for one of her own.

The Yule log is also associated with Frigga, which makes sense. The Yule log was burned in the hearth, and keeping a home and raising the children is an honorable task, and one to be revered. So Odin wandered among his people, and people felt energized and happy in Odin’s presence, whether they actually knew he was there or not. Sounds like a precursor to the spirit of the season, does it not?

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

Prayer to the Winter Goddess


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Prayer to the Winter Goddess

Despite the fact that some people hate cold weather, it does have its advantages. After all, a good cold day gives us an opportunity to cuddle up indoors with the people we love the most. If your magical tradition honors a seasonal goddess, offer up this prayer in her honor at Yule.

O! Mighty goddess, in silvery ice,
watching over us as we sleep,
a layer of shining white,
covering the earth each night,
frost on the world and in the soul,
we thank you for visiting us.
Because of you, we seek warmth
in the comfort of our homes and hearths.

By Patti Wigington

Article published on & owned by About.com

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


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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


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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


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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