Daily Feng Shui News for Dec. 19th – ‘Look for An Evergreen’

You’ll get a big boost of all different sorts of seasonal blessings if you follow today’s ‘Look for An Evergreen’ advice. Long considered a ‘healing’ color (hence the propensity of use in hospitals and other health-related environments), the color green is also strongly considered the most ‘cooling color’ in the spectrum. At this time of year, green is believed to be able to help to offset the intense and burning heat caused by all the fiery red that’s around. Green also promotes peace and plenty, while the evergreen is said to magically absorb negative vibes in the home. Hanging an evergreen branch or bough above and on the outside of the front entryway door at any time of year has long been believed to keep evil at bay while inviting peace and prosperity. One could say that this is a totally different slant on ‘going green’ for the holidays.

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

Calendar of the Sun for December 9th

Calendar of the Sun

9 Yulmonath

Evergreen Day

Color: Dark green and red
Element: Earth
Altar: Bare, with a red cloth. This is the day when evergreens are brought into the house from outside, to honor the spirits of the forest. All will go out at the beginning of Sponde and gather armloads of them, and bring them in to be laid in great heaps upon the altar.
Offerings: Put food outside for the forest spirits.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian

Evergreen Invocation

Hail to the Spirits of the Wild!
Hail to the life of the trees
Who do not sleep, but are awake and alive
Even through the coldest of winters!
Hail to the oldest, those who stood their watch
Long before tender leaves grew
On the branches of your descendants.
Hail to you who show us life
Even in the midst of death,
Hail to you who give us scent
Even in the midst of sleeping.
Hail to you who give the creatures
Of the wild their winter sustenance
And shelter among your branches.
Hail to the Wild Men, the spirits
Who danced through the houses of our ancestors
Bringing your blessings to the people.
Now we shall warm you in our home,
Until the time comes that you shall warm us.

Song: Evergreen: Song for the Wild Men

(All shall then take the evergreen branches and disperse them through the house, making wreath and garlands and hanging them wherever the blessings of the wild spirits are needed. A Yule tree is decorated on this day, with symbols of our faith.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for January 5th

Calendar of the Sun

5 Wolfmonath

Burning of the Evergreen

Color: Dark green and red
Elements: Fire and Earth
Altar: Upon cloth of dark green and red place many boughs of evergreen, tied with paper messages for the Gods, and a single red candle.
Offerings: Messages to the Gods, of hope and faith and rebirth.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian. Warm food.

Song: Evergreen

Invocation to the Evergreen Spirit

Evergreen Man of the Winter,
Spirit of the Eternal Forest,
You have blessed our home,
Now bless our hearth.
You have danced in our halls,
Now dance for our warmth.
You have sung out your life,
Now sing in your death.
You have lifted up your boughs in stillness,
Now lift them one your final motion.
You have kindled our hopes,
Now kindle our flame.
Evergreen Man of the Winter,
Spirit of the Eternal Forest,
May we learn, like you,
To let no cold devour us,
Until we perish joyfully
In the flame of the heart.

(All take armloads of the evergreen boughs and bring them to the kitchen hearth, where a fire is started from the single red candle. Each places a bough onto the hearth, saying, “Forgive our fire, faithful tree; warm us now as we have warmed thee.” The remainder of the boughs are stored in the kitchen for future kindling, and this mantra is said whenever they are laid to make fire. Today, all chant as the fire burns, until the evergreen twigs are burned away.)

Chant:
Fire flow, fire flow through me,
Bonfire, brush fire, lightning strike,
Fire flow, fire flow through me,
Fire burn, give me light.

[Pagan Book of Hours]

The Yule Tree (Lore, Decorating/Consecrating & Correspondences)

Yule Comments & Graphics
THE YULE TREEThe Celtic Druids venerated evergreen trees as manifestations of deity and as symbols of the universe. To the Celts, these trees were sacred because they did not die from year to year like deciduous trees. Therefore they represented the eternal aspect of the Goddess who also never dies. Their greenery was symbolic of the hope for the sun’s return.

The Druids decorated the evergreen trees at Yule with all the images of the things they wished the waxing year to bring. Fruits for a successful harvest, love charms for happiness, nuts for fertility, and coins for wealth adorned the trees. These were forerunners to many of the images on today’s Christmas trees. Candles were the forerunners of today’s electric tree lights.

In Scandinavia, Yule trees were brought inside to provide a warm and festive place for tree elementals who inhabited the woodland. This was also a good way to coax the native faery folk to participate in Solstice rituals. Some believed the Saxons were the first to place candles in the tree.

Gradually sacred tree imagery was absorbed and minimalized by the Christian church–but it was never able to destroy trees’ resonance within our collective unconscious completely. We realize when we plant a tree we are encouraging the Earth to breathe. And when we decorate our evergreen trees at Yule, we are making a symbol of our dream world with the objects we hang upon it. Perhaps a chain or garland, reflecting the linking of all together on Earth. Lights–for the light of human consciousness, animal figures who serve as our totems, fruits and colors that nourish and give beauty to our world, gold and silver for prosperity, treats and nuts that blend sweet and bitter–just as in real life. The trees we decorate now with symbols of our perfect worlds actually animate what we esteem and what we hope for in the coming year; as from this night, the light returns, reborn.

Decorating the Tree

It’s best to use a live tree, but if you can’t, you can perform an outdoor ritual thanking a tree, making sure to leave it a gift when you’re finished (either some herbs or food for the animals and birds). Start a seedling for a new tree to be planted at Beltane.

If apartment rules or other conditions prevent you from using a live tree indoors, be sure to bring live evergreen garlands or wreaths into the house as decorations.

* String popcorn and cranberries and hang them on the Yule tree or an outdoor tree for birds.

* Decorate pine cones with glue and glitter as symbols of the faeries and place them in the Yule tree.

* Glue the caps onto acorns and attach with a red string to hang on the Yule tree.

* Hang little bells on the Yule tree to call the spirits and faeries.

* Hang robin and wren ornaments on the tree. The robin is the animal equivalent of the Oak King, the wren of the Holly King. Each Yule and Midsummer they play out the same battle as the two kings.

* Hang 6-spoked snowflakes on the branches of the tree. The Witches Rune, or Hagalaz, has 6 spokes.

* Hang sun, moon, star, Holly King, faery, or fruit decorations.

* String electric lights on your tree to encourage the return of the Sun.

Consecrating the Tree

Consecrate the Yule tree by sprinkling it with salted water, passing the smoke of incense (bayberry, pine, spruce, pine, spice, cedar, or cinnamon)through the branches, and walking around the tree with a lighted candle saying:

By fire and water, air and earth,   I consecrate this tree of rebirth.

Correspondences

EVERGREENS

Symbolizing: Continuity of Life, Protection, Prosperity
Types: Pine, Fir, Cedar, Juniper, other evergreens
Forms: boughs, wreaths, garlands, trees
Divinities: Green Goddesses & Gods; Hertha; Cybele, Attis, Dionysius (Pine); Woodland Spirits
Traditions: Roman, Celtic, Teutonic, Christian

OAK

Symbolizing: New Solar Year; Waxing Sun; Endurance, Strength, Triumph, Protection, Good Luck
Forms: Yule log, acorns, wood for sacred fires
Divinities: Oak King; Oak Spirit; Sky Gods including Thor, Jupiter, Zeus
Traditions: Teutonic, Celtic, Christian

SACRED TREES OF WINTER SOLSTICE from the Celtic Tree Calendar

Yew: Last Day of Solar Year; Death.
Silver Fir: Winter Solstice Day; Birth.
Birch: Month following Winter Solstice; Beginnings.

written by Selena Fox

MAKE A YULE LOG

MAKE A YULE LOG

To make a Yule Log, simply choose a dried piece of oak and decorate with burnable ribbons, evergreens, holly, and mistletoe. To make a Yule Log with candles (suitable for indoor observances when a fireplace is not available), you will need a round log at least thirteen inches long and five inches thick. Flatten the bottom of the log with a saw (preferably a power saw) by trimming off an inch or two so the log will sit without wobbling. Next determine where the three candle holes should be drilled along the top of the log. They should be evenly spaced. The size of the holes will be determined by the size candles you are using. Drill the holes 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch to accommodate the candles.

The log with candles may be painted or sprayed with varnish or shellac to keep it from drying out. When the varnish is dry, insert candles and decorate it with holly, evergreens, and mistletoe. Candles may be green, red, and silver or white to represent the Oak King, the Holly King, and the Goddess; or white, red, and black to represent the Triple Goddess.

Calendar of the Sun for December 9th

Calendar of the Sun

9 Yulmonath

Evergreen Day

Color: Dark green and red
Element: Earth
Altar: Bare, with a red cloth. This is the day when evergreens are brought into the house from outside, to honor the spirits of the forest. All will go out at the beginning of Sponde and gather armloads of them, and bring them in to be laid in great heaps upon the altar.
Offerings: Put food outside for the forest spirits.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian

Evergreen Invocation

Hail to the Spirits of the Wild!
Hail to the life of the trees
Who do not sleep, but are awake and alive
Even through the coldest of winters!
Hail to the oldest, those who stood their watch
Long before tender leaves grew
On the branches of your descendants.
Hail to you who show us life
Even in the midst of death,
Hail to you who give us scent
Even in the midst of sleeping.
Hail to you who give the creatures
Of the wild their winter sustenance
And shelter among your branches.
Hail to the Wild Men, the spirits
Who danced through the houses of our ancestors
Bringing your blessings to the people.
Now we shall warm you in our home,
Until the time comes that you shall warm us.

Song: Evergreen: Song for the Wild Men

(All shall then take the evergreen branches and disperse them through the house, making wreath and garlands and hanging them wherever the blessings of the wild spirits are needed. A Yule tree is decorated on this day, with symbols of our faith.)

 

[Pagan Book of Hours]