The Witches Almanac for Wednesday, January 1

Dark Gothic Witchy New Year Comments
The Witches Almanac for Wednesday, January 1

Wednesday (Mercury): The conscious mind, study, travel, divination, and wisdom.

New Year’s Day * Kwanzaa ends

Waning Moon

The Waning Moon is a time for study, meditation, and little magickal work (except magick designed to banish harmful energies).

Moon Sign: Capricorn

Capricorn: Develops strong structure. Focus on traditions, responsibilities, and obligations. A good time to set boundaries and rules.

New Moon 6:14 am

Incense:  Marjoram

Color: Yellow

The Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice

The darkest day makes way for the return of light

Tarotcom Staff   Tarotcom Staff on the topics of winter solstice, capricorn, astrology
December 21, 2013 marks the Winter Solstice, which is the official beginning of winter, and the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. But there’s a light at the end of this tunnel — literally! As the temperatures fall throughout the winter, the light grows, representing new hope during a time of darkness.

Ancient solstice festivals were the last big feasts before food became scarce during the harsh winter months. This magical day was celebrated from ancient Rome to China, and by the builders of Stonehenge to the Mayans. In fact, we all remember the Winter Solstice on December 21, 2012, which was the apparent end of the Mayan calendar, causing many to believe the end of the world is coming. Obviously, we’re still here!

Many modern holiday traditions, such as Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s, have their roots in the Winter Solstice celebrations of yesterday. Winter festivals continue today, complete with lights, feasts, dancing and singing, and spending quality time with those we love.

Astrologically, the Winter Solstice marks the moment the Sun — the ruler of the zodiac — moves from adventurous Fire sign Sagittarius to the steady Earth sign of Capricorn. This is the dark night of the year, a day when the Sun appears to stand still. It’s a time for light and laughter, but also deep reflection.

The Sun’s move into steady Capricorn urges us to take some time to look back on 2013 before we make those New Year’s resolutions. What did we do right? What do we wish we’d done differently? Don’t fight the seriousness it brings to the festive holiday season — use it to start 2014 on the right foot! Just make sure to keep some of the Goat’s ambitious energy alive when the Sun makes its next move.

The Witches Almanac for *Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Dark Gothic Witchy New Year Comments

The Witches Almanac for *Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

*Tuesday (Mars): Passion, sex, courage, aggression, and protection.

New Year’s Day ~ Kwanzaa Ends

Moon Sign: *Leo

*Leo: Draw emphasis to the self, central ideas or institutions, aware from connection with others and other emotional needs. People tend to be melodramatic

*Waning Moon

*The Waning Moon is a time for study, meditation and little magickal work (except magick designed to banish harmful energies).

Moon enters *Virgo 12:34 pm

*Virgo: Favors accomplishment of details and commands from higher up. Focuses on health, hygiene and daily schedules.

Moon Phase: Third Quarter

Incense: Cinnamon

Color: Red

How to Make a Yule Log

How to Make a Yule Log

By , About.com Guide

 

As the Wheel of the Year turns once more, the days get shorter, the skies become gray, and it seems as though the sun is dying. In this time of darkness, we pause on the Solstice (usually around December 21st, although not always on the same date) and realize that something wonderful is happening.

On Yule, the sun stops its decline into the south. For a few days, it seems as though it’s rising in exactly the same place… and then the amazing, the wonderful, the miraculous happens. The light begins to return.

The sun begins its journey back to the north, and once again we are reminded that we have something worth celebrating.  In families of all different spiritual paths, the return of the light is celebrated, with Menorahs, Kwanzaa candles, bonfires, and brightly lit Christmas trees. On Yule, many Pagan and Wiccan families celebrate the return of the sun by adding light into their homes. One of our family’s favorite traditions – and one that children can do easily – is to make a Yule log for a family-sized celebration.

A holiday celebration that began in Norway, on the night of the winter solstice it was common to hoist a giant log onto the hearth to celebrate the return of the sun each year. The Norsemen believed that the sun was a giant wheel of fire which rolled away from the earth, and then began rolling back again on the winter solstice.

As Christianity spread through Europe, the tradition became part of Christmas Eve festivities. The father or master of the house would sprinkle the log with libations of mead, oil or salt. Once the log was burned in the hearth, the ashes were scattered about the house to protect the family within from hostile spirits.

Because each type of wood is associated with various magickal and spiritual properties, logs from different types of trees might be burned to get a variety of effects. Aspen is the wood of choice for spiritual understanding, while the mighty oak is symbolic of strength and wisdom. A family hoping for a year of prosperity might burn a log of pine, while a couple hoping to be blessed with fertility would drag a bough of birch to their hearth.

In our house, we usually make our Yule log out of pine, but you can make yours of any type of wood you choose. You can select one based on its magickal properties, or you can just use whatever’s handy. To make a basic Yule log, you will need the following:

  • A log about 14 – 18” long
  • Pinecones
  • Dried berries, such as cranberries
  • Cuttings of mistletoe, holly, pine needles, and ivy
  • Feathers and cinnamon sticks
  • Some festive ribbon – use paper or cloth ribbon, not the synthetic or wire-lined type
  • A hot glue gun

 

All of these – except for the ribbon and the hot glue gun — are things you and your children can gather outside.  You might wish to start collecting them earlier in the year, and saving them.  Encourage your children to only pick up items they find on the ground, and not to take any cuttings from live plants.

Begin by wrapping the log loosely with the ribbon. Leave enough space that you can insert your branches, cuttings and feathers under the ribbon. In our house, we place five feathers on our Yule log – one for each member of the family. Once you’ve gotten your branches and cuttings in place, begin gluing on the pinecones, cinnamon sticks and berries. Add as much or as little as you like. Remember to keep the hot glue gun away from small children.

Once you’ve decorated your Yule log, the question arises of what to do with it. For starters, use it as a centerpiece for your holiday table. A Yule log looks lovely on a table surrounded by candles and holiday greenery.

Another way to use your Yule log is to burn it as our ancestors did so many centuries ago. In our family, before we burn our log we each write down a wish on a piece of paper, and then insert it into the ribbons. It’s our wish for the upcoming year, and we keep it to ourselves in hopes that it will come true.

If you have a fireplace, you can certainly burn your Yule log in it, but we prefer to do ours outside. We have a fire pit in the back yard, and on the night of the winter solstice, we gather out there with blankets, mittens, and mugs full of warm drinks as we burn our log. While we watch the flames consume it, we discuss how thankful we are for the good things that have come our way this year, and how we hope for abundance, good health, and happiness in the next.

 

About.com Guide

 

Celebrations Around the World for Dec. 30th

Miracle Day
Festival of Enormous Changes At the Last Minute
Romania Republic Day
Madagascar Independence Day
Kwanzaa, Day 5: Nia (Purpose)
Fairy Frequent Fliers’ Awards (Fairy)
Rizal Day (Philippines)
St. Sabinus’ Day
National Bicarbonate of Soda Day

Year-end Fire Watch – Japan- The last two days of the calendar year in the lead up to O-Shogatsu, New Year, Japan’s most important holiday. Men gather at the chokai hall and sip tea and divide into teams to patrol the kami (upper) and shimo (lower) halves of the neighbourhood. In groups of five or six they carry flashlights and paper lanterns, as well as noisy clappers. They call out “Hi no yojin” – “Take care with fire!”

Celebration Around The World Today, Dec. 28th

Witchy Comments & Graphics 

Card Playing Day
National Chocolate Day
Cross Day (Ireland)
Inocentes (Mexican April Fool’s Day)
Holy Innocents Day (Childermas; patron of Belgium, babies, choirboys) See below
Proclamation Day (South Australia)
Childermas Day – See below
Runic half-month of Eoh (yew tree) begins
Kwanzaa, Day 3: Ujima (Collective Work & Responsibility)
Bairns’ Day (Unluckiest Day of the Year)
Nepal National Day
Dyzemas Day
Eat Vegetarian Day
Fairy Academy of Window-Frosting Winter Exhibition (Fairy)
Indonesia Independence Day
Throw Away Your Subliminal Motivation Tapes Today Day

Last of the Halcyon Days (December 14- 28)

 ~Magickal Graphics~

Dec 26 Kwanzaa

This new winter festival was created in 1966 by Dr Maulana Karenga to give African Americans a focus during the holiday season. He synthesized various African harvest rituals to create new customs for this holiday; the name Kwanzaa means the first or the first fruits of the harvest in Swahili.

One of the main Kwanzaa practices, which aligns it with the other festivals of light like Hanukkah and Christmas at this time period, is the lighting of the seven candles of the Kinara (kee-NAH-rah), a candleabra with 7 candles, three red, one black and three green. Each candles symbolizes seven qualities of African culture to be emulated: Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility); Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity) and Imana (faith).

Celebrations Around The World On The 26th

Boxing Day
Synaxis of the Most Holy Mother of God
Day of Our Theotokos (Byzantine)
St. Joseph’s Day
Family Day (Namibia)
Day of the Wren (Ireland)
Junkanoo (Bahamas)
Day of Goodwill (South Africa)
Day of the Wren (Ireland)
Feast of St. Stephen (Western; patron of stonecutters, bricklayers, builders, horses)
Kwanzaa begins (US, Africa)
Kwanzaa, Day 1: Umoja (Unity)
Blessing of the Wine (Luxembourg)
Unfairies’ Gathering (Fairy)
Recyclable Packaging Day
National Candy Cane Day
Round the Walls Running Race (Chester, UK)
National Whiner’s Day