The 14th Day Before Yule – Halcyon Days begin


Yule Comments & Graphics

The 14th Day Before Yule – Halcyon Days begin

 

Halcyon Days begin – The Halcyon Days are the seven days before and the seven days after (or some say the seven days surrounding) the winter solstice, when the weather is supposed to be calm and storms never occur. The name comes from Greek myth, reported by both Ovid and Hyginus.

Alcyone was the daughter of Aeolus, and married Ceyx, son of Eosphorus, the Morning Star. They were very happy together but made the mistake of blasphemously calling each other Zeus and Hera. Not surprisingly, this made Zeus very angry and he threw a thunderbolt at Ceyx’s ship, as he was sailing to consult an oracle.  Ceyx appeared to Alcyone as a ghost, and in grief, she threw herself into the sea.  Out of compassion, the gods changed them into halcyon birds (kingfishers). During the Halcyon Days, Alcyone the kingfisher lays her eggs, and her father, the god of winds, ensures that they are safe. The Mediterranean is typically calm around the time of the winter solstice. The dried body of a kingfisher was used as a talisman against lightning.

Ember Days (moveable) -The Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after December 13th are Ember Days, when Catholics say special prayers for the clergy.

Rural Dionysion – The ancient Greeks celebrated this holiday around the time of the full moon in the month of Poseidon. Plutarch complained that the rustic festival he remembered from his youth, featuring a jar of wine, a vine, a goat, a basket of raisins and a depiction of a phallus had been replaced with an elaborate procession featuring gold vessels, decorated horses and people wearing costumes and masks. This was a time for revelry including bawdy songs and raucous game.

 

Anna Franklin, Yule (The Eight Sabbats)

 

Calendar of the Sun for February 18th

Calendar of the Sun
18 Solmonath

Ishtar’s Day

Color: Pottery red, terra cotta
Element: Earth
Altar: Set with a cloth of earthy red, and on it place a pitcher of milk and another of wine, bowls of wood and clay filled with grains, olives, figs, and dates, a star, and the figure of a lioness.
Offerings: Grains. Stars. Give food to those who need it.
Daily Meal: Wholegrain bread. Cooked grains. Milk and dairy products.

Ishtar Invocation

I beseech thee, Lady of Ladies,
Goddess of Goddesses,
Ishtar, queen of all cities,
Leader of all men.
Thou art the light of the world,
Thou art the light of heaven.
At thy name the earth and the heavens shake,
And the gods they tremble;
The spirits of heaven tremble at thy name
And the men hold it in awe.
Where thou glancest the dead come to life,
And the sick rise and walk;
And the mind that is distressed is healed
When it looks upon thy face.

Call and response:
For lo, I am the Keeper of the Storehouse
And I am generous to all men!
From my breasts nourishment spills
From my hands nourishment flows
From my heart nourishment streams
I am the Morning Star
I am the Evening Star
I am the Star of Heaven
And I give unto all humanity.

(After this, all should being the work of inventorying all the resources of the house, in Ishtar’s name, so that they may be used more efficiently and that it can be known what can be given to others out of generosity.)