September 16th Birthday Horoscope

September 16 Zodiac Sign Is Virgo

Birthday Horoscope Of People Born On September 16

SEPTEMBER 16 birthday horoscope predicts that tend to go beyond the limit. As the zodiac sign for this birthday is Virgo, you can’t give up, or you find it extremely difficult to give in to defeat. You need to know what’s beyond the blue sky and have the patience and ability to find out. Patience is your virtue. Just do not become lax and take things for granted.

It’s not by trial and error, it is a calculated effort, and you are usually successful in your quests. However, there are some places this Virgin should not go. Everything is not for your discovery. As you demand respect, so do others. Be careful on those paths you cross and or crossover.

As far as your career aspirations, the September 16th birthday personality will make dreams profitable and gratifying. Although money is not your driving force, you like what it affords for you and your family. You like the awards that adorn your walls and shelves more than anything.

The September 16 astrology warns that you have a vulnerability to bad luck and misunderstandings. Be that as it may, you are a spiritual being and a religious person. As a child, your parents probably made you go to church, but as an adult, you have kept those values and beliefs. As a result, you have certain expectations of others.

There are times when everyone needs to be reminded that they have accomplished something and Virgos are no different. Bringing the bacon home is necessary but contributing to society often brings you personal happiness. This Virgo birthday person can be found in social professions as a therapist or social worker.

If today September 16 is your birthday, you are likely to have problems speaking your mind. You should stand up for yourself and for what you believe in more. No one will do it for you so that this quality can be considered as a negative birthday trait.

But when you do let loose your feelings, you can be hurtful and extremely insensitive. Nonetheless, you have a way of making people laugh about the situation. You would not think that the same Virgo is kind and is willing to go out of his or her way for a friend.

Your family says that you love to learn, but you hate change. The September 16 birthday personality needs security and stability. However, you only learn because things change. Don’t you see the irony of it all? If things did not change, we would not have the technology we have today that empowers you.

If you were to find a lover who has the same values and principles as the Virgo born on this day, everyone would be thrilled. A commitment with a similar person will more than compensate for lack of perfection. Usually, you’ll find this person to be sensitive but annoying.

Additionally, your friends say that you are likely a dreamer, but you make some dreams a reality. Other times, you are highly disappointed in the lack of perfection in others. The September 16 horoscope shows that you take your work seriously, and expect others to give the same amount of respect. You will expect everything done to perfection.

You see, when you blow things out of proportion, you have this way of making everybody sick of listening to and talking about it over and over again. Chill out, Virgo. Stop over analyzing every single thing. You’re going to give yourself a heart attack or worse, grey hairs. I’m laughing out loud, but you do tend to take the fun out of things by doing this.

The September 16 horoscope shows that you’re a go-getter. Typically, you expect perfection and are disappointed when things are changed. However a dreamer, you tend to make them a part of your life.

By doing so, you may worry too much. This could be unhealthy, but this zodiac birthday Virgo has a way of making light of serious situations by laughter. Someone like you would understand this and would make a perfect partner for you who are born today.

See: Famous Celebrities Born On September 16

This Day That Year – September 16 In History

1812 – Great fire in Moscow
1857 – Copyrights for the typesetting machine
1926 – 372 bodies discovered after a hurricane in FL and AL
1960 – At 98 years old, Amos Alonzo Stagg gives up coaching football

September 16 Kanya Rashi (Vedic Moon Sign)
September 16 Chinese Zodiac ROOSTER

September 16 Birthday Planet

Your ruling planet is Mercury which symbolizes what you are fascinated with and how your mind works on matters you are interested in.

September 16 Birthday Symbols

The Virgin Is The Symbol For The Virgo Zodiac Sign

September 16 Birthday Tarot Card

Your Birthday Tarot Card is The Tower. This card signifies disruptions that occur in your life which makes everything go haywire. The Minor Arcana cards are Ten of Disks and Queen of Swords

September 16 Birthday Zodiac Compatibility

You are most compatible with people born under Zodiac Sign Taurus: This relationship will have a lot of things in common.
You are not compatible with people born under Zodiac Sign Leo: This love match will be difficult and tumultuous.

See Also:

September 16 Lucky Number

Number 7 – This number symbolizes analysis, spirituality, contemplation and deep thinking.

Read about: Birthday Numerology

Lucky Colors For September 16 Birthday

Indigo: This is a perceptive color that represents wisdom, royalty, organization, and selflessness.
Green: This color stands for fertility, growth, tradition, and finance.

Lucky Days For September 16 Birthday

Wednesday – This weekday ruled by the Mercury and is symbolic of logical and rational thinking required to make important decisions.
Monday – This weekday is ruled by planet Moon. It symbolizes interactions with family and friends, imagination and fantasies.

September 16 Birthstone Sapphire

Sapphire gemstone is a symbol of mental stability, trust, faith, and self-expression.

Ideal Zodiac Birthday Gifts For People Born On September 16th

A case for the netbook for the Virgo man and a basket of scented perfumes, bath gels and aromatic oils for the woman. Beautifully wrapped gifts please them. The September 16 birthday zodiac predicts that you love gifts that are given with love.

Good Morning & Goddess Bless All Of My Dear Friends & Family!

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 Unknown

NIGHT STALKING: STAR-WATCHING

NIGHT STALKING: STAR-WATCHING

by Stormy
This is the time of year when many interesting things happen. As we approach the Winter Solstice on December 21, the days are shorter, and the nights are longer and colder. The frosty nights make for some very interesting sky activity. More UFOs are reported at this time of year than at any other time.
The magnetic pole activity is increased around the Solstice, and there are some wonderful displays in the most northern regions. Sometimes these magnetic lights, known as the Aurora Borealis, are seen as they streak from pole to pole by those living further south.
These dark and frosty nights also enable us to see the Milky Way better. But to really see the stars well, you need to get away from the city, and visit the countryside where electric lights and streetlamps are rare. Go outside and look toward the most northern horizon. The Milky Way appears as a dense band lighting the sky with millions of stars, divided by a dark area with fewer stars. The Aborigines of Australia, refer to this dark area dividing the Milky Way as a river. Most of Europe and Western Asia say the Milky Way is spilt milk, or even rain. The Desna Indians of the Amazon called the Milky Way the ‘brain in the sky.’
There is a fascinating event that sometimes happens on the shortest day of the year if the moon is right! A year from now, on December 21, 1995, the moon will be new and it will be a very dark night. On December 22, 1995, the Winter Solstice, there will be the beginning of a thin waxing crescent moon which will not be seen at night. Either on the eve of or the day of the Solstice, go out at night between midnight and 2 a.m. to witness the sun bleeding over the North pole from the completely opposite side of this planet! The northern sky will appear rosy-red above the northern horizon.
I believe we’ll see this next year. I experienced this phenomenon on Winter Solstice, 1993, last year, and it was an awesome sight. I didn’t telephone anyone in the middle of the night to tell them about it, and I’m sure I have friends who were disappointed I didn’t wake them up from their warm beds to share the sight.
This year on the Winter Solstice, which is on December 21, the moon sets at 9:13 a.m. E.S.T. and rises at 8:03 p.m. E.S.T. This means the night will probably be too bright to see the bleed-over of the sun because the waning moon will be just six days past the full moon.
Keep an eye on the Big Dipper this year. Those in the north can see it fairly well. In the south it dropped below the northern horizon and is now rising back up, dipper first and handle last. If you can locate the Big Dipper (see previous issue, #11), you can locate the North Star, Polaris, and a star constellation known as Cassiopeia’s Chair (see diagram, this page). This time of year it changes from an ‘M’ in the fall, to an upside-down ‘B’ or Greek-looking ‘E’ in the winter, to a ‘W’ in the spring, and then a ‘B’ in the summer. Even in the most southern areas of the United States, Cassiopeia can be seen clearly throughout the entire year. In the fall, this queen sits high on her throne, only to get dumped off of it during the winter months. She certainly deserves it for what she did to her beautiful daughter, Andromeda! Cassiopeia is well-known for having chained her daughter to the rocks as a sacrifice to the ugly sea monster Cetus, which was actually a sea whale. Persus asks Andromeda to marry her and she will consent if he saves her from Cetus. Pegasus, Persus’s flying horse, saves Andromeda and she keeps her promise to Persus by marrying him.
Enjoy star-gazing this time of year. Watch for falling stars, and if you see a real UFO, keep your camera or camcorder handy!
Sources:
Krupp, E.C., Ph.D. Beyond the Blue Horizon, Myths and Legends of the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Planets. 1991. Harper Collins Publishers, New York, NY.
Pearce, Q. L. Stargazer’s Guide to the Galaxy. 1991. Tom Doherty Assoc., Inc., New York, NY.
Pennick, Nigel. Practical Magic in the Northern Tradition. 1989. The Aquarian Press, Hammersmith, London, England.

Raymo, Chet. 365 Starry Nights. 1982. Simon and Schuster, New York, NY.

The Hazel Nut

Good Blessed Solstice Morning To You, My Brothers & Sisters Of The Craft

Good Blessed Solstice Morning To You, My Brothers & Sisters Of The Craft,

What a glorious event awaits us on the longest night of the year. We will gather with loved ones, family and friends alike. We will sing carols, play games, talk and fellowship. Have a huge traditional Yule supper. I can almost smell it now. After we are through eating, we will exchange presents with each other. Then I am sure for the children stories will read. Preparation for the burning of the Yule log begins. You can either burn it in your fireplace or go outside and build a bonfire.

Each of our traditions vary on how we do things. But the men here go and prepare a huge stack of wood to be burned. Then on top, the yule log is placed. We are central time remember. Around 3:30, we light the fire. We start by singing carols and praying to the Goddess. Then it is time for our ritual. I have included it here so perhaps in some way we can all be together this year.

It has always been a dream of mine, that one day we could all meet and have a ritual together. This year would have been exceptionally nice. With all the horrors and tragedies that have occurred it is comforting to have a kindred spirit with you. You can hold each other and give comfort, cry, let all you feelings that have been bottled up out. Let your sadness go, turn it over to the Goddess. Now is the time to start anew. We have a fresh start with the rebirth of our Sun. The promise of life, love and hope.

With this fresh new season upon us, let us pray. Pray that mankind becomes kind and gentler. Pray that we learn how to show compassion and love to all. Pray for an end to all the senseless killings of our children, our future. Pray that the Goddess continues to watch over us, keep us in her love and light.

Now join us in ritual, my dear brothers and sisters!

Our Yule Ritual We Would Like To Share With You

Our Altar has:

Presence candle
Goddess and God candles
salt
water
small cauldron with sand for incense stick
bell
chalice, four decanters and juice
plates with bread

Corner candles are set out and lit.

HP:    Let it be known that the circle is about to be cast, let none
be here but of their own free will.

Priestess:      “I cleanse and purify this space with sound.”

Rings bell three times, circling deosil.

HPS  lights Presence candle.

I light this Candle (light
Presence Lamp)
in the name of that ancient presence,
which is, was, and ever shall be
male, female, all-knowing, all-powerful
and present everywhere.

And in the names of the four Mighty Ones,
the rulers of the elements,
may power and blessing descend
in this hour upon this place
and those gathered here.”

HPS:  Salt and water blessings, fire and air blessings

Priestess:      “With water and earth I cleanse and purify this space.”

Sprinkles consecrated salt and water.

Priestess:      “With fire and air, I cleanse and consecrate this
space.”

Circles deosil with incense.

HPS:

Take up athame, face north and say:

I conjure thee, O Circle of Power, as a boundary between the worlds. A
meeting of love and joy and truth; a shield against all wickedness and
evil; a Rampart and Protection that shall preserve and contain the
power which we shall raise within thee.  I do bless and consecrate
thee.

Cast circle to the east.  See it glow.  Salute the East, then draw an
invoking pentagram and say:

Spirit of the East!  Spirits of Air!
Oh Lords of the great icy towers of the North,
I, Lady of the Abyss, do summon, stir and call you up
To guard our circle and Witness our rites!
We ask you to come to us now on the cold winter wind
and breathe into us the spirit of the pure joy of life.
So mote it be!

Cast circle to the south.  See it glow.  Salute the south, then draw
an invoking pentagram and say:

Spirit of the South!  Spirits of Fire!
O lords of the firey towers of the South,
I, Lady Of The Abyss, do summon, stir and call you up
To guard our circle and Witness our rites!
We ask you to come forth from the fires that
warm the planets heart, from the fires that
protect us on this winters night. Kindle
within us the warmth of spiritual awakening.
So mote it be!

Cast circle to the west.  See it glow.  Salute the west, then draw an
invoking pentagram and say:

Spirit of the West!  Spirits of Water!
I, Lady Of The Abyss, do summon, stir and call you up
To guard our circle and Witness our rites!
We ask you to come forth from the streams,
the lakes, from the vast expanse of your watery realm.
Bring to us the water of life to wash away our fears and resentments
that we may find peace of mind.
So mote it be!

Cast circle to the north.  See it glow.  Salute the north, then draw
an invoking pentagram and say:

Spirit of the North!  Spirits of Earth!
I, Lady Of The Abyss, do summon, stir and call you up
To guard our circle and Witness our rites!
We ask you to come forth from the fertile bosom of our Blessed
Mother Earth, and nourish us so that our wisdom may grow in strength.
So mote it be!

Close the circle, then turn to the altar and say:

HPS:
The circle is cast.  We are between the worlds.

Tonight we celebrate the Solstice, the night that the darkness is
triumphant over light,  and yet on the morrow, the dark begins to give
way and the light will return.

The spirit of nature is suspended, all living things wait the
transformation of the Dark Lord of Shadow into the newborn Child of
Light.   We watch for the coming of Dawn, when the Holy Mother will
again give birth to the Divine Child, the Sun God who is the bringer
of the life of Spring and the promise of Summer.  We call the Sun from
the womb of night, and so, turn the Wheel.

Blessed be!

All:    Blessed Be!

HPS:    Antlered God, Winter God, Father of the Sun, with frost upon your
beard and the blazing of Yule fires in your eyes, you bless us with
your presence. We invoke and greet you!

All:    So mote it be.

HP:     Blessed Lady, Maiden, Mother and Crone, Mother heavy with unborn
child, we greet you and ask your blessings upon your people gathered
here.  We invoke and adore thee!

HPS:
The light was born, and the light has died.

All:     Everything passes, all fades away.

The God enters in the west,  HPS goes to him and  raises him up.  He
begins  to  dance and chant , deosil around the circle:

At Yule I’m born and at Yule I’ll die,
round and round the wheel,
forever flying thru the sky,
ever mindful of what must be.

All:    So turns the wheel.

At spring I nourish the seed and hide therein growing with the light!
Round and round the wheel,
forever flying thru the sky,
ever mindful of what must be.

All:    So turns the wheel.

In summer the young stag am I in love and lust I seek the Goddess, our
union and bliss sustains the world.
Round and round the wheel,
forever flying thru the sky,
ever mindful what must be.

All:    So turns the wheel.

In fall as I weaken with the sun, the grain is cut
for Harvest, that all may carry on.
Round and round the wheel,
forever flying thru the sky,
ever mindful of what must be.

All:    So turns the wheel!

In winter old and tired am I, dying with the light.
Round and round the wheel,
forever flying thru thr sky,
ever mindful of what must be.

All:    So turns the wheel!

God falls into crouch, dies, is covered by black cloth, behind the
birthing  mother.

All light is extinguished and the Mother wails for the loss of the
God.

All:     Start chanting “It is Winter, It is night chant”

It is winter, it is night,
We await the sun,
We await the light.
In the darkness
In this night,
We await the warmth,
We await the light.

The Mother, kneeling in the east moans in labor., Make ’em fit the
breaks in the sentences of HPS/narrator.

HPS:  I am the great Mother.  I exist beyond time and space.  I bring
forth all of creation.

Moan.

HPS:  My voice rides upon the wind.  Stars pour from my soul.  I am
the silence of the sea, and the secret of the standing stones.

Moan.

I am the Mother of all things, and the soul of nature, who gives life
to the universe.

Moan.

I am the Giver of light.  Tonight I give light back to the world as I
mourn the death of the God and rejoice in his birth.

Moans come to crescendo.

HP exits from beneath Mother’s legs, then lights fireplace match.

All chant:

Mother who has birthed this light
In the darkness of this night
Infant child of glowing light
We celebrate you both tonight!

Light cauldron, all other candles.
Repeat, with drumming, dancing and singing, then send off the power.
When everyone has calmed down a bit, have them gather again into a
circle.

HPS:    Blessings of the Goddess and God upon this bread and the fruit of
the vine!

Pours out juice into decanters, holds hands over them.

May you never thirst!

Holds hands over bread plates.

May you never hunger!

Juice and Bread are passed among gathered folk.
When everyone has partaken, ground the energy (two hands on the
floor).

Then dismiss the elementals, and open the circle.

Invoking the Holly King

Greenman Comments & Graphics=

Today we do bid Hail to our beloved Holly King
With these ancient carols, we do again sing
He who is called Father Christmas is returning yet again
As the Solstice’s longest night has finally begun
We await you, Santa Claus, Lord of Winter
To honor you on this day that you always were
Saint Nicholas, patron of children on Gaia’s sphere
This invocation, we pray you do hear
Come bless us, upon this season of the Yuletide
Great Holly King as you fly upon your sleigh ride
Whether your gifts to us be physical or spiritual
We know that they will always be most magical
Grateful, because we know your blessings’ great worth
We offer a blessing of our own — Peace on Earth!

by Ginger Strivelli

Gypsy Magic

Glorious Thursday Morning To All My Dear Friends & Family!

Yule Comments & Graphics Glorious Thursday Morning, my loves! I hope you are having a fairly good day today. Grab yourself a cup of hot cocoa, curl up on the couch, make yourself at home. Want to sing a few Yule carols with me? Don’t know any I can certain

White Solstice
(Tune: White Christmas)
by Lady Bridget

I used to dream of a white Solstice
Just like the ones I knew up North.
But in sunny south Florida
It ain’t gonna happen
Unless dreaming brings it forth.

Now I dream about a green Solstice
Ripe fruit is on my citrus trees.
May your Holidays be healthy and wealthy,
And may all your Solstices be green.

 
SHARE THE LIGHT
(The First Noel)

CHORUS:
Share the light, share the light!
Share the light, share the Light!
All paths are one on this holy night!

On this Winter holiday, let us stop and recall
That this season is holy to one and to all.
Unto some a Son is born, unto us comes a Sun,
And we know, if they don’t, that all paths are one.

Be it Chanukah or Yule,
Christmas time or Solstice night,
All celebrate the eternal light.
Lighted tree or burning log,
Or eight candle flames.
All gods are one god, whatever their names

.

OH HOLY NIGHT
filled by Lady Bridget

Oh Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the Sun King’s rebirth.
Long lay the world in winter’s darkness pining
‘Till he appeared to bring warmth to the earth.

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!<
Call out your needs, Oh hear the Goddess singing
Oh night divine, oh night the sun’s reborn.
Oh night divine, Oh night, Oh Holy Night

 

The Holly King Presents Christmas’s Pagan Origins

The Holly King Presents Christmas’s Pagan Origins

Early Solstice Celebration

The original reason for the season is the Winter Solstice. Solstice is a word from the Latin that meaning “stands still”. For six days at this time, the sun appears to stand still on the horizon. This was a time of uncertainty and mystery as people wondered if indeed the sun would return. When it did year and year again, festivals grew up in just about every place and culture. Even today in our modern indoor society the Solstice continues to be a time of celebration across the world. The theme of light emerging from darkness is universal at this time of year.

In primitive societies the priests and shamans were most certainly the astronomers. Knowledge of the mathematical calculations needed to calculate the time of the Solstices would be seen as high magic in these cultures. From New Grange in Ireland to Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, to the great solar temples of Egypt, peoples developed elaborate sacred sites to track the movement of the Sun across the sky and to note the times of the Solstices. Stonehenge is the most famous of the solar calculators and its construction is one of the great unsolved mysteries.

The celebration of Horus or Ra the Sun in ancient Egypt involved decorating with greenery especially palm branches with twelve fronds and directly linked the Sun God to the natural rhythms of the Sun in the sky.

The Solstice time in Babylon was Zagmuk. The Babylonians incorporated their Sun god Marduk who defeated the Monsters of Chaos during this dark and shadowy time. This holiday introduced the idea of the struggle between good and bad; continued today in the magical persona of a Santa Claus who uses the granting of presents or coal and switches to judge children.

The festival of Sacaea continued this theme. The Persians and later the Greeks celebrated the reversal of order that was stirred up by Kallikantzaroi, mischievous imps who roamed about during the twelve days of Sacaea. These imps had a darker side than the elves Santa associates with today.

In Rome the major festival for this time of year was Saturnalia, the birthday of the Roman God Saturn. This festival was celebrated from December 17-24. This holiday included pig sacrifice and gift exchange and was followed by the Kalends an early January celebration of the New Year where houses were decorated with greenery and lights. Both of which are usually still up on New Year’s Day in modern America.

The Norse, largely independently arrived at a similar holiday that bears the closest resemblance to the modern celebrations and unlike the Celts and many others, made this a major holiday. We can thank them for the word Yule that still is used interchangeably with Christmas by many contemporary persons. We can also thank them for the traditions of caroling, the Yule log and the first custom of bringing an entire evergreen into the house. It is fitting that this would be a major holiday for those who lived so far north that the winter nights literally swallowed the days in the time directly before Solstice.

Modern Solstice Celebrations

Christmas: The earliest record of a Christmas celebration was in Rome in 336 CE. Pope Liberus in 354 CE placed the holiday on December 25. The Armenian Church still celebrates on Jan 6. The holiday remains an almost universal celebration around the World. Many people participant in the cultural elements of Christmas to a much greater extent than the religious. Unfortunately Christmas has come to represent consumerism in our society with many stores and businesses dependent on large sales this time of year. Many Christians are trying to reestablish the religious aspects of the season by moving away from large scale elaborate gifting and returning to homemade and personal services gifting. Many see this as an environmental imperative as well as a religious one. There is also a movement towards joint celebrations with many other spiritual seasonal celebrations to allow us all to experience the diversity of spiritual experience as well as the Christian teachings of peace and good will towards all.

But even as Christmas seems to be everywhere it is important to remember that other solar festivals remain and new ones have been established.

Pagan Yule: The word Yule is from the Scandinavian word Jul meaning ‘wheel’. Many pagans honor the turning wheel at this time. Many Wiccans honor the theme from the Celts: they see Yule as the time of battle between the aging Holly King and the young Oak King. Others may use the Greek myth of Persephone and the Underworld to enact the theme of dark giving way to light. Still others see the waning God passing to the waxing Goddess.

For many Wiccans Yule is a lesser Sabot: with Beltane and Samhain being more significant. Common celebrations involve all night bon fires, Yule log rituals, and rituals celebrating the return of the light with large numbers of candles. Drumming, chanting and ecstatic dancing are often a part of these rituals as they tend to be in all Wiccan and Neo-Pagan rituals. Many Norse Pagans or the other hand see Yule as the major festival, a time for swearing oaths, toasting and boasting.

Solstice/ Midwinter Night: Celebrated by many neo-Pagans, New Agers, and even by some atheists we see new traditions are arising out of the old. They may borrow liberally from many older traditions and add to them with new traditions. It may be elaborate ritual or a simple bonfire to celebrate the returning sun. It may have religious or spiritual connotations or it may just be a cultural celebration. People are finding old and new ways to celebrate with friends and family.

Hanukkah (Chanukah) : This eight day festival of lights celebrates a victory by a small Jewish army, led by Judah Maccabee over the Assyrian Greeks in the second century BC. After regaining their right to worship in the temple they had only enough sacred oil to last a short time. Myth has it that the oil miraculously burned for eight days straight. The festival is celebrated by lighting the menorah candles each night until all are lit. Gifts are exchanged and seasonal food shared. Gelt, which is chocolate or real money, is often given. A dreidel or four-sided top is also a popular gift and game to be played. Latkes or potato pancakes are often served.

Kwanzaa. This modern holiday was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, an American academic to celebrate the African roots of Afro-Americans. The word is from Swahili and translated to ‘first fruits’. Seven candles, one black and three each of red and green are lit each night for the seven principles of Kwanzaa. These principles are Unity, Self-determination, Collective work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith. Other symbols are the colors of red (struggle) black (unity) and green (future) from flag created by Marcus Garvey at the beginning of the century, the unity cup, the candleholder for the candles, which is called the Kinara

Common Elements of Solstice Celebrations

Child of Wonder, Child of Light

A great many of the winter solstice festivals celebrate the birth of a wonder child. The child, especially a magical child represents hope and rebirth embodied.

The child is almost always a male and is often the result of a non-ordinary birth. The divine feminine is usually embodied in the birth and the Madonna/goddess image of fertility is often a part of the symbology.

Osiris, the Egyptian Sun god underwent death, dismemberment and resurrection yearly with the travels of the Sun and the rise and fall of the Nile River and thus the fertility of the area. In his guise as Horus he was the sun as well as the son. Pictured sitting on the lap of his mother Isis, his portrait is very reminiscent of the Christian Madonna with child images and is one of the earliest children of promise.

In ancient Greek myth the son god Attis was born in a cave around the time of Solstice and was the son of the Goddess Cybel or Isis. Attis grew to full strength with the sun and was yearly cut down to be reborn.

While Saturn was the sun god for whom Saturnalia, the great Roman solar festival was celebrated for, another god Mithras who was worshiped well (6th Century BC) before but then contemporarily (second century BC to fifth century CE) with Jesus. Mithras was also born in a cave of a virgin and later went through death and resurrection. Because Mithras was worshiped by Emperor Constantine before his conversation to Christianity he may be a more direct influence on the Christian story as well as the date since Mithras’ birthday was celebrated on December 25.

Even in North American among the Huron along the northern shore of Lake Ontario, a child of wonder named Deganawidah was born of a virgin. This child was sent by the Great Spirit as a messenger to bring peace to humankind. He traveled among the tribes and is credited with founding the Iroquois Confederacy. It is believed that he too will return to Earth at the time of greatest need. This is a clear parallel to the return of King Arthur and the Second Coming of Chris and would indicate that the story is an archetypal myth shared by humans all around the world.

Santa and other Father Winters

Is Santa a Shamanic concept? Many pictures of northern Shaman are very similar to woodland Santas — both ancient and modern. He appears in long fur robes, often with Bells and is often an older man. The Shaman works both in the spiritual realm and in the material sphere. The Shaman climbed the world tree to bring back gifts of spiritual knowledge as well as calling the herds to supply food and materials for the material lives of his people. Often he went up the smoke hole, the early chimney at night probably in trance, possibly with the herd of reindeer that supported his clan.

Like the Shaman, Santa embodies magic and mystery, the spirit of nature as well as universal human values of caring and generosity. The word Shaman is a Siberian word and this is the land of the reindeer. In his Primitive Mythology, Joseph Campbell describes a legendary Shaman who received his enlightenment in the nest of a winged reindeer in a tree, which was thought to reach the heavens.

There were also Goddesses who rode sleighs and delivered gifts. The Norse goddess Freya rode a chariot pulled by stags.

The life and legends of the Christian St. Nickolas continues the magic of the Shaman. As a young man St. Nickolas traveled to the holy land and on his way back was blown around in a storm and ended upon the coast of Lyca near Myra. He went to pray at the nearest church where the bishop was retiring. One member of the convocation (committee) to choose a new Bishop had had a vision that the new Bishop would be coming to the church and his name would be Nickolas. Arriving as he did the boy was made Bishop of Myra. After serving a prison term under the Romans, young St. Nickolas participated in the decision of Pope Liberus to make Dec 25 the official date of the birth of Christ and the celebration of Christmas. He was a generous man who gave much to the poor of Myca through out the year but especially around Christmas. He was also a Christian Shaman whose miracles that lead to his sainthood was bring back to life and form three boys who had been chopped up and boiled in a pot for stealing.

Modern Santas: Our modern image of Santa in a red suit can be traced to Thomas Nast, an amazing commercial artist of the 19th century. He developed Santa for President Lincoln as well as the Donkey and Elephant of the Democrats and Republicans. His illustration was used in New Yorker publication of Clement Moore’s famous poem, T’was the Night Before Christmas.

Coca Cola: Haddon Sunblom popularized most common image of the modern global culture in 1931.

Contemporary Santas: Even today the image of Santa grows and expands to fill hopes and dreams of all children. Modern Santas of all races and nationalities join woodland and other artist Santas to adorn homes and businesses. Woodland Santas stand on store shelves beside Santas who play golf, surf, and just about any activity you can imagine. Some even have electronic movement and sound.

Evergreens: The obvious symbol of eternal life, green when all else is barren and brown. Evergreens were probably held sacred very early in human prehistory. Again the palm fronds in Egypt and the greening during the Kalends are recorded examples.

The Christmas tree: In the sixth century it is said that the Christian St. Boniface cut down a sacred oak to spite local druids. As the tree fell, it crushed everything in its path except one cedar. He declared it a miracle and that the tree belonged to the Christ child. This is often cited as an example of cultural assimilation of Pagan religious symbology for political purposes.

Hanging of the greens: Decorating with evergreens was first noted in Egypt. It was also popular during the roman Saturnalia and Kalends. The Norse also brought in evergreens for decoration during the long snowy winters. Where Christmas is celebrated, the evergreens are often used to mark the start of the season, which is longer than any of the preceding cultures, now beginning shortly after Halloween and withering out sometime in middle January, marked mainly by clearance sales.

Holly: A symbol from the Celts, the male symbol of rebirth is again an evergreen, this time with red berries. A plant of protection, holly is the symbol of the god of the dark year.

Mistletoe: Mistletoe may have first been used in the Greek winter ceremonies. The Norse legend said it was blessed with luck and fertility by the goddess Frigga after Balder, her son, was shot by Loki, the dark and mischievous imp god, with an arrow of mistletoe. Her tears restored him to life and fell also on the mistletoe giving it magical properties. Mistletoe was also sacred to the Druids. As it dried, it became the golden bough, symbolic of both sun and moon, of the male and female mysteries.

Winged Goddesses, Angels and Elves: These range from representations of the Goddess Iris to the Catholic Holy Spirits. From the many spirits of the holy host to Santa’s magical elves these winged fairies bring another element of the mischievous imps to our Solstice season.

Madonna: The female remains firmly in the season, firmly eternal throughout the turning of the wheel, the force of nature herself. Her consort, son, partner going through continual birth and rebirth is the wonder child.

Yule log: This harks back to the importance of fire during the darkness of winter. A whole tree was burned during the Greek festival of Sacaea to scar away the Kallikantzuroi (mischievous imps) . The familiar Yule log was a Norse tradition adopted by the Christians. In early America there was a custom “freedom of the Yule, ” a week off for slaves and savants while the Yule log burned. “Firewood as wet as a Yule log” was a saying that this custom generated.

These are many of the ancient legends of the Solstice, which have been important in the development of our modern holiday celebration. As modern spiritual seekers we are borrowing from and saving the old ways while we create new ways. We take what is significant to us and add to it, creating personal, family and community traditions. There are kids, stories, and magick as the Sun and Son once again returns!

Drawing Down the Power of the Sun Goddess or God

Drawing Down The Power of the Sun Goddess or God

 

In witchcraft, as you know, there is a ceremony known as ‘drawing down the moon’ in which the High Priestess takes into herself the power and wisdom of the Moon. In some traditions the power of the Sun is called down by the High Priest at the beginning of the Esbat or monthly celebration and on other major seasonal ceremonies into the Priestess. There is another ceremony where Sun power is called down into the Priest by the High Priestess or into herself, especially at seasonal solar change points such as the Equinoxes or Solstices.

However, in both cases, whether you work alone as a witch or in a coven or practice less formally, you can at any time of the day or year call into yourself the strength, fertility and joy of your chosen Sun God or Goddess.

At dawn:  Draw down the powers of the rising Sun for a new beginning or for a fresh approach or for optimism or inspiration

At noon:  Plug into the rush of pure life and light force for a make or break situation or to spur yourself on if you are tired or dispirited – or for sudden illumination.

At dusk.  The Sun consoles, heals and harmonizes desperate demands or people and draws gentle abundance to you.

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

 

Welcome, Darkest Night

Welcome, Darkest Night

by Janice Van Cleve

 

I love this season of growing dark. The night starts earlier to cast its blanket of quiet and peace upon the land and calls me to wrap up what I am doing. Early darkness coaxes me to sit down to supper at six o’clock instead of nine, so I can digest properly before I go to sleep.  Longer nights delay the prodding light of morning, so I can grab a few more winks. It encourages me to work more efficiently with the daylight that I do have. The dark time of the year is a healthy time for me.

It is a healthy time for plants and animals as well. Perennials focus on building up their root systems during the dark time, and annuals spread their seeds. Leaves fall to the ground to be leached and composted into next year ‘s soil. Animals feast on the yield of crops and orchards and store up surplus to see them through the winter and spring. In the dark time, all nature refocuses on renewing itself, sloughing off that which is no longer necessary and nurturing the best for the new year.

For northern tribes who lived where night falls longest and deepest, the dark time of the year was a time of great creativity. Bards honed their songs and added new verses for the entertainment and education of their audiences. Farmers turned to woodworking to fashion furniture or to decorate the interiors of their homes. Tradespeople made cloth, tools, jewelry, clothes and other goods to sell the merchants when they returned in the spring. Cooks became more and more inventive as the darkness lingered and the variety in the larder grew more limited. Even today, most school and university classes are scheduled for the winter months. In the business world, new product releases from software to movies to automobiles are debuted during this time.

In short, the dark time of the year is a busy, industrious and very creative time for nature and for human activity. So why in modern society does it get such a bad rap? The ancients certainly figured out that spring followed winter every year, and they used their skills to create solstice calculators like Stonehenge to predict how much more winter they had left. Were they really immobilized in fear of the dark, waiting for solstice to give them hope of spring? Or, on the other hand, did they grumble at solstice that they only had a few more months to play, eat, sing and finish their carvings before they had to get back out and work the farm again? Ancient peoples, after all, did not create surpluses for profit or a year-round global economy. They simply raised enough to sustain themselves so they could devote their time to crafts and play.

Perhaps it was the new religion of Christianity that tried to separate light from dark, exalting the former and disparaging the latter. Perhaps it was Christians’ idea to create fear of the dark so they could make light seem like a sort of salvation. However, nature doesn’t seem to need saving from anything, except from human greed. Nature goes on, year after year, with summer and winter alternating appropriate to the latitude. Nature values the dark time as much as the light and uses both to its advantage. The dark time is healthy and wholesome. It is as necessary for life as rain and sun, decay and bacteria.

And so it is appropriate that our pagan new year starts with Samhain, the beginning of the darkest time of the year. We rest before we work. We focus inwardly before we focus on the wider world. We sleep, we feast, we meditate, and we renew ourselves so that when spring’s light returns and calls us to next year’s work we can respond with new health and strength. These are gifts of the dark time. We are fortunate to have them!