Celebrating Legends, Folklore & Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Midvintersblot/Saint Hilary’s Day

Blessed Be

January 14th

 

Midvintersblot/Saint Hilary’s Day

Midvintersblot or Midwinter’s offering, often called Tiugunde Day in Old English, was sacred to Tiu, the ancient Teutonic chief God and ruler of the year. The festival falls 20 days after Yule and is when the runic half-month of Peorth commences.

This day was christianized as Saint Hilary’s day (for Hilary of Poitiers), the patron of backward children, who was invoked against snake bites. This time is traditionally the coldest point of the year and marks the time when marriages were once again permitted after the Christmas season.

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Celebrating Other Spirituality, Folklore & Legends 365 Days a Year – Christmas Eve, Christmas, Yule

verliebte Vogelwelt

December 24 and 25

Christmas Eve, Christmas, Yule

It is generally accepted that the birth of Christ on December 24th is the invention of some overzealous authors who were trying to create some sort of symmetry between Paganism and Christianity. According to the late fourth-century Scriptor Syrus, it was the custom of the Pagans to celebrate the birthday of the sun on December 25, at which time they kindled lights in token of festivity. The Christians also participated in these solemnities and revelries. Accordingly, when the administrants of the church observed that the Christians had a preference for the festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnized on that day.

The Pagan feast that was replaced by Christmas was of far older origins and may have been built upon the cult of Mithras, who, for the Persians, was the creator of the universe and manifestation of the Creative Logos, or Word. His birth on December 25 was witnessed by shepherds. After many deeds, he held a last supper with his disciples and then returned to heaven. Some believe that, had Christianity not taken hold when it did, Mithraism very well might have become the world religion.

For more that three centuries Christ Mass was a moveable feast, celebrated on the Epiphany (January 6), the day that, according to biblical account, Jesus manifested himself to the Magi. The Western date of December 25 was fixed to coincide with the Roman midwinter festival of the Kalends, which was preceded by seven days of tribute to their God of agriculture, Saturn.

Many of the Yuletide customs we observe today were common to various thanksgiving days and new year’s rites. For example, the hanging of greenery comes from an old ivy-worshiping worshiping cult dating back to the Dionysian revels in ancient Greece; mistletoe was valued-almost worshiped-by the Druids; ids; and gift exchange most likely generated with the Saturnalia. The Christmas tree was introduced by the Prince Albert of Saxony in 1844 and was an adaption of the Paradeisbaum(decorated tree of life) from the medieval drama of the Tannenbaum.

Winter Solstice/Yule Online Coven Gathering

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Anyone is welcomed to join us!

WHEN:

Sunday, December 20, 2015

TIME:

6:00 to 7:00 PM CT

The Sacred Circle starts at 6:15 PM CT SHARP. Please be considerate and be on time or wait until 7:00 PM CT to join us for visiting after the circle has been opened!

WHERE:

Coven Life Chat Room

For information on how to find and get into the chat room or to figure out your local time please check out the banner on the left side of Coven Life Home Page.

PLAN FOR THE CIRCLE

Please click on this link to read the ritual we will be doing: http://covenlife.co/2015/12/07/winter-solsticeyule-ritual-for-coven-gathering-sunday-december-20-2015/

Just because it says coven does not mean you have to be in the coven to attend. All Pagans are welcome to join us! If you have any questions about the gathering please email me at ladybeltane@aol.com I look forward to many of us coming together to celebrate this wonderful Sabbat.

Magically Decking Your Halls and Walls

By Patti Wigington To view images go to: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yulecrafts/tp/YuleCraftProjects.htm?utm_source=exp_nl&utm_medium=email&utm_term=list_paganwiccan&utm_campaign=list_paganwiccan&utm_content=20150609

There are so many great ways you can decorate your home for the Yule season. Adapt store-bought Christmas decorations, or make your own Pagan-themed home decor for the season. Here’s how you can put together a Yule log of your own, some fun and simple ornaments, a Pagan twist on the “manger” scene, some seasonally-scented potpourri andincense, and more!

Decorate a Yule log for your family’s celebration.Image by Steve Gorton/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

Decorate a Yule Log

The Yule log is an ancient tradition, but you can make one for your own family’s holiday celebration. Put one together with items you find outside, and include it as part of your Yule ritual.

Use salt dough and cookie cutters to make your own Yule ornaments. Image by ansaj/E+/Getty Images

Salt Dough Ornaments

These easy ornaments can be assembled in hardly any time at all. Once they’ve baked, paint them and hang them around your home for Yule! More »

Inscribe ornaments with symbols, or decorate with icing before you hang them on your tree. Image by Dorling Kindersley/Dorling Kindersley Collection/Getty Images

Cinnamon Spell Ornaments

Use a blend of cinnamon, applesauce, and spices to make these spell ornaments – decorate with magical symbols, and hang them on your holiday tree this year

Use dried juniper berries, along with cedar and pine, to make a Yule incense blend. Image by Ed Reschke/Photolibrary/Getty Images

Winter Nights Incense

Scents have a way of making time stand still for us sometimes, and the aromas of the winter holidays are no exception. For many people, re-creating the smells and emotions of our childhood, or even of some distant ancestral memory, is part of the magic of the Yule season. More »

Make a magical gingerbread poppet for yourself or a friend!. Image by PhotoAlto/Michele Constantini/Getty Images

Magical Gingerbread Poppets

Gingerbread men are everywhere during the Yule season – and they’re the perfect shape to use for a magical poppet. Why not get crafty and make some magic for the season? More »

Use your favorite spices to make scented pinecone ornaments. Image by Mike Bentley/E+/Getty Images

Pine Cone Ornaments

The pine cone has long been a symbol of the winter solstice. Make these nature- friendly ornaments to sparkle and shine during your Yule celebration. More »

Make an herbal sachet to hang on your Yule tree.Image by Patti Wigington

Yule Herbal Sachet

This sachet is simple to make, and combines some of the most delightful scents of the season. Make them small and hang on a tree, make them a bit larger and give them as gifts! More »

Use three chenille stems to shape this pent — one makes the circle, and the other two get folded around to form the star.Image © Patti Wigington

Easy Pentacle Ornaments

This is a super-easy craft project you can get your kids working on, and have them create a whole bunch of pretty pentacles to hang around your house during the Yule season. More »

Use pine boughs and other natural items to make an outdoor Yule scene. Image by Cultura RM/Jonatan Fernstrom/Getty Images

Make a Pagan “Nativity” Scene

So your neighbors all have cute little mangers in their yards, complete with plastic baby Jesus, light-up sheep, and a couple of Wise Men who have probably seen better days. Are you feeling a bit left out? Don’t worry — you can still set up a Nativity scene (or something close to it) that represents your Pagan or Wiccan beliefs, and honors the birth of the sun, rather than the son of another religion’s god. More »

Make a batch of potpourri to simmer on your stovetop. Image by sozaijiten/Datacraft/Getty Images

Yule Simmering Potpourri

Make a batch of Yule potpourri, get it simmering on your stovetop, and enjoy the scents of the season! More »

So Exactly How Do Witches Celebrate the Sabbats?

Imbolc/Candlemas Comments
So how does a Witch celebrate the Sabbats? Hmm, we always take for granted that each of automatically know what they are suppose to do on our Sabbats. Well, at least I did to recently. I was talking to a dear friend and I asked them how was your Yule. Did you do anything special? The reply was, well we did whatever Pagans are suppose to do, whatever that is! It didn’t dawn on me till a few days later. Perhaps we aren’t doing the job I thought we were doing. I decided to make a commitment to all of you. The commitment is before each Sabbat (over a few days) we will give your morning prayers, rituals, spells, activities, the correspondences and the Deities of that Sabbat. You will have the information to celebrate that Sabbat correctly.

I am very glad that my dear friend made this comment. I believe there are others that might be saying or thinking the same but have never told us. So now, we are going to provide you with everything you need. There will be no more wondering what Pagans/Witches do on the current Sabbats as the Wheel turns.

I hope you enjoy the information. If you ever have any questions or concerns about any issue, please contact us. Because if you don’t contact us, we won’t never know where we are lacking in our service to you.

Lady A & The WOTC

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OIMELC – February 2

OIMELC – February 2

Down with Rosemary and so
Down with baies and mistletoe;
Down with Holly, live and all
Wherewith ys drest the Yuletide Hall;
That so the superstitious find No one least Branch there left behind;
For look, how many leaves there be
Neglected there, maids, trust to me,
So many goblins you shall see.
–Robert Herrick

Oimelc – Imbolc in the Saxon – marks the first stirring of life in the earth.
The Yule season originally ended at Oimelc. But with increasing organization and industrialization, increasing demands for labor and production, the holiday kept shrinking, first to the two weeks ending at Twelfth Night, then to a single week ending at New Year’s, then to a single day.

Oimelc begins a season of purification similar to that preceding Yule. It ends
at Ostara. No marriages, initiations or puberty rites should be celebrated
between Oimelc and Ostara.

The candles and torches at Oimelc signify the divine life-force awakening
dormant life to new growth.

THEMES

Growth of roots begin again. Bare branches begin to swell with leaf buds, and
growth appears at the tips of evergreen branches. The tools of agriculture are
being make ready for Spring.

Xian feasts of St. Brigid, and Celtic feast of Brigit, the maiden aspect of the
triple goddess and mother of Dagda. Her symbol is the white swan. A Roman feast of Bacchus and Ceres. The Lupercalia, a feast of Pan. The Nephelim or Titans, those offspring of human-divine unions said to have ruled Atlantis.

Grannus, a mysterious Celtic god whom the Romans identified with Apollo.

PURPOSE OF THE RITES

To awaken life in the Earth. Fire tires to strengthen the young Sun, to bring
the fertilizing, purifying, protective and vitalizing influence of fire to the
fields, orchards, domestic animals, and people. To drive away winter. To charm
candles for household use throughout the year.

FOLK CUSTOMS

The three functions of Oimelc – end of Yule, feast of candles or torches, and
beginning of a purificatory season – are divided by the Xian calendar among
Twelfth Night, Candlemas and Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras, Carnival). The customs of all three feasts are derived from Oimelc, with at most a thin Xian gloss.

Parades of giant figures (Titans?) in rural towns in France and at Mardi Gras
and Carnival celebrations. A figure representing the Spirit of Winter or Death,
sometime made of straw, sometimes resembling a snowman, is drowned, burnt or in once case, stuffed with fireworks and exploded. They symbol of Montreal’s Winter Carnival is the giant figure of Bonhomme di Neige (snowman).

Groundhog Day, Chinese New Year and St. Valentine’s Day customs.

The French provinces are so rich in Oimelc customs they cannot be listed here.
Refer to “The Golden Bough”.

Wassailing the trees: at midnight, carolers carry a bucket of ale, cider or
lamb’s wool in a torchlight procession through the orchards. The leader dips a
piece of toast in the drink and sedges it in the fork of each tree, with the
traditional cheer (variations exist) of: “Hats full, holes full, barrels full,
and the little heap under the stairs!”.

Who finds the bean in the Twelfth Night cake becomes king of the feast; who
finds the pea becomes queen – never mind the gender of the finders. Rag-bag
finery and gilt-paper crowns identify the king and queen. The rulers give
ridiculous orders to the guests, who must obey their every command. They are
waited on obsequiously, and everything they do is remarked and announced
admiringly and importantly: “The King drinks!”, “The Queen sneezes!” and
everyone politely imitates the ruler’s example.

SYMBOLIC DECORATIONS

Snowdrops are picked for vases, but otherwise no special decorative effects are
indicated. Go carnival, balloons and confetti.

SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

Parades, with showers of confetti, gala balls, masks, street dancing, mumming,
winter sports, ice and snow sculpture.

THE RITE

Dress in dark colors with much silver jewelry. Outdoors, after dark on the Even,
have the site arranged with a fire in the cauldron and the altar draped in
white, at the Northeast. The fire may be composed all or in part of Yule greens.

Go in a torchlight procession to the Circle. Include a stamping dance, possibly beating the ground with sticks, before the Invocation. The invocation may end with the calling of Hertha, a Teutonic goddess of the earth and the hearth. Call her name three times and at each call beat on the ground three times with the palms of both hands.

A figure representing Winter should be burned in the fire. Communion may consist of Sabbat Cakes or a Twelfth Night cake (there are many traditional recipes) and cider or wassail. A procession may leave the Circle for a time to wassail a nearby orchard. Couples may leap the bonfire. Supplies of candles brought by the coveners are blessed.

Boys puberty rites may be celebrated. These usually include mock plowing by the boys.

Close the Circle and go indoors for the feast.

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THE FEAST OF LIGHT

THE FEAST OF LIGHT
(By: Titania Morgay)

If Candlemas day be fair and bright,
Winter will have another flight.
If Candlemas day clouds and rain,
Winter is gone, and will not come again.
– E. Holden

The time has come to call and welcome the forces of light!

Candlemas or Imbolc is the mid point of the dark half of the year. We
welcome the rebirth and awakening of the Earth, the earliest beginnings of
Spring.

Through Pagan lore, we learn that the Sun God, who is now a young boy, is
beginning to feel his growing powers through the renewing energies of the
Sun, represented in the lengthening in the daylight hours. The Goddess is
awakening from her slumber and rest after giving birth to the
God/Child at Yule. She is represented in the Maiden aspect of the triple
Goddess. The awakening of the Goddess/Earth, causes germination of seeds and
development of buds on the trees, as the powers of the Sun begin to warm and
renew the earth. A celebration of fertility.

Traditionally, Imbolc is a time to prepare for the goals one wishes to
accomplish in the coming months, and to clarify and redefine our personal
projects which were begun at Yule. the fires of Imbolc represent our
personal illumination and inspiration, a celebration of ideas yet to be
born. Imbolc has also become a time for new initiations into covens,
self-dedication, and renewal of our bows. It is also a time for purification
of oneself.

The colors for Imbolc are lavender, white and pink. Herbs include
Heliotrope, Carnation, Poppy, Basil and Violet. Stones used for this
celebration may include Amethyst for peace of mind or jet for
heightened intuition and inner sight.

Offerings of cakes and wine may be presented to the Lord and Lady, to seek
their assistance in helping to ignite your creative fires and energy.

May the fires of Imbolc burn brightly within all of you throughout the
coming year!

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Eyes of the Wolf Spell

Eyes of the Wolf Spell

(Wolf Moon)
As the first full moon after the winter solstice or Yule, the Wolf Moon is one of the most important of the high moons. A  full moon occurs when the sun and the moon are aligned on opposite sides of the earth. This alignment of the two celestial bodies has a strong effect on the  earth. This alignment of the two celestial bodies has a strong effect on the earth, producing a time when energy is high. This is why full moon rituals can  be incredibly powerful times for doing magick.
When looking through the eyes of the wolf, the idea is to perceive the true nature of people, events and experiences.  Expand your perception and awareness using the instincts of the wolf. The wolf is part of a pack that use their knowledge and wits to survive a time when the  earth is cold and barren.
This is also when new patterns are conceived, setting the stage for what is to come. This is also the ideal time for  foretelling the future, clairvoyance, and divination practices.
At midnight, begin by drawing a circle of light. This is done by standing at your altar and pounding the stick end of  your wand on the altar nine times. Pick up you athame and point it toward the north point of your circle. Starting and ending in the north, draw a magickal  circle of light clockwise around the circle. Next, call in the elements of earth, air, fire and water.
Standing in the middle of the circle, call in the powers of the wolf:
“On this full moon night at this hour
I call now upon the ancient animal powers
To guide me in the ways of the wolf
Where instinct and wit prevail
Through darkness, wind, rain and hail
I am the wolf, the wolf is me
So be it! Blessed be!
As you enjoy your evening, imagine seeing through the eyes of the wolf. Imagine dreaming with the eyes of the wolf. In  the morning pull up the circle and thank the elements. Also than the wolf for its guidance and power.
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Celebrating Other Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Midvintersblot

Celebrating Other Spirituality 365 Days A Year

January 13 and 14

Midvintersblot/Saint Hilary’s Day

Midvintersblot or Midwinter’s offering, from called Tiugunde Day in Old England, was sacred to Tiu, the ancient Teutonic Chief God and ruler of the year. This festival falls 20 days after Yule and is when the runic half-month of Peorth commences.

This day was christened as Saint Hilary’s Day (for Hilary of Poitiers), the patron of backward children, who was invoked against snake bites. This time is traditionally the coldest point of the year and marks the time when marriages were once again permitted after the Christmas season

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A Very Blessed & Happy Yule To All of the WOTC Family!

Yule Comments & Graphics

Days like today are important.
Whether it is getting time to
spend with our offline family
or grasping a few moments with
our online family, it doesn’t matter.
 
 
Every moment is precious, now is the time we
give thanks to the Goddess for our many blessings.
One of my biggest blessings is all of you. Someone
that thinks like you, has the same beliefs and practices,
a kindred spirit.
 
 
I have found many kindred spirits here and for that I am truly
grateful. Some I know well, others I hope to some day. But it
doesn’t matter. Just remember as I celebrate my Yule this
year, I will be thanking the Goddess for each and everyone of you.
 
 
My wish and prayer for you, my dear family, is one of great happiness,
much love, and the Goddess’ blessings on you throughout the year.

Merry Yule,

Love,

Lady A