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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Winter Solstice

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For a recording of this Vision working, please click here: 

 http://templeofwitchcraft.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/13-Yule-2013-Day-13.mp3

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  • Oak
    Oak says #
    Will thank you very much Christopher! I got so very much out of these workings.More than I can even Express. It had been a very bu

For a recording of this Vision working, please click here: 

 http://templeofwitchcraft.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/12-Yule-2013-Day-12.mp3

Scorpio's key words are sex and death, as both are foundation stones in the mysteries, for both help swing open the gates between matter and spirit, allowing great connection, communion and passage. The spirit of Scorpio worked with in the Temple is the guardian who watches over that gate, who guards its passage, and guides those who are ready to pass through. 

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For a recording of this Vision working, please click here: 

http://templeofwitchcraft.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/07-Yule-2013-Day-7.mp3b2ap3_thumbnail_188341_10150131097058281_6534911_n.jpg

Mercury is the ruler of Gemini and the Trickster, and all the Mercurial correspondences work when evoking the Trickster gods. Carnelian, Agate and multicolored or mottled stones are the minerals of Mercury. Scents such as lavender and storax are excellent to use in the form of incense and oils. The Lovers card, depicting the dual nature of Gemini, is the Tarot Trump associated with this sign. The Divine Twins can be siblings, but also the anima or animus, the compliment, of the other. 

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For a recording of this Vision working, please click here:

http://templeofwitchcraft.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/06-Yule-2013-Day-6.mp3

 

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For a recording of this meditation, please click here: 

http://templeofwitchcraft.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/03-Yule-2013-Day-3.mp3

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To be Guided through the journey, use this link to download the MP3: 

http://templeofwitchcraft.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/01-Yule-2013-Day-1.mp3

Though beyond and including all correspondences, the scent of Myrrh and dark stones such as jet, obsidian and garnet can help you connect with the Goddess. The last of the Tarot Trumps, the World or Universe card, gives us imagery to work with her.

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  • Johnny Allison
    Johnny Allison says #
    EkatvaMatriSadbhava Sanskrit for "Blessings of the Divine Mother" Most Beautifully Adorned with the Heavens !

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

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Most people today in America are familiar with the Twelve Days of Christmas carol, detailing twelve days of more and more elaborate gifts, much to the delight of modern retail to encourage us to shop more for the holiday. It is an English folk song and possibly there is a correlation between each of the twelve days, and the upcoming twelve months, but if there was any deeper insight, or folk custom coded into the song, it appears to be lost or garbled to us today. The overall concept of the song, if not the direct inspiration, is based upon the twelve days of Yule.

This Yuletide season went beyond a simple one or two day celebration, and lasted for twelve days and thirteen nights in the Germanic, Norse and English traditions, though at times it the season could have lasted a month or even two. In terms of magickal currents, we can even see the season starting as early as Hallow's, or our sabbat of Samhain. The familiar customs of Yule, such as evergreen trees, holly and mistletoe, were then absorbed and adapted into Christian celebrations when the birth of Christ was shifted to fit the holidays of a more Pagan calendar. Christian celebrations usually start with Christmas, and the twelfth night then being January 5th. Others in more Pagan traditions start counting at the Winter Solstice, of the eve of the Winter Solstice.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_isis_horus.jpgCome, the darkest night

Come, new light at dawn

Aset, bring the child of promise,

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_snowy-day-in-the-woods.jpgThe chart cast for the moment of the Winter Solstice — when the Sun enters Capricorn — is predictive for the three months ahead, and when the chart is cast for the capital of a country, it is predictive for that entire country. As we spiral in towards the next solsticial shift — from dark to light here in the northern hemisphere, and from light to dark in the southern — we are caught up in planetary energies that demand change, and change often demands the destruction of the old before the new is birthed. It is the light within us — our inner Sun — that gives us the vision, energy, courage and strength to build anew in a world in which hi-tech warfare, critical levels of environmental pollution, catastrophic climate change and resource depletion promise a future very different from our present. The challenges are clear, and the Solstice chart offers us insight into the personal and spiritual strategies we can use to meet these challenges with grace, compassion, and courage.

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Winter Solstice: The Darkness Within

The winter solstice is fast upon us, even though technically the shortest night has already been upon us (for a brain-thumping explanation, see http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/12/the-astronomical-hijinks-of-the-shortest-day-of-the-year/282109/).  Thoughts turn inwards at this time of year, when in the darkness we are confronted with our shadow selves, should we choose to face them.  We have the opportunity to learn more of ourselves, and in doing so, better serve not only ourselves but the world.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Sassy Solstice Soirée

Winter Solstice is a perfect excuse to wind down for the year. It is happily emphasized since I am on Winter Break for school– hibernating more and going out less. For the last seven years and counting, I have held some sort of Winter Solstice gathering for friends and sometimes family. I have hosted sit-down traditional dinners and the more informal drinks and appetizers only fiesta. We have mulled spiced-wine together, played an old parlor game entitled, "The Minister's Cat," and lit candles. One of my favorite theme ideas was putting a spotlight on the sun: I served spicy Indian food for snacks and the soundtrack featured all songs mentioning the sun. There are a seemingly endless supply of these to choose from.

This year, I am taking some advice from an Indianapolis food blogger, featured in the current issue of Midwest Living. Her article, "Holiday Party Tips From Annie Marshall: Eat Drink and Be Merry," is a great approach to a more relaxed get-together. From hanging treats on an "edible cookie tree," to her insistence on serving a signature drink for the event that you can make a nice big batch of in advance, Marshall knows her stuff. Here is her recipe for Cranberry Margaritas:

Stir up a pitcher of these rosy margaritas for your next holiday bash. The Simple Syrup recipe makes enough syrup for 30 margaritas but is easily halved or quartered.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I love this time of year...though I could do without the single to negative digit temperatures.  A lot of my traditions haven't changed from what I did as a child in a Roman Catholic household but I do have some additions.  Below, in random order, I list some of my holiday traditions.

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Yule King Freyr

A Prayer to Ingvi

I.
Because I could not kiss your lips
I kissed my lover instead;
Because he never danced with me
I dance with you instead,
here on the far side of midnight
where sun hides
and moon cannot be jealous.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

As I stand outside, feet firmly planted on the grass I can feel the steady pulse of the Earth beneath me. Around me, my garden has come to life in an explosion of green, just as the insect population has rapidly grown. I sink my awareness deeper into my surroundings and feel the rapidly approaching Summer Solstice hanging in the air “Mom! Damien won’t leave the Christmas tree alone!” And with that, I am jerked back to reality and motherly duties, and to a world with a cultural clash in celebrations.

I am a Pagan, so on 21 December I’ll celebrate the Summer Solstice. But it’s hard to get into that summer feeling when, from October and the start of summer, all commercial enterprises have been pushing consumers into Christmas. Malls are decked with frosted garlands of plastic greenery, and elves practically melt in the 30˚ plus (86˚F and higher to those over the Atlantic) heat as they usher children to an equally sweaty Santa. And let’s not forget the winter foods traditional to Christmas that leave you feeling more like a beached whale than a streamlined dolphin as you swim in the pool.

Another aspect of this cultural clash is that, unlike Northern Hemisphere Pagans, our Sabbats in the South are at odds with the commercial calendar- Samhain and Yule décor in summer and Ostara décor in autumn. Not only does it hamper the convenience of the Sabbat, but I find it makes it harder to really get into the feel of the Sabbat when everyone else is celebrating its seasonal opposite.

There is a deeper side to it too. At Yule, Samhain and Ostara, Northern Pagans, especially those in America, have the opportunity to let the religious family divides slide, meaning that families can come together to celebrate the holiday in a more secular way. In South Africa, Yule is in June- everyone is either in school or working, and as the majority population is Christian, have no interest celebrating Christmas in June. And as it is more likely that a few, if even that, family members may be Pagan, it means that Yule doesn’t hold that same family-time feeling as it does in the North.

So what’s a South African Pagan to do? Do as the first settlers to her shores and adapt! With leaving my children to decide on their own religion, and naturally being like any child who will never say no to a chance for presents, we have Christmas in our home, but with a twist. We have a small Christmas tree decorated in shades of pink and purple, and as soon as they are made, some flower decorations too. And while I will make offerings on the astronomical event of the Summer Solstice, I’ll leave the true celebration of Summer to Christmas day. So instead of a heavy wintery feast indoors come Christmas day, we’ll have a light lunch of light meats and seasonal salads and fruits by the pool. And we’ll make the most of both holidays by spending the day together as a family, enjoying the height of summer.

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For those celebrating Christmas as either a sacred or secular holiday, merry merry! And the party goes on: the Twelve Days of Christmas begin today—on Christmas Day—and extend for twelve days, through Jan. 5. [Note: Some traditions begin the count on Christmas night and end the Twelve Days on Jan. 6.] Also known as “Christmastide” or “Twelvetide,” the modern traditions are Christian in nature but spring from a number of Pagan and magickal folkways.

CloudsOne of these is the Welsh custom of the Omen Days, of which I was reminded by author Caitlin Matthews on Facebook this morning. The Omen Days spring from Welsh/Scot traditions, which are near and dear to my heart as I’m a member of Family Huntly and Clan Gordon (Bydand!). At one point, the Omen Days were considered so important they affected the way business and legal issues were conducted. For example, during the Twelve Days, courts were said to lack their usual power and cases often sat untried or were released for lack of decision. Work was often reduced or suspended during the Omen Days, and it was a time for ritual and feasting. If one died during the Twelvetide, some believed it to be a dangerous omen for the departed one’s families, while others felt it to be exceptionally lucky, believing the newly dead would go straight to Heaven.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

It is finally winter here. We have had little in the way of snow; actually, only frost on a few bitterly cold nights -- which I then had to get up extra early to scrap off my car. But then the sun would rise and the day would warm and I would forget about the fifteen minutes of lost sleep.

Not today, though. Today dawned cold and gray and foggy. Then the wind rose up and pushed the fog away, and even most of the clouds. But it stayed cold. Even without Christmas looming in a few days, weather like this still would have driven people into the book store in search of hot cider, hot chocolate, hot tea and (of course) a good book.

That "good book" is the subject of this column. Now, there are plenty of books about Christmas. Lots and lots and lots and lots of books about Christmas, geared towards every possible audience. There are even quite a few books about Hanukkah. But Heliogenna? Dies Natalis Solis Invictus? 'Ashuru Ari? Yule? Jul? Mothers' Night? Saturnalia? The Solstice itself? ... Um ....

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
I Sit Exhausted on This Longest Night

My big plan was to finish up some loose ends so that I could truly enjoy my first winter holiday season in town, not working retail. Daughter was coming home, holiday cards were mailed away...even the weather was nice.

Did your December deviate from the plan, too?  There have been unexpected rituals, several funerals, more than one friend or circle mate whose life took a turn for the...challenging.

We did manage a Witches Night Out a couple of weeks ago but that seems like it happened in another life. Oy vey, as they say.

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Thanks for that. Blessings to you!
  • Elani Temperance
    Elani Temperance says #
    I don't have any big words, just silent support from across the pond. You're in my thoughts and prayers, as is everyone else who h

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

This is going to be a banner year for Winter Solstice parties. If superstitious, you can choose to use the following theme on December 21. Or, opt to do a quiet solo meditation on that date. Then when you're still around to enjoy 2013, have a "The Mayans Were Misinformed" hootenanny to ring in the new year.

According to Lee Cart in the Suite 101 website article, "The Sacred Colors of the Ancient Maya," (January 20, 2011), the Mayan colors were red for the east and the birth of the sun, yellow for the south, black for death and the west, and white for north. You can construct an altar with a blue green candle for a centerpiece, as this was the fifth color and direction, believed to connect the other four cardinal elements. Incidentally, east/red was seen as the most important and should be placed at the typical north spot of your construction. Sacred plants and foods to the Mayans were wild corn, bees, flowers and beans. Choose one of each of these items to place at its corresponding color and direction– I would opt for yellow honey instead of actual bees, though.


Clare Green's, "The Ancient Maya Diet," (July 23, 2009) at the Discover Chichenitza website contains helpful menu ideas. Some of the staple foods of the Mayan diet that Green lists are: corn, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, chili peppers, pineapple, shrimp, avocado, and chocolate. You can use heat and serve products from your local organic food store or try out out some of the fun recipes here: http://car.utsa.edu/Legacy/mayarecipes.htm

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

Happy holidays, people! Or, should I say Merry Christmas? Or Good Yule? Or maybe Happy Hanukkah?

 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

It’s December first…. The symbolic beginning of the winter season, at least in terms of our modern calendar. It is, above all else, the beginning of a season of light.

But why light, we may ask? Why thoughts of light right now, when the days are so short and the nights long and cold? Why thoughts of light at a time of year when the land is muddy and skeletal, when cold rains fall and winds gust and one must bundle against the ice and snow?

Imagine yourself as a Stone Age person living more than two millennia ago. You would have spent your life living subsistence fashion, and when winter came, you and the tribe would have taken to a nearby cave to huddle against the cold, working by firelight and living off the provisions you’d managed to gather and store during the kinder summer months. You’d nourish yourself with soups and teas, sharing stories around the fire at night as way to gather your courage against the dark and cold, even as storms wailed outside. You’d do your best to be brave, ignoring the wee inner voice that wondered if the winter might never end.

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