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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in yule

 

 

On Sunday, December 19, 2021 (10 a.m. CST) I'll be addressing (via Zoom) the good folks of the Unitarian Church of Underwood, Minnesota. 

 

Have You Spoken with the Sun Lately?

Reflections on the Winter Solstice

 

A reporter once asked a witch: Do witches pray?

The witch smiled. We dance, she said.

 

Please join us Sunday, December 19, 2021, when storyteller Steven Posch asks, "Have you spoken with the Sun lately?", reflects on Indigenous European religion, and shares the songs, tales, and even—yes—dances of the Winter Solstice.

 

Poet, scholar, and storyteller Steven Posch (rhymes with "gauche") was raised in the wooded hills of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer (that's the story, anyway), and has celebrated the Winter Solstice since the tender age of twelve. He emigrated to Paganistan (which may or may not be Minneapolis, MN) in 1989, and has since become (gods help us all) a respected senior voice in the American pagan community. Current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser, he blogs at the wickedly popular Paganistan blog.

He also looks pretty good in a kilt.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Pine: Scent & Magic of the Season

No matter the time of year, the scent of pine is evocative of winter holidays and stirs up fond memories. Unfortunately, stress is often a part of the season; however, the revitalizing scent of pine aids in dealing with nervous tension and exhaustion. Diffuse a little pine essential oil to perk up from mental fatigue or when you need mental clarity. Fostering a sense of peace and well being, it helps balance emotional ups and downs. To help relax, diffuse two parts lavender with one part pine.

The pine tree was venerated since the time of the Assyrians and Egyptians. The Greeks associated it with Pan and other woodland gods and because it was extensively used for shipbuilding, it was also dedicated to Poseidon. To the Romans the tree represented the power of male virility and the pine cone was a symbol of fertility.

Throughout Europe and the British Isles, elves, faeries, and pixies were said to live in or gather around pine trees. Germanic peoples revered the tree and believed that it was home to spirits. Pine was commonly used as a Yule log and branches were hung in homes to celebrate the winter solstice and to keep evil spirits at bay.

While there is often confusion about the difference between pine and fir trees, there are two simple ways to distinguish them. Pine needles grow in clusters of two or more; fir needles are attached to branches individually. Pine cones hang from the branches and point downward; fir cones sit upright on the branches.

Magically, pine is well known for purification, which works for releasing negative energy and is especially effective in public spaces. This same quality makes it an ally in defensive magic. Use pine for blessings and to attract abundance. The scent helps to steady and focus the mind for psychic work as well as communication with spirits.

 

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 Killing a Grizzly the Old-Fashioned Way: With a Longbow and a Stone-Point  Arrowhead

Dear Boss Warlock:

Help! I've been a witch for 25 years but, come December, what with all the presents, trees, and parties, I keep hearing the C-word slip out of my mouth when what I really mean is "Yule". The other night, one of my students actually corrected me. It's humiliating. What can I do to exorcise this foul demon?

Retrogressive in Raleigh

 

Dear Retro:

I hear your pain. Verbal precision is one of the truest arrows in the witch's quiver.

Here in the US, the C-word is so pervasive that to eliminate it requires an act of will, if not one of magic. Fortunately, you're a witch, so you've got plenty of both.

After all, what's the witch's most important tool? (If you're thinking “athame,” think again.)

As pagans, of course, we're so often out of synch with the overculture that, come Yule, it's easy to stop swimming and just let ourselves drift along on the current for a while. But, in fact, despite the overlap of season and a certain amount of iconography, our Yule and theirs are really two very different holidays. (I mean, really, just look at the names: Yule and C-day. One is taut, muscular, sexy; the other slack, hissy, frumpy.) It's vital here always to remember that Yule came first. That's historic fact. Yule isn't our C-day; C-day is their Yule.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Fairy Yule Rituals 2021

Please join me in celebrating the Yule season. 

 

You are invited to two Fairy (Faerie) Yule events. 

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December 21 - Longest Night Fire Ceremony

December is named for the Roman goddess Decima, one of the three fates. The word Yule comes from the Germanic jol, which means midwinter, and is celebrated on the shortest day of the year. The old tradition was to have a vigil at a bonfire to make sure the sun did indeed rise again. This primeval custom evolved to become a storytelling evening and while it may well to be too cold to sit outside in snow and sleet, congregating around a blazing hearth fire, dining and talking deep into the night is important for your community to truly know each other, impart wisdom and speak to hopes and dreams. Greet the new sun with stronger connections and a shared vision for the coming solar year.

What you need:

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  • Victoria
    Victoria says #
    December is not named after Decima, it is named after the Latin word decem (ten) because it was originally the tenth month of the

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
All Time Is Now (Happy Yule!)

Dear Moon Muser,

As I write to you (3rd version is the charm) in the complete darkness this morning due to a power outage at the exact moment of starting (a sign!) I just knew I needed to send this version of my museletter to you.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I wish you and yours all blessings, this holiday season and in the new year.

Since we won’t be visiting face-to-face, I made a little video of what you’d see were we visiting here. 

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