Friday, December 23, 2011
Season of Quiet Spell
Winter is the season of introspection and wisdom. Its cold, quiet days give us a chance to rest after the spring and summer seasons of growth and expansion. Now we may meditate on chances taken, lessons learned, and other subtle changes. This is a perfect time for scrying. For this spell, you will need three candles—one each of black, white, and blue—a black bowl, and some snow or ice. Fill the bowl with snow or pieces of ice. Light the candles and set the bowl in front of them, saying:
Light and water,
Son and daughter,
Dancing in winter's glow;
Ice and fire,
Show me what I would know.
Watch for images in the flicker of candlelight on the melting ice. Pay attention to the symbolism of the shapes you see. When the bowl's contents have melted completely, blow out the candles and pour the water outside.
~ Elizabeth Barrette
Yule - occurs on the date of the winter solstice. It is also known as Winter Rite, Midwinter, and Alban Arthan. Yule is celebrated on the longest night of the year, and it is seen by many as the time when the sun begins its journey back from the darkness to the fullest light, celebrated at the Summer Solstice. It is the festival of the Sun's rebirth, and a time to honor the winter aspects of the God and Goddess. The festival of Yule was originally celebrated in Norse and Germanic countries, and many Pagans choose to honor those aspects of the God and Goddess at this time of year.
Yule marks the longest night of the year -- the triumph of the dark half of the year. Night and darkness have reached their apex and the Wheel turns to restore balance. The dawn heralds the return of the sun, bringer of light, warmth, and growth. In the days following Yule, the sun's power grows steadily, encroaching upon the night, pushing back the darkness.
The darkness of this longest night holds many lessons. One of the most powerful is the awareness that hope and light spring forth from deepest darkness. Here, indeed, is the message "that the darkest hour comes just before the dawn". As we wait quietly in the darkness, we honor the stillness and the mystery of the night, and light candles or a Yule log to summon the sun's return. In the summoning of the sun, we work in partnership with Nature to preserve balance. Similarly, when faced with difficult challenges in our lives, we are partners with the Universe in manifesting hope out of despair.
The Yule tree (recognized in modern times as the "Christmas tree") is an ancient symbol of life, fertility and vitality. Even in the dead of Winter, the Yule tree is evergreen ... a reminder of the life-force of Nature. Trees are brought into the house and decked with lights to celebrate Life and the returning of light after the darkest night.
Yule is also a celebration of dawning potentiality. As darkness gives way to light, the Earth lies sleeping. To us, the Earth appears dead, dormant, but deep within her soil lies the slumbering seed awaiting the power of the newborn sun to activate its growth. At Yule, we look within ourselves for the sleeping seeds, and identify the situations, blessings, activities we would like to germinate and grow in the coming year. We honor the need for the regenerative stillness, the rest before the energetic growth of springtime. Yule is a time of transformation and rebirth. Rituals and personal healing work centered around rebirthing are customary at this time.
Saturday, December 03, 2011
Holiday Scented Pinecones
Pine or Fir pure essential oil or you can use cinnamon oil
Lidded container, box or plastic bag
Facial tissue or cotton balls
Fill container, box or plastic bag with dry, clean pine cones.
Liberally sprinkle tissue with essential oil and add to bag or
Seal the bag or container and allow oil to penetrate cones for
several days before removing (the longer the cones are contained, the
stronger the fragrance will be).