Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Doing Some Cleaning Before the New Year Starts

So, I'm catching up on the blogs I follow yesterday. I love reading what others post, I learn a great deal of good info about things, get some new recipes and sometimes I see a link to another good blog. I follow so many great blogs out there and I am in the process of trying to get them listed and deleting the blogs that I hardly read....you know, the blogs that haven't had a recent posting since, let's say, Ostara.

I also saw the numbers of who follow this blog...not including my BOS & Deities pages. I have approx 145 followers who follow me via Google or Networked Blogs on Facebook. That's a lot of followers for a blog that I've been writing on for such a short time. I did start blogging back in March, but I let things dwindle & didn't post very often. I probably was deleted off other's lists because of lack of postings. Then, back in early autumn, I felt as though I had to get back into the swing of things. I thank you all with my whole heart for following me & leaving such great comments. I do try to respond to them.. This means so much to me that people out there like my blog.

Now, as I said before I was reading some great blogs yesterday when I came across a really good idea from Mother Moon. She does a daily blog entry...isn't that a pip?? <--stole that phrase from my son's "In the Night Garden" DVD. I may try to do that, but if I have nothing important to write about, then I may skip a day (or 2). I'll try to tell you about books that I'm reading, the Pagan shops I go to (with links) and whatever comes to my mind. I'm also working on having a giveaway very soon. I've been making Spell Candle Boxes. Mine that is the guinea pig of them. I did post a few pix a couple of weeks back. I have about 50+ candles in mine, as well as my 6 holders. I'm a little anal about the designs & how they turn out. I want them to be amazing for the giveaway.

Anyway, I have to get going, my son wants to come on to play his games. Have a wonderful day today. Love & Light!!

Rowan
)O(

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Blue Moon Lore


As we all know, this Thursday, as being New Year's Eve, is also hosting another event: a Blue Moon. We all know that a Blue Moon is when a 2nd full moon occurs in the same month, but what about the term, "once in a Blue Moon"?? I found a great article over at Suite101.com, that explains some of the lore of this phenomenon.

According to folklore, the term "blue moon" has been around for at least 400 years. The earliest known reference to this lunar event referred to an unlikely occurrence or something that could never happen. Over time the expression has evolved to mean something that rarely, if ever happens, thus the expression "once in a blue moon" became common place.

What is a Blue Moon?

Contrary to the name there is no physical difference in appearance during this lunar occurrence, the moon does not actually appear to be blue. According to most sources, a blue moon occurs when there is a second full moon in the same calendar month. But there are a few sources out there who claim that originally the name blue moon was given to the third full moon in a season where there were four full moons. A blue moons cycle is approximately once every two and a half years.

This lunar event occurs because a complete lunar cycle, the time between the new moon and a full moon, is 29.5 days. Since each calendar month is a little longer than the moons full phase, the full moon occurs little earlier than than the previous month. Approximately every two and a half years, there is a month with two full moons. The second full moon is called the blue moon.

Once in a Blue Moon

The origin of the term "blue moon" is not truly known but is steeped in folklore and its meaning has changed several times. Historically, each full moon throughout the year was given a folk name to help people remember to prepare for the upcoming season.

For example, the name harvest moon was given to the full moon that occurred closest to the autumn equinox. This usually occurred at the peak of harvest and the light of the full moon allowing farmers to work late into the night. This also signaled the time to gather the season’s harvest and to prepare for the upcoming winter.

Many folktales place significance on the blue moon. According to some folktales during a full blue moon, the moon was said to have a face and talked to those in its light. Some pagan beliefs hold the second full moon in a calendar month holds the knowledge of the Goddess and contains very powerful three-fold the energy of a regular full moon. Special rites and rituals were held only on a blue moon night.

Sill other traditions believe the different moon phases represent the transition of knowledge within the Goddess. The maiden is represented by the quarter moon, the new moon represents the mother goddess and the full moon the grandmother goddess or crone. When the blue moon enters a cycle it is said to be the transition of the crone to the divine level of existence or the great transition.

When is the Next Blue Moon?

The next blue moon will be visible on December 31, 2009 – New Year’s Eve. The next time this beautiful celestial event will occur is in the year 2012.

Very rarely there will be a year of two blue moons. Due to February being a short month, this event usually occurs during the months of January and March. The last time there was a year with two full moons was back in 1999. This rarity is not scheduled to happen again until the year 2018. The following dates are when the next blue moons are scheduled to occur.

  • 2009: December 31 (Blue Moon on New Year's Eve)
  • 2012: August 31
  • 2015: July 31
  • 2018: January 31 March 31(Two Blue Moons in One Year)
  • 2020: October 31

Astrology and the Full Moon

Astrologically the energy of the full moon works to integrate and harmonize the contradictions in the self and others. During a full moon, the seeds sown at the last new moon are ready to be harvested and utilized. Traditionally, the full moon is seen as a time for meditation and particularly for personal issues and global concerns.

During the blue moon this vibration is said to be three-fold. In some cultures the second full moon was considered a very holy and auspicious day. A time when the veil between heaven and earth is thin and the ability to communicate with the gods and goddess is very powerful. It is considered a very spiritually significant time for prayer and meditation going back thousands of years.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Some New Changes

As you may see, I have taken down the Yule theme to my blog and put up a New Year's theme. I chose a blue theme, as a calming & refreshing way to come down after all the holiday craziness. I know that the Julian Calendar doesn't celebrate it til this upcoming weekend and we Pagans already had our New Year's with Samhain. I have a little montage of New Year's pix off to the upper right.

This is a busy time for me as well. First, there was Yule/Solstice, then came Christmas and now, next week I will be celebrating my birthday (as well as my son's father, too, the day after) School stars back on the 4th for my little guy. Busy, busy, busy!!

I managed to get my 2010 Witches Datebook (Llewellyn) and the Sabbats Almanac & the Witches Almanac (not published by Llewellyn) all before the New Year arrives. I just have to get out to the calendar kiosk in the mall to pick up the Witches Calendar & a mother's calendar for the kitchen. They're starting to go on sale, now that Christmas is done. They're even cheaper after Jan 1st, but the pickins are slim.

Well, that's about all that I have for now. I've been cleaning a lot around the house, since I was away last week for the holidays. I spent 4 lovely nights with my family and I am glad to be back home with my 2 kitties, who missed their mommy a lot.

Love & Light!! )O(
Rowan

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Solstice Day


Well, I went on a Pagan mini-roadtrip with my 3 new friends, Lisa, Heddy & Julia. We packed into Lisa's car & headed off on out little adventure to some cute little Pagan shops that I never knew existed. First, we went to a cute little shop called Sarah's Spiritual Treasures. It's about 15 minutes outside Halifax in a community called Lower Sackville. It is a small shop, but filled with wonderful goodies!! I was happy that finally found my fav. vanilla incense. I've been looking for it since last Ostara & no one was carrying it. Lisa found a cute little treasure, incense matches. She bought Frankincense, as there was no Sage. She had an idea to smudge her car with it. It smelled so yummy!! I found a good size chunk of clear quartz, it's about 2" big and it was only $8.00. I'm going to use it a my want topper after I charge it.

After departing Sarah's, we headed onto the highway for another 20 minute drive outside the city to Whimsical Cottage Soaps (not to be confused with the Etsy shop, The Whimsical Cottage). It was another small shop, located in the house of a very nice lady, Lori. She makes handmade soaps, lotions, etc. Her shop was filled to the ceiling with alot of awesomeness!! She has so many crystals, books, etc. She's also a Shaman, so there was a lot of native Mi' qmaq (pronounced Mig maw) drums, dream catchers, rattles. She treated us all to some chocolate, she must've sensed that we were getting hungry, as we didn't start our trip til after lunch. She had the cutest little salt & pepper shakers, they were cast iron cauldrons!! I fell in love with this store. I didn't get anything here, as much as I would have love to, but being jobless, my funds are tight for the time being. I will be back to this little gem of a shop. There were a few Faery necklaces that I loved, soaps I want, ok, I want the whole shop...lol!!

We headed back on the road to the city. It was time to eat so we headed to a cute little diner for some grub, before going to Into the Mystic. They were doing tea leaves until 4pm. By the time we ate, it was after 4 and getting darker. We decided that we will go there another day...yay, another road trip!!! We dropped Heddy off at her place then I came home with Julia, as I lived near her bus stop to get her home in the "Darkside".

She hung out with me for a few hours. We talked about everything, from Paganism, to guys, stuff. It was really nice. Time flew by so fast & before we knew it, it was close to 10pm & she had to bid me & my 2 kitties farewell. All in all, it was a great day. We shared some laughs, chocolate and camaraderie. It was nice to be in the company of other Pagans who are genuine with their friendship, not deceitful, as others I have met were with me. I am glad to have my foot in the door to the local Pagan community here in Halifax. I'm meeting so many wonderful people who share a common spirituality with me. I feel the Goddess is blessing me in so many ways recently. I thank Her with my whole mortal heart.

So, I'm going now to welcome the sun, as it will be rising soon over the horizon. Have a Blessed Solstice/Yule. May the Goddess be with you in your journey.

Love & Light!! )☼(
Rowan

Sunday, December 20, 2009

T'was the Eve Before Midwinter


'Twas The Eve of Midwinter, and all through the coven

The Witches were cooking strange things in the oven.

There were mugwart frittatas, and dragon's-blood stew

And mescaline eggnog and mandrake fondue.

There were hot mountain oysters and road-kill pate

And spotted-owl kidneys, and wombat flambe.

The circle was cast and the herbs had been smoked

In hopes that the Goddess would soon be invoked.

When out by the hot tub arose such a clatter

I jumped on my broom to see what was the matter.

And what should I see in the blackberry thorns

but a soaking wet Goddess and eight unicorns!

"I was just sitting down with my vibrating phallus

And a good book," she muttered, "You bitches are callous.

I came when you called, over all my objections,

And got lost in the woods--you give lousy directions.

You turkeys invoked me, now look at my dress

My period's late and I've got PMS."

She cursed and she muttered, she looked like a wreck

The unicorns whimpered and shat on the deck.

We gave her some weed and we got her some grub

We brought her clean towels and she soaked in the tub.

Then she rose, hot and dripping, and gave us her blessing

And jumped in her chariot, without even dressing!

"On Isis! On Eris! Oya and Astarte!

On Ishtar! Inanna! Kali and Hecate!"

We heard her exclaim as she climbed through the air

"Thank Goddess there's only eight sabbats a year!"

My Yule Ritual

I'm still on a high from last night's Yule Ritual & Feast that I attended. It was glorious!!! I got there about 20minutes before it began, sat with my friend, Heddy and her friend, Cathy, who was wearing sandalwood. I had some patchouli in my hair, so we smelled so good last night. That our little joke all night, about how we were the best smelling Pagans there.

We chatted until it was time for the ritual to begin. We all lined up to be cleansed by a sage smudge, so I even smelled better lol!! Cathy & I were the only 2 who shed our winter boots to go barefoot for the ritual. I think it makes the energy flow better when there's nothing between you & the floor. It was an indoor rite, as it is very cold now here in the Maritimes to go outside for a ritual, not as mild as it is over in the UK & Europe to do outdoor rituals.

The room was in total darkness as we joined hands & cast the circle. We chanted, called the quarters (Heddy welcomed the North) and chanted some more. The ritual itself was a beautiful one. It's been ages since I've participated in a group ritual for a Sabbat. The only other one was Samhain in '93 and I had no idea what I was doing when they asked me to call on the element of the West, but I digress.

There was about 30-40 who participated in the rit. There were a few children who got to light the Yule Log. We all got candles to welcome the coming sun as the days are going to be growing longer. The Wheel is definitely turning again.

Then, there was a huge feast after the ritual. We had roast turkey, tofurkey for the vegans, mash potatoes, corn, carrots, mixed veg, 2 kinds of stuffing and gravy. There was also hot apple cider to warm your insides...yummy. Just when you think you've had your fill, out come the desserts: pumpkin pies, cookies, a Yule Log cake, more sweets. I do have to thank my friend, Lisa, who slaved over a hot oven preparing this feast. She did an awesome job!!

I got to meet some more new friends, as well as those who I met at the Witches' Ball a month ago. We all sat around the table discussing issues important to Pagans, books we've read, music and how we should all go see "Avatar". I guess it's has a very Goddess-friendly view of things & an important message as well. I do plan on going to see it after hearing about it from one of the ladies at our table.

All in all, I had a wonderful time last night. I was so energized when I came home I had to ground some of that energy before going to bed, so I danced around my livingroom to Blackmore's Night. I tired myself out so much, I don't even remembering hitting the pillow.

Blessed Be & Happy Yule!!!!

Rowan

Friday, December 18, 2009

My Yule Altar




Well, I've been a little busy this Yule season, with making sure my son has something from Santa under the tree, I managed to get my altar set up for the Sabbat. I'm going to be busy this weekend, I have a group ritual I am attending on Saturday evening. It is my first group ritual in a very long time & I'm looking forward to going. I'll be posting about it for you all. I'm also going to be wrapping gifts...I've been putting it off too long.

On this upcoming Wednesday, I will be heading off to my family's for the holidays. As you all know, I am still in the "closet" about my spirituality, so I know that I will be going to church on Christmas Eve with them. I will do as I did last year & see the Pagan symbolism in the decorations in the church, in the Christmas hymns & in the nativity. I know it's really the Goddess giving birth the to Sun King. While I'm away at the family's, I will not be posting any blogs.

I've been inspired today, it snowed last night. In addition to setting up my altar, I made a pomander to place on the altar, as well as I made a Sun Wheel out of my son's popsicle sticks & painted it gold. I made my own homemade simmering Yule pot-pourri. All I did for that was use orange peel (dried in the oven at 200F for 2 hrs), cloves, juniper berries, cinnamon & lavender. I did cheat, I didn't have any cinnamon sticks on hand, so I used ground cinnamon. I placed all the ingredients (except the dried orange peel) into a bowl and crushed them together with the handle of a screwdriver. A very good substitute if you don't have a mortar & pestle. I placed water in a pot on the stove on low heat and plaed the pot-pourri in a small collander (ok, I don't have a double broiler, either) to simmer over the water. My place just smells divine!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Yule Decorations


My Lovely Tree




My son in front of the tree, before going to a concert




My livingroom, all aglow




Another pic of my livingroom




My diningroom, looking into the kitchen




The front hallway entrance




Another view of the front hallway




The storage closet door

Friday, December 11, 2009

My Rant

Why is it when you get hurt, you move on, get over it, when all of a sudden, after 2 months go by they contact you?? This happened to me tonight. I was just minding my business when I get a poke. I thought it was Duane poking me, like he always does, but it was someone from from my not-so-distant past. I removed the poke & emailed him asking why he was poking me.

I got the whole "I miss you and I miss Mark" I asked him if he was drinking, cuz that's the only time he gets balls to do anything. He said no (yeah, right). He was reading our old emails to each other & clicked onto my name & saw that I could be "poked". What the hell?? Was that his way of trying to pull at my heartstrings?? I told him that I had moved on, that I was happy again and that I deleted those mgs when I deleted him as a friend (as well as any private emails between us).

He was trying to be nice, but I wasn't buying what he was selling. I wasn't going to let him get to me again. Ok, he did get to me, but in a different way. I told him that I didn't want to rehash anything with him. I wished him & Kristie (the one he dumped me for) well. He wrote back saying that was a cover for her ex who was harassing her. I still don't buy it. I asked him why he didn't tell me that when I asked him then about the 2 of them. He came back with "you deleted me before I could tell you" I gave him 2 days to explain, but he just got controlling & pissy towards me. Whatever.

I ended it with that I'm not ready to be friends with him again, maybe someday, but not now. I blocked him, so he can't have access to my profile. Once you send msgs to those you delete, they can see your profile. He's not seeing mine anymore.

My hands are finally wiped clean of Raven. The wounds he tried to re-open are still sealed shut. I will never again be controlled by another man again.

Yule Songs

We Three Crones
Tune: "We Three Kings"


We three crones of magic-past are,
Bearing gifts, we traverse afar,
Fields & fountain, moor & mountain,
Following each our star.

Chorus:

Oh, star of wonder, star of might,
Star of radiant beauty bright,
Inward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us with thy magick light.

Gold I bring, the Earth's hidden gleam,
Guards our Mem'ry, draws forth our dream;
Weary-curing, strong enduring,
Holding time's circling stream.

Chorus

Frankincense I carry with me.
Incense aids the spirit to see;
Analyzing, wize, up-rising,
Sense of the Earth, flow free!

Chorus

Myrrh is mine, it's bitter perfume
Lifts new life, a magical broom;
Praying, flying, purifying,
Away with old lingering gloom.

Chorus


Glorious gifts of magic (wimmin) we praise,
Maiden, Mother, Ancient of Days;
Strength, and sense, and energy; whence
Return to our sacred ways.

Wiccan Wonderland
by Stephanie Barclay, Storm Bear & Jimmy Williams

Tarot cards are you listening
Crystal balls are you glistening
The quarters are charged, we're wizards at large
We're walking in a Wiccan Wonderland.

In the meadow we will cast a circle
and pretend that its a geosphere
We'll have lots of fun upon the altar
Until and evil spirit chances near.

Later one we'll perspire
And get drunk by the fire.
We'll dance without clothes 'cause nobody knows
We're walking in a Wiccan Wonderland.

All you Pagans come on gather round us
Raise your chalice and join in our cheer
We'll have lots of cakes until the Sun comes
And chase it with another keg of beer.

After all is said and done
Bye to Spirits that have come
Please stay if you will or go if you must
We're walking in a Wicccan Wonderland

All Hail Ye, Simple Pagans
Tune: "Oh Come, All Ye Faithful"

All hail ye, simple pagans
Gather round the Yule fire
Oh come ye Oh come ye
To call the Sun!
Fires within us
Call the fire above us
Oh come let us adore him!
Oh come let us adore him!
Oh come let us adore him!
Our Lord, the Sun!

Yea Lord, we greet thee
Born again at Yuletide!
Yule fires and candle flames
Are lighted for you!
Come to thy children
Calling for thy blessing!
Oh come let us adore him!
Oh come let us adore him!
Oh come let us adore him!
Our Lord, the Sun

Carol of the Bells
Tune: "Traditional Ukranian Carol"

Hark! How the bells, sweet silver bells
All seem to say, "Throw cares away."
Yuletide is here, bringing good cheer
To young and old, meek and the bold

Ding, dong, ding, dong, that is their song,
With joyful ring, all caroling
One seems to hear words of good cheer
From everywhere, filling the air

O, how they pound, raising the sound
O'er hill and dale, telling their tale
Gaily they ring, while people sing
Songs of good cheer, Yuletide is here!

Merry, merry, merry, merry Yuletide!
Merry, merry, merry, merry Yuletide!

On, on they send, on without end
Their joyful tone to every home
Hark! How the bells, sweet silver bells
All seem to say, "Throw cares away."

Yuletide is here, bringing good cheer
To young and old, meek and the bold
Ding, dong, ding, dong, that is their song
With joyful ring, all caroling.

One seems to hear words of good cheer
From everywhere, filling the air
O, how they pound, raising the sound
O'er hill and dale, telling their tale

Gaily they ring, while people sing
songs of good cheer, Yuletide is here
Merry, merry, merry, merry Yuletide!
Merry, merry, merry, merry Yuletide!

On, on they send, on without end
Their joyful tone to every home.

Holly Jolly Yuletide
Tune: Holly Jolly Christmas

Have a holly jolly Yuletide
It's the best time of the year
I don't know if there'll be snow
But have a cup of cheer
Have a holly jolly Yuletide
And when you walk down the street
Say hello to friends you know
And ev'ryone you meet

Oh, ho, the mistletoe
Hung where you can see
Somebody waits for you
Kiss her once for me

Have a holly jolly Yuletide
and in case you didn't hear
Oh, by golly have a holly jolly Yuletide
This year!

Good King Wenceslas
Tune: "Traditional Carol"

Good King Wenceslas last looked out
On the Feast of Yule
When the snow lay round about
Deep in Winter's rule
Brightly shone the Moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor roe came in sight
Seeking winter fuel.
"Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know'st it, telling
yonder stag, O whose is he?
Where and how his dwelling?"

"Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By good Brighit's fountain."

"Bring me apples; bring me corn
Bring my warm clothes hither
He shall dine `fore Solstice morn
When we bring them thither."

Page and monarch, forth they went
Forth they went together
through the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather.
"Page, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how
I can go no longer."

"Mark my footsteps, my good King
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find fierce Winter's sting
Freeze thy blood less coldly."
In the Oak King's steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the God had printed.

Therefore, Paganfolk, be sure
Any rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the Earth
Shall, yourselves, find blessing.



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holly, Ivy & Yule Decor


At Yuletide, the Elder Heathens decorated their homes with ivy, holly, and boughs of evergreens. Ribbons were also used and the entire home covered with garlands and wreathes. Modern Heathen should do not less in an attempt to capture the Yuletide spirit. Below are three of the more common house decorations.

Yule Tree:
The tradition of the Yule tree comes from Germany. Originally, it is believed the trees were decorated outside and gifts left for the land wights. This custom can still be observed in other parts of Northern Europe. With Christianity, the trees were brought inside to hide from the church. Modern Heathen trees can be decorated with Heathen symbols as well as the commercial lights, glitter, and ornaments. If one wants they can decorate a tree outside instead as the Heathens of old did.

Yule Wreaths: Modern tradition uses a Yule wreath at the Mothers' Night symbol as an oath ring. This wreath is oathed upon as well as wished upon, and then burned at the Twelfth Night blot. Therefore these wreathes are best made out of natural substances such as cedar branches. Other wreathes can be used as decorations around the house.

Lights: In the more northern countries, Lucy Day, which was a festival of lights, is celebrated and seems an ancient holiday in connection with Yule. Candles, torches, and other forms of light were left burning to light up the night skies. Today we can use electric lights for the same purpose.

~Source: Asiya's Shadows

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Busy Yuletide!!

Hey, I just wanted you to know that it's been a very busy Yule season so far in my household this year. Between looking for a job and raising my son, I haven't been on here as often as I would like.

An update to what's going on with me. I've been making Pomanders tonight. What are Pomanders, you ask?? They're a very fragrant smelling holiday thingie that I make each year. You take an orange and poke whole cloves in a pattern into the skin of the orange. I make about 9 of these (3x3x3) and place them in a basket in my livingroom. The combination of the orange & cloves is to die for!! They smell so yummy!! I would take pix, but the batteries are dead in my camera & I'm broke til Friday when I get my CCTB (that's a monthly cheque I receive in Canada for being a mom) to get more batteries.


(My son standing in front of the tree)


The tree is up & decorated, as well as my apt is getting more festive as the days go on. I set up a Yule log again this year, adorning it with gold & silver candles. It sits in the place of honour on my coffee table. Lights are eveywhere!! In the windows, around my entertainment center, the window between my diningroom & kitchen. It's so well lit, that would think the sun is out shining on these long cold nights.

(This was taken last Yule)


We had our 1st snowstorm the other night, but since I live near the ocean, we didn't get as much as I thought we would. But, never fear, there is a Nor'Easter on its way for tomorrow. I love winter & everything about it. I'm very lucky to live on the Atlantic coast of Canada.

There is a Yule dinner & ritual coming up on the 19th of this month that I am thinking about attending. It's a Potluck feast. I'm looking forward to going & celebrating the season with my fellow Pagans in Halifax. I hope I get to see some familiar faces that I met at the Witches' Ball last month.

So, that's an update from me. I thank everyone who follows my blogs & leaves me feedback & comments. Your words mean a lot to me. I've only been on this journey with the Goddess for 3 yrs & I've learned so much. I enjoy sharing with you all what I've learned. I am on Facebook if you want to add me: Rowan Silverstar

Love & Light to you all!!
)O(

Rowan

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Spell Candle Box


Ok, since I'm unemployed and it's rainy outside (no bus fare to go out looking) I've been gettin' crafty. I found a wooden box in my craft stuff that was screaming to be decorated. It's about 6"x 9", a good size to store all my spell candles. So, last night after putting the youngling to bed, I pulled out some of my paints and went at it.


I started by painting the whole box black, inside & out. When it dried, I drew a Spiral Goddess in pencil on it. I then filled it in with purple shimmery paint. I added her breasts & the spiral with a darker purple paint.


There are 2 rows of 17 candles, separated by tissue paper. I have the darker candles on the bottom & the lighter ones on the top. I also had room to place my 6 white candles perpendicular to the 34. There was also room for my 2 white candle holders.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Yule & The Wild Hunt


Yule or Yule-tide is a pagan festival that has been held through out the centuries. It is a winter festival that honors the divine mothers or female deities of the Germanic peoples where the festival originated. The night that this festival took place was originally on New Year's night and was called Mōdraniht, old English for Mothers-Night. A sacrifice was made and then a feast was shared among the celebrants.


When the Germanic lunar calendar was changed and the Julian calendar adopted the date of the Yule festival changed to December 25. It has since been absorbed into the Christian holiday of Christmas. It is now celebrating among Wiccans, Pagans and Neopagans during the winter solstice on December 21st. It is believed that the pagan Yule festival was influenced by both the Wild Hunt and the Roman winter festival of Saturnalia.


Wild Hunt, Odin's Hunt, Woden's Hunt and the connection to Yule-


The Wild Hunt goes by many names including the ones mentioned above and others including Cain's Hunt, Herod's Hunt, Ghost Riders and Devil's Dandy Dog's. The latter names mentioned have origins in the original folk-myth/legend of Odin's Hunt but are the Christianized versions. The legend is that a group of huntsmen with hounds and horses make a mad dash across the ground or through the sky in pursuit of something unknown. The huntsmen, depending on the folklore, are often undead, demon possessed clergy or fairies of the underworld. The legend goes on to warn mortals from viewing the hunt because if one sees it a catastrophic event such as plague, famine, or war could follow. Another warning in the legend against the viewing of the Wild Hunt is that the spirit or soul could be grabbed by the riders and taken to the underworld.

The vision of the Wild Hunt takes place during the year when the wind blows the strongest and storms begin to brew. The start of Odin's Hunt begins on October 31 and ends on May Eve or April 30th. However, the height of the hunt takes place on Yule, the shortest day of the year. Yule fires are lit to keep the hunters at bay.

~Courtesy of Associated Content

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Make a Herbal Sachet for Yule

These simple sachets are easy to make, and you can either use them as ornaments on your holiday tree, or give them away as gifts. You'll need the following:

* Bay

* Cloves

* Juniper berries

*
Orange peel, grated
* Orris root

* Peppermint

* Pine

* Rosemary

* Squares of your favorite holiday fabric

* Colorful ribbon
* Cinnamon sticks

* Small bells

Mix the herbs together in a bowl. Blend varying proportions of each until you've got the scent you want -- here's a hint: start small!


Use a spoon to place the blended herbs into the center of a square of fabric. Pull the corners up and tie with the ribbon. Tie a cinnamon stick and a couple of bells in place as well. Use a second piece of ribbon to create a loop so you can hang the sachet if you like.

Timesaver tip: you can buy small tulle bags in holiday colors and spoon the herb blend into them. Pull the drawstring closed and tie shut, then hang up on your tree, or give them to a friend.