Okay, mixed metaphor, but it really describes downtown Salt Lake this time of year. Twice a year, Mormons far and wide flock to Salt Lake and the downtown area for what is called General Conference. As far as I understand it’s when the men of high status in the church hand down messages to the followers of the church. Messages such as, young women should be more modest, get married sooner - there are good messages that they preach, I just don’t hear about most of them.
Downtown Salt Lake turns into a swarming sea of Mormon men and women. It’s one of the strangest experiences I’ve had the… pleasure(?) of encountering. By the way, don’t every try and drive around down town during Conference, it’s a joke.
Today, I left my apartment around the time all the men were headed for some sort of priesthood meeting. As I walked down the street, against the sea of men, I had the strangest thing happen. Tears started to fill my eyes. I felt these men believed I should be ashamed of the way I present myself. In most places of the world, I am dressed absolutely normally (brightly colored jeans, spaghetti strapped flowy blouse, and wedge sandaled heels – nothing you wouldn’t see in a shop window).
I’m not ashamed of who I am, or how I dress. But, I did felt as though they thought I should, to the point of tears filling my eyes almost a feeling of contact empathy.
All I can say is: thank the Gods & Goddessed for strong and hot drinks.
A few nights after I returned from a trip to Costa Rica my roomate commented on a piece of jewlery I had given her. “It’s like it wants to get away from me.” I laughed.
“That’s because I put a spell on it….’ The word coming out of my mouth just shocked me. “Oh, oh my God, I put a spell on it and I didn’t even know I was doing it.”
“I KNEW IT! I knew you put a spell on it. It’s a love spell, isn’t it?”
“No but Love was an ingrediant. Wow, I am a witch huh?” I was still realing from the realization.
“I always thought you knew that. I’ve known you are a witch for a while now,” my roommate laughed at me. “What was the spell?”
“It’s a magnet spell. There are two pieces of jewlery and they are attracted, they want to get back to one another.”
I guess I really am a witch. I do magic without thinking about it. I think I’ve been doing it all my life. I think most people have magic they do all the time without knowing it’s magic. Being a witch just means I’m aware and use other tools to boost and harness the magic, directing it in a more deliberate mannor.
Blessed Winter Solstice to all!
The Winter Solstice - Yule Lore
The date varies from December 20 to December 23 depending on the year in the Gregorian calendar. Yule is also known as the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere and the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere due to the seasonal differences.
Yule, (pronounced EWE-elle) is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, the sun’s “rebirth” was celebrated with much joy. On this night, our ancestors celebrated the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth.From this day forward, the days would become longer.
Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were “wassailed” with toasts of spiced cider. Children were escorted from house to house with gifts of clove spiked apples and oranges which were laid in baskets of evergreen boughs and wheat stalks dusted with flour. The apples and oranges represented the sun. The boughs were symbolic of immortality (evergreens were sacred to the Celts because they did not “die” thereby representing the eternal aspect of the Divine).The wheat stalks portrayed the harvest, and the flour was accomplishment of triumph, light, and life. Holly and ivy not only decorated the outside, but also the inside of homes, in hopes Nature Sprites would come and join the celebration. A sprig of Holly was kept near the door all year long as a constant invitation for good fortune to visit tthe residents. Mistletoe was also hung as decoration. It represented the seed of the Divine, and at Midwinter, the Druids would travel deep into the forest to harvest it.
The ceremonial Yule log was the highlight of the Solstice festival. In accordance to tradition, the log must either have been harvested from the householder’s land, or given as a gift… it must never have been bought. Once dragged into the house and placed in the fireplace it was decorated in seasonal greenery, doused with cider or ale, and dusted with flour before set ablaze by a piece of last years log, (held onto for just this purpose). The log would burn throughout the night, then smolder for 12 days after before being ceremonially put out. Ash is the traditional wood of the Yule log. It is the sacred world tree of the Teutons, known as Yggdrasil. An herb of the Sun, Ash brings light into the hearth at the Solstice.
A different type of Yule log, and perhaps one more suitable for modern practitioners would be the type that is used as a base to hold three candles. Find a smaller branch of oak or pine, and flatten one side so it sets upright. Drill three holes in the top side to hold red, green, and white (season), green, gold, and black (the Sun God), or white, red, and black (the Great Goddess). Continue to decorate with greenery, red and gold bows, rosebuds, cloves, and dust with flour.
Many customs created around Yule are identified with Christmas today. If you decorate your home with a Yule tree, holly or candles, you are following some of these old traditions. The Yule log, (usually made from a piece of wood saved from the previous year) is burned in the fire to symbolize the Newborn Sun/Son.
Deities of Yule: All Newborn Gods, Sun Gods, Mother Goddesses, and Triple Goddesses. The best known would be the Dagda, and Brighid, the daughter of the Dagda. Brighid taught the smiths the arts of fire tending and the secrets of metal work. Brighid’s flame, like the flame of the new light, pierces the darkness of the spirit and mind, while the Dagda’s cauldron assures that Nature will always provide for all the children.
Symbolism of Yule:
Rebirth of the Sun, The longest night of the year, The Winter Solstice, Introspect, Planning for the Future.
Symbols of Yule:
Yule log, or small Yule log with 3 candles, evergreen boughs or wreaths, holly, mistletoe hung in doorways, gold pillar candles, baskets of clove studded fruit, a simmering pot of wassail, poinsettias, christmas cactus.
Herbs of Yule:
Bayberry, blessed thistle, evergreen, frankincense holly, laurel, mistletoe, oak, pine, sage, yellow cedar.
Foods of Yule:
Cookies and caraway cakes soaked in cider, fruits, nuts, pork dishes, turkey, eggnog, ginger tea, spiced cider, wassail, or lamb’s wool (ale, sugar, nutmeg, roasted apples).
Incense of Yule:
Pine, cedar, bayberry, cinnamon.
Colors of Yule:
Red, green, gold, white, silver, yellow, orange.
Stones of Yule:
Rubies, bloodstones, garnets, emeralds, diamonds.
Activities of Yule:
Caroling, wassailing the trees, burning the Yule log, decorating the Yule tree, exchanging of presents, kissing under the mistletoe, honoring Kriss Kringle the Germanic Pagan God of Yule
Spellworkings of Yule:
Peace, harmony, love, and increased happiness.
Deities of Yule:
Goddesses-Brighid, Isis, Demeter, Gaea, Diana, The Great Mother. Gods-Apollo, Ra, Odin, Lugh, The Oak King, The Horned One, The Green Man, The Divine Child, Mabon.
—Adapted by Akasha Ap Emrys For all her friends and those of like mind—
Copyright © 1997-99 Akasha, Herne and The Celtic Connection wicca.com. All rights reserved.
Just another thought thrown in- the idea of finding your inner god (if your female), or goddess (if your male). The idea of balance, and knowing of full self, universe and diety.
Actually, since its been brought up:
What DOES everyone think of the Maiden-Mother-Crone archetypes (in Wicca or otherwise)? Does it set an unrealistic example for women? What about its male counterpart? Does it put too much emphasis on gender roles?
IT’S TIME FOR GIVEAWAY #2
- 2013 Llewellyn’s Witches’ Calendar
- 2013 Llewellyn’s Witches’ Companion: An Almanac for Contemporary Living
- 6 votive candles
- 1 glass votive candle holder
- 6 tumbled stones
- Small bag of pine chips
- Small bag of dried mugwort
- Small bag of frankincense resin
- Small bag of dried thyme
- Tumbled stone necklace
- You must be following at least one of my blogs (pisces-witch and pisces-reverie). If you follow both of them you’re allowed 2 separate entries.
- You must be at least 13 and if you’re under 18 you need your parent’s permission to enter. By entering you are agreeing to these terms.
- You must fill out the entry form correctly and completely.
- You may only use ONE blog to enter.
- Your blog must be a legitimate blog that you use. NO giveaway blogs.
- Your ask box must be turned on at the time the contest ends.
How to enter:
Fill out the entry form found HERE. This is a Google docs form. I’ve resorted to using this method of entry because of the issues I had with Tumblr in my last giveaway.
You are allowed an entry for each blog of mine that you follow (2 total entries for this)
You are allowed an unlimited number of entries for reblogging this post. Every time you reblog the post, go and submit the form again, adding the URL for the reblog. You get ONE entry PER reblog, with no reblog limits.
Deadline: December 25th, 2012 10:00AM (EST)
Entry form: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dEdyNi1CN3ZQT0dTZ2o2c1lGZ3FhZVE6MQ
If you have any questions feel free to message me!
Good luck everyone! :]
EDIT: GUYS! Some of you are cheating yourself entries in the giveaway. I just want to make it clear…You get 2 entries JUST FOR FOLLOWING MY BLOGS. You do not need to post a reblog URL in these 2 entries. The URL question isn’t required to submit the form, so the first 2 times you enter don’t put a reblog URL. After you get your entries for following then you can add your reblog entries. Sorry for any confusion!