Monthly Archives: December 2013

The pagans made christmas and the christians took pagan traditions to form what we know as xmas!

Fascinating

Amara

Pagans are the reason you see lights and sing carols.. This is the history of Christmas!

What is the true origin of Christmas? Where did it come from? Did you know Yeshua the Messiah was born nowhere NEAR December 25, but that was the “birth day” of the sun- god, “Sol Invictus” or “Mithras”? Did you know December 25 was the concluding day of the pagan winter festival called the “Saturnalia”? Where did “Santa Claus” come from? The “Christmas tree”? How did this pagan feast become connected with “Christianity”?

Although the whole world celebrates Christmas as a “Christian” holiday, including millions of non-Christians, is Christmas really “Christian” at all? Consider this fact: Look high and low throughout the pages of the Bible, and you will find not ONE WORD of “Christmas” being celebrated by any of YEHOVAH’s people! It is not even mentioned once! Neither the Messiah nor any of…

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The Winter Solstice Ritual

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Merry meet all,

Last night I attended the best pagan Winter Solstice ritual ever. I had the best time.  I am here to tell you all about it. 

Over 60 people attended the ritual. I was asked to call a quarter and to participate in the ritual. I was also asked to lend my green cape to a man. He acted out the battle between the Oak King and the Holly King with another man as part of the ritual. The battle they acted out was awesome. I had to help the guy I lent the cape to with his cloak during the ritual. 

A picture of the cloak here: (Those are actual oak leaf patterns!!) Lined Green cape

I was happy to be asked to be part of the ritual. I was nervous but we all rehearsed the ritual or rather, those participating in the ritual asked a million questions. We put a dark cloth and rope up and made a tunnel so we began the ritual in darkness. Everyone got a candle to represent the light. Of course, my hands and some other people ended up getting candle wax all over their hands. We were led into a heart meditation which began with a drumbeat or two beat near everyone’s heart chakra. The drumming was infectious and done by very talented drummers. I had to wear a green cape secured by a pin clasp. People tripped on it so I ended up carrying the train in my hand as I juggled  a lit candle, a rune, a stone, my glasses, and my script- ungracefully. I enjoyed the drumming. 

The altar was beautiful. A purple star altar cloth covered the altar. The one leading the ritual along with Loka contributed a cool athame/ sword for the ritual. He made the stones- mine said joy, and asked if we had anything to be grateful for. I thought the kids made the best statements of what they were grateful for. After that, we closed the circle. I called the west quarter and held the blue candle then extinguished it. I am glad I acted so calm and collected during the ritual. I felt the magick.  

We sang songs and left the room. The kids’ activities followed after that. We all participated in a feast. The feast was a true feast. The one who helped with the ritual also made a lot of the decadent food with his 80-year old grandmother’s help. Wow. Oh the food. My meals at home which are pitiful and pathetic, pale in comparison. 

I brought half a homemade gingerbread loaf and homemade cookies. I don’t know who ate them but I hope someone enjoyed food. I enjoyed the decadent chocolate Yule log. The food was amazing- and not only because I starved. 

It was great to see familiar faces and meet new people. But like all good times, I eventually climbed on my broomstick and flew home. I got a gift from the gifting table which was a wooden pentagram and hangs now above my bedroom door. I also got a candy cane. I have memories to cherish for years. 

Today, I suffered from ritual hangover this morning. I baked cookies and made some cool green goopy icing. I can only hope to be half as accomplished as the people who made that beautiful food for the feast. I admire those who washed 100s of dishes after the feast, too. It was an amazing night. 

I had no green and red outfit so I wore my black cloak, white dress, beaded blouse, my gold crown, my silver leaf earrings and a smile – well, some of the time. I fought exhaustion, as did the organizers of the event. 

Blessed Be,

Lady Spiderwitch 

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Winter Solstice

Door wreath

Merry meet all,

I wish you all a memorable magickal Winter Solstice!!

Blessed be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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A Yule log Ritual

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Merry meet all,

Winter Solstice celebrates the return of the sun. For this ceremony, you need a Yule log. It may be safer to perform this ritual outdoors, if possible. 

Cast a circle depending on your tradition. Perform this ceremony with your family. The first few steps of the ceremony are for the adult members of the family. The parents take turns to say the following:

The Wheel of the Year spins once more, and the earth prepares for a wintry sleep. The faded leaves shelter roots beneath the cold soil. We celebrate the return of the light. On this darkest of nights, we celebrate the light. Welcome back the light. Blessed Be.

The entire  group now moves deosil around the fire. When each member has returned to its original position, it is the childrens’ turn in the ritual. 

Shadows are banished from the light’s core. Darkness is no more. The light of the sun shines on the earth. Warm the sky. Warn the earth. Warm our hearts. Welcome back, sun. 

Walk deosil around the circle and hold hands. Take a moment to openly express what you feel gratitude for. Close the circle. Extinguish the fire. 

Blessed Be,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

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Yule Recipes for Rituals

Winter Wolf

Merry meet all,

Here is a incense recipe for Yule. You can use this recipe as you perform your Yule ritual, whether in a coven or by yourself. 

YULE INCENSE

  • 3 parts frankincense
  • 2 parts sandalwood
  • 2 parts chamomile
  • 1 part ginger
  • 1/2 part sage
  • a few drops of cinnamon oil

YULE OIL

  • 2 drops cinnamon oil
  • 2 drops clove oil
  • 1 drop mandarin oil
  • 1 drop pine oil

YULE SMUDGE

  • Pine for health
  • Bayberry for wealth
  • Cedar for protection
  • Bay for wisdom
  • Dried apple for love
  • Dried orange peel for happiness

YULE SIMMERING POTPOURRI

Add to a pot and allow to simmer. The fragrance will make your home smell beautiful and wintry. This gets you in the mood for a Yule celebration. 

Enjoy Yule with these festive recipes!

Blessed Be,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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The Yule tree

Yule Scene

Merry meet all,

There is 7 more days until the Winter Solstice. The moon waxes in the skies. The moon is in Taurus Void of Course 9:54 pm EST to Dec.15-1:40 am. 

I’m about more than halfway through the Magickal House Cleaning Challenge. I have enjoyed it so far and was finally able to get those annoying details taken care of that I meant to do. I can sense a difference in the energy in my apartment. It’s hard to find the time to clean. 

I have a tiny plastic tree for Yule. It is barely two feet high. However, I can’t have a real tree in my apartment and I don’t believe in cutting down an unfortunate sentient tree anyway. I feel sorry for the thousands of trees cut down for one day or a month of peoples’ gratification. Those trees were hanging out with the other trees in the forest, happily acting as homes to insects and birds alike, and feeling the wind in their boughs. Now when Yule ends, they are shipped off to compost or landfill or the trash. I am such a tree hugger, huh? 

I won’t condemn you if you still cut down a tree to decorate. Just be conscious of how you treat the tree afterwards. I have ornaments that I have saved since time immemorial too. Here is a blessing ritual for your Yule tree. 

Once you have found the perfect tree, connect with its energy. Feel its energy flowing from the earth and to you and to everything else. Ask the tree to send its energy to the earth to avoid harm to the tree. Tree roots reach deep into the frozen earth. Say this blessing when you make the cut:

O evergreen, mighty tree who is full of life. I take your life into me and ask your blessing. We welcome you into our home and honor you, to adorn you with light and bells in the season of the sun. We honor you, O evergreen, to bless our home with your energy. 

Chop the tree six inches above the ground, and cut cleanly. Wear gloves and be careful to avoid harming yourself, your family or pets. Tie a rope around the tree trunk to protect your hands to haul it away from the area. Push some fertilizer sticks into the earth to allow for new growth in spring. 

Leave birdseed as an offering to the wildlife in the area. You can scatter birdseed as a protective circle around the stump where you chopped the tree. The birds depended on the tree for shelter. Consider replanting a tree in a new area. 

Now you can decorate the tree with your cherished ornaments. Light some incense and candles and get a pot of herbal tea brewing or rum and eggnog. You can say a new blessing on the tree. Use your candles and incense. 

O Yule tree, tree of life, we honor and bless you in our home, to savour the harmony of Yule. 

Sprinkle the incense as a blessing around the tree. Pass the candle around the tree. Sprinkle water around the tree. Enjoy your Yule tree. 

Blessed Be,

Lady Spiderwitch

 

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Merry Krampusnacht

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Merry meet all:

Different cultures have their own ways of celebrating Yule. In Germany, they celebrate Krampusnacht, which is a ancient pre-Christian tradition. The word Krampus means ‘claw’, and in certain Alpine villages, they held large parties featuring a scary clawed incubus wearing sheepskin, horns and carried a switch used to swat children and unsuspecting young ladies. The Krampus’ goal is to punish those who misbehaved, while Santa gifted those who behaved well. Who would you prefer to have on your side?

The men parade dressed up as demons, and the women wear masks to represent Frau Perchta, who was a Nordic Goddess. She shared an aspect similar to Freya, the fertility goddess. 

Krampus.com is the official website of the “Krampus, the holiday devil” says Krampus, a dark counterpart to Saint Nicholas, the traditional gift-bringer who visits on his holy day of December 6th. Santa rewards the good kids while Krampus punishes the bad kids. 

So be good, for goodness sake!

Blessed Be,

Lady Spiderwitch

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Winter Solstice Incense

Yule Jar

Merry meet all,

It’s ten days till Winter Solstice. 

Here is an awesome recipe for winter incense so you can enjoy the fresh invigorating scent of winter indoors. 

  • 2 parts Juniper berries
  • 2 parts mugwort
  • 1 part cedar
  • 1 part pine resin
  • 1 part laurel leaves
  • 1 part chopped sweetgrass
  • 1/2 part rosemary

Add the ingredients together slowly. Measure carefully and be sure to put your intent into your magickal working. Stir deosil. Charge your incense with an incantation like this:

We celebrate the sun’s return, we celebrate life, death and rebirth, cold winter nights rule the sky. Let these herbs bless this wintry time. Blessed Be.

Store your incense in a clean, dry, and labeled jar. When you use the incense, keep the burner temperature on warm not hot. Avoid scalding the incense. Enjoy your winter incense. 

If you want to offer winter incense to your pagan friends, tie a ribbon around the jar, make a prettier label, and work in a cinnamon stick and pine bough into the ribbon. Perhaps you could find a wooden spoon to add to the jar. 

Blessed Be,

Lady Spiderwitch

 

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The Crone of Winter Solstice

Yule Magick

Merry meet all,

Here is an essay I wrote for Eternal Haunted Summer Ezine. Enjoy. 

The Crone of Winter Solstice

 Winter Solstice celebrates the rebirth of the sun. The Norsemen of Northern Europe viewed the sun as a wheel that changed the seasons. The Celtic Druids cut mistletoe from oak trees and blessed the mistletoe. Many of the traditions we follow today were practiced by the Celts.

 We honor the Crone during Yule, or the Winter Solstice. Yule is derived from the Norse word Jul, meaning ‘reborn’. The Crone is symbolic of life, death, and rebirth. She is the gatekeeper of death and transformation. The Crone’s cauldron is a vessel of rebirth. Winter brings rest to the earth and reminds us of mortality. What is born dies and what dies is reborn. We all return to the earth.

 Here is a meditation to honor the Crone on Winter Solstice. You can do it inside but try to perform it outdoors if you can. Prepare your self and your space with a purification ritual.  Smudge your meditation area with sandalwood, frankincense, rosemary or sage, all of which possess purifying qualities. Take three deep cleansing breaths for your mind, body, and spirit. Allow yourself to be open to any messages you may receive and to be open to meeting the Crone. 

 If you perform the ritual outdoors, make sure you will be safe and bring your ritual tools with you. Light a dark colored candle. The colors that represent the Crone are dark blue, purple, black and dark green.

 Sit in a comfortable position either in a chair or on the floor, or ground. Wear a ritual robe and a crown of holly or ivy. Burn a Yule log during the ritual. Light some fragrant incense such as frankincense, cinnamon and myrrh, which are appropriate for Yule. Think of how our ancestors celebrated Yule. They knew the sun would bring back the light.

 Close your eyes and visualize a mist showering over you until the light surrounds you. Relax your entire body. You are in a magical forest. You pass through a parted veil and enter the woods to meet the Crone. You can sit down on a tree stump or boulder. You hear animals around you. You are rooted to the cold earth and feel its energies around you.

 Wind stirs the leaves on the fallen trees. Old rotted tree trunks surround you, covered in faded leaves. Small birds burrow through the tangled and aged tree branches to their nests. Sounds grow louder: birds’ cries, wind, and the creak of the boughs. The deep stillness fills your soul. Your feet grow cold and tingle. A peace fills you as you feel the pulse of this forest. The ground is matted in leaves and pinecones.

 You see someone standing before you and recognize her as the Crone. She blends with Nature and yet you know she is the Goddess.  Greet the Crone reverently. Leave an offering of mistletoe or apples. Ask for a message or a prayer for healing or something to aid you in your spiritual development. She will bless you with her wisdom. Before you walk away, thank her for her presence and guidance.

 Leave the forest and return your awareness to the room you are in. When you are ready, open your eyes. Be sure to ground and center yourself. Visualize roots extending from the soles of your feet into the earth and draw up energy. If you are outdoors, relax before jumping to your feet to leave.

 Pay attention to any messages or auspicious signs that you may encounter in dreams or a meditation. Sometimes, auspicious signs emerge in your daily life, like an image on a tarot card. Reflect on what the messages may mean and record them in your journal.

 Ask yourself if you accomplished everything you wanted to and if you grew in your spiritual development in the past year. Think about what you might learn from the Crone. She is the great teacher of mysteries of life. The Crone reminds us we are all mortal and death is a natural fact of life. Winter is the ideal time for introspection, meditation, and prayer. We have much to learn from the Crone and to be aware of her cycles of life, death, and rebirth.

 Blessed be,

Lady Spiderwitch 

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Yule Magick

Winter Enchantments

Merry meet all,

Yule is a magical time of year. Trees adorn our homes and shimmering snowflakes drift by the windows. The chilly nights force us indoors, when families and friends share in festive fun. This article will show you how to make Yule crafts for gift ideas and decorations.

Yule Incense

Here is a Yule incense recipe to share with friends. You can feel free to adapt it to your needs.

Mix together the following ingredients: Juniper berries, cedar, pine resin and needles, mugwort, cinnamon, rosemary, and laurel leaves. Blend them together, stirring deosil, (clockwise) and send positive vibrations into the incense. Decide whether you want the incense mixture to be made into sticks and cones, or as loose incense. Fill a shallow pot with water and add your herbs to the water. The herbal simmering potpourri will make your home smell beautiful.

As you blend the ingredients, focus on your intent. The scent evokes aromas of a cold December night. You can use it during a ritual or to purify your space prior to the ritual. Measure carefully and store the incense in a sealed and dry glass jar. Never store herbs in a damp jar or the herbs will mold. Label and date the jar. Keep out of sunlight. Store in a clean jar and tie a ribbon or raffia around the lid. *Other ingredients to add are: dried orange peel, cloves, allspice, elder berries, holly, or lemon zest.

Yule Cones

Pinecones make great ornaments. Go on a nature walk to find some pinecones and acorns. Clean the cones and acorns, remembering to thank the trees for sharing their seeds. Rinse the pinecones under cold running water and put them on a baking sheet. Bake at 250 degrees for twenty minutes. The pinecones open up and the bacteria die. The sap dries and leaves a pretty sheen on the pinecones.

Last year at Yule, I painted a pinecone with silver paint and sprinkled the cone with silver glitter. The pinecone looked beautiful. Alternatively, you can put pinecones once coated with paint or clear glue, and silver glitter, into a Ziploc bag and shake the cones. Allow the cones to dry, tie a ribbon onto the pinecones, and place on your tree or a mantle to grace your home with rustic beauty and fragrance.

Cinnamon Stick Bundles

Bundle a few cinnamon sticks with a pretty ribbon or twine. Tie a bow and a loop at the top. Glue on pine or dried flowers, and sprigs of holly. Tuck the stems under the holly and use as a tree ornament.

Yule Sachets

Use a four-inch square of festive fabric. In the center, put a tablespoon of a scented herbal mixture. See the incense recipe above for inspiration. Bring the ends of the fabric together. Tie the ends with ribbon or twine, making a pouch with the herb mixture inside. Tuck a sprig of holly or a cinnamon stick into the twine or ribbon. Yule Epsom salts mix The holidays can be stressful with relatives visiting and shopping. The best gift for a friend is one that relieves stress. Here is an Epsom salts mix to reduce the stress of the season.

You will need the following: a large clean stainless steel bowl, a spoon, a measuring cup, a jar, a ribbon, cardstock (for label tags), sea salts, peppermint essential oil, and a candy cane, Epsom salts, and glycerin.

Empty the Epsom salts into the mixing bowl. Add the sea salts. Stir in the glycerin and six drops of the essential oil. Focus on your intent as you mix the ingredients. As you stir deosil, add your energies to the mixture. Stir until blended. Add the salts to the jars carefully. Create a tag for the jar and attach to the jars. Tie a ribbon around the jar and tie on a candy cane. Peppermint is zesty and invigorating, and evokes memories of Christmas in the woods. You can also put some sea salts into a separate bowl and add food coloring. As you put the Epsom salts and sea salts in to the jar, alternate between the Epsom salts and the sea salts to add color to the mixture.

These crafts are easy to do and affordable. I hope you enjoy these crafts and that you have a merry Yule season. Heddy Johannesen is a freelance writer with several published magazine articles, a book of poetry, two anthologies and Ezines to her credit. You can follow her on Twitter: magicka66, and at her blog: http://heddyjohannesen.wordpress.com.

My article was published in the winter issue of Essential Herbal magazine. 

Blessed be,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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