Category Archives: Yule

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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Winter Solstice Altars

A Picture of my Yule altar

A Picture of my Yule altar

Merry meet all,

The chill in the air alerts us to winter’s arrival. Here are some suggestions on how to decorate your altar for Winter Solstice. 

Use reds, whites and greens on your altar. Evergreen boughs lend a fresh woodsy feel to your altar. Add candles in silver and gold colours. I bought a beautiful meter of fabric that is reversible. The cloth has silvery snowflakes on one side and gold snowflakes on the other. Sometimes, fabric is not very expensive. It’s nice to get material that reflects the season or Sabbat. 

Yule reflects the return of the Sun. Add solar symbols to your altar. Gold discs, gold or yellow candles, can reflect the Sun. Inscribe a candle with solar symbols and dedicate it as your solar candle. Sprinkle gold or silver on the candle. Use holly and ivy, and pinecones on the altar. Antlers would be appropriate too. Candy canes, bells, sun wheels or mistletoe reflect the season too. 

With all of these suggestions, your altar will be beautiful!

Blessed be,

Lady Spiderwitch

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Yule Crafts- Pipecleaner Pentacles, Cookies, and Yule Logs

Merry Meet All,

A light dusting of snow covers the ground outside. When I was younger, the snow would be up to my waist. I know we will get snow in January.

Are you like me? Do you save special yule decorations and hang them on your tree year after year? I do. I have some that are quite special to me. Make a pipecleaner pentacle to hang on your yule tree.

PIPECLEANER PENTACLE

Bend the first stem into a circle, and then overlap the ends by an inch, and twist them closed.

Take the second stem, and make three arms of the star inside the circle. Twist the stems around as you make the points. This will keep it from sliding apart and ruining the efforts.

Take the last stem to create the final two arms of the pentacle. Use the remaining length of the stem to twist into a loop to hang your pentacle.

MAKE YOUR OWN YULE LOG

To make a Yule log, you need the following:

A log that is about14-16″ long
Pinecones
Dried berries,
Cuttings of mistletoe, holly, pine needles, and ivy
feathers and/ or cinnamon sticks
Red or green ribbon
A hot glue gun

Now wrap the log with the ribbon. Once you have done that, you can begin gluing the other items onto the Yule log. Glue on the cinnamon sticks, berries, and ivy. Then once you have decorated your log, decide what to do with it. It may make a lovely centerpiece and you can burn it in your fireplace or in a fire pit outside.

Well I hope you find other great crafts to make this Yule, and that you enjoy the Yule season with your friends and family. Merry Yule!!

PENTAGRAM COOKIES

I recently ordered a pentacle cookie stamp for Yule baking. You can try pressing a pentacle or other Yule symbol into your holiday baking. You will transfer the energy into whatever you are cooking! Pentacles represent earth energy and that corresponds with the earth energy. As you eat the cookies, you take that energy into you.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Christmas vs. Yule having Christmas dinner with a Muggle Family

Merry Meet All,

Yule is almost here! Yule is eight days away. I have been preparing here for the big day. I decorated my apartment with what I aleady own and am making Yule incense. I dried orange peel in the oven. Every time I open the container, it smells great. I also checked my candle supply. It’s a good thing that mini candles and tealights are affordable. I received my pentagram cookie stamp in the owl mail this week. I am all set to do some holiday baking too. I sent Christmas cards to my favorite people and near and dear.

I also have to think about possibly spending Christmas with my non pagan family. I am not looking forward to it. I stand out like a sore thumb. I have already been attacked by them for my religious views and lifestyle. I do not feel like experiencing that again. I would almost prefer to spend the day alone. My older brother wants nothing to do with me because of what I am and yet my family accuses me of being judgemental.

So I have to decide what to do. Some family members will be upset if I don’t show up, but if I do, I am walking into the proverbial starved lion’s den. So I think that I wil make it clear ahead of time that I do not want to be gobbled up by the lion or fed to its cubs. It does not make sense to me that I should spend time with people who hate me the rest of the year and paste smiles on our faces. Pass the gravy with the kitchen knife, please?

I am sure there are many other pagans experiencing the same thing or feeling nervous about attending Christmas dinner. Well remember to stay calm, avoid drinking too much alchohol, and to try not to argue with (closeminded) family members. Alcohol makes you say things you may regret. Remind yourself that you are visiting and thank the Goddess that you do not need to live with these muggles. You do eventually get to go back home to your sage and salt and altar. There, you can let out your frustrations till next Yule.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Yule

Merry Meet All,

Today is December 1st. Winter Solstice is coming up on December 21st. The Snow moon of November just passed. The moon is waning and is in Cancer. The Celtic Tree Month Between starts on Dec. 23rd. Today the sun is shining. I saw frost on the cars parked in the driveway.

The upcoming posts will help prepare you for a magical, memorable Yule! Winter Solstice, is magical and serene, different from Samhain’s chaotic energy. I saw a squirrel eating seeds, perched on a tree the other day. They are storing food for the cold winter ahead. We can prepare too. The upcoming posts will cover Yule lore, correspondences of Yule, how to make Yule stockings, Yule baking, incenses, candles and herbs for Yule, and traditions and rituals for Yule.

The Hobbit will be in theaters soon. Be sure to see it. You can view the trailer on my blog. Currently I am working on creating a fairy tale book for my niece as a Christmas present for her this year. I plan to make it very Celtic. I hope she likes her gift.

So enjoy candy canes and cider and stay tuned for posts on how to celebrate Yule this year!!

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Yule

Merry Meet All,

Yule is around the corner. The Wheel of the Year will turn again. Yule, or Winter Solstice, brings family and friends together for festive celebrations. I have an exciting bunch of posts lined up for Yule. You will learn about Yule lore, traditions, deities, how to make a Yule stocking and ornaments for your tree, and lots of recipes to share for your holiday baking. The stores are stocked with tempting holiday stuff but you don’t have to break the bank to have a memorable holiday.

So stay tuned for more yule themed posts. You will be prepared!

Samhain is still upon us. I updated my post on the review of books by Steve Vernon, local master storyteller. If you are interested, you can check that out.

Blessed Be
Lady Spiderwitch

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Winter Solstice

Merry Meet All,

I wish everyone a happy winter solstice and merry Yule. Enjoy the season and the festive holiday this year. I hope you find everything you wanted under the Yule tree and have family and friends to enjoy it with you. The above photo shows my yule altar.

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Yule

Merry Meet All,

Yule is approaching. Are you excited? I already have a tiny fake tree decorated, decorations put around my house and plan to do some delicious baking soon. Yule is a celebration of the light at the time of the winter solstice. In the Northern hemisphere, it falls on December 20-22.

The nip is in the air and while not much snow has fallen, it can be fun to decorate your altar. I bought a lovely sheer white meter of fabric with reversible silver and gold snowflakes decorating it. Add silver and gold candles on your altar. Add sparkle and symbols that represent the winter solstice, a snow candle and perhaps solar symbols, evergreen boughs, springs of green holly, pinecones, a Yule log reindeer. Mistletoe and snowflakes add some wintry magic. Burn some scented essential oils associated with Yule such as pine, peppermint, cinnamon and clove. They put you in the spirit for Yule. Every Yule, I play songs from the Nutcracker soundtrack.

Consider using a fake tree for Yule. Why hurt a real tree? Thousands of trees are wasted for Christmas/ Yule. A fake tree can be reused every Yule. Be careful how you toss out the gift wrap. It ends up in landfill. Get an organic turkey or chicken and avoid consuming the harsh chemicals that are injected and force fed into the chickens on those farms where they are tortured. Why would you want a part in that? If you buy a non organic chicken, that’s what you get.

To avoid the rush of Boxing Day, and standing in line for a long time, if you bought someone a gift that they really are not in love with, consider buying one gift for that loved one that they really want in their heart. This means really paying attention to that person. Likewise, you might get one gift that you desperately wanted. It is better than ten little gifts that do not enhance, beautify or truly signify something to you. Support the local market and avoid buying items from America or China. There is ample products that can be bought locally and it adds to our local economy.

Hold a Yule log ceremony, a cleansing ceremony, and a welcoming back the sun ceremony for Yule. More information can be found on about.com about Yule and how to enjoy it.

Have a magickal Yule!
Blessed be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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Yule

Merry Meet All,

It is still Samhain and yet Yule ticks closer and closer. The decorations abound in the stores. Wreaths are hung everywhere you look and Christmas trees are brightening many homes. Astrologically speaking, a lot is happening this month.

Winter Solstice occurs around December 21. The Full Moon is on the 22nd as well as an eclipse on the Winter Solstice. Mercury goes retrograde at Christmas time. Indeed, it is a time to prepare and make plans rather than throwing oneself into events. If you are traveling, do so with care and preparation. A stitch in time saves nine.

Yule is a celebration of the return of the light at Winter Solstice.

Setting Up Your Yule Altar – What to Put on a Yule Altar
By Patti Wigington, About.com Guide

Decorate your Yule altar with symbols of the season — candles, suns, evergreen boughs, and even Santa Claus!
Image © Patti Wigington 2007
Yule1 is the time of year when Pagans and Wiccans celebrate the Winter Solstice. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, this will be on around December 21, but if you’re below the Equator, your Yule celebration will fall in June. This Sabbat is considered the longest night of the year, and following Yule, the sun begins its long journey back to earth. Try some or even all of these ideas — obviously, space may be a limiting factor for some, but use what calls to you most.

Colors of the Season:
Winter is here, and even if the snow hasn’t fallen yet, there’s a definite chill in the air. Use cold colors to decorate your altar, such as blues and silvers and whites. Also find ways to include the reds, whites and greens of the season2. Evergreen boughs never go out of style, so add some dark greens as well. Cover your altar with a cloth in a cool color, and then add candles in a variety of different wintery shades. Use candles in silvers and golds — and sparkle is always good too!

Symbols of Winter:
Yule is a Sabbat that reflects the return of the sun, so add solar symbols to your altar. Gold discs, yellow candles, anything bright and shiny can represent the sun. Some people even get a large pillar candle, inscribe it with solar symbols, and designate it as their sun candle. You can also add evergreen boughs, sprigs of holly, pinecones, a Yule log3, and even Santa Claus4. Consider antlers or reindeer, along with other symbols of fertility.

Other Signs of the Season:
There’s no limit to the number of things you can put on your Yule altar, as long as you’ve got the space. Consider some of these items as part of your Sabbat decor:

Fruit and nuts
Mistletoe
Snowflakes, icicles, even a bowl of snow
Candy canes
Bells
Sun Wheels (About.com)

Blessed Be,
Lady Spiderwitch

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