Yule Tides

Merry meet all,

DECORATING THE YULE LOG

I found a suitable piece of wood from a fallen tree outside. I sawed it and returned home and set it aside. I brought it in when it got close to the Yule date and let it dry. I decorated the log last night for Yule.

I used a hot glue gun to glue the holly, pine and ivy to the log. I glued the long ivy branch to the log first followed by the holly and pine. I also glued a cinnamon stick and two pine cones to the log. It was surprisingly easy to glue the items to the log. I glued the painted pine cones to the log. The log is beautiful.

Holly is toxic to cats. I am careful about that. I covered my yule log and decorations with a towel last night. I am sad in a way to burn the log tomorrow because it is so pretty. It is a Norwegian tradition and I intend to follow through with it tomorrow morning.

I have posted pictures of the log on Facebook. I am happy to get to continue an ancient tradition founded by my ancestors. I hope the weather is clear tomorrow but it’s happening anyway.

I shall post the Rit details tomorrow.

Blessings, Spiderwitch )O(

 

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

 

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(

Winter Solstice

Yule woods

Merry meet all,

It’s December 1st. I have just put up my tiny tree and downloaded Yule tunes. The arrival of the month of December puts me in the mood for Yule. Winter Solstice is in 20 days. The moon is Waning Crescent currently and is in Scorpio Void of Course. 

Winter Solstice is the time when the days are shortest and the nights are longest. The Sun reaches its most southern point in the sky at noon. After the 22nd, the days begin getting longer. 

Winter inspires joy and sadness in people. Some people enjoy sking and curling in front of the fire. Others dread winter for the cold and the depression they suffer during the season. 

The word ‘solstice’ comes from the Latin words “sun” and “to stop” because the Sun stops in the sky. The solstice days are the times with the least amount of sunlight in the sky. 

Blessed Be,

Lady Spiderwitch

Dreary November

Crowinsunset

Merry meet all,

I know that post Samhain, you may not feel like doing much of anything now that the excitement of Samhain has passed. November is not the same, nor is December or January. The realty hits you that the dreary days of winter have arrived. The air is colder, and you have to dig out your winter gear. 

November is the tail end of October. You can still stomp on crunchy leaves underfoot and appreciate the beauty of the bare dark trees against the sunlight. The next turn in the Wheel of the Year is Yule. 

So don’t be glum. Yule is a fun Sabbat. Some of you have put your Halloween gear away for next year- unless you’re like me, and it looks like Halloween all year round in your apartment. You can still practice divinations and do your magick. Well you can do that any time of the year, but the energy is strongest at Samhain. 

Clean your garden and yard. Store your garden decorations, let the fallen leaves shelter your plants all winter, and save seeds from the flowers in your garden. Bring your herbs in and pot them up to grow on your windowsill. Plan for next spring’s garden. 

Whatever you decide to do, you have a long winter ahead of you. Now is the time to tackle those witchy projects  you planned to do all along. Maybe you want to improve your Book of Shadows, learn Celtic embroidery or try a new incense recipe. During the long cold winter, it’s the time to turn inward and rest. 

Blessings for a magickal Sabbat. 

Blessings,

Lady Spiderwitch )O(