Author Topic: Celebrating the Winter Solstice  (Read 85519 times)

Offline Kerry

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Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2006, 09:48:24 am »
What's mead?

I found the following recipe for "Soft Mead" in the book "Wicca - A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner":

* I quart water, preferably spring water
* 1 cup honey
* 1 slice lemon
* 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Boil together all ingredients in a non-metallic pot. While boiling, scrape off the rising "scum" with a wooden spoon. When no more rises add the following:

* pinch salt
* juice of 1/2 lemon

Strain and cool. Drink in place of alcoholic mead or wine during the Simple Feast.

So mote it be.

Kerry

« Last Edit: December 23, 2006, 09:51:26 pm by Kerry »
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Offline newyearsday

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Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2006, 12:07:46 pm »
Thanks for the recipe Kerry. I enjoyed the Solstice (though I was only a minute shy of still being on the subway when it happened) and drew a couple of tarot cards for myself shortly after. Nice to see we have several like-minded worshipers among us.

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Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2006, 01:54:25 pm »
Thank you, this is wonderful information!!

May 2019 be better for us all.

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Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2007, 08:18:43 pm »
Time to prepare for the Yule, which occurs on December 22 this year!!

Where's my merry band of revelers? Yule is a celebration, even though it is held in the darkest portion of the year. This year I have come to appreciate long moonless nites as never before.

I would like to talk a little about the wheel of the year, and yule chime in I hope!! The year begins...well, that's the point, it doesn't begin. It neither begins or ends. It's a wheel. So, let's just check in to where we are right now. At this point in the year, the Goddess is preparing to give birth to her sun. That's right, the sun is her son. It's also her lover and husband. But, I'm getting ahead of myself!!

May 2019 be better for us all.

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Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
« Reply #24 on: December 14, 2007, 08:30:23 pm »
Winter Solstice is called "Mean Geimredh", mid-winter, in Irish, "Alban Arthan", the point of roughness, in Wales, "Modranicht", mother night, to the Anglo-Saxon's, "Deuorius Riuri", great divine winter feast, in the Coligny Calendar and "Yule." The word "Yule," according to Bede and various other authorities of the olden time is derived from an archaic Norse word "Jol," meaning "a wheel."

The Winter Solstice represents the rebirth of the sun, which is a particularly important turning point. The night of Solstice is the longest night of the year. Darkness triumphs; and yet, gives way and changes into light. (Taken from "The Wheel of the Year at Muin Mound Grove, ADF" by Rev. Skip Ellison.)


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Offline Kerry

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Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2007, 09:36:34 pm »
I found this lovely quote at http://www.wicca.com/celtic/akasha/yule.htm and wanted to share it with y'all.  :D

Yule Lore  

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, much celebration was to be had as the ancestors awaited the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth and made her to bear forth from seeds protected through the fall and winter in her womb. 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, the wheat stalks portrayed the harvest, and the flour was accomplishment of triumph, light, and life. Holly, mistletoe, and ivy not only decorated the outside, but also the inside of homes. It was to extend invitation to Nature Sprites to 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 pay visit to the residents.

The ceremonial Yule log was the highlight of the 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 be 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.

Deities of Yule are 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.
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Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
« Reply #26 on: December 14, 2007, 10:10:02 pm »
Thank you, Kerry! This is wonderful information! With my Ponderosa Pine bough, I dub thee a knight of the Yule Table!!

Much of the information I'm going to post here comes from Gay Witchcraft by Christopher Penczak.

May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline Kerry

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Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
« Reply #27 on: December 14, 2007, 10:45:00 pm »
Thank you, Kerry! This is wonderful information! With my Ponderosa Pine bough, I dub thee a knight of the Yule Table!!

Much of the information I'm going to post here comes from Gay Witchcraft by Christopher Penczak.

Why, thank ya most kindly, Lee! I am honoured!  :D

I sure would like to experience a traditional, northern Yule some time. It's not the same at the height of a blisteringly hot Australian summer!  :-\

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Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2007, 11:22:14 pm »
It's just 14 hours of driving flying, Kerry!! Hop on Qantas, you'll be here in two shakes of a lamb's tail!!

I'm enjoying the book Gay Witchcraft. It is chock full of rituals for any occasion. And stories, myths, etc. One that I liked was the story of the two kings of the Celts, the Oak King and the Holly King. The Oak King reigns in the waxing half of the year, and the Holly King reigns during the waning half. Like yin and yang, they are complementary and opposite. There are very fine rituals for the transfer of energy from the Oak King to the Holly King and vice versa.

May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline Kerry

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Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2007, 12:22:25 am »
It's just 14 hours of driving flying, Kerry!! Hop on Qantas, you'll be here in two shakes of a lamb's tail!!

I only wish I could, Lee. Alas, I have a morbid, irrational fear of flying. The very thought of it terrifies me.

I have conducted a search for "Gay Witchcraft" by Christopher Penczak and located a copy online at the Adyar Metaphysical Bookshop right here in Sydney.

I have several books on Wicca already but none that specifically deal with gay Wicca. Other than, that is, "Wtichcraft and the Gay Counterculture" by Arthur Evans, which is less of a grimoire and more of a history book.
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