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The Witches Sabbat……Samhain!

Merry Meet!  It is October!..the favorite month of the Year for most Witches, including this one!  The wheel of the year has turned, Mabon has passed and October has come, bringing cool crisp days, brilliant foilage of reds, golds, rusts and browns, jackets and sweaters are coming out of the back of the closets, garden centers are loaded with Mums, pumpkins, gourds and corn stalks, the smell of woodsmoke hangs in the air, and the Witch’s heart and soul quickens…for Samhain is coming, the New Year…the thinning of the veil….and there are things to be done for the favorite night of the year! I’m so excited!

 

       “A white lace of frost webs the sidewalk a kaleidoscope of leaves.  Hillsides are ablaze with flame-colored trees, fields lie fallow and dark, and cornstalks dry to the color of bone in the low golden sun.  The sky promises rain tonight and winds rise to torture the clouds.  Fog swirls down the darkened street, shrouding the candlelit grin of a glowing jack-o-lantern, and the veil between the land of the living and the land of the dead grows as thin and insubstantial as the mist.”      from Simple Wicca by Michele Morgan

 I love this description…it is so perfect for this time of the year.  Samhain (pronounced Sow-en)  known also as All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween  is the third harvest festival of the year.  The God has died, returning to the Underworld, to wait to be reborn at Yule.  The Goddess is a Crone, mourning for him, leaving the world in darkness for a time. It is  a time to honor our departed loved ones and the night when  it is believed the veil between the material world and the Spirit world is at its thinnest and that the dead return to commune with the living.

In ancient times,  Balefires burned on every hillside and great feasts were held.  A place was set at the table for family members who had passed on to the Spirit world.   For the Celts, tis was New Year’s Eve.  In some traditions, Samhain marked a “time out of time,” the ending of the old year, the new year not beginning until the Sun’s rebirth at Yule. Samhain is considered the oldest and most sacred of the Sabbats because it honors the cycle of Life and Death. 

Samhain Correspondences

*Element/Gender— Water/Male

*Threshold— Midnight

*Symbolism— Death and transformation, Witches New Year, wisdom of the Crone, end of summer, Honoring our ancestors, thinning of the veil between worlds, death of the year, time outside of time, night of the Wild Hunt, begin new projects, end old projects, Magick, knowledge.

 *Symbols/Tools/Decorations—  Jack-O-Lanterns, Balefires, Masks, Besom, Cauldron, the Waning Moon, black altar cloth, oak leaves, acorns, straw, black cat, Crescent Moon, grain, bare branches, pictures of ancestors, candles.

 *Herbs— Allspice, broom, comfrey, dandelion, deadly nightshade, mugwort, catnip, ferns, flax ,mandrake, dragon’s blood, sage, straw, thistles, oak, wormwood

 *Incense/Oils— Frankincense, basil, yarrow, lilac, camphor, clove, wood rose, wormwood, myrrh, patchouli, apples, mint, nutmeg, sage, ylang ylang

 *Colors— Black, orange, indigo,

 *Stones/Crystals—  Black stones, jet, obsidian, onyx, carnelian

 *Customs/Activities—  Carving jack o’lanterns, spirit plate, ancestor altar, costumes, divination, the Feast of the Dead, feasting, paying debts, drying winter herbs, masks, bonfires, apples, tricks, bats, cats, ghosts

 *Foods—  Apple, pumpkin pie, pomegranate, pumpkin, squash, hazelnuts, corn, cranberry muffins, bread, ale, apple cider and herbal tea.

 *Gods—  Horned Hunter, Cernunnos, Osiris, Hades, Loki, Arawn, Anubis

 *Goddesses—  The Crone, Hecate, Cerridwen, Arianrhod, Caillech, Baba Yaga, Bast, Hel

 *Spellworking/Ritual—  Honoring/consulting ancestors, releasing the old, foreseeing the future, power, understanding death and rebirth, entering the underworld, divination, dance of the dead, fire calling, past life recall.

 How can you celebrate Samhain?..besides of course trick or treating, visiting corn mazes and haunted houses, hayrides and Halloween parties?  One custom  of this Sabbat that I love is the “Dumb Supper.”  This is setting a place for the spirit of your departed loved ones at your table and lighting their way to your hearth with carved pumpkins and candlelight. I have done this for several years now and it’s really a special thing to do.  You can set a picture at the place setting or settings of the person you are inviting to join you.  Turn off all the lights and just have candles lit at the table.  Make it a silent meal..no talking….just focus on your loved one you are remembering, and maybe THEY will have something to say to you! 

Dress up for the occasion..whether you wear a costume or put on your best witchy clothes, hat, robe…  It’s your night…dress for it!  Have a bonfire under the Moon.  Throw your dried harvested herbs in to make the smoke even more magickal.  All forms of divination are paramount on Samhain Eve.  Dark mirrors for scrying, Tarot cards, runes, or pendulums are all perfect tools to take advantage of  the heightened spiritual energies at this Sabbat. Set up a table by the fire and do some tarot or rune readings for your friends and family or just see what the Universe has to say to you on this night.  If you are blessed to have some time alone, contemplate the coming winter, and use this time out of time to let die old ways of thinking, outworn beliefs, and negative patterns.

Leave some bread and wine outside as an offering to the wandering souls and the Faeries.  Make sure you have some jack o-lanterns or luminaries lighting the way for them to your home!  The grinning pumpkins provide protection as well 🙂 

One of my favorite things to do just before Samhain, is to have a Harvest Soup Party.  I invite some friends and family over, telling them to be sure to dress warm.  I set up about 3-4 crockpots of different soups…like chili, veggie, potato, and corn chowder.  I have bowls of toppings such as crackers, shredded cheese, bacon bits, sunflower seeds, sour cream, croutons.  I have a pumpkin tureen filled with warm spiced cider..some vodka or rum can be added for the adults.  A couple of desserts such as pumpkin pie and apple crisp round off the menu.  A bonfire is going, bales of hay with fleece blankets are great for extra seating, and bandannas in orange, black, brown and red are great to use as napkins!  You can have a table set up for pumpkin carving for the kids..with the adults help of course. Tell ghost stories and roast marshmallows to finish up the evening.   Everyone loves a great night outdoors with good food and good company….they will look forward to your party every year!

I’ve got my Autumn decorating mostly done today…decided I needed to shop for a few new things for the house and the weather will be perfect this week to go pumpkin and mums shopping and apple pickin is on the agenda too. I’ll be making my famous Amish Apple Pies this next week as well.  Yummy!!

October is a wonderful month and it seems to go so so fast..at least for me it does. LOL!  Be sure to enjoy every minute of it…take a walk or a drive and take in the brilliant color. Visit an apple farm and have a caramel apple or sip on some apple cider. I love to bake and cook this time of year.  When you do cook or bake, make up some extra and take it to a neighbor or someone you know would love it.  Don’t forget the critters! Put out Indian corn, peanuts, and bird seed for those who are gathering for the long winter ahead.  Bring in the last of your harvest before the first frost.  I have herbs to get in and I need to do it tomorrow as we have frost warnings already! 

I’ll post blog soon with some of my favorite Autumn recipes.  In the meantime, enjoy the cooling weather and the change of the Seasons….Happy October!

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”
Humbert Wolfe

 

 

Bright Blessings, Autumn

*Sources..my BOS & Simple Wicca by Michele Morgan.  Pictures from the internet. 

 

 

 

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Filed under Autumn, Correspondence, God, Goddess, Quote, Samhain

Countdown to Imbolc……

Greetings lovely friends.  How is your New Year going so far?  Mine is going very well.  As I write this it is 2:30pm..I am still in my jammies, there is snow on the ground and it’s really cold out and snowing again.  A warm fire, a warm drink, celtic music playing, veggie soup in the crock and I have just finished catching up on bills/paperwork and organized some things. Now I am relaxing and   have started thinking about Imbolc and how I want to celebrate it, decorate my altar, etc.   Imbolc is a a wonderful Sabbat to me as it is the first one I actually celebrated many years ago.  I had read about Sabbats for many years, knew alot about them, but hadn’t done anything but read about them and recognize the day.  When I finally actually DID something to celebrate..well, my practice changed for the better, needless to say.  So lets talk a bit about Imbolc.  I love the book Simple Wicca by Michele Morgan for her beautiful prose on what is happening to Mother Earth during the time of each Sabbat! 

  “Winter fights valiantly to hold the land.  The crisp snows of January have turned to storms of sleet, and the Earth and the sky are gray, leaden, and heavy with the cold.  But here and there, scattered like jewels in the sodden grass and the frozen garden, the first slender tips of daffodils start up toward the pale, growing Sun, and something in us stirs as well, as life pulses unseen beneath the still-slumbering ground.”

 This is Imbolc, known also as Imbolg, Candlemas, the Festival of Brighid, and the Feast of Lights.  The word Imbolc means “in the belly,” or in the womb of Mother Earth, as well as “in milk,” which refers to ewes coming into milk for the first lambs of the season. This Sabbat marks the return of spring, even as winter continues its reign.  Imbolc is February 2nd and is of course, in modern times, also known as Groundhog’s Day.   

 Imbolc is a time of cleansing and purification.  It is time to throw out the old and bring in the new.  This not only means the “stuff and clutter” in your home, but also your old thoughts, anger, hurt feelings etc.  It’s time to prepare for the warm spring days and for the renewal of Mother Earth and her bounty.  Rites of initiation and consecration of altars and ritual tools are often conducted at this Sabbat.  Imbolc is the time of year that I often renew my devotion to my Path by performing a self re-dedication ceremony. 

The customs of Imbolc include ritual “spring cleaning” of the house, to banish the last  of winter and hasten the growing days.  Use lavender and rosemary in a pot of boiling water to wash floors and walls, vinegar and mugwort for windows and mirrors.  Burn sage to cleanse the psychic energies, and replace old protection and prosperity charms.  I will be renewing my witches bottle at the Full Moon closest to Imbolc.  Cleanse your body with a ritual bath scented with lavender, and as you soak, meditate to clear your mind and heart of any thoughts or emotions that no longer serve you.  This is all to “start a-new” in mind, body, spirit and home.  I love doing this..the house smells wonderful and feels so clean..and cleansed and Blessed, and what’s not to love about a ritual bath with great smelling lavender!

      In ancient times, the Goddess Brighid was honored as her Maiden aspect, as the Bride.  One way to celebrate her is to make Brighid’s Crosses,  fashioned from wheat stalks and exchanged as symbols of protection and prosperity in the coming year.  Home hearth fires are put out and re-lit, and a besom is placed by the front door to symbolize sweeping out the old and welcoming the new.  Candles are lit and placed in each room of the house to honor the re-birth of the Sun. Just before sunset, turn off all the lights in the house.  With a single white candle burning to represent Brighid, knock three times on the front door and invite the Goddess to enter, asking that she bestow health, success, abundance, and love upon everyone in the house.  Then slowly begin turning on the lights, moving room to room, until every light in the house is on. 

Imbolc Correspondences

*Element/Gender-Earth/female

 *Threshold- Midnight

*Symbolism-First stirring of Mother Earth, lambing, growth of the Sun God, the middle of  winter, Purity, Re-newal, Fertility, dispensing of old and making way for the new

 *Symbols/Tools/Decorations-Brighid’s Crosses, Brideo’gas, Besoms, white flowers, acorn wands, candles, Brides bed, milk, evergreens, daffodils, grain/seeds, snowflakes

*Herbs-Angelica, basil, bay laurel, blackberry, heather, iris, myrrh, violets, clover, willow, and all yellow flowers.

*Incense/Oils-Basil, bay, wisteria, cinnamon, violet, vanilla, myrrh, jasmine, rose, sage lavender,

*Colors-Gold, light green, green, blue, yellow, pink, white, red, brown and pastels

 *Crystals/Stones-Amethyst, bloodstone, garnet, ruby, turquoise, onyx, moonstone, red jasper

*Customs/Activities-Candle lighting, seeking omens of spring, cleaning house, bonfires, indoor  planting, stone collecting, hearth re-lighting, storytelling

*Foods-Pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds, spicy foods, dairy, raisins, poppyseed bread/cakes,  muffins, scones, breads, pancakes/waffles, spiced wines, herbal teas

*Gods- Pan, Cupid/Eros, young Sun Gods

*Goddesses-  Brighid, Venus, Diana, Virgin Goddess, Maiden Child Goddess, Aradia, Athena, Inanna, Vesta, Gaia,  Selene, Februa

 *Spellworking/Rituals-Cleansing, purification, renewal, creative inspiration, purification,  initiation, candle work, house & temple blessings, welcoming Brigid,   feast of milk and bread, Self-dedication

To aid you in your house cleansing, here is a ritual I love to do after all the Cleaning is done….

Imbolc House Cleansing Ritual 

 -First do a complete physical cleaning of your house.

-Clean windows with vinegar and mugwort water.

-Clean floors with lavender and rosemary water.

-Throw out old, used, worn items or give to charity.

-Sort thru piles of paperwork. 

-This physically sweeps out the old negative energy in the house and makes room for the new.

-Light a smudge stick and walk around the rooms of your house to replace old protection and prosperity.

-Make Blessing Oil.

As you pass from room to room, anoint each door and windowsill with the Blessing Oil by tracing the shape of a pentagram or other symbol of your tradition. This prevents anything negative from crossing into the home. Say:

“May the goddess bless this home,
making it sacred and pure,
so that nothing but love and joy
shall enter through this door.”

For me the house cleaning part takes place the week before.  Then I do the floors and windows the day of, then I perform this ritual.  The night of Imbolc, I light candles all over my home for awhile.  Then I do as suggested above.  I turn off all lights and light a single white candle and go to each door, knock 3 times, throw it open and invite in the goddess and ask her for all the good things in life to come into my home; Health, abundance, prosperity, and joy!  As I go room to room, I turn the lights back on.  I will then spend time at my altar doing my self re-dedication and honoring the Goddess Brighid,  whom I often will call on.

I will post more about my altar and my Imbolc celebration in the coming days.  If you haven’t already started thinking about this beautiful Sabbat, then do.  There is alot of work involved with this one.  The clearing out of the old is not for the faint of heart! LOL  Be brutal in both your home and yourself!  Really clear out the stuff that needs to go.  You will feel so much better about your home and you will feel lighter and happier with yourself as well.  Spring is coming and I know that makes many of your heart’s soar!!  Start it out with a clean, uncluttered great smelling home and a clean slate full of positivity, lightness and joy for yourself!

Blessed Be, Autumn

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Filed under Goddess, Imbolc, Mother Earth, Quote, Ritual

New Moon Blessings……

Merry Meet my friends!  Blessed New Moon night to you all.  The first one after the New Year…the first one in 2011!  This one is even more magickal indeed as there is much happening in the sky.  Last night during the dark of the Moon, there was a meteor shower and early this morning with the Sunrise, there was a solar eclipse…magickal indeed!  Did you see it?  I was able to see a bit of the meteor shower but the clouds came in and that was that.  I love the New Moon almost as much as the Full Moon…the quiet and peacefulness, a black starry sky, and reflecting on the possibilities.  There is some amazing workings that can be done during the Dark and New Moon….if you aren’t utilizing it..you are missing out indeed!

Let’s start first with some correspondences about the New Moon:

 Time: From Dark Moon to Waxing Moon.

New Moon – The magic should be performed between dawn and sunset for the best use of this magic.  I have to say that I do not do my New Moon magick during the day.  I do mine before midnight!  I like to be out in it..out in that black inky sky.

Dark Moon – As odd as this may sound, the strongest pull of the dark moon is around 10:00 a.m.  Again, I like to be out at night 🙂 

Goddess Aspect:   Maiden

Dark Moon Godesses:    Hecate, Kali, Morrigan,  Callieach, Banshee,

New Moon Goddesses:  Inanna, Juno

Pagan Holiday: Winter Solstice
Goddess Name: Rosemerta’s Moon
Goddess Energy: Goddesses of growth
Offering: Milk and Honey
Theme: Abundance
Rune: Fehu for abundance, Kenaz for openings, Gebo for love
Tarot Trump: the Fool

Magickal Attributes:   Banishing,  Releasing the Old, Removing Unwanted Negative Energies, Wisdom, Psychic Abilities, Scrying, Reversing Circumstances. Also a great time to cleanse and consecrate your altar tools.

New Beginnings:   Weight loss, Goal setting, Planning, Cleaning, Personal Cleansing, General beginnings and considerations.

Spellwork for:     Starting new ventures, new beginnings, love, romance, health, or job hunting, and creative ventures.

New moon – beauty, health,  self-improvement,  planting gardens,  job hunting,  love and romance.

Dark moon – addictions, change, divorce, enemies, justice, obstacles, quarrels, removal, separation, stopping stalkers and theft.

As you can see, there is sooo much you can do during the New Moon.  Creative ventures to start?  How about working on your Book of Shadows, setting up a witches cupboard, starting a blog, writing spells.  Self-improvement? Being on time, finding balance in your life, exercising more, spending more “me” time.  Because the New Moon is a time for starting a-new, the spells will be very powerful to help you to manifest these types of desires.  Being the New Year, you may have some resolutions you want to stick to…the New Moon energy will help with that too!

The New Moon is a great time to cleanse and consecrate your altar tools, crystals, magickal jewelry etc.  Here is a ritual that I like for doing that.  I have had this ritual for a long time and don’t know where I got it from….Of course where it says (Tool), you will say what it is you are consecrating such as wand, athame, crystal, candle etc.

 Gather supplies needed and tools to be consecrated:

South/Fire…A white candle

West/Water…A chalice of water

North/Earth…A small bowl of salt

East/Air…incense

If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so now. Light the candle and the incense. Take the tool or other items you wish to consecrate in your hands, and face north. Pass it over the salt and say:

 Powers of the North, Guardians of the Earth,
I consecrate this (tool) and charge it with your energies.
I purify it this night, and make this tool sacred.
 

 Now, turn to the east and, holding the tool in the smoke of the incense, say:

Powers of the East, Guardians of the Air,
I consecrate this (tool) and charge it with your energies.
I purify it this night, and make this tool sacred.
 

 Next, face the south and pass the tool over the flame of the candle  and speak the words:

Powers of the South, Guardians of Fire,
I consecrate this (tool) and charge it with your energies.
I purify it this night, and make this tool sacred.

Finally, turn to the west, and pass your ritual tool over the cup of water. Say:

Powers of the West, Guardians of Water,
I consecrate this (tool) and charge it with your energies.
I purify it this night, and make this tool sacred.

Face your altar, hold the (tool) to the sky, and speak the words:

I charge this (tool) in the name of Old Ones,
the Ancients, the Sun and the Moon and the Stars.
By the powers of the Earth, of Air, of Fire and of Water
I banish the energies of any previous owners,
and make it new and fresh.
I consecrate this wand,
and it is mine.

So Mote It Be!

Now you’ve not only consecrated the tool, you’ve claimed ownership.

I will also make this Dark Moon oil blend and use it at my altar and on my tools.  Smells delicious!

Dark Moon Oil.

 7 drops Jasmine

      3 drops Chamomile

  3 drops Patchoul

 1 drop Sandalwood

 

New Moon Ritual

    In early societies, the reappearance of the moon was often a cause for celebration – after all, it meant that the dark had passed, and the full moon was on its way back. The following rite is one which welcomes the moon back at the beginning of her cycle.

     First, if your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so at this time. If you don’t normally cast a circle, take the time to ritually purify the area by smudging or asperging. This will establish the space as sacred.

     Perform this ceremony outside if at all possible — it’s the best way to get a good look at the sliver of new moon. You’ll need a moon candle, wrapped in a black cloth, to place on your altar. This is traditionally a white unscented pillar-style candle. You’ll also need a hand-held mirror. Tie some silver and white ribbons on it if you wish. Finally, have a small bowl of Blessing Oil handy.

     Hold this ceremony at sunset if you can. Turn to the west, and watch as the sun goes down (without looking directly at it). Once the sun has dropped below the horizon, you’ll be able to see where the new moon is rising. Once you see the moon in the sky, unwrap the candle. Hold it up high and say:

Welcome back, Moon!
we’re glad to see you again.
Another cycle has passed
another month gone by
and our lives have moved forward.

 

Place the candle on the altar and light it, still facing the moon. Say:

 

 Today is a new day,
and a new month begins.
As the tides flow, and the moon rises above,
we are thankful that She has returned.
She watches over us, ever constant,
yet always changing,
and we are thankful for her light.

   Next, turn to face east, where the sun will rise in the morning. Pick up the mirror and hold it so you can see the new moon behind you. Say:

Bring us your wisdom, your guidance,
your protection, in the coming month.
You are behind me at every step,
watching and guiding me,
and I am thankful.

     Place the mirror back on the altar, beside the moon candle. Take a moment to reflect on your goals. After all, this is a time of new beginnings, and a good time for new commitments and vows. Warm the Blessing Oil over the candle for just a moment, and then anoint your forehead. As you do so, say:

May the blessings of the moon be with me.

     When you are ready, close the circle and end the ritual. If you choose, you can move into healing rites or magical workings, or a Cakes & Ale ceremony.

 

I love this ritual and find it very magickal.  I often call on Hecate to help me at the time of the Dark of the Moon; especially if I’m not clear on my course of action, what I want to focus on or change in my life.  Remember that she is a dark goddess and she is the Goddess of the crossroads.  She will help guide you if asked.  So I hope that each of you will take advantage of the energy during the dark and new moon and see what  changes, new beginnings, or adventures you can manifest in your life.  But don’t forget that you have to do the work as well!  You can’t do a spell to say, bring balance to your life, and then just sit back and hope it will happen.  Asking  the Goddess for help is wonderful, finding the Goddess within you and doing the work yourself..well,  that will make you feel powerful, strong and joyful in your accomplishment.  Perhaps keep a journal of what you are trying to manifest, your goals for achieving it, the work you do to make it happen, and the outcome.  Writing it down will help you to focus and get the job done!

So good luck my friends, and again, New Moon Blessings and Goddess Bless, Autumn

*Sources..I’m afraid I have had this information so long I don’t have my sources..if you know, feel free to tell me.  I appreciate very much whoever wrote them 🙂    Also, these two pictures are from the internet.

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Filed under Book of Shadows, Goddess, New Moons, Oil Blend Recipe, Ritual, Spells

Countdown to Yule….

Merry Meet!  Now that we are past Thanksgiving I am turning my full focus on the Yule season.  As I said in my last post, I love Winter and Winter Solstice is most magickal to me.  It is a time for family and a candlelit dinner.  The burning of the Yule log,  spiced wine, sharing gifts.  The time I spend in solitude at my altar is just as special.  The longest night of the year is a time for introspection, to looking back at last year and turning my thoughts to the next year. My altar will be bright with candlelight and greens and sweet incense will waft through the air, calming me and centering me as it always does.  Yes, I love Winter Solstice or Yule very much!

Yule or Winter Solstice falls in the Northern Hemisphere somewhere between December 20 and 23.  It is the longest night of the year..tomorrow the Sun starts to return and the days will start to lengthen.  Winter is here.  The first snows have fallen and cover the earth.  The nights are dark, the air is cold and sharp, trees are bare,  smoke is pouring out of chimneys,  the windows in our homes spill light onto the cold ground from our warm bright rooms.  Your home may be decorated with twinkling lights and fragrant greens and candles everywhere.  A tree covered in glass globes and beloved ornaments stands in the corner.  Perhaps cider or wine is warming on the stove.  You may be sitting in your easy chair, soft wooly socks on your feet, a blanket thrown over you, a fire burning in your fireplace, a good book on your lap. But how did they celebrate Yule in ancient times?

  In some Traditions, the Winter Solstice begins the new year.  For all pagans, it’s when the Wheel begins to turn once more toward the light.  Fires and candles are lit to welcome back the Sun God, born by the virgin Goddess..as he returns to bring light back to the dark nights and to start to warm the Earth again.   Yule is a time of awakening, of welcoming the new and the possible.   Homes are decorated with Evergreens, which represent life continueing, even in the dark Winter.   Mistletoe, a druid symbol for fertility is hung in the hallways.   Holly and Ivy represent  protection and good fortune.  Reindeer symbolize the Horned God;  and the colors red, green, silver and gold represent fire, earth, the Moon and the Sun, respectively.

 Customs for this Sabbat include burning a Yule log (an oak or birch log decorated with ribbons, greenery, and holly berries) to represent the fire of the returning Sun.  Light the log using an unburned piece of the previous year’s log; afterward, spread the ashes in your garden for fertility and save a small piece of the log for next year, keeping it in your home for good luck. Burn bayberry candles for prosperity, or write wishes on bay leaves and throw them into the fire.  Bake cookies or bread using cinnamon, a traditional spice representing the Sun.  Make a wreath to symbolize the Wheel of the Year, and decorate it with pinecones to represent the God and fruit to represent the Goddess.  Decorate a Yule tree with images to invoke the coming year’s blessings, such as fruit and nuts for abundance, heart-shaped charms for love, feathers for inspiration, and coins for prosperity.

     A different type of Yule log 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 candles (season)…green, gold, and black (the Sun God)…or white, red, and black (the Great Goddess).  Also you can decorate it with greenery, ribbon, roses, pinecones, spices etc.  I make both a Yule log for my fireplace and this lovely version as a table centerpiece.  It’s a great craft project to do with the kids as well.

 Yule Correspondences

*Element- Earth

*Threshold- Dawn

*Symbolism- Rebirth of the Sun, The longest night of the year, TheWinter Solstice, Introspect, death of the Holly King (Winter), reign of the Oak King (summer), night of the greatest lunar  imbalance, death & rebirth of the Sun God, shortest day of the year.

*Symbols/Tools/Decorations-   Yule log, evergreen boughs and wreaths, holly, mistletoe, poinsettias,  bayberry candles, lights, gifts, candles, clove studded fruit, wassail, Christmas cactus.

*Herbs- Bayberry, blessed thistle, evergreen, frankincense, holly, laurel ,mistletoe, oak, pine, sage, cedar,  moss, bay, ginger, juniper, myrrh, pinecones, rosemary, chamomile, cinnamon.

*Incense/Oils- Pine, cedar, bayberry, cinnamon, ginger, rosemary, frankincense, myrrh, nutmeg,  wintergreen, hollyberry

*Colors- Red, green, gold, white, silver,

 *Stones/Crystals- Rubies, bloodstones, garnets, emeralds, diamonds, cat’s eye

 *Customs/Activities- Caroling, burning the Yule log, decorating the Yule tree, exchanging presents, kissing  under the mistletoe, feasting, wassailing, burning candles, ringing bells, honoring  Father Yule, family and friend bonding, generosity.

 *Foods-  Nuts, apples, caraway cakes soaked with cider, pears, ginger tea, roasted turkey, fruitcake,  cookies, eggnog, mulled wine, pork dishes.

 *Gods- Apollo, Ra, Odin, Lugh, the Oak King, The Green Man, Jesus,

*Goddesses- Brighid, Isis, Demeter, Gaia, Diana, The Great Mother, Mary

 *Spellworking/Rituals- Peace, harmony, love, happiness,  personal renewal, meditation, honoring family  and friends,  Festival of light.    

 The above correspondences will be of great aid in helping you to set up your Yule altar for your solstice ritual.  I will post more on my own personal altar later.  I will also post simple rituals, prayers, recipe’s for food and incense, and ideas on how to bring a bit of magick to your days and nights  during this magickal time of the year.  So as you are curled up in your warm comfy home, reading that great book or watching a holiday movie, and sipping your warm drink with your cat curled up beside you….start thinking about how you can honor this Sabbat..in a different way then the typical “Christmas” day you may have been used to celebrating as a child.   If you have always celebrated Yule..I truly envy you for being raised in such a wonderful magickal way!  I wish I had been.

There is one other thing I love to do for the solstice, on the morning after the longest night of the year,  I like to either stay up or get up and watch the sunrise and toast the returning Sun King with spiced cider or a good hot cup of coffee!

Blessings and Love, Autumn

*Sources..Simple Wicca by Michele Morgan, the internet and myself! 🙂

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Filed under Altars, Winter, Yule/Winter Solstice/Chrismas