“What you envision will bloom in the pale moonlight…”
By Kate Braun / The Rag Blog / December 15, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009, is Yule, the shortest day and longest night of the year, when Lord Sun once again emerges from The Time That Is No Time. Lady Moon is in her first quarter; first-quarter moons are an auspicious time to make plans for rituals that will be implemented in the second quarter and completed by the full moon.
This year the next Full Moon in December (called a Wishing Moon and also a Blue Moon because it is the second full moon in the month) coincides with New Year’s Eve, a traditional time to consider what the coming year’s focus shall be for you. I recommend scheduling some time during your Yule celebration to visualize what you want to manifest in 2010.
You should write these goals on a piece of paper, twist the paper into a spiral, hang it on your holiday tree until New Year’s day, then bury it under a living tree in your yard (your guests will take their spirals with them and perform the rest of the ritual in their own homes). As the living tree grows, so will your plans for the coming year.
Yule is a fire festival. In the Long Ago, people went into the forests and cut their own Yule Log, using the saved remnants of the previous season’s Yule Log to help ignite it. This is not as easy as it once was, and part of the Yule lore is that the log must not be bought. If you have a fireplace or outdoor grill, you may designate any branch that has fallen into your yard or been pruned from any of your trees as your Yule Log; if you are not building a fire, try to incorporate some dry wood from your yard into decorations that surround the red, white, and green candles you light on your altar and table. The intent will serve just as well.
Use the colors red, white, and green in all your decorations, dress, and party favors. Red for Lord Sun; white for the snow his fire will melt; green for the new growth that will emerge when the snow melts. Use holly, ivy, and mistletoe as well as fir boughs in your decorations. These plants invite the Nature Sprites to join the celebration.
A sprig of holly near the front door invokes good fortune for the coming year; a piece of mistletoe hung over the front door prompts the ceremonial “kiss of peace” that is given to each guest as they arrive. Other decorations may include pomander balls and eight-spoked wheels (and since the eight reindeer that pull Santa Claus’ sleigh represent the eight-spoked Wheel of Life, reindeer statuary is also appropriate to incorporate into your decorating scheme).
Your menu should include roast root veggies (potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, rutabagas, parsnips), roast meats (pork, beef, turkey, goose), nuts, apples, pears, Wassail, ginger tea. Make toasts both remembering the passing year and welcoming the coming year.
Please remember that there are two retrogrades starting during December that could interfere with your pleasant plans: Mars retrogrades from December 20 to March 10, 2010, and Mercury retrogrades from December 26 to January 15, 2010. A Mars retrograde makes us get angry more easily; a Mercury retrograde creates problems with communication, transportation, and all things electronic, including the brain. During the Yule season, therefore, it will be easier to misunderstand/misinterpret what you are hearing and/or reading and/or seeing as well as to get angrier as a result of the misunderstanding/misinterpretation. I strongly urge each of you to do your best to prevent molehills from growing into erupting volcanoes! This is a time of peace, not war.
This season is about rebalancing, frequently symbolized as a ritual dance between the Holly King (king of the waning year) and the Oak King (king of the waxing year). Neither king can exist without the other; they are interdependent, and the steps of their dance weave a pattern older than time. You and your guests may choose to incorporate dance into your festivities as a gesture of the rebalancing we all do at this season.
Reminder: The first local Metaphysical Fair of 2010 is on January 9 & 10, 2010, at the Radisson Hotel, 6000 Middle Fiskville Rd., Austin, TX (between Highland Mall and Lincoln Village). The annual Prediction Panel that is part of this fair will be on Friday evening, January 8, 2010, at 7 p.m. in the lecture room at the Radisson. The Prediction Panel is free. For more information, go to the Out and Above with Kate page of my website.