“Although you are still weak and helpless/Appearing as an infant small/yet we adore you as a great monarch,/Mighty, glorious Lord of all!”
Saturday, December 22, 2007 is Yule, the Winter Solstice. This year, the Winter Solstice falls the day before the Full Moon, the Grael Moon or Wishing Moon. Yuletide includes The !2 Days of Christmas, whether you count the days from “Mother Night”, December 20, to “Yule Night”, December 31; or from December 25, “Christmas’ to January 6, “Epiphany”. Saturday is Saturn’s day, and many of the rituals associated with Yuletide have their origin in Saturnalia, a 12-day festival enjoyed by ancient Romans.
Decorate your house, altar, festive table, and yourself using the colors red, white, and green. Favor fabrics with a texture, such as velvet, velour, and corduroy. Use pomander balls, wreaths, Yule logs, red and gold bows, rosebuds, candles, and 8-spoked wheels in your decorations. Use evergreen sprigs and boughs as well; they symbolize everlasting life. Using holly, mistletoe, and ivy in your decorations also invites Nature sprites to join in the celebration. Lore says that affixing a sprig of holly near the front door invites good fortune for the coming year.
Serve your guests roast meat (a standing rib roast will do just as well as a boar’s head), apples, caraway cookies, Wassail (mulled spiced wine). cider, nuts, ginger cookies, roasted apples, even lamb’s wool (a mixture of ale, sugar, nutmeg and roasted apples) if you are feeling adventuresome.
This fire festival celebrates the changing of the seasons, the shift of balance from darkness to light, the emergence of Lord Sun from his wintry hibernation. One way to symbolize this change is to enact the ritual battle/dance between the Oak King and the Holly King if you have friends/guests amenable to such a performance. The Holly King is the God of the Waning Year, the Oak King is the God of the Waxing Year. In some mythologies, they are twins. It is from the Holly King that we get part of our familiar image of Santa Claus, as it is the Holly King who wears a sprig of holly in his hat, wears red clothing, and drives a team of 8 reindeer (symbolizing not only the 8-spoked Wheel of Life but also the Horned God). Mistletoe, a favorite decoration, was felt by the Druids to be a plant of peace; to kiss under the mistletoe is a promise to remain peaceful and on good behavior while in the house. The Oak King’s plant is mistletoe, so in addition to symbolizing peace within the house, decorating with both holly and mistletoe recognizes the shift of season and the emergence from darkness into light. Both the Oak and the Holly were sacred to the Druids. The Oak and Holly Kings do battle twice a year, at the Solstices. They never kill each other. They are like 2 sides of a whole, like yin and yang, each being the better for being ever-connected to the other. The battle is a symbolic gesture indicating the shift of power from Winter to Summer.
If you have a fireplace, burning a Yule log is something to consider. The Yule log, traditionally ash, must never be bought! It should be either given as a gift or harvested from the householder’s property. When placed in the fireplace, the log is decorated with seasonal greenery, blessed with cider or ale, and sprinkled with flour before lighting. It is traditional to use a piece of the previous year’s Yule log to light the current year’s. The Yule fire should be allowed to burn brightly on Solstice Night, then monitored to assure it smolders for 12 days before being ceremonially put out, as pieces of charcoal from this year’s log should be saved for next year. If you have no fireplace, you may substitute a table-top log with 3 holes drilled to hold one red, white, and green candle. Decorate and prepare it as you would the fireplace Yule log.
An incense that may be made several days in advance of your celebration and tossed into the fireplace (or cauldron or outside fire) has this recipe: Mix together 2 T. dried pine needles, 1 T red sandalwood Chips, 1 T. cedar chips. Add 20 drops Frankincense oil, 10 drops Myrrh oil, 5 drops Cinnamon oil, 5 drops Allspice oil, 5 drops Pine oil. Stir together and finish off by mixing in 2 T Frankincense resin. These ingredients may be found at herb shops and/or Metaphysical stores.
Before ending your revels and sending your guests home, be sure to give thanks for the Time That Is No Time. It has provided us the opportunity to pause and reflect on our lives, on what we have done (or not done), on what we hope to do in the coming year. A meditation on balance, peace, harmony, and beauty is most appropriate for this season.
Reminders: Today, Dec. 12, is the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Lore says that it you make a petition to her on this day, whatever you ask for will be given you. If you choose to make such an appeal, I strongly recommend that you do it with an open heart as well as an open mind; Spirit works in mysterious ways we mortals may only occasionally understand.
I will be Elaine Ireland’s guest on her weekly live-on-the-internet talk show, “Going Global For Spirit” on Wednesday, December 19, from 7:55 PM to 8:50 PM. Go to www.bbse.com and click on channel 2 to access Elaine’s show, “Going Globqal for Spirit”, to hear the discussion of the Winter Solstice. Listeners may also call in for a short Tarot reading. or to ask a question.
Beginning January 1, 2008, my prices for private client readings and for readings at the Metaphysical Fairs, Mind body Spirit Expos and Wholistic Rodeos will be increasing. Please visit my website (www.tarotbykate.bigstep.com) to see the new prices, which will be posted before the end of 2007.
January 4, 5, & 6, 2008 is the first Metaphysical Fair of the new year. On Friday, January 4, in the lecture room at the Radisson Hotel, on Middle Fiskville Road between Highland Mall and Lincoln Village in north central Austin, a panel of psychics will share with attendees their impressions of what we can expect in 2008. This panel is open to the public as a free event. Saturday and Sunday, January 4 & 5, 2008, will be the Metaphysical fair, with an entry fee of %7, good for both days. If you come to this event because you read about it here, please stop by my table and say “Hi“ whether or not you feel the need for a reading. It helps me to monitor of the effectiveness of these reminders..
January 26 & 27, 2008, I will be participating in the Wholistic Rodeo in Kerrville.: Inn of the Hills Resort & Conference Center, 1001 Junction Highway, Kerrville, TX. This event will be open to the public from 10 AM – 6 PM on Saturday, January 26, and from 11 AM – 5 PM on Sunday, January 27. There is a $10 entry fee, good for both days. For a complete list of exhibitors, readers, lecturers, etc., please go to: www.wholisticrodeo.com. If you come to this event because you read about it here, please stop by my table and say “Hi“ whether or not you feel the need for a reading. It helps me to monitor of the effectiveness of these reminders.