Author: Hesperides

Planning in the Dark with Capricorn

January 16, 2018
6:17 PM PST
7:17 PM MST
9:17 PM EST
January 17, 2018
2:17 AM UTC
10:17 AM AWST
1:17 PM AEDT

           CapricornThe Dark Moon in Capricorn is a valuable time to get organized. As this is the New Year it is a wonderful time to reflect on what you want to accomplish in the year ahead.  Sit down with everything you need to make a good list.  It is noteworthy to mention, there are some who would say magickally you put in much more energy if you put a pen to paper, however this is not true for everyone and not necessary for all work.  We are modern people in world full of technology, it is only natural for our magickal practice to innovatively grow.  

           You can make a checklist, set of goals, an outline, step-by-step need to do, or whatever works for you with the intent being to make an achievable plan to be successful in your goals.  You can use a dark bowl full of water for a little self-reflection to help you prioritize, and Capricorn’s diligent nature will help make sure you do not leave anything out.

To use the reflecting pool, ground and clear your mind in your usual way.  

           An example:  Get comfortable and close your eyes.  Focus on your breathing and allow the flow to become steady and rhythmic.  Visualize yourself sitting on the banks of a dark shoreline.  The water is steady, slightly warm, and inviting.  Stand with your toes in the water and feel the Earth’s energy flowing like the water.  Focus on the beating of your heart and the steady rhythmic flow of your breath.  Feel your rhythm begin to harmonize with that of the water, breeze, and other sounds of nature you hear in the darkness.  Your energy becomes one with the energy of the earth.  Any thoughts that may be cluttering your mind can be tossed into the water to float away with the tide until your mind is clear of day-to-day thoughts.  

Make your list

 

           When it is time to answer a question.  Light a candle, or a few, or have the lights on so you can get a reflection.  Hold the bowl in your hands relaxing your gaze on the water.  See your reflection in the water and focus on your questions.  Some people will see an answer, some may hear or perceive, but really this is more about your feelings and intuition.  The water is a focal point for your mind to keep you from getting distracted on other thoughts.  Listen to your intuition and don’t force it or try to literally see something in the water.  Everyone will perceive this type of divination differently, with practice you will be able to hear your intuition more effectively.  Also, don’t second guess yourself.  The first answer is the right answer.

           Place the list somewhere prominent so you can see it regularly.  When you complete something make sure you mark it off, so you can see your progress.

 

 

 Happy Planning!

Hesperides Garden

Love Reflections with the SuperMoon

January 1, 2018
6:24 PM PST 
7:24 PM MST 
9:24 PM EST
January 2, 2018
2:24 AM UTC 
10:24 AM AWST 
1:24 PM AEDT
In Cancer

 

           The Full Moon in Cancer brings a nurturing motherly energy that is full of love and care. This Full Moon is perfect for magick of self-healing, and love.  This is great for the New Year’s Moon because there is no better New Year’s resolution then to love and honor yourself.  

           Tonight, sit under the Full Moon with a large bowl of water. This is your reflection pool, it not only reflects the light of the Moon but also shows a reflection of yourself. Use a dark-colored or silver bowl for the best results. As you gaze into the water see all the good that you have to offer. Allow the light of this Full Moon to highlight your positive attributes and strengths.

           As you begin ground, clear your mind, and state your intention to the energies.  Remember that this is a reflection on the positive, a time for nurturing and encouraging the love for yourself building your self-esteem.  Even in our darkest times there is always something positive and these are the things we need to hold on to as we set off on this new year. Take your time thinking about each aspect of your life and the positive energy flowing from that energy center. You can add rose petals, rose water, or other herbs to further your reflection on the love you have for yourself. When your done gazing, pour the water on the earth as a gift of gratitude to the Gods who love you!   

 

Sending love, blessing, and positive encouragement on this Full Moon!

Hesperides Garden

 

Blended Yule Traditions

           Preparing for winter is a common theme among many cultures.  Out with the old and in with the new was a literal and necessary process.  With winter came a lot of time spent inside and the home must be ready for the family to be stuck inside together.  Routine household repairs are made, the pantries are cleaned out and what cannot be mended is thrown away.  This was also a time to do a deep clean of the house mopping, dusting, and organizing.  This is time for the Fall cleaning to be completed. 

           The longest night of the year is also known as a night when the spirits walk the earth.  This is a good time for divination and talking to loved ones lost.  This was a time when games were played, and everyone tested their luck at the lots.  Omens were also believed to be common place and children are known to be the most receptive. 

           As part of this time of divination you will often find charms in your cakes and other edible divinations. 

           Mumming, caroling, and performing door to door have been tradition since ancient times.  In ancient Roman tradition people dressed in drag and performed door to door begging for gifts and food.  Children in many European cultures would bring food and gifts door to door caroling has also been a tradition in many European cultures bringing cheer to all with celebratory songs through the town.   

 

Wishing you a Blessed Winter Solstice! 

Hesperides Garden 

Not Just the Longest Night of the Year 

Part V of our Winter Solstice series goes farther and share other holidays celebrated during this time of year.  

           For the Norse, Yule was celebrated from the eve of the Winter Solstice, Modranecht – “Mother Night”, until January 12thJólablót – “Yule Sacrifice”.  The celebrations including feasting, games, and a lot of toasting.  Sacrifices to the Winter Gods were commonplace, asking for a good and prosperous year to comes.  On Mother Night the Goddess Frigga is honored with a grand feast as the Mother of the Sun.  At the end of the evening all the lights and fires are put out and the Yule log is lit representing the return of the sun.  

           The Vikings honored the Goddess Sol and her solar energy.  In her myth, she rides a chariot across the sky eternally trying to escape the great wolf of darkness.  As the Winter Solstice approaches the days become so short that it was feared the wolf would consume her and the light would never return.  For those of us farther south it is hard to imagine the sun only being a glow on the horizon if at all.  However, this is the case and in ancient times the death of the sun was an annual journey of rebirth for the Goddess Sol. During this time of darkness, when Wolf of Hel has taken Sol, the dead and spirits of the underworld walked the earth.  The Goddess is reborn, and the sign of her growing strength is seen by January 12th when the sun is seen again. This is when the three-day celebration of her return is held with feasting and sacrifices.  Apple Cider is the traditional drink used to toast for this celebration.  In Old Norse traditions ‘Ves Heill” is the salutation used on Yule.  It translates loosely to ‘be whole’ or ‘be of good health’ and was said over the passing of the Cider Wassail in hopes for a good crop to come.   

           The Roman celebration of Saturnalia was held from December 11th lasting until the Solstice. Business and war were suspended, and everyone celebrated during this time.  They used evergreen boughs to decorate the house with and they exchanged gifts.  This was a week-long celebration of the God Saturn and other agricultural Deities.  Gifts were given, there were sacrifices, gambling, games, and immense amounts of feasting. This was said to be a time of lawlessness when everyone ran around doing just what they wished.  

           The Persian celebration of the sun God Mithras was held between December 17th and 25th, much like Saturnalia. On the 25th they celebrated the victory of light over darkness, this night was called Yolda.  In his myths, it is said that Mithras was reborn on the solstice at the banks of a river.  It was tradition to stay awake all night with the family eating pomegranates, dried nuts, and watermelon.  It was believed that by eating summer fruits one would not succumb to the cold of winter.    

           In Sweden on the 13th of December the Goddess Lucina, the Shining One, is celebrated as she gains victory over the darkness.  It is now called St. Lucy’s Day.  During these celebrations the children wear white with the girls wearing lights on their head to represent the light of Lucina’s hair, and the boys carrying the light of a star.  There is much singing and everyone in Sweden still knows and sings the Lucina song.  

           Native Americans also hold the Winter Solstice as an important turning point in the year.  This is a time to honor your ancestors through prayer, gratitude, and creating Prayer sticks.  They are made several days before the solstice by everyone in the house.  They are made from a tree that you feel connected to and always make sure you leave an offering to say thank you for the gift.  You can then strip, carve, and decorated with one turkey feather.  While making it, one should make prayers of gratitude to their ancestors.  It is then used during the ritual celebrations on the solstice.  For the Hopi and Navajo this is a time of storytelling and keeping the stories of the ancestors alive.   

           For the Mohawk Tribes the New Year begins on the first Dark Moon after the Solstice.  Between the two days it was traditional for the “five nights of sleeping” to be carried out.  This included singing, dancing, and feasting all to honor the great spirit and call for a restoration to the healing energies. 

           For the Iroquois this is a time of dreaming.  On the solstice the tribe would go to bed early and sleep in late.  The dreams that came where known to answer questions, reveal wisdom, and tell of the future.  They would then all come together to tell the stories of their dreams and weave a complete vision for the year to come both individually and as a tribe. 

           The Inca would hold a ceremony to honor the sun.  These celebrations of music, drumming, speeches, performances are still carried out today on June 24th (remember they are in the southern hemisphere). 

           In Mongolian tradition this was a time to gather at the Shamans Yurt bringing gifts and placing them around the yurt.  This is when the village says thank you to the one who is normally taking care of them.  The Shamans Yurt is a representation of the ‘Mother Tree’ and a connection between this world and the heavens. 

           In Australia Wurdi Youand is a stone arrangement that aligns with the suns path.  It is located in Victoria and contains over 100 basalt stones.  This has been a gathering place to honor the path of the sun for centuries, some evidence suggests it is the oldest site like this in the word.  Even though the actual historical celebrations have been lost it is clear that this was an honored place and people gathered there to honor the sun.

Find the traditions that speak to you! 

Blessings 

Hesperides 

 

Go to

Part IV: Fairies Mythical Creatures & Gods of the Winter Solstice  ~ ~ ~  Part VI: Blended Yule Traditions

 

 

Fairies Mythical Creatures & Gods of the Winter Solstice

Part IV in our Winter Solstice series is all about the mythical creatures that fill this holiday season 

           In Denmark and Norway, it is still a common tradition to leave out an offering of milk to the house elves known as the Julenisse.  These gnome like creatures are known to bring good fortune but also can be mischievous household spirits.  They are known to protect the home and farm throughout the year, needing somewhere warm during the time of the solstice.

Ring of Brodgar
Picture from ww2.rspb.org.uk

           In Scotland, the ancient Pictish legend of the Orkney stones tells how these megaliths get up on Hogmanay and walk to the nearest water source to take a drink.  It is considered bad luck to see the giant stones walking and the areas where they stand were avoided this time of year. The site known as the Ring of Brodgar was said to once be giants who were caught dancing at dawn and the sun turned them to stones.  

           In Celtic lore, Yule marks the height in power for the Holly King.  He is celebrated as the ruler of the dark half of the year, and thanked for his leadership through the darkness.  Even though he is associated with darkness he is a joyous king who shares his abundance by granting prosperity and guidance. It is on the Winter solstice that this fairy king visits homes filling the stockings bringing joy to this dark time.

           The Yule Goat was both a symbol of Thor and Yule.  Thor’s chariot is drawn by two large goats who in some myths he is forced to sacrifice, and later they’re resurrected; hence their association with this time of rebirth.  In early Slavic tradition, the yule goat is associated to the solar God Devac and honoring the suns fertile energy.   

           The Julbocken Swedish Yule Goat, was made from the last sheaf of grain bundled during the harvest, which was believed to carry the magical properties of the harvest spirits.  It was saved in a place of honor and then used in the Yule decorating and celebrations. The tradition of hiding a straw goat at a friend’s home is still carried out in Sweden and Norway.  When the goat is found it must then be hidden in someone else’s house making its way through the community bringing its blessings.  

           The Yule Goat was carried on after the rise of Christianity this time taking the form of a man-sized goat who walked from home to home either bringing gifts (Finland and Sweden area) or demanding gifts (in English tradition).  The goat also became a symbol of Christmas as the one who brought Santa Clause and his gifts. 

           Another twist on the goat, however not so pleasant, is the Krampus.  During the holiday season he travels the land with a birch switch looking for naughty children to punish, or even take them with him.  It is still tradition on December 7th for the Krampus to walk the streets from Bavaria to Austria and throughout other Alpine towns. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSKfdaCIuBM     

           Gryla is the troll (or Ogress) of Icelandic Yule lore who comes down from her mountain cave snatching naughty children.  It is said that all throughout the year she keeps her cauldron boiling and then fills it with the bad little girls and boys eating them for dinner with her family.  Gryla’s 13 sons bring gifts and mischief the 13 days before Christmas, most likely originating as part of the older Yule celebrations.  Children leave a shoe in the window and if they have been good Gryla’s sons will leave treats of candies and cookies.  If they have been bad they receive a rotten potato.  This also serves as a warning that Gryla is coming and the child must change their ways immediately or suffer the consequences.

            The 13 lads are Sheep-Cote Clod who comes on December 12.  He is peg-legged and sneaks into sheep pens to suckle the ewe’s milk.  Gully Gawk comes on December 13, and also loves milk however he takes it from the milk already collected by the family.  On December 14th Stubby, the shortest of the children comes.  He loves the left-over bits left throughout the kitchen and is known to lick the pots and pans.  Another licker comes on December 15th, Spoon Licker is a skinny fellow and is known to lick the spoons left from dinner.  The visitor on December 16th is more assertive and is a trickster.  He knocks on the front door as a distraction and then sneaks into the kitchen to eat the cooking food.  Bowl Licker comes on December 17th and would love nothing more then to take a bowl or two full of food to eat.  December 18th brings a more mischievous son of Gryla.  Door Slammer waits until everyone is sleeping and late in the night runs through the house slamming doors shut.  Skyr Gobbler visits on December 19 and loves the traditional Icelandic yogurt skyr, he is known to steal a bowl or two if he can find them.  On December 20th Sausage Swiper comes to take all your sausage.  Window Peeper comes on December 21st to sneak from house to house peaking in the windows.  On the 22nd Door Sniffer comes in search of bread.  He has a giant nose which allows him to sniff out every loaf. December 23rd brings with it Meat Hook and his thievery.  He sends a long chain down the chimney and takes his pick from the house.  And finally, Candle Beggar comes on December 24 and mischievously puts out the candles and turns off the lights.  Now clearly these modern twists have been partly demonized, and these trolls made extra mischievous.  As with most Pagan traditions if you leave an offering, they are likely to return the generosity with blessings.    

           Yule marks the Wild Hunt and the night when Odin rides through the sky.  Some say that this is the origin of Santa Claus.  Odin would ride in on his eight-legged horse, Sleipnir, fighting off evil and filling the children’s shoes with gifts and candy.  Children would leave hay for Sleipnir and Odin would come down the chimney to exchange it for gifts.  On this night everyone would stay in for Odin rode with his Valkyries and other Gods casting fear in anyone who saw them.

 

May your encounters be Magickal

Hesperides Garden 

 

Go to

Part III: Oak, Holly, and a bushel of Prosperity ~ ~ or ~ ~ Part V: Not Just the Longest Night of the Year 

Oak, Holly, and a bushel of Prosperity

Part III of our Winter Solstice serious is all about the herbs we use in magick and to fill our home with the fragrant smells of earth.  

           Wreaths are also a common focal point.  They are a representation of the completed cycle and the new beginning. It was traditional to decorate them with mistletoe, holly, and apples.  They can be used to evoke the energies for the new year.  You can add trinkets and symbols representing your future plans. 

         The Yule Tree is a common tradition carried out by many people and cultures.  It was originally a sacred tree in the forest decorated to honor the woodland spirits.  Later the tree was brought indoors and decorated to welcome the woodland spirits indoors for the winter.  It is an altar in its own right and a place of honor. 

           Evergreens are also a central plant celebrated during this time of year.  Their hardiness through the winter and ability to stay green when all other life seems to die makes them a focal point representing the eternal divine energy.   It was traditional for the children to go out and collect the evergreens that decorated the homes.  The youth bringing in the wisdom of the eternal earth.  Sprigs, pine cones, branches, and juniper berries have been used for centuries to decorate the hearth, home, and other buildings.     

           Holly and ivy are used in much of the Yule decorating.  They are brought inside to encourage the fairs and nature spirits to join in the seasonal celebrations.  Holly is associated with Saturn and was also a popular decoration during Saturnalia as a symbol of fertility; Green as a representation of growth and red berries connected to the blood of life.   In some traditions it was a ball of holly and Ivy that was decorated instead of a tree.  Ribbons, paper flowers and oranges were added to bring in some festive colors.  Ivy is also associated with fertility and the two together are a potent centerpiece for this time of divine birth and new beginnings. 

          Acorns are given as gifts on the Winter Solstice and are kept until Beltane when they are thrown into the bonfire for prosperity and to grant wishes.  The acorn represents luck, wisdom, and personal power.  It is associated with youth and true love.  On Yule they are used as decorations representing new beginnings.

 

           For the Druids, Yule marks the best night to collect mistletoe.  A sacred golden knife was used, and it is traditional to dress in all white before one climbs the oak trees to find the most sacred mistletoe at the top.  In ancient tradition they would sacrifice a white bull to say thank you for what they had collected.  The mistletoe would then be used to make elixirs and tinctures that were used for a range of purposes from counter affecting poison, to curing infertility.  Mistletoe is associated with good luck, protection, and good health.  When hung those who kiss under it will be granted protection and fertility. It also protects children from mischievous spirits and ensures swift healing.   

           Apples and oranges were decorated with cloves, and star anise to represent the sun and were carried through the towns on beds of evergreens as gifts handed out by children.  They were a blessing from the youth for a fruitful planting season and plentiful harvest.  Apples are cut to show the hidden star, then they are dried and strung to decorate trees (both indoor and outdoor).  Apples are associated with love, luck, and are a food good enough to be shared with the Divine. 

           Several spices are common place during Yule.  Cinnamon is used in many ways from eating to decorating.  It brings success, love, and adds strength.  Cloves are used in the same way as well as star anise.  Cloves bring love friendship, and prosperity.  Star anise brings good luck to the home, can bring prophetic dreams, purification, and prosperity.  A final popular spice is ginger which is well known for it’s healing powers.  It is also used for love, success, and passion.

May your Winter Solstice be filled with pleasant and prosperous smells 

Hesperides Garden

Go to

Part II : Welcoming the Sun w/ Fire ~ ~ ~Part IV: Fairies, Mythical Creatures, & Gods of the Winter Solstice 

Dark Moon in the Darkest time

December 17th, 2017
10:30 p.m. PST
11:31 p.m. MST
December 18th, 2017
1:30 a.m. EST
6:31 a.m. UTC
5:30 p.m. AEDT

           The Dark Moon during this dark time is a night of introspection and stillness.  We challenge you to sit in the dark tonight and be comfortable with yourself in that space.  You do not have to do anything but sit in the stillness of this night’s energy. 

           For those who want to take it a step forward, this Dark Moon is ideal for an introspective meditation to use all the information you have been discovering since Samhain. 

Want to do some introspective journeying?  Join our Facebook Event and catch up on all the Questions

           Do not let fear and doubt blur your inward journey.  You must be receptive to the wisdom presented by the Crone during this time.  She is honest and sometimes more forthcoming then we would like to hear, however she comes to you with great wisdom and you should heed her words. 

           This is also a time when seeing your own darkness is easiest.  This also should not be approached with fear or doubt.  You must have faith in yourself and understand that there are two sides to every coin; your darkness is a natural and essential part of you. 

           We live in a world where for most the darkness has been cast in a shadow of mistrust and demonization.  This couldn’t be farther from the truth.  The Darkness is where the divine mother bestows her eternal love.  It is where the Dark Gods share their prosperity and joy.  It is a place to meet with the Crone and Sage, to share in their wisdom.  The Darkness is the womb of divine rebirth and a place for us all to seek shelter to restore and rejuvenate.  Your own darkness is the womb of your subconscious.  It is a place where you can truly get to know yourself and plant seeds of change and sprout new growth. 

           When beginning your work in your own darkness you must let go of the assumptions of the societal norm and open your mind and heart to the nurturing dark energy.  Do not plant seeds of fear by making this journey before you are ready.  And as always if you would like a little more guidance we are here to help. 

 

Blessed Be

Hesperides

Welcoming the Sun with Fire

We begin our Myths, Traditions and Celebrations from around the world with a look specifically at fire.  

 

           Fire is an important focus during the Winter Solstice. Bonfires are lit in the fields and fires in the hearth calling for the return of the sun and lending our energy for a swift return. The warmth was cherished, and they were a central theme celebrating the growing days and the success of the year passed. As the focal point many cultures have traditions surrounding fire.

 

Decorated Yule Log
A Yule Log decorated with pine cones, sprigs of greenery and acorns. Wax is used in place of the ancient traditions of flour but it gives the same effect.

         Many Northern European cultures make a version of the Yule Log. For the Druids, the log is cut from an Oak or Ash tree and gifted, you are not supposed to get your own. It is traditionally decorated with greenery and dusted with flour creating a wintery scene to bring indoors. When is it time for the lighting it is covered in cider and lit with a piece of last year’s log. The log should not be allowed to go out on its own and must be snuffed with intent to be kept to light next year’s log.

 

           For the Norse, the Yule log is cut from a large Oak tree and decorated with holly, yew, fir, or a combination of the three. It was carved with protective Runes and burned for good blessings. A piece was also kept being used to light next year’s log.

 

Cailleach Yule Log
Cailleach, Old Women Winter, carved into a stump

           In the Scottish Highlands, the Yule log is a representation of winter and the barren earth. Traditionally it must be consumed completely by the fire on Yule as a representation of the end of the cold and the return of warmer days. The log itself is a stump carved into Cailleach, Old Winter Women. It is brought inside and set ablaze. Celebrations are continued until the stump is completely consumed, which will ward off misfortune and death in the coming year.

 

          In modern practices, most of us cannot bring in a stump or large log to burn or have a bonfire for celebrating next to all night long. It is common to carve a small log into a candle holder. Decorating it traditionally but using candles instead of burning the log itself. Each year the decorations are refreshed but the same log is used. In other traditions a large ornamental red, green, or blue candle is used. The base of the candle is decorated with evergreens, holly, ivy, and mistletoe. The candle is burned all night and should not be blown out. Traditionally it is snuffed with a pair of tongs. In some areas it is the head of the household who snuff out the candle.

 

 

          Fire is also a central theme in the Scottish tradition of Hogmanay celebrated on December 31st. During this New Year celebration bonfires are commonplace, and in some areas, it is traditional to walk the fire through the town. This is done by igniting balls of tar attached to a chain which are swung through the air, putting on quite a performance. The swinger walks till he reaches the harbor where he throws the flaming balls into the water. This celebration welcomes the return of the sun and calls for a good year to come.

 

           In Spain, the tradition of Las Higuera’s still survives today. This is a time when bonfires are lit in the town’s plazas. The fires are lit to protect people in this dark time from malice spirits. Residents are known to jump over the flames and it is believed that doing so will protect you from illness in the coming year. However, people are not sure of the origins of this tradition it is still believed that the flames are transformative and cleansing.

 

Fire Blessings and Be safe this Yuletide Season!

Hesperides Garden

 

See Part I: The Winter Solstice             ~ ~ ~ ~          Go to Part III: Oak, Holly, and a bushel of Prosperity

The Winter Solstice

– December 21st – 23rd – Yule

           The longest night of the year marks the turning of the wheel from death to life.  In Celtic beliefs the year ends on Samhain and the new year begins on Yule, separated by a time of darkness.  Divine Rebirth and new beginnings are celebrated.  This night marks the returning sun as the days will now begin to get longer.  Ironically this also starts winter when much of nature goes into hibernation, turning inward and focusing on restoring fertility.  

The Natural Energy

           The Earth quietly rejuvenates under a blanket of cold and the light is returning.  What appears to be a dormant time of year is actually very busy it is just happening under the surface.  The earth is replenished from the death of the previous year, and the circle of life starts over again. The energy is fresh and ready to begin something new. 

           When working in harmony with natures energy this is the time to recharge and focus on applying all that you learned in the previous year.  Enjoy the rewards of all the work you completed, take pride in your achievements.  Let go of the things that did not work making way for new growth.  The focus of the work done now is on internal rejuvenation.  This is also when you apply the knowledge you discovered about yourself during the introspective time of darkness that began on Samhain.  Allow yourself to be reborn and grow internally so you can blossom in the spring. 

A Modern Approach

           Many modern Pagan traditions center on family, friends, and celebrating a mixture of ancient traditions.  Homes are decorated with sprigs of holly, ivy, and mistletoe, and evergreens to notify the nature spirits they are invited to the celebration and that they are welcome to stay through the cold months.

           Candles are lit in the window on the Eve of Yule and kept going all night.  This is to protect the home, and also call to the sun for a swift return. 

           This is also a time of storytelling. Stories are usually focused on one’s own ancestors or personal history. Sharing stories keep alive the oral history of the family from one generation to the next.  This also honors our ancestors by continuing the tradition of sharing wisdom through oral stories. 

           Gifts are given with the thoughts of the memories of the past year.  If someone has been lost throughout the last year gifts were given specifically to honor them, and bring a joyous memory. It is also customary to give coins as gifts.  They are a blessing wishing a prosperous year to come. 

Magick

           Magick at this time is ideal to do magick for new beginnings and future planning.  Divination can illuminate your path with divine intentions.  This is a time for spells of renewal and developing psychic awareness.  This is a good tie for healing the spirit and physical self through relaxation, meditation, and finding internal balance. We assess our goals of the past year and check off what was completed and update your goals.  Use this time to take what you have learned and apply it to your future goals.   

           The ashes from the Yule Log and wax from Yule candles can be used in magick for protection, healing, and fertility.  It was common place in many ancient cultures to spread the ashes in the fields blessing them for a good harvest.  In Britain, the ashes were placed in the wells to purify the water.  Many keep the ashes or wax from their Yule celebrations to use throughout the year when they need a boost, fertility, or something new.  

Deities:

Hodr, Cailleach Bheur, Mithras, Saturn, The Spider Women, Brighid, Isis, Demeter, Gaea, Diana, the Great Mother, Apollo, Ra, Alcyone, Freya, Ameratusa, La Befana, Dionysus, Frigga, Sol, Frau Holle, Blader, Odin, Lugh, the Oak King, the Horned One, the Green Man, the Divine Child, Horus, and Bona Dae.

 

Stones: Rubies, bloodstones, garnets, emeralds, diamonds, Lemon Quartz, Golden Calcite, Sun Stone, Unakite, Lepidolite, and Hemimorphite.

  

Plants: Poinsettias, bayberry, blessed thistle, evergreen, frankincense, holly, laurel, mistletoe, oak, pine, sage, yellow cedar, cinnamon

 

Food: Cookies, caraway cakes soaked in cider, fruits, nuts, pork dishes, turkey, eggnog, ginger tea, spiced cider, ale, sugar, nutmeg, roasted apples, hot cross buns.  

 

Continue to Part II: Welcoming the Sun with Fire

Welcoming the Fairies and Kindred Spirits into Your Home

 

Super Moon in Gemini 

December 3rd, 2017

7:46 a.m. PST

8:48 a.m. MST

10:46 a.m. EST

3:48 p.m. UTC

December 4th, 2017

2:46 a.m. AEDT

 

           For this last Full Moon before the official start of winter, let the fairies and their kindred spirits know they are welcome in your home. One of the best ways to do this is to set up a welcoming altar. This is a small space that is decorated with shiny objects and other items that you know to be adored by the spirit you are trying to welcome. You can bring the Gnomes from your garden inside and add them to the altar. You can add objects that you’ve collected from nature to help them feel at home.  The Yule tree, wreaths, and fireplace decorations can also double as this fairy altar.

An example:

Fairy Altar

“Fairies, gnomes, elves, and more

I welcome you and open my door

Here you shall find sanctuary

And through this winter be warm and merry!”

           You can also use this Full Moon to charge an item that works as a beacon letting the local fairies know they are welcome.  These nature spirits love the Yule Tree and an ornament works really well for this. The tree itself works as a place that they can reside through the winter and feel right at home.  

           Choose an ornament (preferably one that is shiny) and find somewhere to sit quietly under the Full Moon.  

Clear your mind and ground in your usual way

           An example: Close your eyes and see a winter landscape. The Earth is quiet and there is no movement about. The dark sky is full of stars each ready to accept your thoughts, helping you to clear your mind. Count the stars giving each one the thoughts that pop into your head until there are no more thoughts. Walk out into the snowy landscape finding a tree to rest upon. Lay your head back and relax taking deep breaths.  You are at peace and warm under a blanket of snow becoming one with the Earth and her grounding energy.

           Cupping the ornament hold it in the light of the Moon.  Watch as it absorbs the Moonlight and the energy of the Mother Goddess. Focus your own energy as a white light coming out of your hands and surrounding the ornament. Feel the warmth in your hands as the ornament fills with this welcoming energy. Now State your purpose.  This can be as simple as saying, “Allow this ornament to be a beacon welcoming fairies into my home for the winter.” It should be direct, and specifically include who you are welcoming.

Place the ornament back on the tree with intent in a place of honor.

           Now a word to the wise when welcoming the fairies into your home. They are mischievous little creatures and they love shiny objects as well as cookies and other sweet treats you may have about. You may find from time to time that jewelry, push pins, and other shiny objects may disappear, but no worries the fairies will return, most of the time.  This is one of the mischievous game the fairies play.  They can also be helpful when you’re looking for something, and also as protectors of your home. You can leave out offerings to encourage their helpfulness.  They like fresh fruit, milk, honey, and shiny items.

           At the end of the day make sure to place your fairy offerings outside or somewhere in nature and not leave them on your offering plate to sour or rot. Somewhere where you feed the birds is great for any fruits and houseplants or outdoor plants love a little bit of watered down milk.

 

Enjoy the company of the fairies and many blessings in this Yuletide season!

Hesperides Garden