P.s. you’re all sorcerers whether you know it or not.
"The people fancy they hate poetry, and they are all poets and mystics!"
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Every moment is a ritual. Every moment is a new chance. When the striving stops, the doing begins & the Sleeper…awakens.
Where there is a woman there is magic. If there is a moon falling from her mouth, she is a woman who knows her magic, who can share or not share her powers. A woman with a moon falling from her mouth, roses between her legs and tiaras of Spanish moss, this woman is a consort of the spirits. — Ntozake Shange, Sassafrass, Cypress, & Indigo
As the wheel of the year turns again, it is a wonderful time to embrace the changes in nature and our own lives, as well as our existence together on this changing planet. Unfortunately, we are often too flooded with holiday shopping lists, family drama, travel snafus, work deadlines, and the stresses of gift-giving, office parties, and carol singing to enjoy all the magick this season holds.
Yet beyond the craziness of the holiday, this magickal season does reflect similarities with the ones celebrated by our ancestors. Those who honored the turning of the wheel, and Yule, participated in pagan rituals which history has noted were later adopted and adapted by the Church, to influence followers. Thus, similarities arise in the celebrations of Christmas and Yule.
For Yule, known as the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, celebrates the arrival of the sun and rebirth of light, played out as the Oak and Holly King battle. Christmas emphasizes the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God and the light of salvation, with the Nativity. As pagans offer ritual and libations to honor the Gods of grain and vine, the Church shares bread and wine to represent the body and blood of Christ.
During Yule, the Oak and Sun King were honored by ancestors through decoration and ritual as they appreciated the extra light, warmth and strength, longer days of daylight and enhanced fertility of their crops and animals. Pine trees, evergreen wreaths, holly, mistletoe, gold pillar and bayberry candles and dried fruit, meats, nuts, apples, clove spiked oranges and cider were popular in festivities, much as they are today. Even Christmas lighting inside and out was used by ancestors to honor Gods.
Our ancestors hoped for large harvests and often fasted before the Sabbat, later feasting on Boar’s Head, oxen, and wine with much pageantry, while sharing food and small gift-giving of honey, figs, popular pastries, cakes, coins and candles with the community. Today, some fast and then enjoy sharing the same festive dishes and family recipes including rosemary seasoned fowl, turkey and pork, smelts, mashed potatoes or potato latkes, and stuffed mushrooms, along with eggnog, spiced cider and ale, and roasted chestnuts, powdered caraway cookies, honey balls, and Yule Log Cake.
So whether celebrating Yule or Christmas, we can offer to garnish the similarities while adding our own magickal enhancements. Place a Yule Log in the fireplace, or put one used as a base for candles on the mantle, and then brighten up the day with a bonfire celebration. Invite the aroma of spiced cider and decorations of evergreen, pine, wheat stalks, sprigs of Holly, and mistletoe in to your home. Enhance your tree with Yule Spell Ornaments filled with bayberry, juniper berries, cinnamon, elderberry, frankincense and myrrh along with intentions for harmony, peace, success, health and happiness.
This season, take the time to pause, inhale and acknowledge the turn of the wheel. Integrate the changes in nature along with the spirit of the season and simply be. For like our ancestors, we too are surviving from one moment to the next. So put aside societal expectations and pressures and create a ritual infused with the elements, vibrations and sensations that resonate with you. And then add in a hearty splash of your own majick to the festivities to truly enjoy the presence of this season!