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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Yule tree

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Birth-Tree

Your baby will come soon.

So you need to find a birth-tree.

You can't give birth in camp, because blood draws predators and you'd be putting everyone at risk.

It's winter, so you want an evergreen, one with enough branches to offer good protection from the weather, but not so many that predators can approach unseen.

You'll need a stout trunk to brace against; also lots of absorbent duff to sop up the blood, and a spot to bury the blood-soaked strew. Unburied blood draws danger.

The right tree will also provide dead wood, and you'll need that. Fire warms and protects.

A hemlock on a south-facing slope would be good. That way you'll get the best of what Sun there is.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I'm drawing here on Elizabeth Marshall Thomas' experiences among the Ju/wassi of the Kalahari in the 1950s, some of the very last
  • Thesseli
    Thesseli says #
    Because nothing says women and children are important to the survival of the tribe than making a woman give birth in the middle of

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tree Full of Suns

“Nice tree,” said my neighbor, dropping off (bless her) a plate of cookies.

“Not very Christmas-y, though,” she added.

Well, no. It's a Yule tree.

That's why it's filled with Suns.

And fruits, and vegetables: all the abundance of the year gone by, and the growing season to come.

Every ornament's a prayer.

There it stands in the south, just where it always stands. Same place, same lights, same ornaments, giving the odd sense that somehow it's the same tree, back again from the forest for its annual month-long visit.

In a sense, I suppose, it is the same tree. The Tree is dead: long live the Tree.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Yule - Re-Enchanting Everyday Life

Many years ago, I read "The Re-Enchantment Of Everyday Life" by Thomas Moore. It's one of my favourite non-fiction books ever. I kept a well-thumbed and dog-eared copy of the book within arm's length for many years, until I gave the book away to someone who I thought might love it too. The premise of the book speaks to the notion that as we've become more mechanized, more technologically dependent, we've lost something important, something slow, something about touch and smell and connection to the inherent magic that is ever present in the world. Much of how I see and practice magic has its roots in this book. 

Here's an excerpt that rings especially true for me:

...
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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Hello Lizann - Thank you so much for continually following my blog
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    blessings in the re-enchantment

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Is the Yule Tree an Ancient Pagan Custom?

Short answer: No.

In his magisterial Stations of the Sun, Ron Hutton explains that in many places the ancestors were wont to deck their holidays with whatever greenery and flowers were then in season (34): at Midsummer, with broadleafs, at Midwinter, with evergreens.

But there's no evidence at all in antiquity for decorated trees per se at Midwinter. The modern Yule tree, rather, has its roots in Renaissance Germany: ironically, the period of the Great Persecution.

So it's really a Christian custom.

The operative question here is: does it matter?

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I've come across two stories about the origin of the Christmas tree. The 1st one is that the ancient Germans had a sacred Oak tre

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Pregnant Goddess

When I was studying in Jerusalem, my room wasn't much bigger than the bed itself. There simply wasn't space for an altar, but I felt lost without one.

Fortunately, at one of the museums I found a postcard of a Phoenician goddess figurine. I tucked it into the corner of the mirror on the wall, and voilà: instant altar. One 3 by 5 inch postcard was all it took.

Later I found a copy of the same pregnant goddess in an antiquities shop down by the King David Hotel. (Mass-produced and hence affordable to the ancients, they remain so today, even for those of us on student budgets.) How many people come to Jerusalem to buy idols? the shopkeeper joked as he wrapped her up.

She sits now underneath the Yule tree, pensive, her hand on her great belly. Soon.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tree Rune

Soon a dark stranger will come to stand in the living room, and the house will fill with the smell of the forest.

It's an odd custom, fraught with mystery, and equally mysterious is the fact that the decked tree—for all its iconic status as the veritable embodiment of the holiday—has inspired so little music.

Forthwith, a meditation on the mysteries of what novelist Richard Grant calls the “seedling of Yggdrasil.”

And if someone should feel inspired to write a tune, so much the better.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Quick work, Mabnahash; I can't wait to hear. One moment while I consult the technomeisters.....
  • Mabnahash
    Mabnahash says #
    I wrote a tune for this, but I can't figure out how to post it here. Maybe it's not possible with the site?

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Good Morning Yule

In Serbia, when you see someone dragging a Yule Log homeward, you greet it with respect and say (I'm translating into Pagan here): Good morning Yule.

Since the Yule Log and the Yule Tree are essentially analogous, as the veritable heart (one could well say, the embodiment) of the festival, this strikes me as fitting etiquette for the latter as well.

These days, when I see a car bearing a tree homeward, I tip my hat and greet it as it deserves.

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