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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in yule
At the Darkest Time of the Year...

At long last we’ve entered into the dark time of the year, which marks both the end of an old year and the beginning of the new. This time is of special significant to many cultures and religions. Notably Christians celebrate the birth of their savior while many traditional religions mark the darkest night of the year—the Winter Solstice—as a special holy night just a few days earlier. Additionally, for many the New Year’s itself, as marked by the Gregorian calendar, is an incredibly important day in its own right.

We hope you have exited 2017 happier and healthier than you began it. Either way, we wish you a very merry 2018. As always, we’ve gathered some reading to keep you occupied ;-) . Happy holidays!

--Aryós Héngwis

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Born, Born Upon This Morn

Born, born

upon this morn:

a sacred day is dawning.

Rise, rise

and walk the skies

of this Midwinter's morning.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Yule Offering #3: Love

My final wish for you all this Yule season is that you be surrounded with love.

We are social apes, we humans, and loneliness is a terrible burden to us. Here at the dark and cold time of year, we can feel even more isolated, even more as though we must face life's trials on our own. It is quite likely that this was one of the main drivers of the creation of our Winter Solstice traditions in the first place.

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Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Liberal Dose of Yuletide Spirit

(or no two snowflakes are exactly alike – and that's pretty cool)

2017 has been quite a year, in more ways than one. At times, it can be a challenge to stay hopeful about what lies ahead in the future. Many of we free-spirited and open-minded nature lovers must find our simple pleasures where we can. If those of us adversely affected by the new tax plan put our minds to it, we can still stay positive and find some things to celebrate this holiday season that retain meaning and joy. It occurred to me that some of the best ways to do this, would be to act in a fashion about as anti-greed, anti-bigotry, and anti-big business corporate mindset as possible. Here's how you can proceed in 8 effective ways, in honor
of each of the eight sabbats:

1. Either opt not to exchange gifts and just spend time together; or keep it extremely simple. When I say simple, I mean price cap it at $12-$15 tops. Or, just stick to recycled white elephants or home-made presents. 2. If you do have a tree, keep it natural. These are healthier for the environment. Decorate with mementos of loved ones who have passed on, in the tradition of the Celts. 3. Make donations! Share charitably what you can for your favorite causes. Endangered animals, LGBT rights, public television and radio, Puerto Rico, and absolutely anything to do with the environment are just a few groups who would all love your help about now. If you can't donate money, share your time and volunteer for a local chapter. 4. Speaking of donations, clean out your clothes closet already. Anything you haven't worn all year or are saving for someday, pass it on instead to your local resale shop. 5. Bake some gingerbread cookies, but don't bother with icing if you don't feel like it. Personally, I just love the spicy molasses flavor and the way they make my kitchen smell. Instead of men, make gingerbread women, wildlife creatures (I am the proud owner of a wolf
cutout), or moon and star shapes. Don't hoard them. Make a few dozen and bring some along to share at each of your holiday parties. 6. Every morning you wake up frustrated after reading the news, sign as many petitions as you possibly can. Keep fighting the good fight, no matter what. It's only when we roll over and give up that dreams die, too. 7. Send an eco-friendly ecard. World Wildlife Fund always has a very nice selection at this time of year. 8. Watch all the goofy feel-good holiday movies that still make you feel good that you can. Od on the innocence of it. Two of my go-tos annually are Albert Finney in the 70s musical version of "Scrooge," and the original "Rudolph." The still timely messages in them both, never cease to warm my heart.

When you light the nightly candles, meditate on the world that you most want to live in. Let's all make it our goal next year to do everything we can to make that happen. Peace.

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Last modified on

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The magic of: Mistletoe & Pine

The magic of: Mistletoe & Pine

Mistletoe

 

(Viscum album, Phoradendron leucarpum, Phoradendron flavescens)

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Rachel Patterson
    Rachel Patterson says #
    Hi Erin I have found it in several books and online in various places. This website might help https://norse-mythology.org/tales/t
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    I've seen that thing about mistletoe being given to the goddess of love after Baldr's death circulating on the net, but I have no

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Yule Offering #2: Courage

My second hope for you at Yule is that you engage the season with bravery.

This is the time when we stand up to darkness and cold and the prospect of much more of it, and we do so with a combination of brazen silliness and real strength: the kind of strength it takes to deal with difficult family members and multiple obligations and inclement weather and looming deadlines and planned projects and lists and unsnarling the bloody lights and figuring out where we put the tree stand last year and deciphering Grandma's 40-year-old spider-scrawl on that recipe that simply MUST be made.

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Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Pagan Perspective on the Poinsettia

As the wheel of the year makes its final turn and begins a new cycle, most plants have faded but evergreens live up to their name. They were considered sacred because they didn’t seem to die each year. Bringing evergreens indoors embodied the reborn spirit of the Green Man. With sacred trees, mistletoe, and other plants taken into the home, it is no accident that this is a magical time of year.

As a time of transformation, Yule celebrates the return of the sun/son, which brings hope and the promise of ongoing life. While the Celts had established Samhain as the beginning of the New Year, tenth-century Norse Pagans changed their new year to Yule to coincide with the solar cycle.

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