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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in yule
Yuletide Heathen Visibility Project Photo Shoot

The Heathen Visibility Project has a serious purpose (see previous posts) but it's fun to participate. I take photos and am also in some photos. Many others create Project images.

All Heathen Visibility Project photos are available free to use for any newspaper, news station, magazine, reporter, journalist, media illustrator, blogger, etc. to use for editorial purposes to illustrate articles about Asatru, Heathen religion, and related topics. These images are free Creative Commons license images, free to use for non-commercial uses, attribution preferred.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Yule Blessings

I am wishing you all blessings in the holiday season and new year. 

 

And may we be like snowflakes, 

 

dancing with joy joy joy,

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December 21 - Longest Night Fire Ceremony

December is named for the Roman goddess Decima, one of the three fates. The word Yule comes from the Germanic jol, which means midwinter, and is celebrated on the shortest day of the year. The old tradition was to have a vigil at a bonfire to make sure the sun did indeed rise again. This primeval custom evolved to become a storytelling evening and while it may well to be too cold to sit outside in snow and sleet, congregating around a blazing hearth fire, dining and talking deep into the night is important for your community to truly know each other, impart wisdom and speak to hopes and dreams. Greet the new sun with stronger connections and a shared vision for the coming solar year.

What you need:

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Spread Some Winter Solstice Joy

Forget About a Somber Solstice

Why not stir things up and get out of your winter rut before it begins? That's the way I'm feeling this year, folks. Life's too weird and short and unpredictable. After two unbearably long years of a pandemic with no end in sight, we should be looking for little bursts of laughter and light wherever we can find them. Be safe and caring for your loved ones, but still take surprise opportunities that come your way. A candlelit labyrinth walk at sunset in a nearby urban garden with a friend? Count me in. Share, give, reach out. Chances are good that everyone you know will be needing and appreciating it.

Laugh it Up

I don't know about all of you, but I still take a childlike delight in revisiting childhood Christmas classics this time of year on TV. There's a purity and wonder there that stand the test of time, not to mention catchy tunes and delightful artwork. My top five faves in this order would be: 1. "Scrooge," (musical 70s Albert Finney version), 2. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," (because puppets) 3. "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (Boris Karloff, people), 4. "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (that Vince Garibaldi Trio soundtrack is beautifully haunting), and 5. "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" (I dare you not to laugh at the squirrel in the tree). There are times we need to be reminded of things like innocence and giggling just for the heck of it. I would venture that these are those times.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
If You Give Gifts at This Time of Year...

 

Why not consider some of the great suggestions Jon Cleland Host has over at Naturalistic Paganism?

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On Sunday, December 19, 2021 (10 a.m. CST) I'll be addressing (via Zoom) the good folks of the Unitarian Church of Underwood, Minnesota. 

 

Have You Spoken with the Sun Lately?

Reflections on the Winter Solstice

 

A reporter once asked a witch: Do witches pray?

The witch smiled. We dance, she said.

 

Please join us Sunday, December 19, 2021, when storyteller Steven Posch asks, "Have you spoken with the Sun lately?", reflects on Indigenous European religion, and shares the songs, tales, and even—yes—dances of the Winter Solstice.

 

Poet, scholar, and storyteller Steven Posch (rhymes with "gauche") was raised in the wooded hills of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer (that's the story, anyway), and has celebrated the Winter Solstice since the tender age of twelve. He emigrated to Paganistan (which may or may not be Minneapolis, MN) in 1989, and has since become (gods help us all) a respected senior voice in the American pagan community. Current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser, he blogs at the wickedly popular Paganistan blog.

He also looks pretty good in a kilt.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Pine: Scent & Magic of the Season

No matter the time of year, the scent of pine is evocative of winter holidays and stirs up fond memories. Unfortunately, stress is often a part of the season; however, the revitalizing scent of pine aids in dealing with nervous tension and exhaustion. Diffuse a little pine essential oil to perk up from mental fatigue or when you need mental clarity. Fostering a sense of peace and well being, it helps balance emotional ups and downs. To help relax, diffuse two parts lavender with one part pine.

The pine tree was venerated since the time of the Assyrians and Egyptians. The Greeks associated it with Pan and other woodland gods and because it was extensively used for shipbuilding, it was also dedicated to Poseidon. To the Romans the tree represented the power of male virility and the pine cone was a symbol of fertility.

Throughout Europe and the British Isles, elves, faeries, and pixies were said to live in or gather around pine trees. Germanic peoples revered the tree and believed that it was home to spirits. Pine was commonly used as a Yule log and branches were hung in homes to celebrate the winter solstice and to keep evil spirits at bay.

While there is often confusion about the difference between pine and fir trees, there are two simple ways to distinguish them. Pine needles grow in clusters of two or more; fir needles are attached to branches individually. Pine cones hang from the branches and point downward; fir cones sit upright on the branches.

Magically, pine is well known for purification, which works for releasing negative energy and is especially effective in public spaces. This same quality makes it an ally in defensive magic. Use pine for blessings and to attract abundance. The scent helps to steady and focus the mind for psychic work as well as communication with spirits.

 

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