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

The Brideog, or “little Brigid,” comes down to us from ancient times. She was a corn doll (corn being wheat) that was fashioned into a female form and decorated with ribbons and shells. A bed of straw was prepared for her before the hearth in the home where she was assembled, and the young, unmarried women of the village would sit vigil with her on the night of January 31st. The next morning, on Imbolc, the girls would parade the brideog through the village to each home. There, the married women (or the female head of the household) would welcome the spirit of the Goddess. Create a modern-day Brideog using branches from your evergreen as a base, so adding a dash of Yuletide's hopeful energy. (Yule tree? But it's FEBRUARY! If you need to backtrack a bit, have a look at our introduction to this year-long magical project and tips for preparation and storage. If you do not have access to a Yule evergreen, fallen branches from other trees can be used for this craft. Use your favorite resource to identify the tree from which the branch came, and what energy that particular tree will bring to this work.)


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Imbolc, coming up in less than two weeks, marks a period of quiet growth. Seeds are coming to life underground, the sun is growing in strength, and waters begin their mid-winter thaw, another indication of the flow of life to come (Brigid, as Goddess of healing, had many ancient wells dedicated to her. Those that are still extant remain sacred to Saint Bridget). As an act of sympathetic magic, hoops would be set afire and rolled down hills, or pinwheels (Bridget’s crosses) staved and set to turn in the wind. In this way, the return of the sun was encouraged.

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Happy 12th Night! Tomorrow is a traditional day for Yule-ish decorations to be tucked away for another day--and it's time to prepare your Yule evergreen for a year of wonder as we craft ritual items from its trunk, branches and balsam...


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Simplify, simplify, simplify--that's the word for 2016. Posting here on Pagan Square has been, well, a bit spotty, but a little organization and simplification--and a magical year-long project--will (hopefully!) solve that. We're making some changes to Broomstix: The blogspot page is being reorganized as an archive and new posts will happen here only. It's A LOT less work to manage only one blog and put up what are (again, hopefully!) useful and enlightening posts on a regular basis. We're going to start with Evergreen...

Evergreen is a year long magical working envisioned--and now expanded--by Katharine Clark ( and Natalie Zaman ( It involves the use of a live, cut Yule tree throughout the year. Here's what it's all about--look for the post on how to prepare your tree on January 6th (thanks to Robin Ator ( our accompanying artwork!)!

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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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