The Whispering Winds
December Issue 2002
"To step through to the other realms, you must first open the door."
Featured Article: Yule
Yule is the time of the Winter Solstice (the solstice begins when the sun enters Capricorn). Also known as Midwinter's eve, it is a time of the longest night and shortest day. This day is known as a "Minor Sabbat". It is a Cross Quarter day. This is the sabbat that the virgin Goddess gives birth to the Sun God. It is a celebration of the return of the Sun. A time when the Oak king (God of the waxing year, Divine Child or God of Light) vanquishes the Holly King (God of the waning year, Dark god). Thus the rebirth of the Light half of the year. Or to the ancient Celts, a time when the Robin (waxing time) slew the Wren (waning time).
This is a time of the Roman holiday "Saturnalia" (Saturn, God of sowing). Beginning on Dec. 17th and culminating with the festival of "Dies Natalis Sol Invictus" (the birthday of the unconquered Sun) on Dec 25th. Followers of this tradition, often gave presents to each other in keeping with the customs of this festival. This festive holiday is also known as "Brumalia" (Winter Solstice). This was the start of the Roman New Year.
To the Egyptians, this day marks the return of the Sun God "Ra".
This is also the time for the Druids to celebrate "Alban Arthur" (The light of Arthur). It is thought that King Arthur was born on the Winter Solstice. This is a fire festival held on Dec. 21st.
In a attempt to eliminate this pagan sabbat, the christians decreed in the year 336 C.E. that this would be the birthday of Jesus. Though it was thought that he was born in the Springtime.
This is a time for the Yule log, a custom, some say, dates back to 5000 B.C.E. with the ancient Egyptians. They were known to burn logs during this time, to honor their Sun God "Horus". It is also suggested that the custom of the yule log originated with the Norsemen, who burned huge logs in honor of "Odin" the Yule father. It was also burned in order to usher in good luck for the coming year. The unburned pieces of last years yule log was used to light the current years yule log. The yule log was often called a "Ceppo" in Europe. The yule log is frequently used for wishing upon.
This is the day for evergreens such as Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe. All of these representing Fertility and Everlasting Life.
The Mistletoe, also called "Allheal" or "Golden Bough", so sacred to Druids and others, is banned from most christian churches, because of it's pagan association. The mistletoe is hung over doorways as a symbol of goodwill and friendship. In the Nordic tales, it is said that the God "Balder" was slain by an arrow made of mistletoe, by the hand of Loki. Balder later came back to life.
Holly was hung in doorways and windows to ward off bad spirits. It is also hung to protect the home from ligtning strikes.
Lighting candles and setting yule/hearth fires, was done to enhance the Sun Gods power over the God of darkness.
In the Scandanavian countries, there is the yule goat or "Julbock. Who was originally in service as a carrier for the God, Thor. Later on he became a carrier for the scandanavian "yule elf".
The Norse celebrate yule for twelve days. It is from the norse that the word "yule" is believed to have come from. Translated it means "wheel". It is a time wnen the norse await the rebirth of "Freya", the Sun Goddess. This is the start of the nordic New Year.
Evergreen trees were cut down and brought indoors to honor deity. They also represented the concept of eternal life. They were often decorated with anything from fruit to pieces of metal and at times 12 candles. All to enhance the honor given to the God. The rebirth of the Sun God means a return of longer days and shorter nights. Thus the planting season is at hand.
The wreath represents the "Wheel of the Year. " It is believed to have been used for this concept, since circa 2000 B.C.E.
The custom of hanging the herb "Bay" , or lighting Bayberry candles was inspired by followers of the Roman God "Apollo". This God's role is to drive the chariot containing the Sun God on his voyage back to bring light to the earth. Bay is sacred to this God, thus the yule time custom.
This sabbat is a time for throwing off the past year and preparing for the coming year. It is a time to celebrate the renewal of life. I personally look at Yule as a time to start acting upon the faults brought forth from the past year in order to enhance my spiritual development. And we all have faults that need to be worked on. You should hear me when I'm driving behind someone doing 45 m.p.h in a 55 m.p.h zone. If my son is with me, he immediatley holds up three fingers to remind me of the ThreeFold law. (Huge grin)
However you celebrate, have a merry and festive Yule. And may Her/His light shine on each and every one.
Herb of the Month: SkullCap - ( Scutellaria lateriflora )
This herb if feminine and ruled by the planet, "Saturn". The associated element is Water.
Some of the folk names of skullcap are; Hoodwort, Greater Skullcap, Madweed, and
Skullcap is used to enhance spells of love, peace, and protection. Also used for fidelity,
relaxation, and meditation. Other uses include purification, grounding, and consecration.
On the medicinal side, Skullcap has many uses. Among these are as a antiabortive, antipyretics in reducing fever by cooling the body, and antispasmodic for relaxing muscles and cramps. An infusion of skullcap leaves was drank by native americans to induce menstruation. They also drank it to alleviate nervous spasms.
Skullcap is often used in headache and sleeping tonics.
As always, I do not personally endorse using herbs in a medicinal way. Which is why I stay somewhat vague on the quantities and use of herbs. Though I do utilize herbs in my personal life. If you do decide to use an herb, know what it is that you are using and only in moderation. Some herbs can cause sickness and even be fatal if misused.
Crystal of the Month: Tigers-Eye
Tigers-Eye is ruled by the Sun. It's energy is projective and it's elemental association is Fire. It vibrates to the number 4. It's astrological sign is Capricorn.
It is used to promote intuitive images as well as attuning the third eye. It aids in balancing yin and yang energies. It is also used to aid in night vision.
Tigers-Eye is an excellent crystal to use for general protection. Also employed to strengthen ones confidence. This crystal is often carried on the person to attract good luck.
Some practitioners use it when doing money or divination spells.
Some call this crystal the Stone of Balance. Very useful when carried during public speaking engagements. Some claim that carrying the tigers-eye enhances attraction of the oppisite sex.
Monthly Recipe: Irish Spice Bread (Eireannach Spiosrai)
10 oz. flour 2 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp.baking soda 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. mixed spice (equal parts; cinnamon, nutmeg & allspice) 4 oz. light brown sugar
2 oz. chopped candied peel 6 oz.raisins (golden or plain) 1 lge. egg beaten
6 oz. golden syrup (Lyons golden or Karo golden corn) 4 oz. butter 4 tsp. milk
Sift the flower with the soda and baking powder, mixed spice, and ginger; then add the brown sugar, chopped peel and raisins; mix. Make a well in the center. Melt the butter with the syrup over low heat, then pour into the well in the mixture. Add the beaten egg and milk and mix well. Pour into a greased 2-lb. loaf pan and bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees F for 40 to 50 minutes, or until tests done. Will keep moist for several days. Yields 8 servings. Enjoy ...
Featured Poem - Untitled
Submitted by Jennifer Goswick of South Carolina
A candle lit circle on the floor
The only light in the room glowing in the corner
The spirits mixing with the energies of the room
Stirring something deep within one soul
Clearing a path to follow
There is a beauty in the darkness, a deep serentity
Submitted by David Alcock
Copyrighted by David Alcock (Guardianofwithin@aol.com)
I am the wind that rustle the leaves
I am the heat of the sun
I am the waves that crash to the shore
I am me. I am The Guardian.
I am your emotions, lost and forgotten,
your excitement, and your fears.
I am the love set deep in your heart,
your laughter and your tears.
I have been here many times,
I have seen Nations in anger and pain.
I have seen attrocities all over this world.
I have seen wars for little gain.
When will man learn, war is not the way,
to ease the burdens of life.
Look to the heavens and deities above,
and not the gun and the knife.
I have been with you right from the start,
as you took your first furtive steps.
I have stayed with you all the way through,
from your highs to your lowest depths.
Nothing is ever easy,
Mistakes are the building blocks of life.
Errors of the heart, love and joy.
To bitterness, anger and strife.
The concience is riddled with ego,
the unconcious, with love and light.
To be a Guardian is to be different,
and to use my second sight.
If this has given you reason to ponder,
on that which is yet unclear.
Look to your haert, you'll find me within,
Life the Sun, I'll always be here.
Did you Know ???
That in 126 B.C.E. the Shekel of Tyre, became the first coin to be accepted as payment for Jerusalem's Annual Temple tax.
On one side of the coin was a picture of an Eagle. And on the other side is a relief of Melkart, (Tyrean God of Fertility and the Sea.)
Greetings Folks: We (humans in general) spend a lot of energy in pursuit of ego satisfaction. An example of this is how we try to convince others that a certain religion or a certain deity is the only way. But does deity really care about out ego related puruits? I personally think that they are more concerned with our spiritual development. After all isn't that really the bottom line regardless of what faith we follow? And wouldn't it be better to take some of this ego driven energy and see that our children around the world are fed? Or see that our children have a war free( another ego trip) world to live in? Ego can be a good thing in that it drives us to new heights. But take a moment and decide if the heights that we are reaching for is beneficial to what really counts. And that is spiritual growth, not spiritual destruction.
This is my ranting for the month. Until next moth...
Warm Blessings to all of you Cailleachs ..... Crickjumper
Want to help your community? Visit a children's hospital. Do a puppet act or read a book to them. Or just listen to their aspirations and dreams. Children are the seedlings of the next generation. And we do indeed, reap what we sow.
"Faghann iarraidh iarraidh eile"
(The seeking for one thing will find another)
Please send your comments, submissions, and so forth to Crickjumper @aol.com
Editor in Chief: Crickjumper Subscriber base: 139 members
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Featured Poem - Untitled