Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Holly and All of It's Relatives

I had a question concerning the Holly image I had posted early. It was pointed out to me that my Holly lacked little pointed leaves.
I took a second look and sure enough those leaves weren't pointy in any way, shape or form.

Hmmm... I had taken the image from Wikipedia surely they would have a correct photo as an illustration.
I did some investigations and found that the illustration used in the article is for the Holly family found that there are over 600 species in the Holly family.

The illustration is of the holly-Ilex paraguariensis- found in many Spanish speaking countries. The leaves of this plant are used to make a drink called Yerba mate, a caffeinated tea.

The Holly associated with the Christmas Holidays is the Ilex aquifolium, that pointy prickly leaved bush/tree whose sprigs adorn our Holiday cards, doorways, mantels and wreaths.

P.S. It's leaves are poisoness, no tea please!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Yule, Season of Light

The Season of Light provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the idea that pleasure is something we find outside ourselves but happiness is found within.
Take time for a night walk to enjoy fresh fallen  snow or the crisp cool night air. Look up ,count the stars, gaze at the moon or watch the wind blow the silver clouds across the sky.

Bring some boughs of pine and holly into your home to place on the mantel , hang over or on the door. Smell their lovely scent accented with the cold winter air.
Bake your favorite cookies, cakes or pies and smell their luscious scents waft through the house.
Create pomander balls either with oranges or apples. They smell so good while they cure and even afterwards.

Basic Pomander recipe:

1 small apple or orange,
whole cloves
Using a fork prick holes in the skin of your chosen fruit, poke a clove into each hole.
After you've covered your fruit with cloves, roll in in a cinnamon filled bowl til the cinnamon is distributed all over the fruit. Shake off excess cinnamon.
Place your pomander onto a small dish and set on a table, shelve etc. and enjoy the wonderful smell of it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Yule Tide Greetings, Thoughts and Observations

I'm still learning about all the Sabbats. Seems like I have to scramble to find time for private reflection and education. I decided that if I make a goal to write down and post what I learn it might help me to recall it better.
I have gotten to the point in my journey on the Path where I think , feel and relate to traditional Christmas in a completely different way.  I got rid of a lot of decorations etc. because I no longer connected to them.
I have started over.
And in starting over I find myself  reassessing everything and wanting to know the background history of all the traditions relating to this time of year.
I'm starting with a book called Celtic, Myth & Magic by Edain McCoy. I'm sure I'll be consulting other books and sources of information as I go along.

To Begin:

The word sabbat has a Greek origin, it's root word is sabatu, meaning "to rest". The sabbats are solar festivals of balance or of extremes, such as at the solstices or equinoxes,.
Each sabbat generally corresponds to some stage in the eternal, ever-renewing, life of the Goddess and the God.
The Sabbats were all fire festivals because of their association with the phases of the sun.

Yule is the celebration of the Winter Solstice.
Other Names: Midwinter, Sun Return,
Colors: Red, Green, and White
Symbols: Evergreen, wreath, Yule Log, holly, spinning wheels
Deities: Newborn Gods, Triple Goddess, Virgin Goddesses