Christmas

Solstice Story

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There was the snow, and the snow fell from the heavens, slowly, thoughtful and deliberate, silent contemplation of a million spirits, crystalline and filled with logic, diversity infinite, and yet, each one did come to bless the child.

There was the night, and she was quiet, she was holy, as all nights are, and even when the nights were dancing, loud and full of whirling stars and northern lights performed for all to see or no-one there at all, and winds rush treetops and they tell their tales of night, of all the nights, and know so much, foreshadow even more …

There was the lake, and it was frozen deep and mirror smooth and mirror still, slow water, sleeping water, perhaps it dreams of spring or it may simply rest and think, and gather wisdom of each other, and of time …

There was a thought, a very special wind arose and it could only be right here, right now, and it came softly, lightly, it exhaled the finest mist of white, creates the forms and functions, sculptures in a living dance, they flow and they touch everything, reach into everything, make the connections, make something new, now hush and listen, for the time of magic is upon us, it is nearly here …

There was the child, it stepped in light and whitest shine into this night, and here, the snow did kiss its face, did kiss its hair, and laid itself beneath its feet to be a carpet, be a path, a path that leads in all directions, where you walk, there it becomes.

The night began to sing, so quietly, so full of admiration; the stars awoke and paid attention, sent their light and love to touch the child; the lake became the mirror for it all as now the wind did breathe the future into being and then the child began to smile – his welcome was the holiness, and holiness did enter into all the land touched by his light, it filled the world with hope, with beauty of a different order, the new, the unexpected, a newborn star of purest light.

And there I was, and there were you, and always, ever, always new, there is the snow for us, there is the night, there is the lake, there is wind, and always new, there is the child.

Source: SFX Solstice 2009

The Twelve Days of Yule

 

The following is a variation on the famous song about the twelve Days of Christmas from Scotland.

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Gather a few friends around the fire. Have one of them say or sing the first verse aloud. Then have everyone repeat it, the same with the next verse and so on. As the verses get longer, whoever makes a slip in repeating the lines pays a forfeit – any small object they may possess such as a candy or a nut.

(Note also the 13th day of Yule – a sure sign of an ancient origin.)

The Days of Yule

The King sent his lady on the first Yule day
A papingo-aye (exotic parrot).
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The king sent his lady on the second Yule day
Three partricks (partridges), a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The king sent his lady on the third Yule day
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The king sent his lady on the fourth Yule day
A goose that was grey
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The king sent his lady on the fifth Yule day
Three starlings, a goose that was grey
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The king sent his lady on the sixth Yule day
Three goldspinks, three starlings,
a goose that was grey
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The king sent his lady on the seventh Yule day
A bull that was brown, three goldspinks
Three starlings, a goose that was grey
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The king sent his lady on the eighth Yule day
Three ducks a merry laying
A bull that was brown, three goldspinks
Three starlings, a goose that was grey
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The king sent his lady on the ninth Yule day
Three swans a-merry swimming,
Three ducks a merry laying
A bull that was brown, three goldspinks
Three starlings, a goose that was grey
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The king sent his lady on the tenth Yule day
An Arabian baboon,
Three swans a-merry swimming,
Three ducks a merry laying
A bull that was brown, three goldspinks
Three starlings, a goose that was grey
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The King sent his lady on the eleventh Yule day
Three hinds a-merry hunting,
An Arabian baboon,
Three swans a-merry swimming,
Three ducks a merry laying
A bull that was brown, three goldspinks
Three starlings, a goose that was grey
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The King sent his lady on the twelfth Yule day
Three maids a-merry dancing,
Three hinds a-merry hunting, An Arabian baboon,
Three swans a-merry swimming,
Three ducks a merry laying
A bull that was brown, three goldspinks
Three starlings, a goose that was grey
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

The King sent his lady on the thirteenth Yule day
Three stalks a-merry corn,
Three maids a-merry dancing,
Three hinds a-merry hunting, An Arabian baboon,
Three swans a-merry swimming,
Three ducks a merry laying
A bull that was brown, three goldspinks
Three starlings, a goose that was grey
Three plovers, three partricks, a papingo-aye.
Who learns my carol and carries it away?

From: The Winter Solstice

‘Twas the night before Yule

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‘Twas the night before Yule, and all through the Coven,
The cookies were baked and removed from the oven.
The bayberry candles were lit on the table,
The altar was wrapped in a new cloth of sable.

The children were nestled, all snug in their beds,
While visions of Yuletime danced in their heads.
Their stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that some presents soon would be there!

With Rocker in his new robe, and I in mine,
We were asking our Goddess her blessing divine.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
We sprang from our Circle to see what was the matter.

Away to the window, tripping over my sash,
My eyes were a-glamoured with a bright silver flash.
The moon on the breasts of the Goddess and God
Drew my eyes to behold the blessed Circle they trod.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But the manifestations of all those we hold Dear.
The physical forms of those whom we pray to,
Even Saint Nick, and his miniature sleigh, too!

Jehovah, Mohammet, Shiva, Hera and Thor.
Zeus, Freya, Brahma, and many, many more.
All the Spiritual Entities who’d ever been mentioned.
Even some, like dear Loki, who sowed seeds of dissension.

They greeted each other with smile, warm and sweet.
Then, forming a Circle, they all took a seat.
With multiple Voices all joined as One,
The Corners were Called. And, when that was done.

The Chalice was passed from Hand to Hand.
Then, a blanket of silence enfolded the land.
A crystal clear Voice began to hold sway.
Which Deity spoke? I could not say.

But, clearly, I heard all the love in that Voice.
It caused my tired heart to take flight and rejoice.
“Our Children, it seems, have missed the whole point.
“We now join together, their hearts to anoint.

“Pour all of Our love O’er their hearts of stone.
“Let them see that together they’re never alone!
“Show them it matters not which of Us that they choose.
“Their sad hate and mistrust cause each of Us to lose!”

As I stood there transfixed, I could suddenly see
If we all stand as one, what a world this could be!
Put ALL of our differences well behind us.
Let the love of the Gods enfold and remind us.

We ARE all the same,though varied our skins.
We all dream the same dreams, we all sin the same sins.
With a look of enlightenment etched on my face,
I beheld all the Gods in Their glory and grace!

They all bowed Their heads then said”So mote it be!”
They all smiled at each Other bestowing winks on me.
One by One they disappeared from my sight.
Just the Goddess and God were left in the light.

As slowly They twinkled, fading by degree,
“Happy Yuletide to all!!
Blessed be times three!”

~Written by Mary, a.k.a. Wandering Poet, a.k.a.littlebit~

Permission to reprint granted to all who keep keep this credit line by the author

Winter Solstice Chant

Geese and standing stones and mist,
Baying hounds and hooting owl,
Sparkling stars, snow is crisp
Herne is here. Bring forth the Bowl.

winter_solstice

longest night of the year
winter Solstice
Alban Arthuan
celebrations
holly king
oak king
father Christmas
introspect
the future
Yule log,
evergreen
cedar
holly
mistletoe
candles
clove studded fruit
nutmeg
spices
wassail
ale
caroling
mumming
family bonds
love
peace goodwill
honor the God and Goddess

Heavens to Betsy!

This is a cute but silly little story about Betsy, Christmas, Pagan Gods, and the Vatican. Enjoy!

Heavens to Betsy! A Christmas Story!

8be7bd363832ff5cb5cd880f51e969b7It was Betsy’s thirteenth birthday, which was a bittersweet day for her because it was also Christmas Day. Her parents always told her they gave her twice as many gifts as they would have if her birthday was any other day, one for her birthday and one for her Christmas present.

But their hypocrisy always became apparent when they gave her a pair of shoes, that is one for each foot they said, or a pair of socks, or the weirdest gift of all—a pair of babies. Imagine her surprise and chagrin when Bob and Rob popped into her world on her birthday, which had been upstaged already by Baby Jesus. Now her birthday party and gifts would be divided between two more, and probably it would be much worse because their family was already poor and they claimed it was a stretch of the family finances to even get her some new shoes.

And for Betsy even the word “new shoes” was a cruel joke because those new shoes for her were always the old shoes that were now too small for Jesús, the boy next door named after the original Jesus. Christmas was always boo-hoo day for her.

They lived on an ancient street named for the old Roman god, Saturn. There was still a statue plinth where it was claimed Saturn once stood, but that was removed long ago and put into The Vatican, just a short walk from Betsy’s home. It was squeezed into a display room full of other old Roman gods. There they could be safely ignored, or occasionally on special days like Christmas simply mocked with little gifts placed at the foot of the statues.

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Vatican museum of Greek and Roman gods.

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