Winter

  • Latin Name: Ilex aquifolium, Ilex opaca (American Holly)
  • Celtic name: Tinne (pronounced: chihn’ uh)
  • Known as: Tree of Sacrifice
  • Folk or Common names: Holly, Aquifolius, Bat’s Wings, Christ’s Thorn, Holm Chaste, Hulm, Hulver Bush, Scarlet Oak, Kerm-Oak, Holy Tree
  • Meanings: Holly actually means “holy”.
  • Ruling Planets: Mars and Saturn
  • Element: Fire
  • Ruler: Sun
  • Stone: Ruby, Bloodstone
  • Birds: Cardinal, Starling
  • Color: Red
  • Deity: Lugh, Tannus, Thor, Danu
  • Other: The Holly is an evergreen tree.
  • Magickal Form: Wreaths, berries, leaves, wood
  • NOTE: Holly berries are poisonous!
  • Powers: Protection, Anti-Lightning, Luck, Dream Magick

Holly, being evergreen and having red berries, is a symbol of enduring life, and consequently it is considered a lucky plant almost everywhere. It is very unlucky to cut down a Holly tree.

The Holly Tree is one of the Seven Chieftain Trees of the Druids, its very name means “holy.” A Christian myth says that the blood of Christ formed the red berries of the holly. Holly is also associated with unicorns, since the unicorn is one of the Celtic symbols for this tree – the other symbol is the Flaming Spear.

Holly berries represent the blood of the Goddess. Use Holly berries with your favorite spell for female fertility and sexuality. Holly tames wild beasts and wards off storms and bad weather. Since it is a masculine herb, it brings good luck to men. The Romans considered Holly sacred and used it as a decoration during their Saturnalia celebrations.

Holly is sacred to the Winter Solstice, when it is used for decorating. Decorating one’s home with holly was believed to bring protection and good luck to the inhabitants in the coming year. Holly was used for decoration throughout homes with it being used for boughs over entrances to peoples’ homes or formed into holly wreaths that were hung on doors.

Sprigs of holly in the house at Christmastime will bring you good luck. But… be careful not to bring it indoors before Christmas Eve or your family will fall to squabbling. (Bet you wondered why that happened. grin…) Also be sure to burn it on 12th night (January 5th) or the good luck will turn sour.

Holly was the gift of good luck among the Romans celebrating their midwinter festivals. The northern tribes, who eventually brought about Rome’s downfall draped holly over doorways as shelter for friendly woodland spirits who could bring good luck to their houses.

The custom of bringing holly boughs into the home in the depths of winter has its origins in the original pre-Christian idea that its prickly leaves sheltered the fairy folk, who were delighted to come indoors at such a cold time of the year.

The wreaths are very popular around the Christmas / Yuletide season. Placing a ring of holly on doors originated in Ireland since holly was one of the main plants that was green and very beautiful with its red berries at this time of year and gave poor people a means of decorating their dwellings.

Unlike mistletoe, it appears in the Christmas Greenery of churches as well as ordinary houses. In some districts, when the rest of the decorations are burnt or thrown away at the end of the holiday, a holly-sprig is kept, to protect the house from lightning during the coming year.

  • Planted near a house, holly repels negative spells sent against you.
  • A bag of leaves and berries carried by a man increases his ability to attract women.
  • Burn Holly leaves with Blessing Incense to protect the home and draw good luck.
  • Place Holly above the door lintel for protection and to invite helpful spirits.
  • Carry Holly berries in your pocket for protection.

The Holly tree (of which there are well over 150 species) can grow (albeit very slowly) to be as high as fifty feet and is native to most of Central and Southern Europe. Its white, star-shaped flowers bloom in the Spring and it bears shiny red berries in Autumn which last throughout the Winter season. The leaves of the Holly are shiny, dark green in color, elliptical in shape and have spiny points. In order to produce berries, both a male and a female tree are required. Only the female tree produces berries which, although lovely to look at, are poisonous.

Given its evergreen nature, the Holly represented immortality and was one of the Nine Sacred Woods used in Need-Fires (the others being Oak, Pine, Hazel, Juniper, Cedar, Poplar, Apple and Ash). In ancient Irish lore, it was also listed as one of the Noble Trees of the Grove (along with Birch, Alder, Willow, Oak, Hazel and Apple).

The Holly tree has a fine white wood which was once used in the making of inlays and for walking sticks as well as riding crops. Its leaves are a favorite food among deer and sheep during the Winter months. The wood of the Holly is hard, compact and beautifully white in color, being susceptible of a very high polish.

Magical History and Associations:

Each month of the Celtic Lunar calendar bears the name of a tree. Holly is the 8th Moon of the Celtic Year – (July 8 – Aug 4).

The Holly, a masculine herb, is associated with the element of fire, and is an herb of Saturn and Mars. The bird associated with this month is the starling, the color is green-gray, the gemstone is yellow caingorm, and the day of the week association is Tuesday. Holly is the first moon of the dark half of the year, and the Holly is sacred to both the Winter and Summer Solstices.

Summer Solstice is the time when in mythology, the Oak King is slain by his twin, or tanist, the Holly King, who rules until the Winter Solstice, when he in turn is slain by his tanist, the Oak King. Tanist is related to the tannin found in an Oak tree; Oak and Holly are two sides of the same coin, the end of one cycle and the beginning of the next.

Holly is one of the three timbers in the Chariot Wheel. It represents personal sacrifice in order to gain something of greater value.

The Holly is also sacred to the deities of Lugh, Habondia, Tina Etruscan and Tannus. There are special spirits that dwell within Holly trees: the Holly Man lives in the tree that bears prickly Holly, and the Holly Woman dwells within that which give forth smooth and variegated leaves.

Magickal usage:

The month of Holly is a good time to do magick designed to help bring about a successful harvest. The Holly has applications in magick done for protection, prophesy, healing, magick for animals, sex magick, invulnerability, watchfulness, good luck, death, rebirth, Holiness, consecration, material gain, physical revenge, beauty and travel.

Dreaming of Holly means you should be mindful of what is troubling you, and picking holly in your dreams means you will have a long life.

Holly also has the ability to enhance other forms of magic. As a symbol of firmness and masculine energy, Holly wood was used by the ancients in the construction of spear shafts, which were thought to then have magickal powers. Uses of Holly in protective magick includes hanging a sprig of Holly in the home all year to insure protection and good luck. Holly is also an excellent charm to wear for protection.

‘Holly Water’ can be made by soaking Holly overnight in spring water under a full moon. This water can then be sprinkled over infants to keep them happy and safe. Holly Water can also be used to sprinkle around the house for psychic cleansing and protection.

A “par excellence” protective herb, it protects against lightning, poison, and evil spirits. When thrown at wild animals it makes them lie down quietly and leave you alone. Holly leaves can be cast around outside to repel unwanted spirits or animals and a Holly bush can be planted close to houses to protect against lightning. Ensure that the Holly has a place in your garden because its presence wards off unfriendly spirits. Do not burn Holly branches unless they are well and truly dead, for this is unlucky.

Holly is considered the male counterpart to the female Ivy. Holly, intertwined with ivy, is traditionally made into crowns for the bride and groom at weddings/handfastings. Holly and Ivy also make excellent decorations for altars.

Holly is also a traditional decoration for Yuletide as in sung in the traditional Yuletide song:

“Deck the halls with boughs of Holly,
fa la la la la, la la la la.”

Even though Holly’s Yule festival greens are traditionally burned at Imbolg, a small sprig us kept for luck and to keep evil away throughout the year. Holly berries were used to predict winter weather. If there were a profusion of berries, that meant it would be a hard winter, because the Goddess was providing extra berries for the birds.

When harvesting the leaves from the Holly, remember to ask the tree if it will allow you to take the parts and be sure to leave the tree an offering of thanks when you are done. Holly favors red and yellow stones as gifts.

A north country charm to induce dreams of a future mate required the seeker to go out in silence at midnight on a Friday, and gather nine she-holly leaves (the smooth variegated variety).  These had to be tied with nine knots in a three-cornered handkerchief, and laid under the pillow before going to bed.  The future husband or wife would appear in a dream, but only if complete silence had been preserved from the moment of setting out to gather the leaves until dawn the next day.

The Deeper Meaning of Holly

It is during June that the light of the sun reaches its culmination, and then begins its descent into earth. The Holly speaks to the fierce capacity of the human soul to take the descent into the underworld, bringing inner light into darkness. Thus we can understand the signature of the tree, with its ability to germinate without sunlight, favoring dark, moist conditions that are more strongly related to the downward earth pole. Its stiff, pointed leaves are not unlike thorns or “spears.”

The Holly yields a hard, white close-grained wood that imparts a quality of solidity and impermeability, as it stands in the depths of winter, impervious to cold and darkness with its somber evergreen color.

The Druid initiates developed a sacred alphabet, called the Ogham, based upon the archetypal qualities of trees. The Holly, known in Gaelic as Tinne ruled the eighth moon of the year, or the month of June. The glyph for Holly is that of a spear, meaning literally, “I am a battle-waging spear.”

Of all the trees in the Ogham, the Holly and the Oak are most primordial—they are viewed as two “kings” who exchange leadership on a yearly basis by engaging in symbolic battle. The Gaelic name for Holly—Tinne—is related to the word, tanist, meaning “dark twin.” The Oak King rules from the time the light begins its ascent in December until the summer solstice in June. Holly is the “dark twin” who reigns during the waning light of the year, until winter solstice.

The Holly’s prominence at Christmas is actually meant to represent a culminating experience within the soul life. It is an awakening of the love forces of the heart achieved through a descent into the interior of the self and the earth that comes to fruition during this festival. This understanding is depicted in Rudolf Steiner’s Calendar of the Soul.

Steiner is a modern initiate who incorporated the mystery streams of earlier cultures, including Druidic wisdom. His calendar is a series of 52 runic verses for each week of the year. Beginning at summer solstice, the soul gradually finds its way into an interior reality, moving out of the great cosmic heights. The sense of self coalesces like a seed, with light working into the inmost being, as a purifying and strengthening force. Then, at winter solstice, this light is quickened and shines forth from the heart chakra:

To carry spirit light into
World Winter-night
My heart is ardently impelled
That shining seeds of soul
Take root in world ground
And the Holy Word resounds
Through the darkness of the senses
Transfiguring all life.

In subsequent winter verses Steiner describes this activity of the soul as a “heart-high gladness”. It is the inner light of Self-containment gained by living in “spirit depths”—at one with the “world ground.” The soul is so solidly secure and anchored within itself that nothing can assail one’s sense of deep peace. When this consciousness is mastered, the journey inward of the Self is complete. The heart awakens with a streaming of love, gradually seeking its way outward into the sense world again to meet the expansive forces of the light in spring and summer.

We could say that the Holly flower which blooms in outer nature in late spring/summer, blossoms again in the human heart during winter as a force of love. Its nature is a sun force that lives, not in the heights but in the depths of the earth.

Perhaps the most profound archetypal picture of Holly is evoked through its symbolism as the Crown of Thorns. As the traditional Christmas carol proclaims, Of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown.

Druid priests wore Holly in their hair while collecting the sacred mistletoe medicine in the winter, Holly was also worn as a crown to represent the Holly King in seasonal festivals. The Holly Crown was a sign of deepest respect and recognition that such an initiate had mastered the forces of nature in harmony with the human soul.

The Holly tree came to be known as Christ-Thorn in middle Europe, for it was recognized that this plant spoke to the archetypal reality of the Crown of Thorns as a soul initiation. The Crown of Thorns is also a kind of “beheading.” The false self must be pressed down with a Crown of Thorns until it finds a deeper truth in the human heart. The “battle waging spear” is thrust not outside, but within.

Holly teaches us that we cannot find love outside ourselves, if it is not anchored from within the human heart. Holly creates what is divine from within what is human. Holly helps the human heart know its own wholeness; its own holiness.

Herbal usage:

The powdered leaves were brewed into a healing tea for measles, fevers, bladder problems and bronchitis, and the ashes from burning the leaves in a drink soothed whooping cough.

Hot compresses made from the leaves and bark helped ease the pain of broken bones and dislocations. The juice of the fresh leaf is helpful in jaundice treatment. Holly can be used homeopathically as a substitute for quinine.

Note: Holly berries are poisonous!

Holly Folklore and Superstition

Male, or prickly, holly is lucky to men, as the smooth variegated type, known as the she-holly, is to women. If the First Foot on his rounds brings evergreens with him, it is usually holly that he chooses, but in this case it must be the male kind, for the other variety, being female, would be very ill-omened.

Holly branches must never be burned when green. To do this is extremely unlucky, and may cause a death in the family. It is also unlucky in some places to stamp on a holly berry, or to bring the plant indoors when it is flowering.

A well-known country remedy for chilblains is to thrash them with a holly bush “to let the chilled blood out.” This probably does some good by restoring the arrested circulation, but the choice of holly rather than anything else as a thrashing agent is made for magickal reasons.

Sources:

Magick is an act of transformation, and ice possesses a strong Magickal power since it is in the process of changing.

Ice Magick is a branch of water Magick that utilizes water in the form of ice to assist and enhance spellwork, and provide another form of energy to manifest a specific, desired result. Ice Magick is similar to water Magick. However with ice Magick, the power of the spell is increased because of the act of freezing the water. When water shape shifts from a constantly moving force to a Solid, its power is the most potent.

Despite being a solid form of water, ice still is fundamentally water, and thus keeps many of the same basic correspondences. However, ice is not associated with all of the same properties as water; it’s mainly used for binding spells and spells that have to do with transformation. Ice is harsh. Ice is cold as stone, and not conductive to life in general. Thus, it’s Magickal properties manifest similarly. The dangerous and unforgiving nature of ice makes it a powerful tool in curses, hexes, protections, bindings, and banishing.

Ice can be used to perform any kind of Magick that induces a change in the spell caster’s inner state, so it can be used to help reveal personal secrets, remember forgotten memories, dispel depression and release stress.

Ice is affiliated with west and is an energy associated with the divine feminine; especially those goddesses who hold dominion over winter such as Skadi and Cailleach in the Norse and Celtic traditions.

Ice Magick is very powerful. It is a neutral, natural force that can be used for positive or negative means. It is therefore important, as it is with any spell, that the caster makes sure of his or her intentions before attempting it.

Remember how beautiful ice can be, as it sends off prisms of light, but also remember that it is very easy to slip on ice. Ice should not be feared any more than wind, rain and storm. The spell caster should approach ice Magick with
respect and reverence.

Collecting Ice For Magick

Water used in ice Magick should always be collected from a natural source when possible. Collect icicles or small chunks of ice from outside and bring them inside. They can be stored in your freezer until you’re ready to use them.

If you don’t have ice where you are, make ice cubes out of clean spring water and add them to your spell or Magickal working. Fill a jar with water from a lake, pond, or stream, collect rain water, or collect snow to melt. If none of the above are possible, moon water made from tap water can be used as a substitute.

Also, if safe and possible, try practicing your ice Magick outside in the snow, or cold winter air. In my personal experience, being outside and experiencing winter while performing ice Magick significantly deepens my connection to the spellwork and enhances the energy behind it.

Ice can be melted to make water for use in Magick and spells or added to the altar during a spell.

How Ice Is Used in Magick

The ice you collect or make is used in the following ways:

  • Freezing water – binding, protection
    (if possible, always freeze the water outside in the moonlight, if below freezing and possible, otherwise a freezer will work)
  • Melting ice – letting go, shedding bad habits
  • Shattering ice – banishing, breaking a bond

Sigil Crafting With Ice

Ice Magick can be utilized to charge and cast sigils.  Here’s how:

  • If casting a sigil to protect yourself:

Place the sigil in the water and freeze it (either outside or in your freezer). As the ice protects the sigil, so are you protected.

  • If casting a sigil to help break a bad habit or situation:

Place the sigil at the bottom of a container then place a large piece of ice or a collection of ice cubes on top of it (freeze the water prior to the spell). As the ice melts, so does your habit or situation melt away.

  • If casting a sigil to break the bond between yourself and a toxic person:

Freeze the sigil in water like you would for a protection or binding, then shatter the ice with as much power as you can muster. As the ice shatters, so does the bond shatter.

  • If casting a sigil to manifest something in you life:

Place the sigil at the bottom of a container and bury it in snow. As the snow melts and seeps into the sigil, so will what you are manifesting seep into your life.

  • To cast a protection sigil:

You can also draw protection sigils in the frost with a warm finger on your house and car windows evoking the energy of the ice to bring frosty protection.

Putting Someone On Ice

Putting a dangerous situation, or person”on ice” is a serious form of protection. Though it will not harm anyone, it will prevent them from interfering in your life or causing you harm.

Write the name of the person or short description of the situation on a small piece of paper. Fold the paper up and place it in an ice cube tray, small plastic container, or freezer bag. Fill it with water and place it in the freezer. Do not remove or thaw it until the danger has passed.

Once the danger has passed, the ice cube can be floated down a river (away from you and your home) or buried in a graveyard.

Making Mojo Ice Cubes

Instead of placing the ingredients you would use in a mojo bag, place them in water in an ice tray or small container (if using crystals, make sure the crystal will not be harmed by the water or ice before submerging). If desired, follow the table for assistance in manifesting the desired result

  • Melt – for letting go.
  • Shatter – for banishing {though I wouldn’t recommend shattering if crystals are being used}
  • Leave frozen – for binding and protection.
Ice Cubes for Love

Ice cubes can also be used for love spells. Freeze water with drops of almond, orange, and lemon extract, and add the cubes to a drink. Serve to a reluctant or shy partner.

Put Problems On Hold

Have a problem you want to stall until your ready to deal with it?

Write the name of your problem on a small piece of paper, fold and place the paper in a small container of water (melted snow or spring water). Place the container in your freezer or outside at night (if the temperature will be below freezing all night and all day.)

Keep the paper frozen in the ice until you’re ready to deal with it. Thaw the ice when you are ready to handle and take action.

Icy Divination

The two main practices of ice Magick for divination are utilizing natural ice outdoors or freezing water in a bowl or cauldron.

  • Natural Ice:

Find a naturally occurring piece of clear ice, the most common being an icicle, and stare deeply into it while clearing your mind. You may see shapes, images, or simply understand concepts regarding what you’re asking or searching for. Remember, dress warmly when venturing outside, and not just for safety in this case. It can be really tricky to relax and concentrate if you are shivering.

  • Bowl or cauldron:

Fill a bowl (preferably black or dark colored) or cauldron with water and freeze. Scry into the frozen surface as you similarly would with liquid water. Answers may come in images, ideas, or sudden epiphanies. This method can also be used to help communicate with the ice and winter deities.

Scrying Ice:

Symbolically, the surface of a body of water represents the veil between this world and the otherworld. So, when water is frozen, the door to the otherworld is closed. But as ice melts during a ritual, the door re-opens and we can look inside.

The surface of melting ice is shiny, and like any reflective surface, is well suited for scrying. One way to do this is to sit in a dark room with a yellow candle burning off to the side, so that the light of the flame flickers on the melting ice.

Ice scrying requires patience — messages will be revealed slowly, as the ice melts. Ice scrying is especially suited for looking into the past, since the frozen water symbolically represents a frozen moment in time. Looking into past lives is possible, as is looking back and trying to remember a forgotten memory. The melting ice represents the releasing of memories from the subconscious mind.

An Ice Altar

Using a bird bath and filling it with water the night before it is going to freeze and/or snow, is a great way to create a temporary shrine to the Cailleach, to lay out sigils in stone or sticks, or even to simply create an altar where you perform your magic outdoors during the winter months.

Winter Blessing Water

You will need

  • Snow
  • Icicle
  • Silver ring or quartz crystal

Select your sacred vessel or bowl to gather the snow in. Bring it inside and place on your altar. Select an icicle from outdoors and place it in the center of the bowl. If you have a sacred symbol that you use to charge your magic with, use the icicle to draw it into the snow. Add a piece of silver or quartz crystal and set it out under the light of the Full moon. Bottle it and use!

Note: If you live in a tropical area, with no access to snow or icicles, Sea Water or Spring Water can be substituted for snow, and an ice cube can take the place of the icicle.

Ice Magick Basics

Ice spells have two phases, the freezing of the water, and the melting of the ice. In some spells, the caster writes a problem on a piece of paper, immerses the paper in water, and freezes the water to put an end to the problem. Those kinds of spells only use one of the two phases of ice Magick.

It is important to remember, however, that problems that are frozen must eventually come back; everything that is frozen must melt. I have found that it is more practical, and more powerful, to use both phases, freezing and melting, in spells.

The freezing of the ice begins the spell, because the caster is already thinking of the spell, and planning the ritual, when the ice is frozen. The process begins as the water solidifies, and the power is released during the ritual as the ice melts. For this reason, I find it most useful to freeze “special” ice for spells.

Also, most ice trays are made of plastic. Holding the frozen water in non-natural plastic is not as effective; Magick is natural, and should ideally involve natural substances. Metal bowls can be used, but the easiest method is to use cardboard coated with wax (so that the cardboard doesn’t stick to the ice). Small paper drinking cups that are coated with wax are ideal, as are frozen juice containers that have been emptied of their contents and washed.

A piece of ice naturally begins to melt when it is left at room temperature, so it works like the burning of a candle in candle Magick, changing itself during the spell, thus releasing its energy to the goal at hand.

It is extremely powerful to encircle a candle with ice and perform a spell. The ice melts and the candle burns — two elements that work in a cooperative way can produce powerful results. Spells that use fire and ice are wonderful for obtaining balance, since they employ the complimentary elements of fire and water.

Also try putting ice in a bathtub while visualizing. This technique is especially suited for spells involving physical
transformation.

Herbs and oils can also be used to enhance ice Magick. An infusion of one or more herbs can be frozen, or essential oils can be added to the water before freezing. When water is frozen, it combines with the element of air, so herbs and oils that are associated with either element can be used. Herbs that work best are ones that, when growing in the natural world, can endure cold and snow, or require cold weather to germinate.

Below is a list of some herbs and oils that work well for ice Magick:

  • Aspen – Communication
  • Pine – Happiness, Exorcism
  • Rose – Love, Healing, Psychic Power, Luck
  • Spearmint – Memory
  • Spikenard – Happiness
  • Willow – Love, Healing, Divination
  • Yarrow – Psychic Power, Love, Courage, Exorcism

Precautions:

By using ice Magick, you will not become immune to ice and cold. Please, please take proper precautions when going out in below freezing weather. Wear snow gear when going out in the snow, especially if trying to utilize the energy of a snowstorm. Use gloves when handling snow and ice outside. Remember the element you are dealing with. Ice is incredibly dangerous. Do not risk life and limb to use ice Magick.

Stay indoors during a blizzard, have proper gear and supplies if hiking in the snow, and by the Gods please do not risk gathering water from under a frozen lake or river. Falling in could kill you. Remember the very first thing I said about ice: it’s harsh, cold, dangerous, and unforgiving. It’s just as dangerous for an ice witch as it is for everyone else.

Sources:

This beautiful second stop on the new Wheel of the Year represents the rebirth of the Sun! During Yule, we celebrate the ability to begin cultivating strength.

As the Holly King dies and The Goddess gives birth to the Oak King, we realize that we must thank and release the internal struggles that we worked through during the dark half of the year. Then, we welcome in the strength to use the lessons from our prior hardships. We celebrate the light that always comes after the dark, the peace that comes after the struggle.

  • The Gods Of Yule: Apollo, Attis, Balder, Bacchus, Dionysus. The Green Man, Helios, Lugh, The Oak King, Odin, Ra, Sol
  • The Goddesses of Yule: Aphrodite, Brigid, Demeter, Fortuna, Gaia, Hel, Holle, Ishtar, Isis

Yule Spell Work: Spell craft performed for Yule should be for peace, harmony, hope, strength, love, and increased happiness. Unconditional love, World healing, and World peace.

Symbolism of Yule:

  • Hope after darkness,
  • Lights to bring back the Sun,
  • Rebirth of the Sun

At the Winter Solstice, the two god themes of the year’s cycle coincide – even more dramatically than they do at the Summer Solstice. Yule (from the Norse iul, meaning wheel) marks the death and the rebirth of the Sun God; it also marks the vanquishing of the Holly King, the god of the Waning Year, by the Oak King, the God of the Waxing Year.

The Goddess, who was Death-in-Life at Midsummer, now shows her Life-in-Death aspect; for although at this season she is the leprous white lady, Queen of the cold darkness, yet this is her moment for giving birth to the Child of Promise, the Son-Lover who will re-fertilize her and bring back light and warmth to her Kingdom.

  • Symbols: Evergreens, Holly, Mistletoe, Poinsettias, Lights, Yule Log, Wreaths, Bells, Gifts, Stars, Sun, Snow, Ornaments, Garland, Santa Claus, Reindeer

Activities Of  Yule:

Modern Christmas celebrations are full of pagan symbology. Santa Claus is the Holly King, the sleigh is the solar chariot, the eight reindeer are the eight Sabbats, their horns represent the Horned God, the North Pole symbolizes the Land of Shadows and the dying solar year, and the gifts are meant both to welcome the Oak King as the sun reborn and as a reminder of the gift of the Holly King, who must depart for the Oak King to rule.

  • For prosperity: burn ash wood.

Activities include: caroling, wassailing , burning the Yule log, decorating the Yule tree, exchanging of gifts, feeding animals, birds with grains and seeds, become a part of nature, acts of kindness, wreath on the door, mistletoe indoors, kissing under the mistletoe, food and clothing donations, sunflower seeds outside for birds, ring the bell to greet the Solstice Morn, and perform magick for a peaceful planet.

  • For Yule blessings: Gather up Yule greens after 12th night and save. At Imbolg, burn the greens to banish winter and usher in spring.

Foods of Yule:

Cookies and caraway cakes soaked in cider, nuts, eggnog, ginger tea, warm and warming drinks, spiced cider, wassail, or lamb’s wool (ale, sugar, nutmeg, roasted apples), figgy pudding, mincemeat pies, and fruit cakes, apple cider, spiced cinnamon cakes and cookies, dried fruits, eggnog, gingerbread, mulled wine, roasted meats, spiced meats, roasted apples.

Trees for Yule:

  • Oak : Endurance, Strength, Triumph, Protection.
  • Yew : Last Day of Solar Year; Death
  • Silver Fir: Winter Solstice Day; Birth.
  • Birch: Month following Winter Solstice; Beginnings.

The Animals of Yule:

Bears. Deer, Owls, Phoenix, Reindeer, Snow Geese, Squirrels. Stags, Cardinals, Wrens, and Ravens.

Yule Colors:

Gold, Green, Red, White, Silver, Yellow, Orange

Herbs for Yule:

  • Bay Laurel, Blessed Thistle, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Evergreen Trees, Holly, Ivy, Juniper, Mistletoe, Pine, Poinsettias, Rosemary, Sage, Wintergreen, Holly, Fir, Birch,

Sun plants like mistletoe, balsam, and fir, and also any dried herbs from Summer, are predominant this time of year because they contain light and warmth.

On Yule, when witches decorate their houses, they do so from the doorway inward, this inviting the light inside. We adorn doorways and mantles with evergreen boughs, bunches of dried summer herbs and Witches cords in reds, blacks, greens, and golds. Our ancient ancestors brought an evergreen tree inside to mystically ensure there would be light all year round. The evergreen retains sunlight, staying green all year, and reminds us that life is forever present and renewable.

Other Yule herbs, plants, flowers and seeds:

  • Pine cones, Pine needles, Oak leaves, Yule log ashes, Hazel bark, Apple leaf, Dried apples

Incense and Oils for Yule:

Cedar, Cinnamon, Clove, Frankincense, Juniper, Myrrh, Orange, Pine, Ginger, Wintergreen

Gemstones for Yule:

Rubies, Bloodstones, Garnets, Emeralds, Diamonds, Clear Quartz

In summary:

Being the time of rebirth, this is a great time to remove anything that holds us back and to sow the seeds for the upcoming year. Success spells are best cast this evening. Many people also perform blessings, not only for themselves and their families, but for others as well. Cleansing your home and altar and banishing negativity can also be done this night. Whatever you do, make sure your heart is filled with peace, love, and joy and work magic to bring merriment to others.

According to Celtic tree mythology, the Silver Fir is the tree of the day of the Winter Solstice. The Winter Solstice. This usually takes place on December 20th or 21st, although it does sometimes occur on the 22nd or 23rd (check your calendar as it changes from year to year).

  • Latin name: Abies alba.
  • Celtic name: Ailim (pronounced: Ahl’ em).
  • Folk or Common names: Common Silver Fir, Balm of Gilead Fir, Balsam Fir, American Silver Fir.
  • Parts Used: Needles, wood, sap
Magical History and Associations:

The Silver Fir is associated with the moon and with the planet of Jupiter. Its colors are piebald and light or pale blue. Its birds are the eagle and the Lapwing, and its animal association is the red cow. Its stones are Tourmaline and Amber – and it is a feminine herb. This tree belongs to the triple aspect Goddess in Celtic lore, offering learning, choice and progress. The tree is sacred to many Goddesses: Artemis (the Greek Goddess of Childbirth), Diana and Druantia among them. It is also sacred to the Gods Osiris and Attis, both who were imprisoned in Fir/Pine trees.

Magickal usage:

Burn to cleanse a room of negative vibes. This is a wonderful incense for healing and strengthening the physical, emotional, and spiritual body. The scent opens the heart and increases endurance.

The Silver Fir is used for magick involving power, insight, progression, protection, change, feminine rebirth, and birth. The Silver Fir and the Yew are sisters standing next to each other in the circle of the year and their foliage is almost identical. However the Yew is known as the tree of death and the Silver Fir is the tree of birth or rebirth. The Silver Fir was a sacred tree to the Druids who felt that it stood for hope. The Silver Fir wood is used for shape-shifting and magic involving change, since it offers a clear perception of the present and the future.

The wood chips are sometimes used as incense and the wood can be used in the construction of magickal musical instruments. Burning the needles of the Silver Fir or sweeping around the bed with a branch that has been blessed will protect a new born baby and its mother. In the Orkney area of Scotland, the new mother and baby are ‘sained’ by whirling a fir-candle three times around her bed.

For a ‘Weather Witch’ the cones of the Silver Fir warn of wet weather and foretells when a dry season approaches. Charms made of Fir can be given as good luck tokens to departing friends. In its appearance (and in its current, and undoubtedly ancient, use) the Silver Fir is the quintessential Yule tree. Its branches can be used as decorations at Yule time either as wreaths or as garland, where it will provide protection for the household and its occupants.

Recommended Reading:

Source: Dutchi.org

“Magic is only unexplained science. Science is explained magic. When I study science, I study magic. When I study magic, I study science.” ― C. JoyBell C.
Notice
Do not use any ingredient if you are allergic to it. There is always something else that can be used, or substituted.
Subscribe
If you'd like to stay up to date on everything that is posted you can subscribe via email:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Moon Phase Tracker
-
Breadcrumbs
Be Merry!


I think it's time to go shopping... maybe even buy some really cool stuff at one of my online shops!!

Stats