As the light returns with the season,
may each of you find that which you seek,
that which may have been lost,
that which completes you.
Named for: “Decem”, meaning ‘ten’
Birthstone: turquoise, zircon
Flower: holly, narcissus, pointsetta
December Moon Magick:
Herbs: cedar wood, juniper, sage,
star anise, carnation
star anise, carnation
Stones: lapis, smoky quartz, lazulite
Scents: violet, patchouli, frankincense,
myrrh, rose geranium
myrrh, rose geranium
Colors: red, white, black
Trees: pine, fir, holly
Deities: Hathor, Hecate, Athese
Astrological Influences for December:
ruled by Jupiter, projective/masculine, mutable/fire
ruled by Saturn, receptive/feminine, cardinal/earth
Crafting Your Magic:
Balance carefully the energy of the traditionalist and that of the free spirit. Cast magic to seek knowledge from your ancestors, or to contact your spirit guide; cast magic to temper loyalties, and to reveal true feelings. Use magic now to throw light on shady situations and to call upon the energy of male divinity-- the God. Magic for transitions are potent during the time of the Oak Moon. Work on long term projects; now is the time to put into motion spells that will come into fruition with the Spring Equinox.
Winter Solstice...the longest day of darkness in the year; and with the darkness comes the promise of light, the rebirth of the Sun. It is no wonder, because of the importance of this date to the ancient pagans and the symbolism involved, that the Roman church chose this date to celebrate the birth of Christ.
This is the time that the brothers battle-- the Holly King & the Oak King. The Oak King will win this fight with his brother, and light and warmth will return to the Earth.
Herbs: frankincense, myrrh, sage, bayberry, rosemary
Altar Flowers/Herbs: holly, mistletoe, pine cones, evergreen, thistle, cedar
Feast Foods: fruitcake, gingerbread, cranberries, dried fruit, eggnog, cider/wine
Animals: white buffalo, stag, weasels, owls, squirrels, blue jays, cardinals, doves
Incense: bayberry, cedar, frankincense, myrrh, orange, sage, rosemary
Rituals/Spells: hearth and home magick, lighting the Yule log, hopes and dreams spells, wishes
December 24th is the biggy at our house. Not only is it the night we open presents, it's also our wedding anniversary. This year will be our 9th. We have a buffet set up every year: salads, homemade candy and pies, cookies, cakes, those little smokies in barbecue sauce, vegetables and dip, etc. This is left out all evening so that people can nibble and munch as they please.
It's takes us a while to pass out presents and watch the kids open things, mainly because there are so many of us! One thing we usually buy plenty of is new DVDs. It's something everyone can enjoy. So after presents are open, we stay up late watching movies, sometimes with one group watching one movie in the downstairs family room and another group watching something else upstairs. And of course-- you eat!
December 25th is going to be relaxing, even though I have a large meal I prepare. There is no one working on this day, no classes that have to be attended, so this is our 'take it easy and eat some more' day. The kids get up whenever they come out of their late night comas to find their stockings full of goodies and fun stuff. I meander out to the kitchen to put meat in the oven, and since I'm used to cooking for large crowds on a normal basis, this really isn't much different than preparing a good old fashioned Sunday dinner-- we do add a few special touches, however, like a relish tray, cranberry sauces, and the homemade goodies that we make this time of year.
Our family enjoys the continuity of our holiday traditions. It's something we all look forward to, especially the children. I'm sure all of you who have your own family traditions know what I'm talking about. And for those of you who are just starting out life with new families or other changes in your circumstances, start some traditions of your own!
For Your Yule Table:
(a favorite Winter Solstice recipe)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup molasses
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup boiling water
In a large bowl, measure all the ingredients. With a mixer at low speed, beat until well mixed, constantly scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat at medium speed 3 minutes. Pour the batter into a pan and bake 55-60 minutes at 350 degrees
Nutmeg-- one of the most popular uses for nutmeg is to assure fidelity. It's also used for spells centered around luck, money, and health. Cinnamon-- spirituality, success, healing, power, psychic powers, lust, protection, love; allspice-- money, luck, healing; cloves-- protection, exorcism, love, money.
The spices used in the recipe above add warmth and bring a pleasant communal atmosphere to your table. These spices are associated with this time of year and the holidays of Samhain and Winter Solstice. It’s during the cold months, with winter winds howling around the corners of the house and darkness descending upon our days, that we seek comfort and security in the warmth of these spices and herbs.
Some of the resources for this blog post include: