A Winter Solstice Mystery: Beauty In the Belly of the Dark
Read at: http://pathofshe.com/winter-solstice-mystery-beauty-belly-dark/
|IN OUR ONENESS...KNOW THY SELF||
Happy Winter Solstice! Karen of Path of She Witches of the Old ways, Reborn wanted to drop by and wish you a happy and blessed holiday season. I have attached Karen's Winter Solstice from her blog.
A Winter Solstice Mystery: Beauty In the Belly of the Dark
Read at: http://pathofshe.com/winter-solstice-mystery-beauty-belly-dark/
The new Inner Circle Newsletter just went out with a featured article on candle magic. If you're not getting this free publication, just visit http://wicca.com/publications/free.html
INNER CIRCLE NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2014
IN THIS ISSUE:
Featured Article: How Magic Works
Magic for Beginners E-book .99 cents in December!
Celebrate Yule Like a Druid
2015 Calendars and Datebooks for the Witch or Wiccan
NEXT ISSUE: The Magical Use of Incense and Essential Oils
NEXT ISSUE: The Magical Use of Incense and Essential Oils
In your upcoming newsletter we will explore how the use of incense and essential oils can add a little magical energy to your life. Please feel free to e-mail me at Kardia@wicca.com with any questions or comments you have regarding this topic. All emails are read, and the most common questions or comments will be addressed in the next newsletter. Names and email address are always kept confidential. Again, thanks So much for visiting us. We hope to see you again soon!
Peace and health be with you,
Inner Circle Editor & Site Administrator
One Last Thing
My readers are my true source of inspiration and motivation to continue writing. I love sharing my insight into Wicca with you and it is my hope that you'll experience the same magic on this path that I do. If you enjoy reading the eBooks I have published for you, please help me continue writing by leaving a review for the books on Amazon. Your feedback honestly means more to me than 1,000 sales. The links below will take you to the review page. Thank you so much!
Wiccan & Pagan Holidays http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PZCMT3O
A Beginner's Guide to Earth Magic http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QSPXTMW
In Gallo-Roman religion, Epona was a protector of horses, donkeys, and mules. She was particularly a goddess of fertility, as shown by her attributes of a patera, cornucopia, ears of grain and the presence of foals in some sculptures. She and her horses might also have been leaders of the soul in the after-life ride, with parallels in Rhiannon of the Mabinogion. Unusual for a Celtic deity, most of whom were associated with specific localities, the worship of Epona, "the sole Celtic divinity ultimately worshiped in Rome itself," was widespread in the Roman Empire between the first and third centuries AD.
The probable date of c. 1400 BC ascribed to the giant chalk horse carved into the hillside turf at Uffington, in southern England, is too early to be directly associated with Epona a millennium and more later, but clearly represents a Bronze Age totem of some kind. The West Country traditional hobby-horse riders parading on May Day at Padstow, Cornwall and Minehead, Somerset, which survived to the mid-twentieth century, even though Morris dances had been forgotten, may have deep roots in the veneration of Epona, as may the British aversion to eating horsemeat. At Padstow formerly, at the end of the festivities the hobby-horse was ritually submerged in the sea.
A provincial though not crude small (7.5 cm high) Roman bronze of a seated Epona, flanked by a small mare and stallion, found in England, is conserved in the British Museum. Lying on her lap and on the patera raised in her right hand are disproportionately large ears of grain; ears of grain also protrude from the mouths of the ponies, whose heads are turned towards the goddess. On her left arm she holds a yoke, which curves up above her shoulder, an attribute unique to this bronze statuette.
The Welsh figure Rhiannon rides a white horse but has no other attributes in common with Epona. A south Welsh folk ritual call Mari Lwyd (Grey Mare) is still undertaken in December — an apparent survival of the veneration of the goddess. The pantomime horse is thought to be a related survival.
Epona is the patron goddess of horses, donkeys, mules and other animals, her name translates as "Divine Mare". She is a powerful Gallo-Celtic goddess who is also associated with the Earth, fertility, rebirth and abundance, making her a Mother Goddess.
She is often depicted as a young maiden, either riding a horse (which was revered in the Celtic world for it's beauty, speed and bravery), or standing between 2 horses. She often carries a cornucopia and basket, which further supports her role as a fertility and abundance goddess. People would adorn pictures and statues of her with rose garlands, in the shrines.
Journey outdoors and in the witching hour, request Epona, a horse Goddess, to appear and take you for a ride across earth's surface.
Lay the elemental tools upon the ground: leave room for you to lay in the center.
North-a pentacle representing the physical; a head for thinking; arms to manifest and feet for moving.
West-frankincense and sandalwood incense; the smoke would allow apparitions to manifest by manipulating the substance.
East-an open sterilized jar of rainwater emotions.
South-a lit large three-wick candle fire will help guide you back.
Face east, pierce the air with you left hand and move clockwise in a circular motion to close your circle creating sacred space. You can say-"I draw this circle, this is the boundary where only love shall enter and leave.
Lay center of the elemental tools - top of the head in the north position. Feet pointing south. Breath the air deeply into your lungs hold for the count of ten, and then exhale. Close your eyes. Allow your burdens to soak into the ground beneath you.
Request Epona, a white horse Goddess, to take you for a ride across the earth surface.
RELAX---you may slip in and out of sleep and enter dream state. Don't be surprised if the dream is so vivid in your memory you could swear you've actually been on board Epona's strong back.
Listen closely to hear Epona's hooves approach. See in your mind before you standing tall and proud a stunning mare. Picture the mare motion for you to mount her study back. Grasp the pure untangled mane with your hands as she gallops effortlessly just inches above the spring growth. Feel the cool breeze, cascading freely, touching your face as it rushes by your body. Experience freedom - feel it as the mare races across the green and carpeted meadow, over the rocky hills, along an old twisted dirt road, and she swims in crystal clear water.
When you return to where you begun, dismount. Pat and thank Epona for allowing you two to become one.
Rise to your feet and walk to the east position to close your circle. Pierce the air with you left hand and walk widdershin around the ring and draw the energy into your body until you are back where you started.
Leave an offering bird seed or bread crumbs.
"Love is like the moon, when it does not increase, it decreases." -Proverb
Every month brings the renewed opportunity to call down the power of the full moon.
The full moon completes the cycle, representing death, change, or tying up loose ends. The full moon symbolizes the end chapter, shedding light on the things that we no longer need to hold on to.
Full Moon is an opportune time of the month for purging rituals to take place. The light the full moon offers illuminates those things that are interfering with our spiritual advancements. Once we have become enlightened to ways that are blocking us, the easier to let go. http://healing.about.com/od/moon_magick/a/full-moon-ritual.htm
Full Moon: December 6, 7:27 A.M.
The full moon on December 6, 2014 is known as Cold Moon, Open Moon or Big Winter Moon. It is the month when the winter cold fastens its grip and the nights become long and dark. It falls in the opposite sun sign of Gemini, so in Wiccan traditions, it’s the perfect time for spells and rituals to enhance your communications skills. It’s also ideal for renewing contacts, travel and face-to-face meetings.
Mars entering friendly, progressive Aquarius on Thursday (through January 11) may trigger an opportunity or challenge in a certain area of your life. For everyone, it can energize group gatherings and innovation. This weekend, the Full Moon in Gemini on Saturday can bring out your flirtatiousness, braininess or versatility. Best days for socializing: Wednesday through Sunday.
Feeling just a little bit restless and wild? It’s no wonder. Mars enters Aquarius this week and its shadow may have you feeling unsettled. Feeling very pent up and ready to take control, you may need to do just that. It might be time to step out of that comfort zone. Try more than something new; try something life changing this week. All of this leading up to that Full Moon in Gemini.
The shadow energy will continue to carry through these next two days Tuesday Wednesday, peaking on Thursday when the transit occurs. This is going to have you questioning everything and feeling ready for the best. Listen to what your intuition is trying to tell you, but don’t keep it to yourself. Pull back, think it out, and then let those you’re doubting know why. This conversation may be the crossroads you need to come to for many matters in your life.
Saturday’s Full Moon is the event this entire week’s been gearing up for. This event shines a light on those doubts and questions we may have about our lives. It’s time to do some deep soul searching about what makes us happiest, and what’s just not working out. Take the time to really consider your priorities now. Some things just aren’t worth it, but you are. Stand up for the stability and clarity you desire.
Full Moon in Gemini, you’d better expect the unexpected: of yourself, most especially.
You can't change your past - what's done is done, but you can change now, and where you are headed.
The future can be shaped. The future is shaped largely by intention backed by action. The stronger the intention and the better its backed-up by action, the more solid the future will tend to be.
I thought I’d mention in case you are looking for the perfect Solstice gift for your favorite Pagan, Heathen, or Polytheist? The Wild Hunt’s 2014 Winter Solstice Gift Guide, with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest movies, books, gifts and treats can help. If you find something you like, just click on the photo to find more information or to purchase the product.
On the Celtic calendar, the Elder Tree represents the month, November 23 to December 25.
An Elder is a flowering shrub which yields purple berries. The berries make a strong wine and jelly. The flowers are used by herbalists in remedies for colds. The branches have the power to keep evil spirits out of houses and are sometimes used to make magic wands. It is said that a wise women can disguise themselves as elder trees. If cut, a ghost of a woman will appear, wounded from the blade, then recover from the damage. The Elder tree symbolizes second sight and the unexpected.
In the Battle of the Trees, the Cad Goddeu, the Elder is ranked as a shrub.
WITH THE ELDER SLOW TO BURN, AMID FIRES THAT SINGE
In God form, The Elder tree represents Morrigan, a Mighty Queen, viewed as the Death aspect of the Triple Goddess. The Morrigan, is one of the three war goddesses, the other two being Newman and Mach, in Irish mythology. She protected the little people of the Tuatha de Danaan. The Morrigan fell in love with Cuchulain, but was rejected by him.
The Elder tree is related to the Hanged Man in the Tarot deck. It is a mysterious card which contradicts itself in many ways. The lesson of the Hanged Man is, to move forward in life one must stand still. When we most want to act we should wait, live in the moment and surrender to the experience suspending the expectation of the outcome.
The Hanged Man signifies that one needs to prepare to make some sort of sacrifice in life to achieve something that is of great value.
Settle your back against an Elder tree if possible. Burn white beeswax candle for protection, peace and harmony. Relax yourself. Feel the oxygen enter your lungs and the carbon dioxide, without effort leaves your being. Say, Spirit guide; bless this time, and this place, and who I am with you. Every moment I am alive, is one like none other. I cherish the moment, see each one as magical second in my journey called life. Thank you for your support. For all your blessings. I pledge to use my personal will, for the greater good.
November 22: Beginning of Sagittarius (the Hunter/Huntress).
"Soon as the evening shades prevail,
The moon takes up the wondrous tale,
And nightly to the listening earth
Repeats the story of her birth."
"The Horned One" is a Celtic god of fertility, life, animals, wealth, and the underworld. He was worshipped all over Gaul, and his cult spread into Britain as well. Cernunnos is depicted with the antlers of a stag, sometimes carries a purse filled with coin. The Horned God is born at the winter solstice, marries the goddess at Beltane, and dies at the summer solstice. He alternates with the goddess of the moon in ruling over life and death, continuing the cycle of death, rebirth and reincarnation.
Paleolithic cave paintings found in France that depict a stag standing upright or a man dressed in stag costume seem to indicate that Cernunnos' origins date to those times. Romans sometimes portrayed him with three cranes flying above his head. Known to the Druids as Hu Gadarn. God of the underworld and astral planes. The consort of the great goddess. He was often depicted holding a bag of money, or accompanied by a ram-headed serpent and a stag. Most notably is the famous Gundestrup cauldron discovered in Denmark.
Lord of the Hunt
Always bearing the horns of a stag, Cernunnos is identified with the hunted, which in turn identifies him as hunter as well - shamanistic practices across the world bear witness to the concept that in order to catch your prey, you must identify in spirit with the prey.
God of Sexuality, Fertility, and Abundance
Stags are sexually aggressive creatures, and the antlers can certainly be considered phallic, marking Cernunnos as a god of fertility and abundance. This aspect is represented in other symbolism as well: cornucopiae, fruit, grain and coins.
Lord of the Underworld
Along with knowledge, the serpent is also a frequent symbol of death. The cycle of hunter and hunted of course intimately revolves around death and life from death. As Herne the Hunter, generally considered to be the British Celtic version the same figure, he is the leader of the Wild Hunt.
In some traditions of Wicca, the cycle of seasons follows the relationship between the Horned God -- Cernunnos -- and the Goddess. During the fall, the Horned God dies, as the vegetation and land goes dormant, and in the spring, at Imbolc, he is resurrected to impregnate the fertile goddess of the land. However, this relationship is a relatively new Neopagan concept, and there is no scholarly evidence to indicate that ancient peoples might have celebrated this "marriage" of the Horned God and a mother goddess.
Today, many Pagan and Wiccan traditions honor Cernunnos as an aspect of the God, the embodiment of masculine energy and fertility and power.
Celtic symbols historically of the horned god, Cernunnos.
Shakespeare as the earliest source merely describes Herne the Hunter as "a spirit" and "sometime a keeper … in Windsor forest" who is seen to "walk round about an oak, with great ragg’d horns" at midnight during winter-time.
The Ghost - the earliest written account of Herne comes from Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor in 1597:
Sometime a keeper here in Windsor Forest,
Doth all the winter-time, at still midnight,
Walk round about an oak, with great ragg'd horns;
And there he blasts the tree, and takes the cattle,
And makes milch-kine yield blood,
and shakes a chainIn a most hideous and dreadful manner.
You have heard of such a spirit,
and well you know
The superstitious idle-headed eldReceiv'd,
and did deliver to our age,
This tale of Herne the Hunter for a truth.—
William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor
This records several aspects of Herne's ghost which is said to have haunted Windsor Forest (covering all of East Berkshire and parts of south Buckinghamshire, northeastHampshire and northwest Surrey) and specifically the Great Park ever since his death. Further details have entered local folklore from reported sightings , such as those in the 1920s. He appears antlered, sometimes beneath the tree on which he was hanged, known as "Herne's Oak", but more often riding his horse, accompanied by other wild huntsmen and the captured souls of those he has encountered on his journey. He has a phosphorescent glow and is accompanied by demon hounds, a horned owl and other creatures of the forest.
A Time of Rebirth:
The time each month in which the moon is dark and cannot be seen is known as the new moon. It's a period in direct contrast to the full moon. Although some Wiccans and Pagans consider this a good time to do magical workings, others believe it is a time in which the magical self should be rested and rejuvenated.
Getting Your Mojo Back In Order:
Depending on how actively magical a life you lead, you may find yourself needing to take a breather every now and then, a time when you do no workings, and simply get in touch with your spiritual and emotional inner self. Use the three days that occur before, during and immediately after the new moon as a time when you give your "witchiness" a rest, and instead focus on rejuvenation.
How can you do this? After all, you're busy, right? You have a job, kids, committments to keep... but you owe it to yourself to take a break once in a while. It's not selfish to think of yourself on occasion -- in fact, if you DO take the time to focus on you, you'll be a happier and healthier person. Here are some ways you can get yourself feeling revitalized during the new moon:
By Patti Wigington
November 11 to November 17: Old Anglo-Teutonic fast marking Hod (God of Darkness) unintentionally killing Balder (God of Light), and his true love Nanna (Goddess of Flowers) dying of a broken heart. The dead were honored.
MythologyHod is the blind god of darkness and winter, the son of Odin and Frigg. When the gods were enjoying themselves by using his brother Balder as a target, Hod unintentionally killed him by throwing a dart made of mistletoe, the only object that could harm Balder. Hod was put to death for this deed by Vali, Odin's youngest son who was born for revenge. However, after the destruction of the cosmos when a new world is built, Hod will be reborn.
See Also: Loki
Balder was the fairest god in Asgård, and his death was the treacherous work of Loki.