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For those reading for the first time, The Enchanted Snare is magickal story with an instructional method that can help you become acquainted with the Major Arcana in the Tarot cards and be more witchlike. Hang out with the witches this Yule. Read the last chapter of the first round of edits of my story, The Enchanted Snare!
at the Mysticism School for Witches.
Enchantment, Ripeness, and Wisdom
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Avril approached the Mysticism School for Witches. The carolers could be heard singing, “Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la la la la, ‘Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la, Don we know our gay apparel, Fa la la la la la la la, Troll the ancient yuletide carol, Fa la la la la la la la. Fast away the old year passes, Fa la la la la la la la, Hail the new, ye lads and lasses, Fa la la la la la la la, Sing we joyous all together, Fa la la la la la la la, Heedless of the wind and weather, Fa la la la la la la la.
The winterized instruments that accompanied amplified the marvelous performance. The closer Avril came to her destination, the more she could hear people, male and female, young and old, laughing, chatting, and having fun. Avril saw that red holly, green ivy and mistletoe, sun plants associated with Yule, were wound loosely around the old cedar rails with green boughs, to attract sun’s light at the crack of dawn. The witchlings raced around under guidance and lit the candles in the fairy bulbs that would burn all night to attract good luck.
Some witches feverishly danced around the three bonfires. Mothers as well as fathers pulled sleds throughout the snow with witchlings on board. Older children tobogganed while other dragged their ride behind effortlessly up the north hill. Men and women slowly walked in a line through the growing fields, scattering ashes from last year's Yule logs to ensure a bountiful harvest in the coming year. There was a feeling of connection to the earth and sky as all celebrated the longest night and shortest day of the year.
Yule, to Avril, is a magickal time - no matter how many years passed. It is the season to be merry and to make merry.
She hoped in her heart to find Cole among the crowd. Instead, she saw Hailey waving her hand attempting to get her attention. “Merry meet,” Hailey said with a wide grin. Look how the Yule trees shine with bright lit bulbs and the glistening ornaments. Doesn’t it all make the world feel like a magickal winter wonderland. The laughter and song is soul-stirring.”
Avril smiled. “I agree, the beauty is in the Yule's candle light.”
A group of witchlings rushed by them. “Excuse us, we are in search for the faery folk,” a witchling called out.
“Have fun,” Hailey replied.
Hailey and Avril walked about the snow-covered grounds. So many people had gathered to enjoy the Yule festivities. The maidens strolled through the crowd and passed a few men who cut wood that would be brought indoors to burn. A few people went skiing across the open country.
“It will be difficult for me when we separated for winter break,” Hailey said, with sadness in her voice. She turned, opened her arms and embraced Avril. “I’ll miss you,” she said.
“Separation is an adjustment we have to make in life. I agree it won’t be easy but, I will keep you in my heart and mind.”
The two pulled apart, looked at one another and smiled. Hailey said, “I hope the very best ahead for you.”
“And to you,” Avril replied.
Shanna’s voice disrupted Hailey and Avril when she heard her say, “Ahhh! What a sweet moment!” Hailey’s smile deepened as Shanna and Hanna joined in on the powerful hug.
Cortney opened the door, and stepped to the side. “The holiday season is a great time of togetherness and sharing, she said, but sadly I can’t help feeling a sense of loss. We have a special bond. We’ve lived, worked, laughed, learned and cried together. I am truly going to miss you all during winter break.”
For many,” Avril explained, stepping into the foyer, “saying goodbye can be depressing. The long winter months is a sad time of year which can bring on feelings of gloom and doom. Change is inevitable. The absence of the close personal relationship can bring on a sense of loss. The loss is both a privilege and a necessity. It is an important change for growth.”
Hailey turned to Cortney. “People are important in life,” she explained. “Our bond grows strong because of giving, receiving or paying the love forward. Friendships are forged through a desire to help others. It is renewed forever. Some people in our lives leave for a long time and then return. Love never leaves for long. It never does leave at all. It is with you for eternity.”
“Talking openly sure helped made me feel better,” Corena said, brushing the snow of her winter cape. “At the Mysticism School I am surrounded by loving, caring witches who are here to listen and offer support.”
“When the drama happened, everyone but Lilith and Marley adjusted to bring Corena comfort,” Shanna said.
“What did you expect. They were the root of the problem,” Corena scoffed.
“Let’s go get some Yule goodies from the kitchen,” Hailey smiled.
Hanna agreed, “Let’s!”
Avril turned toward the sitting room. She pulled her mitts off her hands and put them in her pocket in her winter cape. “I’ll be with you in a minute,” she said.
“Are you sure? We can wait,” Corena said.
“No, it’s okay. I’ll join you in a sec,” she answered.
The maidens followed Hailey to the kitchen.
As she walked in the room she admired the lights that twinkled from the Yule tree. Gems and crystals sparkled from the branches in which they hung. Herbs, in hand sewn magickal bags to enhance the convener’s dreams added a wonderful fragrance to the area. An oak Yule log, with shades of Winter Solstice red, green, silver and gold candles two inches apart, nestled in evergreen boughs, pine cones, red and green ribbons to symbolize the fire, flora, the Sun, and the Moon respectively, burned bright on the mantle. Avril stepped to the fireplace and warmed her hands and face by the flickering flames of the fire. She worried about Lilith. She wanted to do something to contribute to Lilith’s healing and growth without her sister-friends.
Avril gazed at the luminous light from the Yule candle. She pulled out of her pocket the deep green blessing candle she brought. She removed the protective wrapping and slip the wrapper back in her pocket. To consecrate the blessing candle, she sprinkled holy water from the cauldron onto the wax surface. She passed the blessing candle through the Bran’s Yuletide philter smoke, and then passed the candle through the flame of the Yule candle while saying just above a whisper, “I consecrate by the elements earth, ar. fire and water as a tool of magick.”
Avril lit the wick of the blessing candle from the Yule Log. She raised the blessing candle up to the Yule candle’s standing tall and straight blue flame. “Goddess and God, darkness and light, complementary to each other, your energies allow all living things to be - nurtured, to evolve and grow. At this time and at this place your energies together turn the Wheel of the Year’s tide from darkness towards the light. Blessed is the Sun and Moon, the four elements govern by the fifth Spirit,” she whispered.
Avril turned facing the Yule tree. She walked forward three steps and then stopped. She held up to the Yule tree the blessing candle. She quietly wished, “This Yule I ask you send love, peace, harmony, rest, and happiness to Lilith, throughout the new Wheel of the Year. May the love of the Divine power be with Lilith. Share your blessings and bring back the light to Lilith.”
To build up positive energy to send to Lilith, she walked slowly around the Yule tree, deosil – sun-wise, seven times and each time she circled the Yule tree just above a whisper counted, One…two…three…four…five…six…seven…so shall it be. When the seven rounds were complete, she took the lit blessing candle and placed the candle with the other blessing candles burning bright.
Avril backed away from the altar, then turned, right into the High Priestess, her hand, curled upon her cane.
The High Priestess smiled gently. “Think, study, learn and mature is all part of witchcraft,” she explained. “I’m pleased to see you put theory into practice. The past year as an apprentice, you have completed one level of instruction and, at Dawning Time, you can proceed to the next level of learning. When the Earth becomes, renewed I hope you will return to the Mysticism School for Witches with a thirst for knowledge and new experiences to expand your compassion, personality, mind, body and spirit.
Avril from under her hat brim, she smiled, “I plan to.”
The High Priestess removed a small black box from her robe, and then handed it to Avril. Avril took the gift in her hand. She opened the lid. Looking inside she giggled. Her eyes shot up to meet hers. “I have earned a silver leaf,” she exclaimed.
The High Priestess felt Avril’s glee and smiled. “Yes. This Ladder Step-Lesson was successfully completed and you have done well,” she said.
“It’s beautiful. I can’t wait to string the solitary silver leaf onto the leaves of my book chain,” she beamed.
“To leave a trail of blessings wherever you go, maybe you would give Lilith her leaf?”
Avril gave her a startled look, and exclaimed, “Me?!”
The High Priestess smiled at her. “Did Lilith not attend, listen and participate?”
“Maybe including her gives us the power of hope?”
Avril glanced pass the High Priestess at Lilith.
“You may not want to, but the point of the gesture is that it doesn’t matter the outcome. It’s the art of giving that attracts the good energy,” the High Priestess explained.
Avril didn’t say anything, looking at Lilith, who stood and stared trancelike out the large front window.
“At this moment, you do have choices,” the High Priestess said.
Avril thinking about it, fighting with Lilith wasn’t important anymore. She learned Lilith expected to fight and why. Avril resisted the urge to say no, but it was difficult. She wanted to wish her well. She finally held out her hand. “So be it,” she said.
The High Priestess stepped aside.
Avril walked the short distance toward Lilith. She took the last step forward and stopped in front of her. “Lilith,” she said.
Lilith expression said, what?
They stared at each other. Avril slowly stretched out the small black box in her grip. “This is for you,” she offered.
Lilith raised her eyebrows in surprise. She snatched the small black box from Avril’s hand. She turned to face Avril again. “Is that it,” she said.
“No. Merry Yule,” she answered.
Hailey, Shanna, Hanna, Cortney and Corena walked into the sitting room. Corena folded her arms and eyed Avril. “Avril, come over here,” she said attempting to pull her and Lilith apart.
Avril nodded slowly. She turned away and walked toward her sister-friends thinking, contributing to Lilith’s healing gave her satisfaction and a strong sense of purpose.
“After the snare, Lilith caught Corena in,” Hailey complained. She paused. “She can call it what she wants, the Elders would say it was entrapment.”
“I will never understand why Lilith is the way she is,” Corena said, shaking her head in righteous disgust.
“She may have different ideas than we do, but we are all walking a spiritual path,” Avril said, trying to offer a new perspective.
Hailey’s Grandmother passed nuts to the maidens as a harmony offering. Hailey cracked the shell open and found two nuts. She squealed with delight. “Two nuts in one shell is a sign of luck in love,” she said, passing one to Avril. As Hailey ate the other nut, she made a Yule wish.
“The back yard has been transformed into a skating rink,” Cortney announced. “Witchlings and grownups alike are outdoors skating. We should join with them!”
“Let’s lace up our skates,” Hanna agreed.
Avril looked around the sitting room with the candles that burned bright before following. She sent Lilith a glance. Lilith opened her black box. She gently touched the solitary leaf, admiring it. She genuinely appeared happy.
Avril entered the foyer. She heard coming down the hall footsteps on the hardwood floor boards. She looked in the direction from which the sound came and saw the soft candlelight fall on Cole. Avril was surprised and pleased. She could not take her eyes from him handsome, and confident.
“Merry meet Cole,” she said, unable to keep the excitement from her tone.
“Merry meet to you, too” he smiled. “Can we talk?”
Cole’s boyish grin was undeniably appealing. “Sure, she answered.
Avril followed Cole over to the door frame. He glanced at her and then down at the floorboards several times. “I hope our relationship grows and matures over time,” he said quietly, from his heart as much as from the mind. He looked deep into Avril’s eyes. “My gift to you this Yule is my love and friendship. I hope in my heart of hearts that we will grow and mature together.”
Avril was at a loss for words. Cole possessed the essence of kindness, generosity, empathy and loyalty and he had declared that he was hers. She thought, over the past year they had met, separated, reunited to build their relationship. There was a devoted attachment between them that had grown over time, inspired by love.
Avril found herself in his arms. She followed his eyes as they moved to look above her head. Low from the door frame mistletoe hung. Cole pulled her closer and, on impulse, she took pleasure in his kiss. Avril felt the chemistry and desire between them as the kiss lingered. Weak in the knees, she thought to herself, I am my beloved’s and his heart belongs to me.
Moments later, Priestess Angelica clapped her hands together three time in a row to interrupt Cole and Avril’s private moment. “You are invited to come outside for Yule’s midnight ritual, she said.
Hanna and Shanna giggled. Hailey, Cortney and Corena giggled along with glee.
Embarrassed by the audience that had watched, Avril’s face felt red as a beat as she glanced down to the floor.
Cole gave Avril a quick reassuring hug. He held her hand as they walked toward the front door.
Everyone went quiet. With kindness and respect, all listened as the High Priestess Ceserea spoke. “We thank the community for the generous support over the past year. The elders in our midst strengthen and prepare the young for the future. The future lies within the young. They are the heart, mind, body and soul of the future generation. Children are the ones who will guide and direct in the coming years. The voices that will be heard are the communities and they will influence the hearts, minds, body and soul of future generations.
“While we are apart for the winter months respect the ancient material, on the divine and on the human level. Each person present, undoubtedly with sincerity in their efforts, will be faithful to support others and uphold the Witch’s Rede; In ye harm none, do as ye will.”
The High Priestess announced, “On Yule Winter Solstice, for the northern half of the planet, the sun appears to circle the earth directly over the Tropic of Capricorn, twenty-three and a half degrees south of the equator. At Winter Solstice, Yule, the theme is of the sun’s death and re-birth. Winter will not mark the end. Rather, it will be the beginning of a completely new and richer experiences. On the longest night and shortest day, we gather and celebrate darkness and pray for light. We pray we will meet again. Love will call out and we will be drawn together from the East and West and from the North and South.”
The High Priestess looked up into the night sky. Snowflakes fell. Flames and smoke rose from the bonfires. The air was filled with invisible electricity. Cole, on one side of her, and Hailey on the other, clasped on to Avril’s hands, upon the High Priestess’ request.
The wise woman’s voice filled the icy breeze as she rang a shiny silver bells in the air. She spoke the words of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem, “Ring Out, Wild Bells.”
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light.
The year is closing in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go,
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redness to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sun,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of Good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the ‘light’ that is to be.
The High Priestess lowered the silver bells still. She bowed her head. A young witch dressed in black and pentacle took the silver bells and placed them on a cloth on the altar. The High Priestess raised her head upward, and said, “Tonight, the longest night and the shortest day of the wise women’s year, marks Winter Solstice. A time of re-birth and change. The light from the Sun is born and grows stronger to warm the cold days of winter. Let us join, united with the Goddess and God energies, our Creators, who is all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful, in a Love Prayer to honor and show our true intentions.
It is our intent that this be done for the highest good of all concerned in the name of The Maiden, Mother and Crone as well as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In gratitude and trust, we thank the Lady and the Lord, the Lord representing abundance and fertility and the Lady for peace and love that are given. And know it will be done.”
Avril’s heart leaped when she felt the healing energy rush into her right hand, race through her entire body and soul and out her left hand. She felt love, in its finest sense, vibrated around and throughout her.
Ceserea spoke. “While we are separated, all be just, be merciful, love one another, share, be honest, expect nothing, just do. Life is more than an all-consuming chore of survival from birth to death, personal security is achieved through peace and love. Appreciate, and give thanks for all the good things in life. Never let your faith in the divine and mankind waver. So shall it be.”
Out of nowhere, Father Winter dressed in a fur trimmed red robe and long white beard with the Snow Queen wearing a white winter cape by his side arrived, dashing through the snow with a couple of caribou driving the sleigh. Over the fields they came with their magickal bag of gifts, giggling all the way. And when the witchlings saw them, they shouted out with glee. The High Priestess excused all to go and enjoy the festivities.
Hailey, Cole and Avril followed a crowd of people who headed inside for a luxurious feast. Avril thought to herself, ‘Just as autumn yields to the coming of winter, so does winter receive the awakening of spring.’ She had graduated into the next phase of spiritual development. She had gained knowledge over the past year to manage her life and, while guided by Spirit.
- THE END -
If you missed the start of the witchy story, no worries the second round of edits will begin to be posted to my blog the last week of January 2017. Until then go now and read the Enchnted Snare from where we began with divine eyes!
Wishing you all the joy of the holiday season.
With A Smile & A Giggle!
Laurie Cabot discusses the Yule Celebration and its meaning as seen from the Celtic/Witchcraft perspective.
Laurie Cabot official website -