January Hunger Moon/Wolf Moon/Cold Moon/Ice Moon/Old Moon/Moon After Yule/Chaste Moon/Spirit Moon/
January’s Full Moon was aptly named after the howling hungry wolves of mid-winter who prowled the villages searching for a meal. The howling of wolves was often heard at this time of year. It was traditionally thought that wolves howled due to hunger, but we now know that wolves use howls to define territory, locate pack members, and gather for hunting. Native American cultures typically hold a lot of respect and not fear of wolves, so this month’s Moon name should be viewed with that in mind, too.
February Snow Moon/Quickening Moon/Storm Moon/Bone Moon
February is typically still cold and snowy in North America and so earned its full moon the name Snow Moon moon. “Bone Moon” (Cherokee, of the Southeast). The Bone Moon meant that there was so little food that people gnawed on bones and ate bone marrow soup.
March Worm Moon/Death Moon/Sap Moon
Native Americans considered this the last full moon of winter naming it the Worm Moon after the worm trails that would appear in the newly thawing ground. This Moon name actually refers to a different sort of “worm”, grubs which emerge from thawing trees and other winter hideouts.
April Pink Moon/Wind Moon/Fish Moon
Northern Native Americans call April’s full moon the Pink Moon after a species of early blooming wildflower, Moss Pink Ground Flox. Coastal tribes referred to this months moon as the Full Fish Moon, the time shad swam upstream to spawn. According to folklore, the period from the full Moon through the last quarter of the Moon is the best time for killing weeds, thinning, pruning, mowing, cutting timber, and planting below-ground crops.
May Flower Moon/Hare Moon
May’s full moon is known as the Flower Moon in many cultures thanks to the flowers that begin to be seen blooming from the soil as spring begins to settle in.
June Strawberry Moon/Rose Moon/Sun Moon
In North America, the harvesting of strawberries in June gives this month its full moon name. This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe. Europeans have dubbed it the Rose Moon and others the Sun Moon because the earth is beginning to heat up from the summer sun.
July Buck Moon/Thunder Moon/Hay Moon
Male deer, which shed their big antlers every year, begin to regrow them in July, hence the Native American name for July’s full moon. Some refer to this moon as the Thunder Moon, due to the summer storms that often occur in this month. Other names include the Hay Moon, after the July hay harvest.
August Sturgeon Moon/Green Corn Moon/Grain Moon
North American fishing tribes called August’s full moon the Sturgeon Moon since the species appeared in abundant numbers in August. The sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during this Full Moon. It’s also been called the Green Corn Moon, and the Grain Moon.
September Corn Moon/Barley Moon/Harvest Moon
September’s Full Corn Moon is so called because this is when crops are gathered at the end of the summer season. At this time, the Moon appears particularly bright and rises early, letting farmers continue harvesting into the night. This moon is also sometimes named the Barley Moon because of the harvest, and it is often the nearest full moon to the autumnal equinox, earning the title of Harvest Moon.
October Hunter’s Moon/Migrating Moon
The hunter’s moon, is in the preferred month to hunt deer and fox unable to hide in bare fields 😢. Like the harvest moon, the hunter’s moon is also particularly bright and long in the sky, giving the hunters the opportunity to stalk prey at night.
November Beaver Moon/Frost Moon
There is some disagreement over the origin of November’s beaver moon name. Some say it comes from Native Americans setting beaver traps during this month 😢, while others say the name comes from the heavy activity of beavers building their winter dams 😁. Another name is the frost moon.
December Cold Moon
The coming of the winter chill earned December’s full moon the name Cold Moon.
Oneida Nation 13 Moon Names
The 13 Moons and their names: NOTE: The names that are indented are alternative names or names that are more common in other communities. The name that is most common in the Oneida Wisconsin community is the first one listed when there are multiple given.
Tsaˀtekohsélhaˀ Wʌhní‧taleˀ (Midwinter Moon, 1st new moon after solstice)
Wataˀklokwaskó‧ (Great Snow Moon, 2nd new moon) Tewahúhtyaks Wʌhní‧taleˀ (Breaking Ear Moon, 2nd new moon) or
Otsiˀkhé‧ta Wʌhní‧taleˀ (Maple Sap Moon, 3rd new moon) Tewʌhníslyaks Wʌhní‧taleˀ (Breaking Season Moon, 3rd new moon) or Wáhta Wʌhní‧taleˀ (Maple Syrup Moon, 3rd new moon) or
Káhsakayu‧té‧seˀ Wʌhní‧taleˀ (Thunder Moon, 4th new moon)
Twayʌthos Wʌhní‧taleˀ (Planting Moon, 5th new moon)
Kaˀniyohu‧té‧s Wʌhní‧taleˀ (Strawberry Moon, 6th new moon)
Oˀyhótsliˀ Wʌhní‧taleˀ (Green Bean Moon, 7th new moon)
Onʌstaseˀ Wʌhní‧taleˀ (Green Corn Moon, 8th new moon)
Yeyʌthókwas Wʌhní‧taleˀ (Harvesting Moon, 9th new moon)
Yutékhwayʌheˀ Wʌhní‧taleˀ (Storing Away Moon, 10th new moon)
Luto‧láts Wʌhní‧taleˀ (Hunting Moon, 11th new moon)
Wahsu‧tés Wʌhní‧taleˀ (Long Night Moon, 12th new moon)
Watolíshʌheˀ Wʌhní‧taleˀ (Resting Moon, 13th new moon)
Pronounced: Im-bulk, Im-molg, or imb-olc February 2nd Hope, Renewal, fertility, Purification, Hearth, Home, Return Of The Light Candlemas Day, Brigid’s Day,
Imbolc celebrates the coming end of Winter and the beginning of the growing cycle in the Northern Hemisphere. The long, cold, dark months are nearly over, and stirrings of Spring can be seen with the slow emergence of animals from their hibernation, smelled in the blooming of daffodils and crocuses and felt with moments of winds seeming warmer with each passing day. Although snow may continue to cover the ground in many regions, the darkest and often harshest part of the cold season is now behind us. This cross-quarter day—midway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox—is a welcome time for many who eagerly awaited the return of the warmer months. Imbolc, also known as Brighid’s Day, Candlemas, of course even Groundhog’s Day, is celebrated on February 2nd.
It’s time to give thanks for the growing daylight. A celebration of Gods return to power and the Goddess, recovering from giving birth to the God at Yule, is beginning once again to step into her Maiden role. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, Christians also observe it as the Feast Day of St. Brigid. The concept of purity and purification has long associations with the month of February. The warmth of the growing Sun (Son) begins to cause seeds deep in (and of) the Earth to germinate and sprout, and even though much of this activity is taking place deep within the soil, those who are attuned to Nature’s rhythms can feel the quickening pace of life emerging all around them. The festival was mostly observed in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man but today it’s popular throughout the world.
Imbolc is a good time to get your life in order – whether physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally. Make plans, organize, clean out drawers and closets to help create a refreshing sense of bringing in the new and clearing out the old. Preparing yourself and your home now will help to allow you to take full advantage of the wonder, fertility and freedom that Springtime will bring !
This holiday celebrates beginnings and renewal. It is also a time for spring cleaning after being shut indoors and inactive through the winter months. The ability of the Sun to cleanse and purify is is signified and recognized in various ways. Some people light several candles in each room of the house, or, in a more modern version of this tradition, turn on every lamp to energize and cleanse the old energy. Many do spring cleaning and then bless their rooms with sage, palo santo, holy water, tingshaws, etc… Candle colors for Imbolc are typically white or yellow decorations include fresh Spring flowers and besoms (small decorative ritual brooms).
May the stirring of life underground, stir new dreams into life within you.
May the flames of inspiration and new growth be ignited within your Being.”
— IMBOLC BLESSING
Ways To Celebrate Imbolc
Light a candle – a flame is the traditional symbol of Imbolc, which is a ‘fire’ festival.
Spring clean your home
If you have the space outdoors, or making your own apartment garden inside, plant for the coming year and maybe sow a few early seeds. You can start off tomatoes or sweet peas indoors in February.
Visit a river or stream.
Take a cleansing bath.
At sunset, put the lights on in every room in the house to welcome back the sun.
Host a candlelight dinner.
Take time to meditate or journal in a candlelit room.
Take a walk outside and enjoy the lengthening days and appreciate this period of rest for the earth and Mother Nature.
Many magical practitioners take Imbolc off from their day jobs to stay home and clean, organize bills, rearrange the home, and prioritize personal projects.
Imbolc Cleaning With Intention
Imbolc is the time for Spring cleaning. It is time to clear out the dust and cobwebs and prepare our homes, and ourselves, for the activity and growth that come during the spring season.
Cleanse your Home – Clean windows and mirrors. Sweep down cobwebs and dust under books. Throw away or destroy any old charms, spellwork, etc.. Out with the old….. Dust, polish, under and over. All the small nooks that get neglected with every day cleaning. This is a great time to dig into minimalism and start to toss out and donate things you no longer need. Now, light a smudge stick (palo santo or sage and lavender) and let the smoke reach every corner of your house; behind doors, under furniture, under the bed, etc! Open the windows and wave the smoke outside, taking the negative energy with it. Next, sprinkle holy (blessed) water around.
Cleanse yourself – Take a ritual bath. Fill the tub with lavender salts or oils. Soak for as long as you like, allowing all negative energy soak away. As the water drains from the tub, visualize it carrying away all the negativity from you, leaving you fresh and clean, psychically as well as physically.
Give thanks – Spray some lavender oil mist or buy some fresh lavender to fill your home with clean springtime aroma. Burn some *frankincense incense. In your prayer, meditation space, or ritual altar (you can cast a circle if you wish to do so) and think about the areas of your life that you would want to be more calm, peaceful (aka cleaner). Ask your higher power for inspiration in doing so. Or if you prefer, meditate and see and feel what inspiration comes to you during meditation. Think about what you want to gain strength in, in your life. Ask for ideas to create that. Thank your higher power for spending time with you and inspiring you!
Have a cup of ginger tea and a piece of cinnamon toast with your higher power, goddess, etc as an offering and celebration of spring renewal. If you opened a circle, it can now be closed.
Imbolc Incense Blend for Purification and Protection
Mix together in a bowl and burn on a charcoal disc in a heat safe incense bowl. Use a fan or feather to waft the smoke into all corners of a physically cleaned home. As you energetically clear the space with the smoke, repeat “This space is cleared, this space is blessed.”
Candle Magic for Imbolc
Since Brigid is the Goddess of Fire, Imbolc is a great time for candle magic. With an intention in your mind, light your candle and imagine your intentions igniting in the flame of the candle. Burn the candle as long as you wish before blowing it out. As the smoke wafts, imagine your intentions being carried into the Universe. And because we want you to be safe, please remember never to leave burning candles unattended.
Make Your Own Fire Starters
Brighid is a goddess of fire, but sometimes getting a fire lit on a chilly, windy winter evening can be tricky. Put together a batch of simple fire starters to keep on hand, and you’ll be able to get a blaze going at any time!
Shove whatever you have on hand in the cups of a cardboard egg carton. Lint, sawdust, wood chips, cotton balls or paper towels.
Chop your wax up so it will melt more quickly. Melt it in a double boiler or in the microwave.
Place your egg carton onto a baking sheet lined with tin foil or a surface you can easily scrape wax drips off of.
Pour wax into each egg carton cup, let them harden and then pull them apart into individual cups.
Easily lights with one match.
Foods For Imbolc
Now this one is tricky for me. I gave up dairy years ago and Imbolc is all about the dairy. But symbolism is just as meaningful so non-dairy it is! Dairy (particularly cheese, butter, and milk), eggs, baked goods (particularly bread), spiced wines and herbal teas. Blackberry is sacred to Brigid and blackberry pies, jams, jellies and wines are eaten in honor of her.
Honey Cakes (Liebkuchen)
1 cup margarine 1 cup sugar 1 egg 1 cup honey 1 cup sour milk 2 Tablespoons vinegar 6 cup flour 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon mace 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
Prepare sour milk and mix dry ingredients. Set both aside. Cream margarine and sugar, add egg, beat until light. Add honey, sour milk and vinegar. Mix thoroughly. Chill one hour. Roll out to 1/4″ thickness. Cut into 2″x3″ rectangles and place on buttered cookie sheets. Bake at 375° for 6 minutes. Frost with plain vanilla frosting. * For sour milk, add 1 T. vinegar to 1 c. milk and let stand for 10 minutes.
*Used in religious and spiritual rituals for thousands of years, frankincense is a symbol of holiness and righteousness. Because it is so fragrant when burnt, it was used by ancient people as a religious offering. In Christian symbolism, frankincense can represent Christ’s sacrifice.
So, what exactly is tarot? What does the imagery on the cards mean and how are they used? Tarot fundamentals are easy to understand once you break it down. Here’s what every beginner should know about the history of tarot, as well as tips and tricks for getting you started with your own practice.
Tarot is actually a relatively modern art of divination. Though tarot decks date back to the 1400s, they were originally used just for parlor games rather than prediction. Cartomancy, or fortune-telling through the use of playing cards, actually wasn’t developed until 1785, by French occultist Jean-Baptiste Alliette or otherwise known as; Etteilla, created comprehensive links between illustrated cards, astrology, and ancient Egyptian lore.
In 1909, Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Colman Smith designed and published a tarot deck known as the Rider-Waite deck and is still the most popular tarot deck for both beginner and professional card readers.
Choosing Your Cards
So how do you choose a deck among the hundreds and hundreds in print? Since the mid-twentieth century, hundreds, if not thousands of decks of all different imagery styles have been published. The Tarot de Marseille deck is a gorgeous of a classic French deck; the Wild Unknown has become one of my most trusted decks of choice.
Some tarot readers believe that your first deck should be gifted to you. I don’t adhere to this as I am perfectly ok with gifting myself. Some also believe that tarot cards should not be passed down or given second hand to anyone. I believe that as long as you properly cleanse the cards with sage or palo santo and bless them with good intentions it’s ok. Personally I don’t use second hand decks.
You can shop online or in-person, but it’s important to observe your emotions and any sensations as you browse different tarot decks and look at their imagery. What does it make you feel? Does the one you’re considering make you feel energized or tapped out? Do you feel an air of caution? Here’s where I will say, trust your gut intuition! Utilize the imagery as a journey, where do you want to go? Where are you drawn to? Look at the symbolism, is it drawing you in, telling you a story? There is no wrong or right deck, no deck that is better or worse. It’s all on your own discernment and intuitive feeling. For instance I am not usually drawn to bright colors, they overload my intuitive senses. I stay with subtle or no color. I have a deck that is filled with bright colors but it’s used for children or for healing of the inner child, Inner Child Cards: A Fairy-Tale Tarot. For me and for what the reading I do with these cards, the color is as important as the drawings.
What’s the difference between the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana cards?
Any magical practice; tarot, astrology, pendulum, charms, etc… are the macrocosm of the cosmos is reflected in the microcosm of individual experience. So in other words, the entire universe exists within a tarot deck, with each card representing a person, place, or event. These symbols are depicted in both the Major Arcana cards, which speak to deeper secrets and that of the unconscious mind, and the Minor Arcana cards, which speak to much of what you deal with day to day in our lives.
The Major Arcana cards represent the big bang, groundbreaking, life changing type influences. They punctuate our journeys and each stands alone as a powerful message, representing motions that define the beginnings or ends of cycles. These cards appear during major transitions, and important events signaling distinctive moments of transformation. The cards are numbered to represent stations within our greater journey through life; their chronological order reveals the passing of time.
The Minor Arcana cards, on the other hand, reflect everyday matters. These cards showcase ordinary people engaging in day to day life activities. They suggest action that is triggered by human behaviors and appear during gentle transitions that may be temporary or have only minor influence.
The Minor Arcana cards are broken up into four suits, each containing ten numbered cards and four court cards. In the Minor Arcana, the card’s number reveals the stage of an event: The ace card represents the beginning, while the 10 symbolizes the end. Similarly, the progression of the court cards demonstrates our understanding of circumstances on an individual level, representing either personality types or actual people. The Page (or Princess, in some decks), Knight, Queen, and King interpret circumstances with increasing levels of understanding and wisdom.
The suits (Wands, Pentacles, Swords, and Cups) correspond to their own unique areas of life and astrological elements. Wands symbolize passion, inspiration and drive (corresponding with the fire element), Pentacles represent money, abundance and physical realities (corresponding with the earth element), Swords depict the intellect, learning and wisdom (corresponding with the air element), and Cups illustrate emotional matters like love (corresponding with the water element). These suits reveal which influences are being activated, offering guidance on how to best manage any circumstances at hand.
How do I get started reading the cards?
Together, the Major and Minor Arcana create a comprehensive language and story in pictures. It is important to remember that all the answers we seek exist innately within the deck, with each card illustrating a person, circumstance, or potential outcome. Since there are no secret puzzles or hidden agendas with tarot, the ability to discern meaning lies within your own narrative interpretation.
Before any reading, be sure to shuffle (or “clear”) the deck. This deliberate gesture of vibration by shuffling should become a meditative moment or two. Feel the physicality of the cards in your hand, and visualize your question. If you’re reading for another person, use this moment to get to the root of their situation and focus on the person. Take as long as you need. Clearing the deck is a critical first step in reading tarot cards, as it opens the pathway between spiritual dimensions. Whenever you’re ready, cut the cards into three and reorder the pile, face down. On your favorite cloth (treat your tarot like it’s a priceless gem), prepare to pull cards for your tarot “spread.”
The “three-card spread” is one of the most simple and effective tarot spreads. You can adjust the categories to accommodate any situation (past, present, future; yourself, the other person, the relationship; opportunities, challenges, outcomes; mind, body, spirit). The cards and their corresponding positions will effortlessly expose emotions and the dynamics of the question and the person seeking guidance. But before reading the straightforward explanation of each card from the book that comes with the deck, take a moment to create your own story based on observation of the imagery and relationship of the cards as they are read, one to another. How do the cards you drew make you feel? What are the colors and symbols? If there are characters, are they facing towards or away from each other? Do the illustrations seem cohesive or disjointed?
Though each card has classic associations, the most powerful resource available is your own intuition. Note your immediate emotional reaction. Your instincts will inform your study, guide you and strengthen your pictorial memory. Eventually, you’ll develop your own systems and patterns, and individual cards will carry meanings specific to you. Your distinctive lexicon of interpretations will guide your readings, allowing you to create specific narratives that can be applied to any circumstance or situation. Tarot is the development of intuition and deep insight. Some are born with an innate ability for visioning and discernment but even if you’re not born with the instinctive gift, with practice you can hone and develop intuition over time and with practice. We all intrinsically possess the skills necessary to produce honest and accurate divination. Tarot is simply passion + logic + curiosity, and add some intuition and before you know it you to can be a reader of the tarot!
Pronounced: Yool December 20-23 rebirth, quiet introspection, new year, hope, setting intentions, celebration of light Winter Solstice, Midwinter, Saturnalia, Yuletide
Yule comes from the old Norse jól and Old English géohol which was a season of hunting after the harvest was done. This fell in what we now call December. The first recorded use of the noun Yuletide, according to Wikipedia, was in 1475. The Yuletide season lasted from the end of November to the beginning weeks of January but the feast of Yule lasted three days over the Winter Solstice and marked the beginning of the new year. It was and is a time to slow down and reserve energy over the winter season.
This is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night we will experience in the Northern Hemisphere. Though it’s typically celebrated on December 21st, the exact moment of the Solstice varies from year to year due to a slight misalignment between the Gregorian calendar and the actual rate of the Earth’s rotation around the Sun. It also occurs at differing local times, so that depending on where you live, it may fall the day before or the day after the date listed on any given calendar. That Yule is a fire festival, however unlike the more public community filled outdoor festival of the summer solstice, Yule lends itself to a more private family and close friends type of celebration. Yet like its midsummer counterpart, is strongly associated with fertility and the continuation of life.
From this point forward, the days will gradually grow longer again, until we reach the height of the Sun’s power at Summer Solstice. Although we will still see comparatively little of the the Sun’s light for several more weeks, this celebration reminds us to have patience, the waning portion of the year is over, and warmth, growth, and light are returning!
The early Christian church dedicated December 25th to celebrate the birth of Jesus as well. nobody really knows exactly when Jesus was born. Some scholars think that he was born between 6 B.C. and 4 B.C., based partly on the biblical story of Herod the Great. The name “Yule” actually comes from the pre-Christian festivities of Germanic tribes.
A celebration of the renewal of life, return of light (Jesus). A time to bring family close and celebrate. As a Yule tradition, decorate the hearth, an altar, place of prayer; with evergreen branches, such as cedar, pine, hemlock and spruce, as well as bright sprigs of holly, pinecones, and other festive winter flora. And light the room with candles (to conserve energy of course). Yule and Christmas share the same colors of reds, greens, white, silver and gold. Images of the Sun (or Son of God-Jesus) are a way to honor the return of the light. Those lucky enough to have a fireplace can burn a Yule log to brighten and bring warmth! Interestingly, the Yule log, a decorated tree, wreaths, and even caroling—are actually rooted in pre-Christian culture and traditions. So in a sense, Yule and Christmas are very similar in celebration. In Christian culture we celebrate Jesus and the New Testament, in Norse, Germanic and other cultures we celebrate the coming return of spring and fruitful crops. In Pagan culture, scholars the god Odin, and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Mōdraniht. Later departing from its pagan roots, Yule underwent reformulation, resulting in the term Christmastide (Yule/Christmas).
The Yule Log
Out of the mighty Yule log came The crooning of the lithe wood-flame, A single bar of music fraught With cheerful yet half pensive thought, A thought elusive: out of reach, Yet trembling on the verge of speech.
The Yule Log played an important role in the celebrations of the winter solstice and later Christmas, a large oak log was ceremoniously brought into the house and kindled at dusk, using a brand from the previous years Yule Log. It was deemed essential that the log, once lit, should burn until it was deliberately extinguished. The length of time, varied from region to region, from 12 hours to several days and it was considered ill-omened if the fire burnt itself out. It was never allowed to burn away completely, as some would be needed for the following year. The ashes from the Yule log were often used to make protective, healing or fertilizing charms, or scattered over the fields.
In modern times, the Christmas Tree has been used as a stand in for the Yule Log in some families traditions. Burning the tree in a fire pit on Christmas day. This custom is more as a right of passage to the season and to eliminate the tree in a way other than tossing it in the trash.
People in many countries also serve cakes shaped like the logs and call them Yule cakes.
Yule Potpourri Recipe
You will need:
A cinnamon stick
Cut the orange into thin slices.
Bake the orange slices in a single layer in the oven until dry (120 celcius/250 fahrenheit).
Let the orange slices cool down completely before use.
Mix the ingredients in a lockable jar (I just use a mason jar). You can of course customize the ingredients to your preferred scent.
Shake the mixture well and leave to marinate overnight or until your ready to use.
Put the mixture in a cloth or linen pouch.
Warning: eating any part of the plant can cause drowsiness, blurred vision, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, weakness and seizures. The symptoms are caused by a poisonous ingredient called phoratoxin, which is found in all parts of the plant, including the berries, and is especially concentrated in the leaves. Eating the plant raw or drinking it in tea can cause poisoning.
Mistletoe, or in old English, misteltãn. Mistletoe is also known as birdlime, all-heal, golden bough, drudenfuss, iscador and devil’s fuge. Mistletoe is an evergreen parasite that attaches itself to trees, plants and shrubs, stealing their nutrients and water. This can weaken or disfigure the host plant, and eventually even kill it. It is often associated with thunder, and regarded as a protection against fire and lighting. Druids and Romans both held mistletoe in high regard. These groups believed that the plant had healing powers and could ward off evil. Mistletoe was seen as a connection between earth and the heavens because it grew without roots. Mistletoe is poisonous to humans and animals.
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a wand’ring, So fair to be seen. Love and joy come to you, And to your wassail too And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year, And God send you a Happy New Year. We are not daily beggars Who beg from door to door, But we are neighbors’ children, Whom you have seen before. God bless the Master of this house, Likewise the Mistress too And all the little children, That round the table go. And all your kin and kinfolk That dwell both far and near We wish a Merry Christmas And Happy New Year.
Wassailing is a very ancient custom that is rarely done today. The word ‘wassail’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase ‘waes hael’, which means ‘good health’. Originally, the wassail was a drink made of mulled ale, curdled cream, roasted apples, eggs, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and sugar. From this it developed into a another way of saying; Salute, Cheers, Happy Yule and Merry Christmas to each other!
Modern Recipe for Yule Wassail 3 red apples 3 oz brown sugar 2 pints brown ale, apple cider, or hard cider 1/2 pint dry sherry or dry white wine 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ginger strips or lemon peel
Core and heat apples with brown sugar and some of the ale or cider in an oven for 30 minutes. Put in large pan and add rest of spices and lemon peel, simmer on stove top of 5 minutes. Add most of the alcohol at the last minute so it heats up but does not evaporate. Burgundy and brandy can be substituted to the ale and sherry. White sugar and halved oranges may also be added to taste. Makes enough for eight. Wassail!
A wreath is a circle with no beginning and no end– much like life. They symbolize the cycle of everlasting life. In fact, the Celtic wheel of the year is often symbolized as a wreath made from evergreens. and has been depicted as such for thousands of years.
Wreaths are also a beautiful way of bringing natures life inside. The best way way to find materials for your wreath is to go on a walk in your backyard or a local park or forest and forage for evergreen branches, *holly, *mistletoe, pine cones, and any other seasonal foliage. If you can’t get outside, you can find greenery at a florist. Or better yet, a Christmas tree lot. of Then arrange your foliage in a circular shape, either gluing it to some sort of circular structure, like Styrofoam, and tying it with twine. Or just make a circle with the greenery tied with twine to lay on your table as a center piece around a Yule cake or candle. As you are doing so, reflect on the circle of nature and life.
The “Yule tree,”, or Christmas tree, is a decorated tree, usually an evergreen species, such as pine, fir, cedar, juniper, or spruce. The tradition has origins with ancient civilizations in the middle east, Asia, and Europe. The modern custom flourished in Germany and spread to other European nations and North America in the 19th century. The Yule tree’s brightly colored decorations and lights (originally candles) symbolized stars in the heavens, spirits of those who died, religious events and figures, and provided edible treats for children. Many families begin their holiday seasons by cutting their own Christmas tree at tree lots or from their own yards, or buying pre-cut at lots. You need appropriate permits purchased from a local Forest Service office to cut and remove a tree from designated areas on National Forest land. They are often decorated with dried fruits to remain on the tree when tossed outside providing shelter and food for wildlife.
Yule Candle Magic
Candles, fire, The hearth all warmth, light are perfect for Yuletide intention setting. You will need:
a white, gold, or light green candle.
sage or palo santo.
and dried herbs; thyme for courage, hawthorn berries for joy, mint for purification, rosemary for strength.
Twelve hours prior to the Winter Solstice, begin to raise the energy by preparing your sacred space with the sage or palo santo, background instrumental music, decorations, etc… Be still and center yourself, calling upon any guides or higher powers you wish to be with you. Then light the charcoal, place it in a fireproof dish, and add the herbs. Light your candle, and meditate on the flame. Let your mind wander where it will. How do you feel? What do you notice? While gazing at the flame, bring to mind everything that you are nurturing inside of yourself right now. All of the dreams, plans, relationships. truths, art, and love your are birthing into this season. Once you feel complete, blow out the candle, thank the light, and journal.
Family Yule Intentions
• A large central candle • Smaller votive candles – 1 for each person participating in the ritual • Matches/lighter
Gather in a central space in your home. This should be a place where you can safely light your candles: around your family prayer or meditation space, family altar is ideal (if you have one) or even just at your dining table. Light the larger, central candle.
Begin by talking about why the Winter Solstice is meaningful: All through summer & fall the days have been growing shorter & shorter. Every day has grown shorter, and the sun is up less & less. Today is the shortest day of the year. We’ve gone as far toward the darkness as we can possibly go. This is the longest night all year. In some places (like the north pole!) it is dark almost the entire day.
Now, the whole family, together, goes through the house together & turn off every light. Tell the children we’re going to pretend the darkness inside the house, is just like the darkness outside. Leave this one center candle burning & go through the house together and turn out all the lights.
TIP: Carry a flashlight with you to return safely to your gathering place.
Gather back around your candles. Remind everyone: For half the year, day by day, the Earth has slowly grown darker & the nights longer. Now, on the Winter Solstice we’re in almost total darkness. Blow out the last remaining candle.
TIP: Make sure you know where the match/lighter is so you can easily reach them in the dark. Keep small kids on your lap so they don’t get scared when it gets completely dark.
Pause for a moment to reflect on the stillness of the dark. Before you relight your candle, pause for a moment & absorb the quiet & the stillness. Sit for a moment & feel the darkness, its powerful simplicity. Talk about how, at first, the darkness is scary, because we’re not used to it. But darkness is important. We’re all born in the dark, in our mama’s belly. We grew in the dark until we were ready to be born. Just like the Earth–things are growing deep inside the Earth right now, preparing to be born. We need the dark to sleep & to dream. It’s in the dark that we dream up all the new dreams for the year to come.
Before you light your central candle remind everyone: even though everything seems so dark, it was never totally complete. There was always a spark waiting to return. Relight the central candle. Explain on Yule, we’re celebrating this spark. And, the return of the sun! Now that the sun has returned it will continue to grow & grow, and get bigger & bigger. The light is coming back now & one day soon we’ll celebrate spring & then summer.
Tell everyone right now the light is only a tiny spark–the light of the Sun & the light inside us–so we have to help it grow by lighting candles & twinkling lights. Explain: Winter is the time of darkness & that can be scary. And just like the Earth, we all have moments when things seem dark & it feels scary. But the Earth teaches us, no matter how dark it gets, there’s always a spark of light. The light will always return. A new day will always begin. Remind everyone that in the darkness, new dreams are born.
Go around the table & take turns lighting your votive candles from the central candle. As you do, have each person say what they wish for themselves in the new year. What do they wish for their family/community?
Send the kids on a mission through the house turning on all the lights. Turn on every light to drive away all the darkness and shadows.
Blow out the candles, one of the adults goes first, say: May the light of the Yule candles burn in our hearts all throughout the coming year. Blessing of the Season on you all. As each person extinguishes their candle, say: Blessings of the season on you all.
Traditional Yule foods include festive meats/vegan meats, winter vegetables, and colorful preserved fruits. Yule apples are usually red varieties, and are often preserved in some way. Whole spiced crab apples or sliced and spiced apple rings come in jars, to be served as a side dish or desert. Dried figs and dates apricots, pears, and apples are often served on a platter either as an appetizer or alongside deserts. Nuts are a popular winter snack. Nuts like; hazelnuts, acorns, and walnuts. turnips, onions, and potatoes store well through the winter so are a popular dish served throughout the season. Winter squashes are a delicious side dish and can be eaten baked in their shells, or mashed. Sweet treats like candy canes, ribbon candy, cookies, and other confections are always included. Many traditional “Christmas cookies” originated from much older traditions. The Yule log cake is centerpiece has been around a long long time. This is usually a rolled chocolate or vanilla cake filled with jelly or cream. Decorations can be as elaborate as sculpted bark made of frosting or fondant; marzipan sculpted into birds, animals, holly or mistletoe sprigs; or as simple as powdered sugar and chocolate shavings. Fruitcake is another classic, but no one likes it and no one wants to eat it. It’s basically dried fruits baked in cake batter and often, alcohol. Different cultures carry with them different traditions. You can get lost in google searches with recipes steeped in culture and Yule tradition!
In the four foundations of mindfulness, the Buddha offers four postures for practicing meditation:
A monk knows, when he is walking, “I am walking”;
he knows, when he is standing, “I am standing”;
he knows, when he is sitting, “I am sitting”;
he knows, when he is lying down, “I am lying down”;
or just as his body is disposed so he knows it.
Walking meditation is often described as a meditation in motion.
Adding verbal cues is a great way to establish synchronization and rhythm within the body. As the mind begins to wander, use a simple verbal cue like “lifting, moving, placing” as a reminder to bring the mind back to the body. Incorporating a gatha, a short verse to support practice, is a common technique used in Thich Nhat Hanh’s communities. Here’s one that might be used for walking meditation:
(Breathing in) “I have arrived”; (Breathing out) “I am home.”
(Breathing in) “In the here”; (Breathing out) “In the now.”
(Breathing in) “I am solid”; (Breathing out) “I am free.”
(Breathing in) “In the ultimate”; (Breathing out) “I dwell.”
What Does the Last Digit of Your Birth Year Reveal About You
Mine is an 8 – What’s yours?
They say that the last digit of your birth year bears significance in your personality traits and life choices. Also, each number is associated with a particular element of nature. . What’s your number/element?
The metals are generally characterized by being hard, malleable and ductile. Likewise, the people born with the last digit 0 or 1 in their birth year (For example 1900, 2001, etc) are strong and resilient by nature. Like some metals can be shaped into many forms, these people are free-spirited and adaptable in character. However, in spite of being ambitious, they stay strong in their values. They never back down from their motivation and always prefer to be the best at everything they do. Take note Metals: Losing sometimes is not an issue. Don’t be hard on yourself! 💜
People with 2-3 as the last digit in their birth year (like 1963, 2002, 1973, etc) are artistic and creative. They are very resourceful and they use their resources in helping out other people. These people are very compassionate, and sympathetic to the well-being of others. Water cannot be stagnant. Likewise, these people are always on the go. However, they are suckers for details. They will nit-pick even the minutest of mistakes. Take note Water: learn to quiet your mind and relax more 💙
Come what may these people have the conviction in them to stand strong in the face of the adversaries. They are also inherently knowledgeable. They would always have some interesting bit of information of knowledge to share. Their experiences and knowledge in various matters inspire others to deal with decision making in life. Naturally, these people have a very active social life. People born with 4 or 5 in their birth year as the last digit (Say 1974, 1995, etc) are very possessive though! Take note Wood: you cannot solve every problem for everybody 💚
People bearing the digit 6 or 7 as the last in their birth year (Like 1947, 1986, etc) are very passionate beings. Like fire, they are adventurous, impulsive and reckless. Their beauty and glamour dazzle everyone around them. They have an innate sensuality in them that attracts admirers (irrespective of gender) from all sides like a moth is attracted to the flame! On the negative side, these people stress a lot on very little matters. Take note Fire: Try not to stress so much, enjoy life! 🧡
The people born with 8 0r 9 in their birth year as the last digit (For example 1988, 1979, etc) are the most stable beings. They are reliable, patient, cautious and loyal. They, in fact, are very self-sacrificing. They are logical and pragmatic. These qualities make them successful in most ventures they undertake. However, they have trust issues. They do not trust easily. They can also be very controlling and stubborn. Take note Earth: Take a breath and learn to let go and live in the moment. 🤎
Dr. Chelsey Crandall is back for the 10th lecture in our free “Marine Biology at Home” series: Human Dimensions of Marine Conservation. In this lecture Dr. Crandall explores the many impacts of humans on marine conservation! She talks about what drives conservation behavior, how we change people’s behavior, and how we manage when conservation conflicts with other human needs. Watch the lecture on our youtube channel:
This Guided Meditation Practice starts with a Breathing Technique known as Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing. We are then guided through visualization to bring balance to our minds and bodies followed by a period of silent mantra meditation using the mantra “Shiva-Shakti”, embracing and balancing the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine Energies that reside within us all. ~ Wendy Koreyeva
Moon in Aries is the best time to focus on intentions involving leadership, authority, rebirth, or willpower. Healing rituals for ailments of the face, head, or brain are also done during this period of time. Time for work on the ego.
Moon in Taurus is the best time to focus on intentions involving your love life, real estate, property, material acquisitions, and money. Healing rituals for ailments of the throat, neck, and ears are also done during this period of time. Starting long-term projects and endeavors expected to go slow but require steady energy. Results are usually lasting, if not permanent. Great time for creative inspiration. Workings that involve financial matters, home, self improvements and material possessions.
Moon in Gemini is the best time to focus on intentions for good communication, change of residence, writing, public relations, and travel. Healing rituals for ailments of the shoulders, arms, hands, or lungs are also done during this period of time. Not a good time for starting projects, the energy, being Gemini is wavering. Ideal for communications of all kinds and dealing with personal relations such as relatives and friends. A good time for aiding studies. Writers should take advantage of this time, not to start new projects but to make revisions, to polish off your work or to get attention for it.
Moon in Cancer is the best time to focus on intentions for home and domestic life. Healing rituals for ailments of the chest or stomach are also done during this period of time. Best timing for any domestic issues- home, family, nurturing, parenting, children. Cancer rules emotions so it’s good for wedding planning, improving relationships or working toward reconciliations. The energies of this sign are very intuitive so it’s good for any work on any psychic abilities or divination.
Moon in Leo is the best time to focus on intentions involving authority, courage, fertility, or childbirth. Healing rituals for ailments of the upper back, spine, or heart are also done during this period of time. In this sign, the moon is full of passion. Good for intentions involving risk.
Moon in Virgo is the best time to focus on intentions involving employment, intellectual matters, health, and dietary concerns. Healing rituals for ailments of the intestines or nervous system are also done during this period of time. Matters pertaining to health and wellness, breaking unhealthy habits and overall physical improvement. A good time for workings to improve your skills and quality of work. Any workings involving communities (outreach programs, volunteering, groups and organizations, etc.).
Moon in Libra is the best time to focus on intentions involving artistic work, justice, court cases, partnerships and unions, mental stimulation, and karmic, spiritual, or emotional balance. Healing rituals for ailments of the lower back or kidneys are also done during this period of time. Favorable for business interactions or cooperation; partnerships, negotiations, contracts, legal proceedings, marriage counseling and resolving relationship problems, etc.; Use this time to bring peace and harmony in any interactions.
Moon in Scorpio is the best time to focus on intentions involving sexual matters, power, psychic growth, secrets, and fundamental transformations. Healing rituals for ailments of the reproductive organs are also done during this period of time. Powerful time for the three things we all have in common: sex, death and taxes. This is not a time for working on romance, but on spicing things up physically in your romance. A good time to banish things like; addictions, relationships, or anything you want to come to bring closure to.
Moon in Sagittarius is the best time to focus on intentions for legal matters, travel, and truth. Healing rituals for ailments of the liver, thighs, or hips are also done at this time. Good time for attuning with the higher self. Any issues involving outdoor and physical activities, such as exercise, sports or travel and exploration. A good time for divination and intuition; expand your horizons, consciousness, set your sights on new ideals and possibilities.
Moon in Capricorn is the best time to focus on intentions for organization, ambition, recognition, career, and political matters. Healing rituals for the knees, bones, teeth, and skin are also done at this time. Work on your long-term goals.
Moon in Aquarius is the best time to focus on intentions involving science, freedom, creative expression, problem-solving, extrasensory abilities, friendship, and the breaking of bad habits or unhealthy addictions. Healing rituals for ailments of the calves, ankles, or blood are also done at this time. If you have needs in the computer or technology area, this would be the time to do it. This is also a good time to work for humanitarian reasons: to better society or improve situations for your community. Work on your friendships and relationships with people in groups and organizations, such as co-workers, friends and neighbors.
Moon in Pisces is the best time to focus on intentions involving dreamwork, clairvoyance, telepathy, music, and the creative arts. Healing rituals for ailments of the feet or lymph glands are also done at this time. It’s time to banish negative influences in your life such as depression, arguments, self-pity and stress. Good for workings involving dreams and past life regression.