As I sit here writing this post tonight, it is really difficult believing that Yule is upon us…..Atlanta is not known for its winter-like conditions. Today was warm and pleasant out. Nothing would have led anyone to believe that winter was weaving its magick around us.
I spent the day at the mall with my partner Christmas shopping. He is not pagan, so we celebrate the holidays with many different traditions woven together. The mall during the holidays has got to be my least favorite place to be. Contrary to popular belief, people do not seem to get nicer….but you see impatient, rude, ill-behaved folks growling and spitting at the sales associates and each other. This is why I decided that, for myself, this year needed to take on simpler ways.
We put up the tree the day after Thanksgiving. This is a way for us to bring the outside in. We adorn the buffet and anything that doesn’t move in greenery. This year, we decided that the lights on the tree needed to be reminiscent of our childhood. We incorporated the large colored lights in amongst white lights into the decorations. The decorations essentially became anything that would reflect light. Each year I take the time to explain to those in our household that Winter Solstice and Yule are celebrations to welcome back the light into our homes and lives. As the tree glimmers against the darkness outside, it is such a magickal feeling telling the stories of the Oak King and the Holly King and the coming forth of the Horned One. With the emergence of the Horned One, comes the rebirth of the Sun.
This year, my promise to myself was to avoid getting so wrapped up in the doing, doing, doing and just to enjoy the moments around me. To embrace the “now,” so to speak. I have decided that the gifts that I give will be hand-made or activity gifts…..things that will get us out into nature.
One of the gifts that I will be giving my partner is a romantic couples horseback ride that ends in a pastoral setting with wine. For those friends closest to me in the Craft, I will be making amulets that carry Wolf energy and the energy of the Horned One. This year is about bringing nature and energies together to bless those I love. Santa, to me, represents all that is good in human nature. He reminds me that somewhere deep inside people is a desire to help and guide others. He encompasses those traits that I see in Lord and Lady, and reminds me that we need to take care of those who need it….especially the animals. This time of year is a time of commitment for the present and for the New Year for our household…..always making sure that we give to nature and to those beings in nature. The holidays are always for hanging suet and making sure that there is food and warmth for those that need it. The feral cats around here get boxes with blankets placed inside just outside the courtyard.
I guess the biggest promise I have made in this holiday season is to give more of me. I realize that this can sound a little egotistical….but what I mean is that I choose to be actively present with those I am around. This includes the elementals and the Lord and Lady and all the animal spirits. I got a wild lesson from the fae this weekend. I let myself get a bit too busy and I haven’t talked to them as much in the past month. On Friday night, my roommates keys disappeared. We tore the house apart. They were nowhere to be found. We looked in most places two and three times. A friend suggested it was the fae….it made me think. Another said that they were under a stack of mail…this made me wonder. Yesterday…late afternoon, he found his keys hidden under a stack of mail that we had looked under and through several times. So last night, late, I went and spent some time with the fae in the courtyard. I sang and listened as I heard the whispers in the breeze…watched the leaves rustle.
As we get closer to Yule, I tap deep into myself…..I pull on the energies of those who move deep inside my spirit. The wolf, who is a path finder, a bringer of new ideas returning to the people to deliver teachings and to allow us to learn and participate in knowing our heritage and spiritual path, sharing good medicine. There is Crow who is the keeper of magick and those things sacred and is the messenger. Hawk brings foresight and perspective. Last but not least is Owl…who is all seeing and holds wisdom.
These are the things I long to carry into the new year and wish that I could impart to you. I would love to take away the regret and hurts of the past and the anxiety and fear of the future and teach you to hold onto the magick that you have in your hands right now….in this moment. To show you the spirit of the Goddess in you. To walk hand in hand with the fae and the elements and to be able to dance with the moon.
When I lived on the farm, life was very basic. You did what was needed when it was needed. When I moved to the city, I was a bit overwhelmed. Stress was introduced. It takes work on a daily basis to reconnect with nature and elementals and animal spirits. I am learning, thanks to those mentioned and the hands of the Lord and Lady, to enjoy and be present with them. The gifts they have given me for Yule is teaching me to be….just be. It can be that simple.