airwolf

~*~ Elder Airwolf LoP Ministry Founder/Owner~*~

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Merry Meet Legionnaires~
I am sixth generation Native Blackfoot and Scottish Celt. My Grandmother was one of my mentors her being a shaman, and my other mentor was my Druid Celtic Aunt. I was raised pagan and my education started at the age
of seven and formally after my first moon lodge ritual at 12. I am also trained as a voodoo priestess
I have one son now coming into his native shaman training and 4 beautiful grandchildren.

Goddess Postverta

Goddess of childbirth and the past.

Postverta is a Goddess of childbirth and the past. She is one of the Carmentes along with Carmenta, Egeria and Antevorta. During childbirth, prayers were offered to summon the Carmentes to preside over the labor.

--~--

Pantheon: Roman

Element: Water

 

POSTVERTA

 

Or Postvorta, is properly a surname of Carmenta, describing her as turning backward and looking at the past, which she revealed to poets and other mortals. In like manner the prophetic power with which she looked into the future, is indicated by the surnames Antevorta, Prorsa (i. e. Proversa), and Porrima. Poets, however, have personified these attributes of Carmenta, and thus describe them as the companions of the goddess. (Ov. Fast. i. 633; Macrob. Sat. i. 7 ; Gellius, xvi. 16; Serv. ad Aen. viii. 339.)

 

 

Postverta - Goddess of childbirth and the past.

Postverta is a Goddess of childbirth and the past. She is one of the Carmentes along with Carmenta, Egeria and Antevorta. During childbirth, prayers were offered to summon the Carmentes to preside over the labor.

--~Attributes and Correspondences~--

Area of Influence:Childbirth, Past

Pantheon:Roman

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Element:Water

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Tag Archive: postverta

 

The Camenae

 

“The Camenae’s themes are divination, protection, victory, children, birth and communication.  Their symbols are written word, any divination tool and fertility symbols.  This group of Goddesses correspond to the Muses of Greek tradition: they know our past, see what’s in store in the future, foretell children’s fates, and teach us the effective use of ‘letters’ (the alphabet), the arts, and how to tell fortunes. They also oversee midwives.

The festival of Megalesia celebrates the accuracy of the Sibylline oracles, who predicted the way for the Roman victory in the Punic Wars. Romans traditionally honored the Great Mother of the Gods,Cybele, today with music and song, so put on some magical tunes! The Camenae will saturate the music and uplift your spirit.

Ask the Camenae to help you write personalized invocations or spells today. Put pen to pad and let these Goddesses inspire sacred words suited to your path and needs. Keep these in a magic journal for the future.

The Roman oracles often drew lots to determine a querent’s answer. If you have a question weighing heavily on your heart today, follow this custom and take out some variegated beans. Hold them. Concentrate on the question, then pick out one bean. A black one means ‘no’; white means ‘yes’. Red means that anger is driving action, brown means things are muddled, and green indicates growth potential. If you don’t have beans, colored buttons are a suitable alternative.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

In Roman mythology, the Camenae (also Casmenae, Camoenae) were originally Goddesses of childbirth, wells and fountains, and also prophetic deities.

There were four Camenae: Carmenta, Egeria, Antevorta (also Porrima) and Postverta (also Postvorta or Prorsa).

The last two were sometimes specifically referred to as the Carmentae, and in ancient times might have been two aspects of Carmenta rather than separate figures; in later times, however, they are distinct beings believed to protect women in labor.

“Carmenta or Carmentis was the chief among the nymphs.  Not only was She a Goddess of childbirth and prophecy, but She was also associated with technological innovation. She was also said to have invented the Latin alphabet. The name Carmenta is derived from Latin carmen, meaning a magic spell, oracle or song, and also the root of the English word charm. Though She is an ancient Italian Goddess, in later times Carmenta was said to have come from Greece: in that story She is said to have originally been a prophetess of Arcadia called Nicostrate, but it was changed later to honor Her renown for giving oracles. She was the mother of Evander and along with other followers they founded the town of Pallantium, which later was one of the sites of the start of Rome. Gaius Julius Hyginus (Fab. 277) mentions the legend that it was She who altered fifteen letters of the Greek alphabet to become the Latin alphabet, which Her son Evander introduced into Latium.

It was forbidden to wear leather or other forms of dead skin in her temple, which was next to the Porta Carmentalis in Rome.  On Her festival day, the Carmentalia, which fell on January the 11 and 15, Vestal Virgins drew water from that spring for the rites.” [1] [2]

 

 

“Egeria was a nymph or minor Goddess attributed a legendary role in the early history of Rome as a divine consort and counselor of the Sabine second king of Rome, Numa Pompilius, to whom She imparted laws and rituals pertaining to ancient Roman religion. Her name is used as an eponym for a female advisor or counselor.  Her origin is unclear; She is consistently, though not in a very clear way, associated with another figure of the Diana type; their cult is known to have been celebrated at sacred groves, such as the site of Nemi at Aricia, and another one close to Rome, expedient for Her presumed regular meetings with King Numa; both Goddesses are also associated with water; gifted with wondrous, religious or medical properties (the source in that grove at Rome was dedicated to the exclusive use of the Vestal Virigns); their cult was associated with other, male figures of even more obscure meaning, such as one named Virbius, or a Manius Egerius, presumably a youthful male, that anyway in later years was identified with figures like Atys or Hippolyte, because of the Diana reference.

After the death of Numa the nymph pined away and was changed into a fountain.  The spring and grove outside the Porta Capena was dedicated to Egeria.

Described sometime as a ‘mountain nymph’ (by Plutarch), She is usually regarded as a water nymph and somehow Her cult also involved some link with childbirth, like the Greek Goddess Ilithyia.” [2]

 

“Antevorta and Postvorta were probably at first two aspects of Carmenta who in time became important enough on Their own to be considered seperate Goddesses, though They were still generally believed to be sisters or attendents of Carmenta. Their names refer to Their prophetic powers that come into play at the birth of a child: both come from the root vertere, meaning ‘to change, turn, or alter’; so Antevorta then means, ‘Before Change’ and Postvorta ‘After Change’.  At the Carmentalia these two aspects were especially celebrated; and given that the festival was held on the 11th and the 15th of January (not the 11th through the 15th of January), perhaps They were each given one day, Antevorta turning towards the past on the 11th, and Postvorta to the future on the 15th. Alternatively, Postvorta is sometimes spelled Postverta, glossed as ‘feet first’, referring to the breech position of birth, while Antevorta was called Prorsa (‘straight forwards’) or Porrima, both taken to mean ‘head first’, the more usual position of a baby at birth.” [3]

The Camenae were later identified with the Greek Muses; in his translation of Homer’s Odyssey, Livius Andronicus rendered the Greek word Mousa as Camena.

 

 

Dark God Balor

Balor brings chaos where Phaedra brings law. He destroys where Phaedra creates.

Balor is almost always seen as an evil god bringing wanton destruction and chaos to the world. Many evil men and demi-humans offer prayers to him.

Balor is also held responsible for the creation of the thirteen dragons that terrorised the world.

Just as Orloth is sometimes considered an evil force, Balor is thought to be a force for good by some scholars. They believe that Chaos brings about change and advancement of society.

 

Avatars.

Balor, is the god of destruction and chaos. He is the opposite of Gwrien who is a force for creation and stability, no one really knows the relationship between the two gods.

The Storm - The weather is one of the most powerful and chaotic forces of the world. In this vision, the land is wracked by fierce winds and torrential rain. The Storm is a powerful force of chaos and heralds a time of great anarchy and upheaval in the future. The storm itself is not evil, and similarly the results of the coming anarchy may be for good or evil.
The Demon - Demons are the spawn of Balor, living in the void where nothing else can exist. They are the absence of life and all things related to Gwrien. The Demon is a potent vision of evil, showing that the hand of Balor is involved with the viewer's interests.
Lightning - A bolt of lightning flashes from the sky, hitting some object or person and destroying it utterly. Lightning is a powerful symbol of destruction. Unlike the Orlothian Death, lightning symbolises that the death will occur in a violent manner.

d20 Specific Rules.

Type: Greater Deity
Symbol: A Bolt of Lightning
Home Plane: The Rift
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Portfolio:  
Worshippers:  
Cleric Alignments: Chaotic Evil, Chaotic Neutral, Neutral Evil
Domains: Chaos, Destruction, Evil, Madness, Pain, Wrath
Favored Weapon: Flail, heavy
 

BLYSSFUL SUN'S DAY PAGANS

We are officially in the winter season and have many things to look forward to. With the Sun being in Caprocorn our days are shorter and night are longer, so we bid the Sun King Farewell for a spell and welcome in the Moon's long embrace. 

Capricorn represents development od strong structors while focusing on traditions, responsibilities, and obligations. This is a good time to set up appropriate boundaries and grounf rules for yourself.

Celtic tree of ther month, the Elder ends today and the Birch will arrive in a few days as we are inbetween. 

Sun's day brings healing, spirituality, success, strength, and protection with the color corresponcances of yellow, gold , and amber. The element is fire, and herbs are frankincense, lemon, St. John's Wort and sunflowers. Power stones are citrine, anber, and tiger eye.

Don't foreget to set up your lunar calander for 2014 at:

http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/moonphases.html?year=2014&n=39

So pagans remember to make it true, make it real, and always make it magickal everyday!

~Elder Airwolf~

Humbly serving my Goddess )O(

 

Forecast for Winter Yule Solstice 2013

Saturday 21st December 2013

Moon 19° Leo squares Saturn 19° Scorpio

Current Moon Phase 

Gibbous Moon
(waning /75% illumination)

This is a tremendous time of transmutation. All of the prior elements are coming together for a final burst of creative output. You have seen a clear view of your own needs and the posture of significant others. Now the accumulation of that input is leading to a deep, core change within you. In this phase, you will naturally be inclined to seek higher guidance so that you can emerge from this transformation successfully. The Disseminting Moon favors sharing what you have learned (and are learning) with others.

Current Moon Phase for December 21 – Waning Gibbous

Posted on December 21, 2013 by ladyoftheabyss | Leave a comment

Gibbous Moon
(waning /75% illumination)

 Daily Horoscopes

It’s time to take stock of our lives and set new priorities, especially when it comes to love. The Sun shifts into ambitious Capricorn at 12:11 p.m. EST, marking the Winter Solstice. Pleasure-seeking Venus (also in cautious Capricorn) turns retrograde this afternoon, requiring us to revisit unresolved issues about relationships and money. Meanwhile, the playful Leo Moon encourages us all to make the most of the holiday celebrations.

Aries Horoscope
(Mar 21 – Apr 19)

You are apt to receive more support from your friends now than you ever thought possible. In fact, it might even seem like too much, making you feel uncomfortable about not being able to repay the debt. However, you could let others love you and choose to accept it at face value. Set your fears aside so your friendships can deepen and bring more joy into your life. But your biggest problem today may be your impatience to make something happen. Forget about immediate change and bask in the love while you have the chance.

Taurus Horoscope
(Apr 20 – May 20)

You are one to appreciate the sensible logic of reality, even when it isn’t telling you what you want to hear. However, you’re on a roll and you may not be so practical now. Perhaps you are riding the frenetic energy of the holiday season. Or, maybe it’s just your nerves getting the best of you. Either way, pay attention to the signs and slow down before you run out of gas. Racing around isn’t going to bring you the peace and happiness that you seek. Instead, take a more moderate approach based upon your most important values, rather than trying to impress anyone else.

Gemini Horoscope
(May 21 – Jun 20)

Your enthusiasm may not overcome the obstacles appearing in your life now. You might as well understand that you’re not going to get everything done that you set out to do. Frustration can build, because you’re being much harder on yourself today than is necessary. It’s healthy to be motivated by serious intentions, but don’t go to extremes. Give yourself permission to slack off just a bit. Lighten up and enjoy the spirit of the season.

Cancer Horoscope
(Jun 21 – Jul 22)

Your finances may need some extra attention now or they could get in the way of your holiday fun. If you have put off your fiscal responsibilities, you must refocus your efforts and do whatever it takes to get your money situation back on track. Don’t wait for the new year; consider cutting unnecessary expenses as soon as possible. The good news is the best things in life are free.

Leo Horoscope
(Jul 23 – Aug 22)

Relationship dynamics play a pivotal role now, especially those with your friends and colleagues. Although it may seem as if others want to help you, you might not be able to find the exact words to motivate them to take action. Instead of frustrating yourself by trying to change someone else’s behavior, focus on your own routine by establishing new habits to increase your efficiency. If you take care of your responsibilities without waiting for assistance, you’ll have more time to enjoy the holidays

Virgo Horoscope
(Aug 23 – Sep 22)

You may be fascinated by the tiniest details of your life, but as a picky Virgo this seems like just another day. However, you might be driving your friends crazy with your slightly obsessive behavior. However, that’s their problem now and not yours. It’s time for them to adjust to your approach rather than you changing what comes naturally. Being true to yourself feels good, and it allows you to maintain your sense of individuality. Nevertheless, there’s no limit to what you can do for others once you have learned to take proper care of yourself.

Libra Horoscope
(Sep 23 – Oct 22)

Although you like to do nice things for those you love, you may grow resentful of your domestic responsibilities today unless you also take some time for yourself. Your key planet Venus turns retrograde in your 4th House of Home and Family, requiring you to reevaluate what you’re willing to give up in return for emotional security. But don’t bury your desires for the sake of convenience or they will just resurface. Sharing your needs is easier now, and it dissipates the tension before it reaches a critical point.

Scorpio Horoscope
(Oct 23 – Nov 21)

You may not feel as playful as those around you these days, but you are still ready to nurture a potential relationship. However, you first need to know that the other person is taking you seriously before you reveal much of anything. After all, you’re not interested in pursuing unrequited love. Unfortunately, your fear of abandonment can prompt you to close your heart even before you take a risk and share your feelings. Thankfully, the choice is yours. Shine your love light irrespective of the consequences.

Sagittarius Horoscope
(Nov 22 – Dec 21)

You don’t have time to waste energy now, so steer clear of any unnecessary disputes. They are probably just distractions and won’t amount to anything important anyway. You are alternately full of energy and then totally exhausted. Keep in mind that your stamina is intrinsically tied to your emotions, so find ways to manage your anger before it becomes problematic. Vent any unresolved feelings through physical exercise or hard work to manage the mental stress. Taking a moment to remember what matters most puts you back in touch with your heart.

Capricorn Horoscope
(Dec 22 – Jan 19)

It’s not too soon to start formulating your wishes now for the new year, because the Winter Solstice marks a turning point as the Sun returns to your calculating sign. Although mental clarity is working in your favor, Venus Retrograde in Capricorn indicates you might have to wait a while longer to get what you want. Don’t try to force anything into place. Loosening your grip on the controls helps you reach your goals in the long run.

Aquarius Horoscope
(Jan 20 – Feb 18)

Feelings of paranoia may surface today, but the truth is that someone could actually be trying to undermine your efforts. Any hidden agendas have a tendency to complicate matters, so your current goal should be to bring secrets out into the open. Shine the light of your consciousness into the darkness. The more you know now, the better for all involved.

Pisces Horoscope
(Feb 19 – Mar 20)

The pace of your social life is already picking up — and the activity is more than just a holiday buzz. You have a practical need to be around people who have supported you in the past and who will be there when you need them in the future. Additionally, you are eager to be a real friend to others. Push your feelings outward; being part of a group can add security and stability to your life. Not surprisingly, it’s even more rewarding to give than it is to receive.

Today's Tarot:The Devil
What has traditionally been known as the Devil card expresses the realm of the Taboo, the culturally rejected wildness and undigested shadow side that each of us carries in our subconscious. This shadow is actually at the core of our being, which we cannot get rid of and will never succeed in taming. From its earliest versions, which portrayed a vampire-demon, this card evoked the Church-fueled fear that a person could "lose their soul" to wild and passionate forces. 


The image which emerged in the mid-1700's gives us a more sophisticated rendition -- that of the "scapegoated Goddess," whose esoteric name is Baphomet. Volcanic reserves of passion and primal desire empower her efforts to overcome the pressure of stereotyped roles and experience true freedom of soul. Tavaglione's highly evolved image (Stella deck) portrays the magical formula for harnessing and transmuting primal and obsessive emotions into transformative energies. As a part of the Gnostic message of Tarot, this fearsome passion and power must be reintegrated into the personality, to fuel the soul's passage from mortal to immortal.

Your Rune For Today        

Perthro                

Mysteries will become known to you. You should be able to see your life’s path clearly at this time. Pethro is often thought of as “Gambler’s Rune.” You are in a lucky period right now. Chance is your ally. Take advantage of it.

I Ching: 29: Dangerous Depths
Exposure to passing dangers brings good fortune to those who move beyond them. Like boaters passing through white-water rapids, when you are faced with serious challenges, you must remain alert, take all available precautions, and above all, keep going forward so as to remove yourself from harm's way. Once the danger has passed, good fortune. 


The positive aspect of challenges is that they offer an excellent chance to cleanse the senses and strengthen the spirit. Surviving crises brings tremendous reinvigoration, and sharpens the eye and mind for future challenges. 

It is reckless to court danger, but critical to inner development not to shrink from it either. Those who respond to challenges most effectively are those who are able to establish an inner bubble of calm in the midst of the action. A calm center keeps one rooted in the moment, alert and focused. Courage at such times springs from focused attention, from a willingness to penetrate the moment of danger to its very core, so as to shape it and transform the situation.

The Fairy of Light

... is shining on you to ensure that the dark period in your life soon becomes a distant memory.

Your Fairy Affirmation for today:
"I trust that brighter times are ahead for me now." 

Today's Spirit Animal Oracle:

That Which is Behind You
  Frog 
Frog Rivet! Something in your life needs cleansing, and frog is here to help. Frog is traditionally associated with rain—that powerful force of Nature that can flood, nurture, heal, or drown. If Frog appears in your reading, you're being asked to examine what is stagnating in your life—then ask Frog to help you let it go. Need to cry? Jump in the shower and let Frog Medicine do its work. 

 

Your Current Place
  Cougar 
Cougar has long been associated with leadership. Cougars are powerful, agile, and unhesitating. When Cougar attacks, he throws one hundred percent of himself into the pursuit. Although cougar is strong, he is also elusive —hard to spot in the wild—until he decides to pounce. His lesson to you today is one of being a balanced leader—not rushing into the attack, not always lurking in the brush. 

 

That Which is before You
  Hummingbird 
Sorrow and worry have no place in your life today, as Hummingbird's message is one of absolute joy. Hummer's darting movements, flashes of brilliant reds and greens, and unmistakable whirr are all guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of even the most dour among us. If live has been difficult of late, know that joy is whirring your way. 

~Elder Airwolf~

THE USES AND BENEFITS OF GEMSTONES

Readiness for action:

amethyst, ametrine, fire opal, chrysoprase, rhodonite, turquoise

communication with angels:

angelite, celestite

new beginnings:

garnet, moss agate

cheerfulness:

amber, fire opal

creativity:

ametrine, amber, garnet, labradorite, tourmaline

unfinished business:

aquamarine, carnelian

fulfillment of desires:

amber, malachite, hematite, fire opal

devotion:

kunzite, tourmaline

solving difficulties:

carnelian, garnet, moss agate, smokey quartz, tiger eye

connection with earth:

petrified wood

enthusiasm:

aventurine, fire opal, garnet, labradorite, rhodochrosite

fertility:

chrysoprase, imperial topaz, moonstone, rhodonite, rose quartz

 foresight:

aquamarine, turquoise

friendship:

emerald, lapis lazuli, malachite, peridot, rhodonite, watermelon tourmaline

goal setting:

labradorite, lepidolite, watermelon tourmaline

industriousness:

rhodochrosite

intuition:

amethyst, amazonite, ametrine, petrified wood, kunzite, labradorite, moonstone,turquoise

love:

chrysoprase, emerald, moonstone, rhodochrosite, rose quartz, ruby, watermelon tourmaline

luck:

agate, ametrine, aventurine, amber, chrysoprase, garnet, malachite, moonstone,sunstone, turquoise

increase motivation:

amber, chrysoprase

order:

aquamarine, fluorite, sodalite

positive attitude towards life:

malachite, chrysoprase, imperial topaz, rhodochrosite, sunstone

protection:

agate, lepidolite, smokey quartz, serpentine, tiger eye, turquoise, black tourmaline,watermelon tourmaline

self-confidence:

calcite, citrine, fluorite, garnet, imperial topaz, sunstone

stamina:

aquamarine, garnet, red jasper

logical thinking:

agate, chrysoprase, citrine, kunzite, lepidolite, black tourmaline

Healing Crystals and Christmas

Healing Crystals and Christmas

article by Reiki Master Colleen Simmons

Christmas brings a mixed bag of joy, love, laughter, happiness, sadness, stress, overwork, depression and loneliness.

There is a feeling in the air at Christmas (a cliché) a higher vibration if you like. People are more friendly, even to strangers, they smile and nod where normally they would not even make eye contact. Feel-good movies appear on our TV screens, stores play Christmas carols you will hear people singing and humming as they shop. It's a great time of year for most of us.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could carry these feelings and actions with us throughout the year? We can do this. There are Crystals that help to instill the very things that make Christmas so special.

For those of us for whom Christmas is not so wonderful - the homeless, those with little or no money, the lonely, the depressed, those who are stressed and overworked this time of year can be their worst time.

 

Holiday Healing Stones

Hope & Compassion = white topaz, aventurine
Joy & Kindness = turquoise, jade
Love & Hope = rose quartz, moss agate
Sadness & Stress = amethyst, moonstone
Despair & Goodwill = chalcedony, copper

Create your own combinations from the stones below...

We can do practical things to help these people for example, donate food and money, try to bring about social change. BUT we can also do something else that is not quite so tangible. We can use the power of Crystal Healing to help those that want to be helped to improve the lives. You do not have to go to these people personally. You do not even have to know their names or faces, all you need to know is that you want to send them love happiness and joy.

You can use a single Crystal or you can use a Crystal Healing Grid (we use a number of Crystals to heal a number of things at once). I have listed below some crystals whose healing properties can be used to these purposes. You can also use these Crystals to help keep the best qualities of this time of year in your own lives as well.

Compassion:

Angelite, Aventurine, Rhodochrosite,Tourmaline

Happiness:

Snakeskin Agate, Copper, Tiger Eye

Hope:

Moss Agate, Topaz, Lepidolite

Joy:

Chrysanthemum Stone, Jade, Peridot

Kindness:

Smithsonite, Green Spinel, Turquoise

Loneliness:

Abalone, Aragonite, Carnelian

Love:

Botswana Agate, Rose Quartz, Tourmaline

Sadness:

Amethyst, Azurite

Stress:

Ametrine, Celestite, Moonstone

Depression:

Smokey Quartz, Sunstone

Overwhelmed by responsibilities:

Aquamarine, Gold

Goodwill:

Chalcedony

Despair:

Regency Rose Agate, Iron Pyrite, Copper


Angelite
 


Amethyst


Azurite
 


Chalcedony


Chrysanthemum
 


Peridot


Pyrite
 


Sunstone


Copper

These are just a few of the Healing Crystals that you can use for the above conditions. I do not want to make you feel guilty or sad or spoil Christmas in any way with this article - quite the contrary, I want to enhance all the positive feelings of love that you have at Christmas and all year and this can happen when we think of others and do something small that really does not cost us much in time or money.

For me Christmas is a time of Love, Hope the coming together of people everywhere. Christmas gives me great hope for the future, because if we can behave like this for a few days then we will eventually be like this all the time (I know people keep telling me that I am the supreme optimist but hey, we are all still here and the World is still turning).

I wish you and yours are safe happy and loving Christmas.

Love and light
Colleen

More information on Crystal Healing Grid can be found at:http://www.crystalvibrations.org/crystal healing grid.html

Divinatory Yule Stones: Winter Solstice Celebration

Divinatory Yule Stones:
Winter Solstice Celebration
Yule (from the Anglo-Saxon 'Yula', meaning 'wheel' of the year) is usually celebrated on the actual Winter Solstice, which may vary by a few days, though it usually occurs on or around December 21st.

Winter Solstice is the time to celebrate the Sun bringing brighter days. It signifies a time when the Mother Goddess sets the wheel in motion again for the new year.

Divinatory Yule Stones
Welcome Bowl
A Welcome Bowl to predict the coming year!
I'd like to share with you an annual Yule tradition that I call my "Welcome Bowl".

This can be done throughout the season as visitors come to your home, or at your Christmas or New Year's Eve party. You will need a decorative bowl or basket surrounded by festive holiday candles and holly, ivy or mistletoe (to symbolize fertility and everlasting life), and finally a selection of gemstones wrapped in colorful foil or paper.

On small strips of paper, write down the divinatory meaning (see below) for each gemstone.
(Click here for a printable list of stones and their divinatory meanings.)
Now wrap the stone with its meaning in the foil or paper.
Invite each guest to 'stir' the bowl once, then choose their personal Yule stone.
Ask the guest to keep the stone as a reminder to stay on the path towards their goals throughout the coming year. The divinatory meaning will assist in a successful path forward.
You can fill your bowl with any combination of gemstones. Mix and match anyway you want. Oh, don't forget - you will want to pick one too!

I wish you good luck, good health and much joy and prosperity this coming year!
~Elder Airwolf~

Daily Forecast for December 20th, 2013

Friday 20th December 2013

Moon 28° Cancer opposes Venus 28° Capricorn

Moon enters Leo 7am GMT - 8am Europe - 2am USA EST

Moon 6° Leo sextiles Mars 6° Libra

Moon 8° Leo trines Uranus 8° Aries

Current Moon Phase

Full Moon
(waning/80% illumination)

A veil of self-absorption is lifted and suddenly you gain access to an unbiased view of others. This is a rare moment when you can see yourself objectively and become aware of whether or not what you want in your heart is actually beginning to manifest in your life. Traditionally, the Full Moon phase stirs emotion, and this is because when you “see” what is happening, you may become upset if you’re experiencing the “same ole, same ole” — rather than the things you would like. If the Full Moon phase is a disappointment, on the next New Moon it’s time to take creative action in the direction of your dreams.

Friday 20th December 2013 - Moon enters Leo

& Saturday 21st December 2013 - Moon in Leo

Brace yourself for a very dizzy Friday & Saturday !

It's not just due to the Moon changing signs from Cancer => Leo - but there's a lot of astrological activity that is just "waking" up - and karmically there's an enormous amount of activity and energy that's about to change the world we live in. Hence on Friday - you'll be sensing and picking-up other aspects due to the intense karmic times of "Sun in Capricorn" - and the closing in of Christmas 25th December when Mars 8° Libra opposes Uranus 8° Aries.

All you need to ensure is that you CONTAIN your emotions - don't lose "it" - just because something silly happens or someone stupid says something they shouldn't say - so define your boundaries and brace yourself for "everything" !

Moon 28° Cancer opposes Venus 28° Capricorn - depending on your time zone - will be felt late on Thursday night or early hours of Friday morning - and that's a destined ending in what was a "love" relationship - as destiny will show you clearly "you" have nothing in common with someone in your life. It's not that you were never destined - but now destiny might be showing you - that time is moving forward and needs you to end this relationship in order to begin a new karmically blessed truly loving relationship.

 

Now if you think it's just "YOU" that's been affected by "relationships" issues - it's not just YOU - it's lots of people - it's been a very very strange week - and the week isn't over "yet" - it's due to the major astrological energies this week 15th December => 22nd December - and not just the Full Moon - although it's the Full Moon that's magnified and intensified all the other aspects - that's why I specially created a NEW style of page and asked you to read "Summary" each day too!

The good news is when Sun enters Capricorn on Saturday 21st December - you will come down-to-earth - it might feel like you've been hit by an oncoming freight train - but once you've been flattened - then no more damage can be done. Indeed, once you LET GO and ACCEPT - without getting angry, frustrated or stressed - then nothing else can happen.

Then when Sun enters Capricorn on Saturday 21st December - destiny can and will rearrange the "broken" pieces and begin to fix your life back together. Although I should say - that "some" stubborn people - who haven't yet been "flattened" - might be getting their turn during Sun in Capricorn. But their karma is NOT FOR YOU TO WORRY ABOUT - you focus, heal, accept and work on your karma !

 

But before you arrive at Sun in Capricorn - there's going to a most unusual strange day on Friday 20th December and Saturday 21st December 2013 - and it will be due to Moon in Leo creating a HUGE AMOUNT of positive energy - that will obliterate and destroy anything "negative" and "dark" in your life. All your true friends will co-create a LIGHT of happiness WITH you - proving to you - "they" are really GOOD friends. The surprising thing will be unexpectedly someone you've not heard from in a long time - will reconnect with you to share the LIGHT of HAPPINESS too or maybe they're not good for you - as they will be drawn to you like moths to a LIGHT - so beware !

The trouble you might have is if you have "fake" jealous friends who don't like seeing you HAPPY - they will attempt to STOP you being happy - because deep-down they're sad, "dark" and very jealous types who HATE other people and HATE seeing other people HAPPY because the truth is they HATE their own empty lives - so they will attempt to ruin your day by picking-fights, causing arguments and being a nuisance.

 

As I've explained in the past few days - during Moon in Cancer - there is NO POINT in getting involved with them - they're not worth communicating with and best avoiding - all you need to do during Moon in Leo is keep laughing and enjoying life with your trustworthy genuine good friends - shining and sharing your bright LIGHT of happiness and good news with them.

It all starts immediately Moon enters Leo 7am GMT - 8am Europe - 2am USA EST - 12:30pm India - 5pm Sydney Australia to begin the dizzy day - the reason it will become dizzy - is because people have been "confused" this week - they've said things they haven't meant to say - thinking things they shouldn't think and with Uranus going direct and Mars in Libra - they have been dizzy, panicky and nervy too - and even when Moon enters Leo - it will create the FIRE to ignite it all either blow-it-all-up OR create LOVE and WARMTH with an emotionally happy and positive energy.

 

Do you know those "serious" moments of life - when because it gets so stressful and serious - that you just BURST OUT LAUGHING - something inside you that SNAPS - and you can't take the seriousness anymore - so you burst out giggling and laughing. That's what Moon in Leo will be doing to your aura - SNAP-OPEN and BREAKING whatever is being contained inside.

The problem is the serious minded and "bad" people have forgotten how to LAUGH - won't find your laughter funny - in fact they will attempt to stop you laughing - which will actually make them ANGRY - and then your continued laughter will make them EXPLODE - until they say nasty and stupid things that define you must END your relationship with them.

Now, the other thing that Moon in Leo will create is FIRE and LIGHT - and like moths your LIGHT and WARMTH will attract all kinds of negative garbage - except if they get too close to your burning LEO fire - they will be burnt - as you might EXPLODE and tell them what you really think of them. With the sole purpose to END a relationship - because the LEO fire - once ignited in rage and anger - will ONLY want to destroy. The truth is it's probably been waiting to happen for a few weeks - but today - because you're in such a positive mood - the events might push you to unexpectedly and surprisingly obliterate anything "dark" and "negative" in your life.

 

I've introduced Moon in Leo - for Friday and Saturday together - as the positive Leo energy will make two-days-rolled-into-one-non-stop day - and even though Saturday's jealous energies are defined by Moon 19° Leo squares Saturn 19° Scorpio they will be felt on Friday too when you're brilliantly surprised and happy when Moon 8° Leo trines Uranus 8° Aries.

Additionally even though Sun in fire sign Sagittarius and Mercury in Sagittarius makes no aspects - they still provides the fuel to fire the excitement and to fuel the argumentative explosive mayhem. The combination of Fire and Air sign planets means BOTH can happen - Moon in Leo - will ensure that BOTH will probably happen !

WARNING - Beware - because - Moon in Leo means passions will be running high - so you might find yourself saying "I HATE YOU" to some idiot and 2 minutes later saying "I LOVE YOU" to someone else - or even to the same idiot! [Likewise, people will be saying the same to you !] The reason for the unexpected surprises will be due to Mars 6° Libra - almost opposing - Uranus 8° Aries which will triggered into action by Moon in Leo defining an URGENT NEED to express yourself - which means a passionately exciting dizzy day of LOVE and HATE - GOOD LUCK trying work it all out without feeling there's something "crazy" going on in the air !!!

 

Moon 6° Leo sextiles Mars 6° Libra creates the need to TALK to someone - almost to anyone - but some people won't be able to have a chit-chat "conversation" they will want more of a serious conversation - but if you're in a good mood - you won't be able to take anything seriously and you just want to have a good time - a friendly time.

This energy creates the need for CONVERSATION - but when some people open up and start to TALK - they become argumentative because they don't know how to communicate constructively. If you start with them - then you'll be stuck in an argument - so BE ALERT - and BE PREPARED to LET GO and WALK AWAY from them - switch off / stop replying to their emails that fuel their anger - indeed, internet related communication problems are likely - so if it gets "difficult" - SWITCH OFF the internet for the day.

Moon 8° Leo trines Uranus 8° Aries creates a totally unexpected SURPRISE - true love and true friendships do exist - and many time you don't need words to know WHO loves you - as you sense their warmth, their love and their energy. For many idiots lie and say "I love you" - but their words are empty lies. Today when someone tells you "I love you" - you should feel the warmth too - if you don't then you know they're lying. Likewise, when you look at someone and feel their warmth - then you know - they love you - without even saying anything.

Free Horoscopes by Astrodienst

 

As explained above Friday - rolls into and overlaps Saturday 21st December 2013 - defined by Moon 19° Leo squares Saturn 19° Scorpiomeans a destined need to end a relationship as someone doesn't feel the same way you do - they don't laugh and enjoy life when you laugh and enjoy life - means that you're living on different planets. There's no need for any argument and no need to say anything - accept you're different - and detach yourself.

Unfortunately, "control" freaks who can't let go of anyone - will find themselves trying to SHOUT and ARGUE their way back into your life - attracting your attention in a most obnoxious way - aren't they stupid - because if they were clever - they would be sweet, nice, apologetic and loving - instead these idiots feel the only way to get your attention is by SHOUTING and PICKING-A-FIGHT with you. The truth is "destiny" makes them "crazy" in order for you to see that they aren't right for you.

Switch-off and don't engage yourself with anyone negative - otherwise you will regret saying anything to them. Destiny is defining an END to bad relationships - because they're not "thinking" of you - they're not part of your life - and they're not sensing your emotions - that's why destiny doesn't give them the ability to sense your emotions - because destiny doesn't want them to be a part of your future. For the truth is - if destiny has defined them as part of your future - destiny would ensure they be able to "tune into" you - be nice to you and sense your emotional needs.

 

Saturday's a busy day astrologically especially as Sun enters Capricorn on Saturday evening 21st December 2013 which will cool and calm some people down - but will ignite in another direction the "others" - even so there will still be strong passion defined by Moon in Leo to excite emotions but not as intense as Friday and Saturday morning - as Moon moves towards a good loving communicative aspect on Sunday 22nd December 2013 when Moon 27° Leo trines Mercury 27° Sagittarius are the words of "I love you!" - when even without saying the words - you know who does "love" you by the warmth you feel when you think of them - because they're thinking of you too.

Your Daily Horoscopes

The energy level jumps up a notch and shifts us into a more festive mood today, as the Moon enters lively Leo at 1:47 a.m. EST. We may be ready to walk away from our obligations in order to enjoy ourselves. Unfortunately, avoiding responsibilities isn’t as simple as we wish, for there are consequences to our actions. However, the dramatic Leo Moon’s smooth trine to independent Uranus motivates us to express our needs without regard to the outcome.

Aries Horoscope
(Mar 21 – Apr 19)

Your self-esteem is on the upswing today, yet your enthusiasm could create problems if you don’t take the time to listen to what others are saying. It’s tempting now to just ignore an important piece of information that can come back to haunt you later, costing you time and money. Someone may unintentionally give you incorrect data, or you might misunderstand what you’ve been told. Either way, it’s wise to check everything you hear twice. Sticking close to the facts is your smartest strategy, even if it’s not the most enjoyable path to take.

Taurus Horoscope

 

(Apr 20 – May 20)

Oddly enough, although the pace of your life may be speeding up, it feels as if your progress is slowing down. It’s difficult to keep up with all that you should be doing now, and you might exhaust yourself by trying to finish everything that you start. Even if you want others to appreciate your reliability, it’s still important to take your time and produce high-quality work. Focusing on excellence will impress your colleagues more than hurrying through your tasks just to get them done.

Gemini Horoscope
(May 21 – Jun 20)

Your life seems quite complicated today, as the evocative Moon visits your 3rd House of Communication, turning up the volume on your conversations with others. But if your day becomes too noisy, a possible misinterpretation can add chaos and confusion. Nevertheless, don’t worry if you need to untangle a delicate issue; it’s worth clearing up a misunderstanding now before it causes any trouble later on. Carving out a bit of peace and quiet may be the first step toward finding clarity.

Cancer Horoscope
(Jun 21 – Jul 22)

You may become quite stubborn if a coworker suggests you change your plans today. You might dig your heels in even further if you have already taken the time to carefully consider your options. You want to do what makes the most sense, but you don’t think you should revise your agenda just to make others happy. Compromising is a necessary part of negotiation, but there’s no need to sacrifice your values to reach a successful agreement.

Leo Horoscope
(Jul 23 – Aug 22)

Escaping your daily routine to have some fun might be tempting, but you have more important things to do because others are depending on you now. You have been itching to make something exciting happen, and it’s time to push ahead with your plans. Just don’t become impatient; positive change must be grounded by a strong foundation, so impulsive action is unwise. Build on what you already have today instead of betting your future success on the unknown.

Virgo Horoscope
(Aug 23 – Sep 22)

You feel torn between presenting your ideas to others and withdrawing to keep your point of view to yourself. Your creative juices are flowing, but you’re not sure if it’s appropriate to express your crazy ideas. Fortunately, your imagination won’t steer you wrong today, so trust your instincts no matter what. Taking a chance by putting yourself out there for everyone to see isn’t as risky as you think.

Libra Horoscope
(Sep 23 – Oct 22)

Chilling out with your friends sounds like a great idea, but you could end up far from your goals if you don’t take things more seriously today. It’s tempting to assume that everything is on track and will turn out as you wish, but you need to deliver on your promises to keep the day from spinning out of control. Thankfully, if you take the time to put your recent commitments into proper perspective, you should be able to negotiate a course of action that won’t require as much hard work on your part.

Scorpio Horoscope
(Oct 23 – Nov 21)

You intuitively know what others want today, which may help you get a head start on the job. There’s no reason to wait patiently for your boss to assign you a new task if you already know what needs to be done. Starting on your chores earlier and being more methodical in your approach can turn a hectic day into a pleasant one, enabling you to accomplish more than you originally thought possible

Sagittarius Horoscope
(Nov 22 – Dec 21)

Your feet are planted firmly on the ground today, yet the Moon’s visit to your 9th House of Adventure also inspires you with a touch of wanderlust. You have a pretty good idea of what you should be doing now, but your restlessness won’t go away on its own. You’re eager to embark on a big trip, but this might not be the most convenient time to travel. There’s no hurry; thankfully, solid preparation will pave the way to your success. The future may be even more exciting than you can imagine.

Capricorn Horoscope
(Dec 22 – Jan 19)

Although the emotional intensity seems to be mellowing out today, there’s still a lot happening in your personal life. Fortunately, you have a specific destination in mind, making it easier to follow the path toward your goals. Visualize your success, make a plan to reach it and then set out toward your target. Keep in mind that shortcuts won’t help you get there any faster now, so prepare to take the more traditional route that consists of hard work and sheer determination.

Aquarius Horoscope
(Jan 20 – Feb 18)

You may strive to take a centrist position today because you really don’t want to stir up any extra trouble. You prefer sharing a point of view that’s easily defendable, but it seems as if everything you say now provokes conflict, even if you’re just trying to make your opinions known. Remember that your plan is merely one way to approach a dilemma; grace others with respect, even if their conclusions are different from yours. Thankfully, there’s more than one route to reach your goals.

Pisces Horoscope
(Feb 19 – Mar 20)

Although you can competently analyze a project by breaking it down into manageable components, it’s not necessary to make such a big deal of what you are doing today. Fulfilling your commitments is important, but don’t waste energy explaining how you developed your strategy. Others don’t need to know your inner process now, as long as you focus on getting the job done in a timely manner.

Daily Tarot Card

Temperance
What is traditionally known as the Temperance card is a reference to the Soul. Classically female, she is mixing up a blend of subtle energies for the evolution of the personality. One key to interpreting this card can be found in its title, a play on the process of tempering metals in a forge.

Metals must undergo extremes of temperature, folding and pounding, but the end product is infinitely superior to impure ore mined from the earth. In this image, the soul volunteers the ego for a cleansing and healing experience which may turn the personality inside-out, but which brings out the gold hidden within the heart.

Your Rune For Today        

Sowilo                

The Sun Rune, denotes power and strength. That which you want may be attained. Sowilo also denotes mental clarity and added warmth to your relationships.

I Ching 59: Dispersing
Nothing survives forever, not even rocks, not even the most rigid of structures. The erosion of that which has been solid is not necessarily bad: it can mean that something new is being created. The image is of ice floes, hardened in winter, dispersing in the warmth of spring; when the ice melts, a mighty river emerges. 


Rigidity in the hearts of men and women tends to breed a separateness that can only be thawed by a greater force: typically, some strong spiritual stirring. The thawing of cold hearts always improves conditions. 

The first thing to dissolve is any internal rigidity that separates you from others. Try to work more closely with your mates, concentrating on common activities which evidence your integrity and native goodwill. Sudden, strong action in support of a greater good can lift the spirit, and lead toward new possibilities in many areas. Spiritual impulses — including a strong sense of justice — should be honored, and acted upon. They can provide the initial impulse to important and constructive change. 

And if you should have any lingering business or partnerships which are inactive or not working, you might consider dissolving these as well.

Faery Oracle: The Fairy of Change

.... has come to remind you that change can be a very good thing - a time for self-improvement and growth.

Your Fairy Affirmation for today:
"I believe that the changes I am going through will be for the best." 

Spirit Animal Oracle:

That Which is Behind You
  Turtle 
Turtle carries his home on his back, and his question to you today is whether your life is weighed down with “things” that serve no purpose. Everyone loves buying stuff, but do you use shopping, spending, and the acquisition of “things” as a substitute for passion, conviction, commitment? It’s worth thinking about, isn’t it? 

 

Your Current Place
  Rabbit 
Poor Rabbit! No other animal is so associated with fear than Rabbit—that nervous little bunny who hops and leaps at every little sound. Rabbit has come to you today to ask you to have the courage to face whatever difficulties you’re having instead of running away to a safe burrow. Face your fears, examine your old “fight or flight” patterns, and determine once and for all to stop hiding away. 

 

That Which is before You
  Mockingbird 
Mockingbirds are master imitators, and can mimic the calls of many other birds. They’re also fearless protectors of their nest, and will attack any bird (no matter how large) to protect their young. Mockingbird’s lesson for you today is twofold: to listen to how you might be mimicking others—instead of listening to your own true voice; and to examine the value of what you defend. Hmmm? 

~Elder Airwolf~

Yule Ritual for the Solitary Witch

Tomorrow the Solstice for my time some is 10:40 am PDT so I will not be here until after my ritual, but I wanted to leave one for all of you tonight!

WINTER SOLSTICE

The night of the Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year. Now darkness triumphs; and yet, gives way and changes into light. The breath of nature is suspended. All wait while within the cauldron, the Dark King is transformed into the infant light. We watch for the coming dawn, when the Great Mother gives birth to the divine Child Sun, who is the promise of the summer. We call the Sun from the womb of the night. Our Blessed Lady carries in her young womb - the womb which has birthed all things into being. Our Lady turns the wheel once more. Since it is a solar festival, it is celebrated by fire and the use of the Yule log. It is a time to let go of all fears, all doubts, all outworn ideas, all projects finished - anything in our lives that holds us away from the new beginnings that will lead to new growth. It is a time to let go of the past and walk toward the light. Some witches light a gold candle in the cauldron and jump the cauldron of rebirth making a wish for her to be a better person in the coming year. On this longest night, we renew and rebirth our bodies and spirit self. This is when we plant our seeds of change, whether it be truth, love, friendship, etc.

Candle Colors: Red, green, white and especially silver and gold. You can have scented candles of Yule incense or pine, bayberry or holiday potpourri. Incense: Cinnamon, myrrh, cloves, jasmine, aloe wood and frankincense, which are predominantly solar mixture of scents. Bayberry, cedar, pine and rosemary.

Gemstones: Cat's eye and ruby

Foods: Roasted turkey, nuts, fruitcakes, caraway, eggnog and mulled wine.

Solitary Yule Ritual

Statement of Intent:
"Since the beginning of time witches have gathered in this season
To celebrate the rebirth of the Sun.
On the Winter Solstice - the darkest of nights
The Goddess becomes the Great Mother
And once again gives birth to the Sun
Beginning the yearly cycle anew
Bringing new light and hope to all the World.
On the longest night of winter
Flares the spark of hope
The Sacred Fire,
The Light of the World,
I am present here to welcome the new light.
As I join the Goddess in greeting the new Sun
I also welcome the new light within myself."

Calling the Quarters:
"Hail guardians of the east,
spirits of Air, powers of Thought
I call you to lend your essence
to this rite and protect me from
all negativity from the east."

"Hail guardians of the south,
spirits of Fire, powers of Will
I call you to lend your essence to this rite
and protect me from
all negativity from the south."

"Hail guardians of the west,
spirits of Water, powers of Emotion
I call you to lend your essence to this rite
and protect me from
all negativity from the west."

"Hail guardians of the north,
spirits of Earth, powers of Stability
I call you to lend your essence to this rite
and protect me from
all negativity from the north."

Casting the Circle:
"I conjure ye O Circle of Light
to be a temple between the worlds
In the name of the Silver Lady and the Golden Lord.
Wherefore do I bless and consecrate thee, So Mote It Be."

Invocation:
"Lady, you who are the beauty of the snowy earth
and the white moon among the stars
the mystery of the waters
the desire in the heart of humanity
We invite to you to come to this place and attend this rite,
for you are the soul of nature that gives life to the 
universe."

"Lord, You who are the freedom of the wild things
the bright sun that lights the day
the mystery of the forest
The resolve in the heart of humanity
We invite you to come here to this place and attend this rite,
for you are the body of nature who gives life to the 
universe."

Meditation:
"The old solar year has run its course and completed its 
cycle.
So too have some of our habits or traits completed their
cycles and outlived their usefulness.
This is a time for shedding that which is no longer needed."
(Take a few moments now to consider which things
you would leave behind as you go into the coming year.)
(pause to meditate)
"As the old year dies away
so to will these old ways will fade into memory."

"In the beginning we came from the darkness of the womb.
There we were created, nourished
and prepared for our birth into the light.
Within us, we still carry that fertile darkness.
There we hold the seeds of hopes and dreams to come.
There we nourish are hopes for love, joy and peace for all.
We shield these tender roots
until they are strong enough to come forth and flourish in the 
light."
(Spend a little time now tending these creations to come.
Name them, nurture them for they will grow with you
and bloom in the coming year.)
(pause to reflect)
"As the sun strengthens above, so will my new ways grow."

Reading:
"I light this candle for the infant Solstice Sun
One small flame to pierce the darkness
A ray of hope
A symbol of the Light within me
Light that can never be extinguished
Light that will grow in glory
Waxing strong, despite the cold to come
Light that dispels despair and resignation
Giving us a glimpse of golden days ahead"

"Behold the light that can never die
Reborn anew in the Solstice Sky!"

Before the Chant:
(While chanting, think of those who you would send positive energy to: 
Loved ones perhaps, those in need of healing or added strength. 
Perhaps people who's names you do not know, who are living with war or 
hunger. You may wish to focus on that which important to you, your 
values, Perhaps the earth itself, or the animals who share it with us 
Whatever it is you wish to send your healing energy to. As we chant we 
will build the our energy with the turning of the wheel. As you chant 
feel the energy of change resonate within you.
When you stop the chant, visualize the positive energy bursting forth, 
like the sun coming out from behind a thick cloud, and imagine strong 
rays of streaking out, empowering your wishes, and carrying your 
healing thoughts to their targets."

The Chant:
"Hoof and horn, hoof and horn
All that dies will be reborn
Corn and grain, corn and grain
All that falls will rise again."

Blessing of Cakes and Wine:
"This food and wine is the blessing
of the Goddess and God to our bodies.
I will partake in it freely.
And remember to share
what I have with those who have nothing."

Releasing:
"Thank you, Goddess of the Moon
for attending these rites in your honor,
and for sharing with me your gifts of compassion and wit.
Hail, and farewell."

"Thank you, God of the Sun
for attending these rites in your honor,
and for sharing with me your gifts of freedom and 
rejuvenation.
Hail, and farewell."

"Guardians of the north,
I thank you for your presence here
and for your gift of stability. Hail and farewell."

"Guardians of the west,
I thank you for your presence here
and for your gift of empathy. Hail and farewell."

"Guardians of the south,
I thank you for your presence here
and for your gift of purity. Hail and farewell."

"Guardians of the east,
I thank you for your presence here
and for your gift of clarity. Hail and farewell."

"The circle is open, yet never broken,
merry meet, and merry part, 
and merry meet again."

Blessed Yule Everybody!

~Elder Airwolf~                 

Facts on Winter Solstice

Here is a look at what you need to know about the solstice. The winter solstice will take place on December 21, 2013.

Summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere occurs on June 20, 21, or 22, when the sun reaches its most northerly point, directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer (23 degrees 27 minutes north latitude). The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and marks the beginning of summer.

Winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere occurs on December 21 or 22, when the sun appears at its most southerly position,directly overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn (23 degrees 27 minutes south latitude). The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year and marks the beginning of winter. It is the exact opposite in the Southern Hemisphere.

A solstice is different from an equinox, the two times each year when the sun is directly above the Earth's equator and day and night are of equal length. Equinoxes mark the beginning of spring (March) and fall (September).

Solstice loosely translated in Latin is "sun stands still". For several days before and after each solstice the sun appears to stand still in the sky, i.e., its noontime elevation does not seem to change from day to day.

Historically, the solstice has been celebrated by numerous cultures around the world. Thousands of people annually celebrate the summer solstice at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England.

At sunrise at Stonehenge on the longest day of the year, the rising sun appears behind one of the main stones, creating the illusion that the sun is balancing on the stone.

The site was closed for 16 years after rioting broke out between police and revelers for several years at solstice gatherings. Stonehenge was re-opened to the public on Solstice in 2000.

All of the Northern Hemisphere on Saturday will experience the darkest day of the year. Specifically, at 12:11 p.m. ET, we will witness the winter solstice. In the U.S., we'll have just nine hours, 32 minutes of daylight. For many this time of year, that means leaving home and returning from work in darkness.

For those who are not fans of winter, take heart. From here on out, the days will get lighter and lighter. For winter lovers, there's good news also: The coldest temperatures are still to come.

SEE ALSO: Baby, It's Cold Outside: 16 Wintry Scenes From Around the World

Here are a few facts you may have not have known about the winter solstice.

1. It happens at a specific time

The winter solstice isn't the full day of Dec. 21, but rather occurs at a specific time. At that point, the sun is shining farthest to the south, directly over the Tropic of Capricorn. There's no duration to the event, per se. Paul Stokles, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration refers to the winter solstice as a "single event."

Of course, the sun isn't actually moving, the Earth is. At 12:11 p.m. ET, the North Pole is tipped about 23 degrees away from the sun. When summer rolls around, the South Pole is tipped 23 degrees away from the sun. During the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the Earth is not tilted in either direction. 

2. It happens at a different time each year

The winter solstice doesn't always occur on Dec. 21. Sometimes it comes on Dec. 22, which will happen again in 2015. The hour of day also fluctuates. Last year, the solstice came at 11:12 a.m. ET. Next year, it occurs at 11:03 p.m.

3. The meteorological winter began three weeks ago

If it feels like winter has already begun, you are correct. Meteorologists consider Dec. 1 the start of the meteorological winter and March 1 the start of the meteorological spring. That's because December, January and February are the three coldest months of the year. By the time the Spring Equinox rolls around on March 20, 2014, average temperatures in most areas will have already started rising. The winter solstice isn't the coldest day of the year, either — that comes later.

4. Last year at this time, some people thought the world was ending

Remember how the Mayan calendar supposedly said the world would end on Dec. 21, 2012? That was based on a reading of the end date of the Mayans' 5,126-year-long Mesoamerica Long Count Calendar, which corresponded to certain astronomical events, including the winter solstice.

5. There's no biblical justification for celebrating Christmas on Dec. 25

Though we picture the Three Wise Men visiting the baby Jesus in a manger in Bethlehem in the dead of winter, that's just a popular interpretation. There's nothing in the Bible that states what time of year that event occurred. Instead, some believe the Christian church chose the date to offset Saturnalia and Natalis Invicti celebrations that revolved around the winter solstice.

The ancient name for Christmas, Yule, may also have been derived from jól, the Scandinavian winter solstice festival that pre-dated Christmas. Christmas has also been celebrated in the past on March 28 and May 20, among other dates.

6. In some regions, the winter solstice is a short day, indeed

Nine and a half hours may seem like a short period of daylight, but consider the winter solstice in Iceland, where it doesn't get light until 10 a.m. and starts getting dark at 4:49 p.m. — that's about seven hours of daylight. Of course, in places further north, like Barrow, Alaska, there is no sunrise. In Nome, Alaska, sunrise comes at noon, and then there's four hours of light until sunset. If you want consistency, move to the equator, when sunrise and sunset are at around 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively, all year round.

7. There's no proof that this is the most depressing time of the year

Many scientists believe that the paucity of sunlight during the winter months makes your brain deplete its stores of serotonin by requiring the pineal gland to convert it into melatonin, which makes you sleepy. However, some studies have found there aren't higher instances of winter sadness in countries like Norway vs. the U.S.

Though there's an urban legend that the suicide rates are highest in Scandinavian countries, the actual list shows that — although the sparsely populated Greenland is No. 1 — South Korea, Guyana and China are far ahead of Norway, Sweden and Finland. Denmark, rated thehappiest country in the world, also has just seven hours of daylight this time of year.

8. This isn't the day of the earliest sunrise and latest sunset

Most U.S. locations see their earliest sunset a week or so before the solstice and see their latest sunset sometime in January. For instance, in New York City, sunset came at 4:28 p.m. on Dec. 7, and then started occurring later. On Dec. 29, sunrise will come at 7:20 a.m. — the latest of the year. It won't start getting lighter earlier until Jan. 11.

Here is a look at what you need to know about the solstice. The winter solstice will take place on December 21, 2013.

Summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere occurs on June 20, 21, or 22, when the sun reaches its most northerly point, directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer (23 degrees 27 minutes north latitude). The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and marks the beginning of summer.

Winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere occurs on December 21 or 22, when the sun appears at its most southerly position,directly overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn (23 degrees 27 minutes south latitude). The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year and marks the beginning of winter. It is the exact opposite in the Southern Hemisphere.

A solstice is different from an equinox, the two times each year when the sun is directly above the Earth's equator and day and night are of equal length. Equinoxes mark the beginning of spring (March) and fall (September).

Solstice loosely translated in Latin is "sun stands still". For several days before and after each solstice the sun appears to stand still in the sky, i.e., its noontime elevation does not seem to change from day to day.

Historically, the solstice has been celebrated by numerous cultures around the world. Thousands of people annually celebrate the summer solstice at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England.

At sunrise at Stonehenge on the longest day of the year, the rising sun appears behind one of the main stones, creating the illusion that the sun is balancing on the stone.

The site was closed for 16 years after rioting broke out between police and revelers for several years at solstice gatherings. Stonehenge was re-opened to the public on Solstice in 2000.

What does the winter solstice mean to you?
What is a ‘solstice?’

A, A patch for a wound

B, In the northern hemisphere Earth’s axis is pointed away from the Sun bringing less light and colder temperatures, thus giving us the longest night of the year.

C, When the Earth tips a little too far on its axis, Michelle Bachmann pronounces it the ‘Devil’s work’ and we’ll get swallowed up in hell if one more State gives gays and lesbians equal rights.

The answer will be ‘C’. Tune in to Fox News for their year-end update on Democrat caused catastrophes and other extreme religious ‘end of days’ crap.

No matter, the winter solstice arrives at 5:11 p.m. on Dec. 21, marking 4 of the shortest shopping days until Christmas.

The solstice has been celebrated since the middle ages when malls would close early due to less light and cause people to ‘shop in the dark.’

The word ‘Solstice’ is derived from the Greek with ‘Sol’ meaning ‘sun’ and ‘stice’ meaning ‘consumer driven economy.’

To some, the amount of daylight depends on the tilt in the Earth’s axis of rotation as the sun appears to rise and fall in the sky throughout the year.

This is not news to the States that have legalized marijuana.

Citizens in those states have been ‘burning small sacrifices’ to the sun as it moves across the sky and It rises and falls slower or faster depending on the strength of that weed.

At the actual time of the solstice the sun stops going south and pauses, motionless. Then after solstice, it is again moving northward in the sky each day.

The National Science Foundation tells us this momentary pause does not mean that the sun is ‘angry’ and has refused to move because of any bad things we’ve done on Earth.

So What Does the Solstice Symbolize?

Thursday December 16 2010 by ocean1025

So what exactly does this Winter Solstice mean for us?

Before we begin, allow me to say here and now that Astrology is not my best subject. There’s plenty of astrological sites on the web that can probably explain all of this better than I can. Nevertheless, I would like to share some of my own thoughts, based on my research and my own perceptions…

First of all, let’s consider the fact that this year’s Winter Solstice occurs during a Full Moon. This in itself is significant, since it combines the powers of both the lunar and solar cycles.

Many Pagan Paths establish their calendars based on the phases of both the Sun and the Moon – indeed, the year often revolves around the solar cycle with its solstices and equinoxes, which make up the four Lesser Sabbats of the year – Yule (the Winter Solstice), Ostara (the Spring Equinox), Litha (the Summer Solstice), and Mabon (the Autumn Equinox). These together with the Greater Sabbats of Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh make up the Pagan Wheel of the Year. The Sabbats are important days to most Pagans… a time for getting together to celebrate the changing of the seasons and cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth.

Now couple the Sabbat of Yule with the phase of the Full Moon, and you’ve got the workings of some pretty powerful mojo. Many Pagan Paths hold their monthly Esbat meetings during a Full Moon – the Esbat being a time for covens to gather together, either for the purpose of raising energy for spiritual work or sometimes simply for feasting and frolicking. Well-known Pagan leaders Janet and the late Stewart Farrar described esbats as an opportunity for “a love feast, healing work, psychic training, and all.” In accordance with the Charge of the Goddess, as attributed to Doreen Valiente (although derived from various sources and edited over the years), the full moon is the preferred time for such meetings:

Whenever you have need of anything,

once a month, and better it be when the moon is full,

you shall assemble in some secret place

and adore the spirit of Me Who is Queen of all the Wise.

So let’s examine this Winter Solstice a bit more carefully. To begin with, the Sun will transition from Sagittarius to Capricorn during the late afternoon/early evening hours, something it does every year on or around the solstice. From the fiery flames of the archer, the sun moves into the earthy groundedness of the goat. Sagittarius is a fire sign – Fire rules the watchtowers of the South, representing the passion and spirit that motivates our will; that driving force to make things happen and create change. Capricorn on the other hand is an earth sign – Earth at the North watchtowers governs both our body and our budget; representing money, health, physical labor, work and employment.

I used to think it was a little strange that at the time when we are celebrating the birth of the sun, the Sun itself is actually moving out of a fire sign (the sun being one of the principle symbols of the element Fire). But the more I think about it, it makes sense. Sagittarius represents that final month of pregnancy; as the Goddess with her full belly prepares to give birth to the child of wonder, who brings light and warmth to the world. Once that child – the sun king – is born on the Winter Solstice, the Earth rejoices with the promise of hope and new beginnings. Thus the Sun moves into the earth sign of Capricorn, symbolic of that promise and of the planet’s celebration.

When the elements of Fire and Earth combine as they do for however briefly during the Winter Solstice, the result can be quite powerful. Fire provides the initial spark to begin the action, while Earth gives sustaining energy to see such actions through to their result. In addition, those earthy energies can help to ground fiery inspirations; to help one stay steady, focused, and moving forward. No wonder the Winter Solstice is seen as a time for initiating new beginnings!

By the same token, the Moon will also transition on December 21st, moving from the air sign of Gemini into the Water sign of Cancer. Air is the element of the East, and rules the mind and communication – learning, thinking, analyzing, writing, speaking (and yes, this includes signing!), expressing. Water is the element of the West, and rules the heart and emotions – feeling, loving, caring, daring. In Gemini we find the strong emphasis on thought, ideas, and intellectual pursuits; while Cancer provides the opportunity to get in touch with one’s feelings, and tune in with all the nuances and subtleties in your environment. This transition could create a feeling of being pulled in two directions – a struggle between mind and heart as you try to decide between the intellectual versus the emotional orientations of life. But in the end it all balances out, and one will come away from this solstice lunar transition with a mode of operation that encompasses both types of perception. This allows for a greater sense of depth to those ideas which like the pregnant Goddess, have been growing in the womb of your imagination over the past few months and which are now born into the new year. While you are able to attune to your feelings in making decisions and taking action, you also maintain the ability to detach yourself from those feelings and analyze them rationally when necessary.

It is interesting to note that all four elements are represented in the solar and lunar cycles during the day of the Winter Solstice (albeit at different times of the day): Fire and Earth in the Sun, Air and Water in the Moon. For a person such as myself who works closely with elemental magick, I see this as a wonderful balance – bringing an even greater sense of hope to that promise of new beginnings. I am reminded of the phrase often repeated within many Pagan (particularly Wiccan) traditions: To Know, To Will, To Dare, To Keep Silent. From the lunar Air comes the knowledge necessary to think up new ideas; from the solar Fire we get the will to actually turn those ideas into action; Water from the moon’s cycle prompts us to actually dare ourselves to move forward with such actions and implement them; and finally the message of the sun in Earth reminds us to stay grounded and remain quiet, that we might thus attune our bodies to the energies of the universe around us.

As we prepare for this year’s Winter Solstice, let us remember the powers of the elements, and honor the Moon and the Sun in their realm as the Goddess and God. Let us give birth to our own ideas, our own creation, our own self.

So pagans remember to make it true, make it real, and always make it magickal everyday!

~Elder Airwolf~

Humbly serving my Goddess )O(

Daily Forecast for December 19th, 2013

Current Moon Phase for Dec. 19th – Full Moon

 

Full Moon
(waning/86% illumination)

A veil of self-absorption is lifted and suddenly you gain access to an unbiased view of others. This is a rare moment when you can see yourself objectively and become aware of whether or not what you want in your heart is actually beginning to manifest in your life. Traditionally, the Full Moon phase stirs emotion, and this is because when you “see” what is happening, you may become upset if you’re experiencing the “same ole, same ole” — rather than the things you would like. If the Full Moon phase is a disappointment, on the next New Moon it’s time to take creative action in the direction of your dreams.

Thursday 19th December 2013

Moon 17° Cancer conjunct Jupiter [in retrograde] 17° Cancer

Moon 19° Cancer trines Saturn 19° Scorpio

 

Thursday 19th December 2013 - Moon in Cancer

What a brilliantly Good day it will be ....

You might not believe me if you're reading this amidst any mayhem and negativity on Wednesday - but Thursday's Moon in Cancer will be brilliantly FANTASTIC. Indeed, it's just typical of star sign of Cancer - their moods can oscillate from negative to positive in a very short time - and however intensely negative it was on Wednesday - on Thursday it will be intensely positive with a defined aura of genuine happiness and inner peace.

You'll see "life" will show you and attract you to all the NEGATIVE things / people in your life on Wednesday in order for you to work around them or eliminate them from your life - then on Thursday "life" and destiny will show you and attract you to all the POSITIVE good things and good people in your life for you to embrace and make them part of your "future".

Just after sunset in your local time zone will be the strongest lunar energy - so if by some fatal chance you got "involved" in badness on Wednesday and still feeling the stress of Wednesday - it will become refreshing good just after sunset in your local time zone when the Moon rises and when you see the Moon - very nearby you'll see the planet Jupiter - [FYI the difference between a planet and star is a star twinkles - a planet is a constant bright light - small like a star and yet constant bright light].

If you didn't get "involved" in any negativity - then from the moment Moon passes 10° Cancer on Wednesday and throughout the whole Wednesday night and Thursday - you'll be feeling positively enchanted, inexplicably optimistic and very excited about life - the emotional energies will light your aura up with optimism - defined by Moon 17° Cancer conjunct Jupiter [in retrograde] 17° Cancer and you'll see - it's going to be alright - in fact more than just "alright" - as destiny will be showing you a STRONG REAL LIFE "sign" on Thursday - defined byMoon 19° Cancer trines Saturn 19° Scorpio to show you that it will be alright.

Conversely, I must add that as we approach the intense karmic times Sun in Capricorn - you'll see "bad" people with "bad" karma whom are very selfish, never do anything nice for anyone, grumpy and unfriendly - become ANGRY, moody and aggressive - so beware of "them" and avoid them like the evil rotten cancer of our society that they are. One of the funniest things I've seen recently is where a protestor KISSES a Policeman - indeed showing LOVE and COMPASSION is probably the only way forward - because death and destruction isn't the answer!

Daily Horoscopes 

Emotional retreat is quite tempting today because the self-protective Cancer Moon can raise concerns that encourage us to withdraw from others. The apparent significance of our thoughts is inflated by magnifying Jupiter as it aligns with intelligent Mercury. Luckily, we have the ability to think up unusual solutions to our problems now. However, it’s still tricky to know whether or not any of the brilliant ideas are actually worth pursuing.

Aries Horoscope
(Mar 21 – Apr 19)

You actually think that you’re being sensitive to the needs of everyone else now, but you’re probably not looking much further than your own ambitions. Instead of just assuming that others have goals that are identical to yours, ask them what they want. Remember, you must listen to how they respond without trying to convince them to change their minds. Be wise and keep an open mind in all your interactions today. You might be pleasantly surprised by how much you have in common.

Taurus Horoscope
(Apr 20 – May 20)

It may be flattering if others attempt to persuade you to participate in their far-out schemes today. However, you need to be firm about your limits so you don’t end up wasting your valuable time and resources on someone else’s idea that distracts you from your own work. Be exceptionally cautious now if an opportunity seems too good to be true — because it probably is. Be smart and wait a few more days before actually saying yes.

Gemini Horoscope
(May 21 – Jun 20)

Hold on to your wallet today since you could quickly get into trouble by purchasing something that’s beyond your means. If an investment opportunity comes your way, it may not be as lucrative as it appears. You might think that you are in control, but that’s because you cannot tell if any of the facts are being distorted. Double check everything you are told now before taking an unnecessary risk; it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Cancer Horoscope
(Jun 21 – Jul 22)

Play it cool today because you may be feeling vulnerable and managing your emotions can be challenging, especially with the Moon moving through moody Cancer. To complicate matters even more, someone could be exaggerating the story they are telling you, which makes it harder to know if something is awry. Nevertheless, constant suspicion on your part creates its own set of problems and you might miss a real opportunity. Your best strategy is to verify your facts before making any long-term commitments.

Leo Horoscope
(Jul 23 – Aug 22)

Things are looking up today, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket because your current view may be a little too optimistic. Be careful, for your positive thinking can stoke your confidence so much that you get in over your head. Cut back your expectations just a bit so you won’t have to face unnecessary disappointment in the near future. Adopting a realistic approach enables you to achieve the creative expression you seek

Virgo Horoscope
(Aug 23 – Sep 22)

Your hopes for a relationship might be so high now that you can’t possibly make your unrealistic dreams come true. You may become frustrated, leading you to try overly hard to please your friends. It’s tempting to expect so much from others that they cannot possibly satisfy all your needs. Instead of fixating on the outcome today, keep bringing your attention back to the present so you can fully engage in the process as it unfolds.

Libra Horoscope
(Sep 23 – Oct 22)

Although you might be hesitant to share your true feelings today, your tone might convey more than you actually intend, anyhow. It’s hard for others to tell whether you are exaggerating or if they are just reading more into your words because of their own expectations. Ultimately, it makes no difference where the problem begins. Avoid misunderstandings by softening your message. Less intensity works wonders now when it comes to matters of the heart.

Scorpio Horoscope
(Oct 23 – Nov 21)

There are a limited number of productive hours in each day because some of them need to be reserved for sleeping and eating. Although you can pack a lot of activity into a short amount of time, your tendency is to take on more than you should today. You might even tell yourself that you’re being practical, but you could convince yourself of nearly anything now. Make your life easier by reducing your commitments before things get out of hand.

Sagittarius Horoscope
(Nov 22 – Dec 21)

Your interest in discovering new ideas might open up an unexpected avenue of exploration today as you seek to understand the mysteries of the universe. You could be drawn toward a spiritual tradition or unusual philosophy if you attempt to delve beneath the surface. But don’t just accept the truth in everything that comes your way. A bit of healthy skepticism now can save you a big headache down the road. Nevertheless, traveling with an open mind is still your ticket to the next adventure.

Capricorn Horoscope
(Dec 22 – Jan 19)

You are the one that everyone comes to for advice because you see opportunities through a very wise and practical lens. Additionally, you are able to communicate your ideas with great clarity now. While others may miss the potential problems with your plan, you can quickly spot the flaws, too. But this isn’t about being negative; it’s more about keeping it real. Relying on your pragmatic nature improves your chances for success.

Aquarius Horoscope
(Jan 20 – Feb 18)

You may think you have to share every little detail in order to clearly explain your position, but spending too much time on the minutiae actually gets in the way of your message. After a certain point, the more you talk today, the less anyone will listen. Give your audience the basics in as few words as possible. They can always ask questions if they need to know anything else. Less is more.

 Pisces Horoscope
(Feb 19 – Mar 20)

Sharing your feelings may be just what you need today, but you can alienate others if you say too much too fast. It’s misleading if your friends encourage you to keep talking, since they might be supportive only because they think it’s their duty to listen. Luckily, there’s no need to shut out those who truly care about you, but rambling on about the details of your life won’t make anyone feel any better now. Thinking about your message in advance allows for the best possible reception.

Today’s Tarot Card: Hanged Man

Traditionally, the card known as the Hanged Man usually indicates a lack of ability to help oneself through independent action. This energy is arrested and awaiting judgment. With this card, there is no avenue for the will to regain control until the situation has passed.

This represents a good time to be philosophical, to study and meditate upon the position you find yourself in, and form resolutions for the moment you become free again. Only those who possess wisdom, patience and optimism will be able to see through limitations, including possible humiliation, to grasp the inspiring lesson one can gain from such an experience.

Your Rune For Today        

Othala       

Othala represents a solid, immovable home, prosperity and safety. Good fortune based on your heritage and character is yours to enjoy.

Today's I Ching: 40: Deliverance
After a thunderstorm, or any period of extreme tension, a period of new clarity and fresh opportunity follows. The storm has the effect of clearing the air and suddenly reducing atmospheric tension. Deliverance is at hand. In the wake of a storm on land, deliverance appears in the form of new color and life, which bursts forth in all the fields and flowers. In the wake of a storm at sea, deliverance takes the form of land itself.


In the field of human relations, the rain of forgiveness washes the human landscape clean after a period of conflict and enmity. Great clarity of purpose and renewed vigor can follow the healing of old wounds. But care must be taken not to re-open such wounds by moving too quickly. In the same way, it is important to return to normalcy before moving ahead with new plans after periods of stress. 

Following the resolution of a difficult situation, your first priority, should be to return to normal conditions as quickly as possible. Breathe a sigh of relief, but don't relax completely. It would be a mistake to re-awaken the sleeping dogs of the immediate past before the new situation has crystallized. Look ahead. Attend to any residual matters that need resolution, and do so as quickly as possible. Make a clean sweep of the past, move deliberately and the future will bring good fortune.

Today's Faery Oracle:
Luathas the Wild

Luathas is all about impulsiveness and spontaneity.  It is important to think and act creatively, and the energy to do so is now available.  Old ideas and old behaviours will not do anymore.  

This card is really encouraging you to go for new things, and is saying that if the only thing holding you back from moving forward is the fear of making a fool of yourself or looking silly, then it probably is time to go for it!

On the other hand, the fire of Luathas can burn as well as energize, so do try to maintain a degree of balance.  If you over-do things and don't take time to relax and recharge, you could run the risk of burn-out and exhaustion.

Use sense and stay grounded, whilst at the same time, making the most of the wonderful, creative energy Luathas is bringing into your life.
 

Today's Spirit Animal Oracle

That Which is Behind You
  Opossum 
You’ve heard the expression “playing possum”? It means to play dead and is derived from Opossum’s ability to act in whatever way the situation demands. If it’s practical to play dead, so be it; if it’s to Opossum’s advantage to be aggressive, watch out! Take your cue from this master actor today—and play the role that will serve you best. 

 

Your Current Place
  Eagle 
Eagle soars high enough to see the grand panorama of life, and yet has vision keen enough to spot a fish a mile away. How's your vision? Are you seeing the big picture or are you only concentrating on the fish? Eagle is asking you to take a step back so you can once again see the whole. You've gotten so lost in the trees you've forgotten the forest. 

 

That Which is before You
  Coyote 
Taking yourself too seriously? If you are, Coyote will throw a banana peel in your tracks just to see you take a silly spill. Coyote medicine is Trickster medicine—the practical joker, the chaos maker. If Coyote appeared in your reading today, be ready for a curveball thrown in your direction. Remember, though, Coyote uses the bizarre to help us learn lessons we just can't seem to get any other way. 

~Elder Airwolf~

The Seven-Day Week and the Meanings of the Names of the Days

The Seven Day Week
The Naming of the Days
Sunday -- Sun's day
Monday -- Moon's day
Tuesday -- Tiu's day
Wednesday -- Woden's day
Thursday -- Thor's day
Friday -- Freya's day
Saturday -- Saturn's day
Sources
See Also

The Seven-Day Week

The Babylonians marked time with lunar months. They proscribed some activities during several days of the month, particularly the

first -- the first visible crecent,
seventh -- the waxing half moon,
fourteenth -- the full moon,
nineteenth -- dedicated to an offended goddess,
twenty-first -- the waning half moon,
twenty-eigth -- the last visible crecent,
twenty-nineth -- the invisible moon, and
thirtieth (possibly) -- the invisible moon.

The major periods are seven days, 1/4 month, long. This seven-day period was later regularized and disassociated from the lunar month to become our seven-day week.

The Naming of the Days

The Greeks named the days week after the sun, the moon and the five known planets, which were in turn named after the gods Ares, Hermes, Zeus, Aphrodite, and Cronus. The Greeks called the days of the week the Theon hemerai "days of the Gods". The Romans substituted their equivalent gods for the Greek gods, Mars, Mercury, Jove (Jupiter), Venus, and Saturn. (The two pantheons are very similar.) The Germanic peoples generally substituted roughly similar gods for the Roman gods, Tiu (Twia), Woden, Thor, Freya (Fria), but did not substitute Saturn.

Sunday -- Sun's day

Middle English sone(n)day or sun(nen)day
Old English sunnandæg "day of the sun"
Germanic sunnon-dagaz "day of the sun"
Latin dies solis "day of the sun"
Ancient Greek hemera heli(o)u, "day of the sun"

Monday -- Moon's day

Middle English monday or mone(n)day
Old English mon(an)dæg "day of the moon"
Latin dies lunae "day of the moon"
Ancient Greek hemera selenes "day of the moon"

Tuesday -- Tiu's day

Middle English tiwesday or tewesday
Old English tiwesdæg "Tiw's (Tiu's) day"
Latin dies Martis "day of Mars"
Ancient Greek hemera Areos "day of Ares"

Tiu (Twia) is the English/Germanic god of war and the sky. He is identified with the Norse god Tyr.

Mars is the Roman god of war.

Ares is the Greek god of war.

Wednesday -- Woden's day

Middle English wodnesday, wednesday, or wednesdai
Old English wodnesdæg "Woden's day"
Latin dies Mercurii "day of Mercury"
Ancient Greek hemera Hermu "day of Hermes"

Woden is the chief Anglo-Saxon/Teutonic god. Woden is the leader of the Wild Hunt. Woden is from wod "violently insane" + -en "headship". He is identified with the Norse Odin.

Mercury is the Roman god of commerce, travel, theivery, eloquence and science. He is the messenger of the other gods.

Hermes is the Greek god of commerce, invention, cunning, and theft. He is the messenger and herald of the other gods. He serves as patron of travelers and rogues, and as the conductor of the dead to Hades.

Thursday -- Thor's day

Middle English thur(e)sday
Old English thursdæg
Old Norse thorsdagr "Thor's day"
Old English thunresdæg "thunder's day"
Latin dies Jovis "day of Jupiter"
Ancient Greek hemera Dios "day of Zeus".

Thor is the Norse god of thunder. He is represented as riding a chariot drawn by goats and wielding the hammer Miölnir. He is the defender of the Aesir, destined to kill and be killed by the Midgard Serpent.

Jupiter (Jove) is the supreme Roman god and patron of the Roman state. He is noted for creating thunder and lightning.

Zeus is Greek god of the heavens and the supreme Greek god.

Friday -- Freya's day

Middle English fridai
Old English frigedæg "Freya's day"
composed of Frige (genetive singular of Freo) + dæg "day" (most likely)
or composed of Frig "Frigg" + dæg "day" (least likely)
Germanic frije-dagaz "Freya's (or Frigg's) day"
Latin dies Veneris "Venus's day"
Ancient Greek hemera Aphrodites "day of Aphrodite"

Freo is identical with freo, meaning free. It is from the Germanic frijaz meaning "beloved, belonging to the loved ones, not in bondage, free".

Freya (Fria) is the Teutonic goddess of love, beauty, and fecundity (prolific procreation). She is identified with the Norse god Freya. She is leader of the Valkyries and one of the Vanir. She is confused in Germany with Frigg.

Frigg (Frigga) is the Teutonic goddess of clouds, the sky, and conjugal (married) love. She is identified with Frigg, the Norse goddess of love and the heavens and the wife of Odin. She is one of the Aesir. She is confused in Germany withFreya.

Venus is the Roman goddess of love and beauty.

Aphrodite (Cytherea) is the Greek goddess of love and beauty.

Saturday -- Saturn's day

Middle English saterday
Old English sæter(nes)dæg "Saturn's day"
Latin dies Saturni "day of Saturn"
Ancient Greek hemera Khronu "day of Cronus"

Saturn is the Roman and Italic god of agriculture and the consort of Ops. He is believed to have ruled the earth during an age of happiness and virtue.

Cronus (Kronos, Cronos) is the Greek god (Titan) who ruled the universe until dethroned by his son Zeus.

Sources

These sources are somewhat inconsistent. I have chosen interpretations that are predominate among sources or that seem most reasonable.

William Morris, editor, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, New College Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1976

Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Portland House, New York, 1989

William Matthew O'Neil, Time and the Calendars, Sydney University Press, 1975

See Also

The Royal Greenwich Observatory provides information on time, the calendar, the date of Easter, the equation of time, leap years, and the year 2000 AD.

The United States Naval Observatory has several systems of time.

Lawrence A. Crowl, crowl@cs.orst.edu, 27 September 1995

Native American Winter Holidays

Navajo Night Chant

The Navajo are the American Indians native to Arizona and the rest of the south west. The most sacred of all Navajo ceremonies is the Night Chant which was first performed around 1000 b.c.e.   It is celebrated in late fall or early winter for 9 days.

The ceremony involves memorizing hundreds of songs, dozens of prayers and several very complicated and intricate sand paintings.

The Night Chant is lead by a trained Medicine Man (doctor-priest) who has had a long apprenticeship and learned the intricate and detailed practices that are essential to the chant.  The ceremony uses techniques that shock and arose in order to scare off sicknesses and ugliness.  Once disorder is gone, then order and balance are restored through song, prayer, sand painting and other aspects of the ceremony.

The Night Chant has a very large dance component.   There are teams who dance about 12 times each with half-hour intervals in between.  It totals more than 10 hours straight of dancing! The dance movements are a lot like the Virginia Reel, with two lines facing each other.  Each of the 6 male dancers takes his female partner, dances with her to the end of the line, drops her there and then moves back to his own side.

Sand paintings are also very important in the healing rituals in the Night Chant.  Each traditional sand painting design is associated with a particular story and is accompanied by specific songs, prayers and ceremonial procedures. The medicine man rarely is the one who makes the sand paintings. But, he is the one responsible for overseeing their preparation.  It's the assistants who do the actual painting by dribbling small amounts of colored sand through their fingers onto a smooth surface.  The whole purpose of these sand paintings is to allow the patient to absorb the powers depicted in them.  The patient does this by sitting or sleeping on it.
For the Navajo, every grain of sand in the painting must be placed perfectly.  Each design takes days to complete because of the intricate detail.
Iroquois Midwinter Ceremony

The Iroquois are one of the largest Native American tribes in history.   As you may already know the Iroquois Confederacy is made up of six Indian Nations: Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora.  

The Iroquois Midwinter Ceremony is in either January or February depending on the moon cycle.  When the new moon appears the spiritual year begins and five days after, the ceremony starts.  The celebration lasts 9 days with a lot of traditional events, as well as choosing new council members for the next year.

Each tribe celebrates a little differently.  The usual custom is to first begin with a   "Stirring of the Ashes" ceremony to symbolise thanks for all the blessings bestowed during the previous year.  There is also a public naming event where all the children who were born that year are given their Indian names.

The two traditional Indian for this season are The Bear Dance and the Feather Dance.   The Bear Dance is a dance to curing medical problems.  Both men and women participate in the dance which some what resembles the actions of an actual bear.  

 

This dance can be performed publicly or privately for a sick person to cure them of their problems and any misfortunes that have had over the past year.   The Feather Dance is a more cheerful dance to bring in the new year.

One of the highlights of the Midwinter Ceremony used to be what was called The White Dog Sacrifice. It is no longer done!  Instead today, instead of a dog, they use a white basket.

The Midwinter Ceremony ends with a speaker who gives a brief thanksgiving address.  It is also at this time that the new council members are introduced to the crowd at the longhouse.  The rest of the tribe's members are now purified and released from the burden of their dreams. And a new year is now welcomed.

The Peach Game is often played around this time to predict the success of next year's harvest of fruits and vegtables.    Supposedly based off of a game played by "The Creator" and his evil brother as they competed with each other during the creation of the earth, it symbolizes the good luck that he has given to mankind. 

Six peach stones (peach seeds smoothed to an oval shape) are either burnt or blackened on one side.  Then they are put into a bowl and shaken.  It is a game of chance a lot like dice, or flipping a coins heads or tails, and works similarly to a fortune teller.   It's played in two teams and beans are used as points.   The first team to loose all of their points looses the match.   Men usually play against women. One clan can play against another clan. The game can go on for as long as two days!  Bets are often placed also on who will win.

Hopi Soyaluna festival

The Hopi are one of the many Pueblo tribes.   Their Winter Solstice festival is called the Soyaluna and is observed on December 22.  Although a black Plumed Snake is the basic symbol of this ceremony it is not based on snake worship. It is one of the Hopi's most sacred ceremonies and is also called the "Prayer-Offering Ceremony" because it is a time for saying prayers for the New Year and for wishing each other prosperity and health.

The Hopi believed that on the summer solstice, when the days are the longest, that the Sun God is closest to Earth.   In turn, on the winter solstice, that takes place in December the Sun God has traveled as far from the earth he can.    So, in order to bring the Sun God back the warriors have a great festival.  

Therefore, the whole purpose of the Soyaluna ceremony that the Hopi do still to this day, is to prevent the disappearance of the sun at the time of the year when the days are the shortest.

The preparations for the Soyaluna ceremony start by cutting pieces of cotton string and tying feathers and pinyon needles to the end. These are exchanged among friends and relatives during the day.  Sometimes this is done by tying them in the recipient's hair. 

The main celebration includes telling the story of the holiday.   Memebers of the tribe dress as snakes, warriors, and most importantly the Sun God. They pretend that the God is leaving earth forever in darkness.   The black snake symbolizes the evil influences that are driving the sun away.  So the assembled chiefs make their offerings of prayer and meal to this black Plumed Snake to try to persuade him not to "swallow" the sun, like he does when there is an eclipse. The warriors must convince The Sun God to return by offering gifts, he comes and they celebrate. (A possible activity that kids can do would be to make snake puppets either out of old socks or brown paper bags.)

How do Native Americans celebrate Christmas?

The holiday we call Christmas has evolved into the biggest celebration in the world. Roman Catholics and Protestants celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25. Many Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar, which places Christmas around January 6.

 

Christmas was first added to the Roman Catholic Church calendar as a religious feast day in the fourth century A.D. But Christmas is not the only celebration held around this time of year. December 25 was a significant date for various early cultures. The ancient Babylonians believed the son of the queen of heaven was born on December 25. The Egyptians celebrated the birth of the son of the fertility goddess Isis on the same date, while ancient Arabs contended that the moon was born on December 24. The Romans celebrated Saturnalia, a feast named for Saturn, god of agriculture, on December 21.

 

Before European contact, the Indian tribes of North America did not celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, since they hadn't heard of him. However, many of the American Indian people of North America have been Christianised for several hundred years. Over this time, customs which were introduced to them by the missionaries, have become adapted to the native cultures, and are an integral part of their Christmas traditions today, just as they are in most American homes.

 

Many Native American people found that the story of Christmas and Christ's birth fulfilled tribal propheciesand found the message of Jesus to be consistent with the truth that was handed down by their ancestors.

 

Christmas wasn't always celebrated in the US the way it is today. In fact, the Puritans of Massachusetts banned any observance of Christmas, and anyone caught observing the holiday had to pay a fine. Connecticut had a law forbidding the celebration of Christmas and the baking of mincemeat pies. A few of the earliest settlers did celebrate Christmas, but it was far from a common holiday in the colonial era.

 

Before the Civil War, the North and South were divided on the issue of Christmas. Most Northerners thought it was a sinful display, while Southerners saw it as an important social occasion. The first three states to make Christmas a legal holiday were in the South: Alabama in 1836, Louisiana and Arkansas in 1838. It did not become a US National holiday until 1870.

 

Christmas celebrations and traditions, as most of us in the US celebrate them today, became more common in America during the mid-1800s. The introduction of Christmas services in Sunday schools reduced religious opposition to a secular festival, as opposed to a somber religious day, while the Charles Dickens novel A Christmas Carol popularized the holiday as a family event, and women's magazines promoted the ideas of decorating for this holiday.

 

Some scholars suspect that Christians chose to celebrate Christ's birth on December 25 to make it easier to convert the pagan tribes. Referring to Jesus as the “light of the world” also fit with existing pagan beliefs about the birth of the sun. The ancient “return of the sun” philosophy had been replaced by the “coming of the son” message of Christianity.

 

Many Native Americans in North America, and Aboriginal groups elsewhere in the world, as well as other pagen religions such as wicca, did observe a celebration near Christmas time, called the Winter Solstice. The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year and falls on December 21-22 and was celebrated in the Americas long before European influence arrived. Different indian tribes associate different beliefs and rituals with it.

 

For example, the Hopi tribal celebrations are dedicated to giving aid and direction to the sun which is ready to return and give strength to new life. Their ceremony is called Soyal. It lasts for 20 days and includes prayerstick making, purification, rituals, and a concluding rabbit hunt, feast and blessings.

 

The First Native American Christmas Carol

 

The first written native american Christmas carol was written down by a Jesuit missionary priest, Friar Jean de Brebeuf, around 1640-41, for the Huron Indians. The Hurons built a small chapel of fir trees and bark in honor of the manger at Bethlehem. This became the 'stable' where Jesus was born. Some Hurons travelled as much as two days to be there for the Christmas celebration.

 

The animals at the manger were the Fox, the Buffalo and the Bear. The Hurons also made a traditional tent of skins and their nativity figures were all dressed as native Americans. This Huron Carol, originally written in the Huron language and later translated to French, has become a well known and much loved carol today.

 

Santa Claus, St. Nicolas, or Handsome Fellow, a Native American Santa

 

The American version of St. Nicholas, or Santa Claus originally came from the Dutch version called Sinter Klaas. This tradition was brought with the Dutch people who settled Amsterdam, New York.

 

Our modern day version of how Santa Claus should look comes from the Christmas poem A Visit From St. Nicholas by Clement C. Moore. Written for his children in 1823, the family poem was later published for the general public and included what became the now famous picture of Santa Claus by Thomas Nast.

 

Countless legends are told about the Patron Saint of Giving known as St. Nicholas. He has been the patron saint of Russia, Moscow, Greece, children, sailors, prisoners, bakers, pawnbrokers, shopkeepers and wolves.

 

His gift-giving role in Christmas rites probably comes from his fame as the friend of children. This Christma legend tells us that he also used to give anonymous donations of gold coins to persons in need. His cult spread in Europe and Christmas presents were distributed on December 6th when the celebration of St. Nicholas took place.

 

According to these legends, St. Nicholas was born in the city of Patara, and traveled to Palestine and Egypt when he was young. He was later imprisoned by the Emperor Diocletian, but was later released by the more humanitarian Emperor Constantine. He attended the first council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. St Nicholas reportedly died about 350 AD.

 

The relics of St.Nicholas are in the basilica of St. Nicola, in Bari, Italy (they were stolen from Myra in 1087 AD). For this reason he is sometimes known as St.Nicholas of Bari.

 

Native American Winter Holidays

 

Native Americans celebrated seasons and life through various ceremonies. Each Native American tribe believed in certain spirits and honored them with traditional festivals. Many Native American groups had similar winter ceremonies while others performed specific rites only known by their tribe. Some portions of these Native American winter holidays resemble certain aspects of events from other cultures.Soyaluna CeremonyThe Soyaluna ceremony, celebrated annually by the Hopi Indians, takes place on December 22. This event commemorates winter solstice, and constitutes one of the most important ceremonies for the Hopi Indians. The holiday stems from the Hopi belief that the Sun God travels far away during the winter; only through the singing of their strongest warriors can the Hopi coax the Sun God back to Earth. This ceremony involves two groups; one group dresses as warriors and the other as snakes. A large black plume snake created to represent the evil influences that drive the sun away stands at the center of the conflict. One member of the tribe portrays the Sun God. The groups perform a ritual illustrating the Sun God's struggle to return to Earth. The warriors plead with the black plume snake not to eat the sun by praying and giving the snake meals. The warriors offer gifts to the Sun God to return and he does.

 

Midwinter CeremonySeveral Native American tribes--including the Kwakiutl, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora--commemorate the observance of midwinter. The midwinter ceremony has a second name: the New Year's ceremony. Once the new moon appears, the spiritual year starts. Each tribe's festivals differ slightly but the main reason for the ceremony remains the same. The midwinter ceremony involves two dances, the Feather Dance and the Bear Dance. Other activities include feasting, tobacco smoking, games, dream sharing and depictions of tribal history. This holiday lasts for nine days during the month of January or February. The ceremony commences with the selection of the new tribal leaders for the coming year.

 

Stick DanceThe Athabasca Indians, located in Alaska, traditionally perform the stick dance to honor the memory of deceased male tribe members. This week-long ceremony takes place during the month of March; is not an annual celebration, but rather happens every three to four years. The family members of the deceased sponsor the event. Starting on Monday, everyone gathers to enjoy a feast with singing and dancing. The group shares memories of the deceased. Friday night, a large spruce pole is placed in the center of the village. Everyone with gifts for the deceased decorates the pole. Once completed, the group begins to dance around the pole at a slow pace, singing ritual songs. The next day they take the pole down and carry it through the community to the river. After chopping the pole up, they place the pole in the river to float to sea.

 

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