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Silver Chalice Wiccan 'Zine #48: Yule & Love Tokens for Magickal Gifts * Wicca Spirituality Newsletter
December 01, 2015
Silver Chalice Wicca 'Zine #48
The Thirteen Days of Yuletide
As we roll full-speed towards Yule, this issue focuses (perhaps inevitably) on the Winter Solstice Sabbat.
You may hear some Wiccans say that Yule isn't a big holiday for Wiccans, or even that Wiccans shouldn't celebrate Yule at all. You won't hear me say that, though.
It may be that Celtic Pagans of old didn't put much Energy into a Midwinter celebration. (Coming from an equivalent latitude, however, I find it extremely difficult to believe that they didn't rejoice when the days started getting longer!)
However, many other Pagans did (and still do) make a big fuss over this major turning point in the Wheel of the Year.
And more to the point, I feel, is the fact that this is a HUGE event in the modern, Western world. Not to mention, most of us were raised with expectations of lots of holiday festivities.
So modern Wicca can hardly avoid some consideration of Yule!
There's another factor, though, that's more significant Winter Solstice is like a microcosm of the Earth's planetary transition... the transition from a time of darkness (contraction, struggle, suffering) to a time of light (expansion, ease, peace).
With all the uncertainty, anxiety, and pain humanity experiences during this transition, we need all the help we can get! And celebrating the bite-sized, yearly version of this multi-millennial transition out of the Dark Age (the Kali Yuga) makes it all seem more survivable, more hopeful.
Plus, as Wiccans, we have our own unique take on this solar event... as you'll see in the sneak peek into the Yule lesson from A Year & A Day: 53 Weeks to Becoming a Wiccan.
Also, Ask the Priestess explores love symbols that can be used as magickal tokens, and the Energy Field Barometer explores why emotions are so intense, with positives and negatives flip-flopping constantly.
And Happy Yule!! (Or, happy Midsummer, if you live in the Southern Hemisphere!)
If you have any comments, opinions, or content ideas we'd love to hear from you. Please write!
(Be sure to select Get Notifications
|Events & Announcements||Time for Wicca School|
|Wicca Students Speak Out||Treasure Trove|
|Website Highlights||Yule Pages|
|Sabbats & Esbats & Other Wiccan Rituals||13 Days of Yuletide|
|Ask The Priestess||Love Tokens for Magickal Gifts|
Quotes for the Season of the Earth Element
|Word on the Street||Thank You For Bringing Me Home|
|Energy Field Barometer||The Old New Paradigm Shuffle|
|Silver Chalice Details|
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Spotlighting some of the Wicca Spirituality articles you may not have seen yet!
Ah, the deep of winter! Yule nears, but the long dark days still reign. After the cleansing, the letting go that Samhain offers, we now bask in the spaciousness we've created. In these wonderfully dark months, we enjoy the peace and stillness of the slowing year. Well, that's the theory . . . . Continue...
In the Solstice season, we turn from matters of the head to matters of the heart.
This is comparable to the moment when we decide that we've wallowed in the muck of our emotions and ego long enough, and it's time to focus on something clearer.
This shift is portrayed in everything we believe about "Christmas"…Continue...
Want to buy Wiccan gifts for the Wiccans in your life?
That's a wonderful idea! Even if you're not Wiccan yourself, giving a Pagan-ish gift is a wonderful way to show your support for your loved ones' spiritual life.
You probably have some questions, like…
And if you are a Wiccan, you might be looking for ideas for good gifts. Maybe even for yourself! (Yes, we Witches know how to be nice to ourselves!)
Either way, here are some things you need to know before you go shopping in the Pagan supplies stores...Continue...
Excerpt from Wicca Course In Progress
(Please Note: This material is protected by legal copyright)
Some years ago, I was fully immersed in the Solstice season and so inspired by this holiday (and the planetary transformation it reflects) that all kinds of Solstice Carols began coming to me, honouring the Pagan aspects of this event. (You can see the end result here a collection of Pagan songs that celebrate all the aspects of the Winter Solstice Sabbat.)One day, the Goddess tapped gently on my head and said, "Hey, what about Me? All these songs about rebirth and the Child, don't you think it's odd there's no mention of the Mother? After all, there'd be no birth at all without the Mother! "Furthermore, this is why people don't rejoice anymore. They deny the Sacred Dark, so they can't really appreciate the Light. "This season is about Me too, and bringing Me back into the celebration will give it a richness and depth and joy that's been lacking! Not as that empty-vessel kind of Goddess that Mary was made out to be, but in My full power as Creatrix, Mother of all life. "Celebrate the wonder of My womb, the power and miracle of a mother's labour, as well as the radiance of birth!" (This is a closer analogy with birth than it may seem at first: if you are perceptive to subtle Energy, you can see when a baby crowns an incredibly intense light flaring from within the mother truly mothers are literally Gateways to/from the realm of the Divine.) Well, when the Goddess talks, I always try to listen! I began "catching" songs that honoured the Mother's part of this sacred event (which are also included in the songbook). And I started to realise that the Solstice is more than just the rebirth of the Sun. There are actually 5 phases to the process each worthy of recognition and rejoicing! I'd like to share these with you, before we move on to your regular scheduled broadcast (i.e., Yule God/desses and symbols and celebrations and such). There is no set practice by which Wiccans must celebrate the Winter Solstice, so if this speaks to your heart, please feel free to use it as a framework for a more meaningful holiday season than is common these days.
|The gestation of the Sun in the Velvet Dark, the Sacred Womb of the Goddess|
|The night of labour She goes through to bring the Sun Child to birth|
|The birth of the Child, the future of the people|
|Celebration of the Sacred Dark||Gestation, Surrender||Dec 15-17|
|Feast of the Mother||Honouring the Divine Feminine, Labour, Working to Turn the Wheel||Dec 18-20|
|Birth of Promise||Sun God's Birth, Breakthrough, Return of Light||Dec 21|
|Celebration of the Light||Rest, Release After Pressure, Opening the Door to the Future||Dec 22-24|
|Celebration of Peace||New Beginnings, Choosing Our Path||Dec 25-27|
Hello I'm wondering what sort of things represent love? I'm thinking of gift ideas for my fiancé and I'd like to make him a little pouch or something that has representations of love. I've been looking everywhere and I'm not sure what is correct information or not. Thank you!
X. in USA
The first thing that needs to be said is... When you find things that ring a bell for you, those are "correct." If they seem to you like they'd be good representations of your feelings and your fiancé, they'll be good magickal tokens!
There's no single absolute truth for everyone. We can't point to certain things and say that they are perfect for everybody.
If you want a spell to have potency, it needs to come from inside you, not from what other people say has worked for them. You can get ideas from other people, but it has to resonate with you to be real.
Love, especially, is a very personal thing.
So ask yourself: "What, to me, signifies my love for this person? What signifies the way I love them or show them love? What seems like a symbol of the best parts of them... the parts I love most?" Those questions will lead you to many love symbols that will be particularly potent for you and your fiancé.
Having said that, there are cultural symbols of love as well, that typically hold the same Energy for everyone within the culture, like heart-shapes, roses, smilie faces, diamonds, gold rings, ribbons, cupid or bows and arrows, moons and stars, keys, love knots, welsh spoons (love spoons), and such. If they mean something to you, you can use these with good effect.
And there are things that inherently carry a love-Energy, like rose quartz, flowers especially roses and honeysuckle, bees and hummingbirds, swans and geese couples, doves or pigeons...
Remember that you can address many senses: You can use scents (rose essence, cinnamon or patchouli for passion, lavender for enduring heart-connection, etc), or colours (red for passion, pink for tender love, blue for spiritual connection, etc), as well as visual shapes and such.
Just make sure that whatever love tokens you use resonate for you as a positive, loving symbol. If it doesn't, it won't have the effect you want.
There's another aspect you can use to create best results. Think in terms of couples and connections. In general, two of something is better than one, in a spell to enhance or protect love. If he's into music, and you want to use a musical note charm or bead to represent that, use two of them. Same with other love symbols. Using doubles strengthens the Energy of the two of you, bound together in love.
And finally, consider alternate meanings of the symbols you want to use. For instance, if you both love skydiving together, you might be thinking of using parachutes as a symbol. However, parachutes also carry a strong connotation of "bailing out" leaving something behind, abandoning a disaster, and so on. Not quite the message you want to give the Universe, I bet.
If he loves dogs and you love cats, you might want to use a dog and a cat charm... but dogs and cats are genetic enemies, which creates a conflict Energy you probably don't want to invoke. However, if you can find a symbol of a dog and cat snuggling happily together, that would perfectly symbolise your love, and overcome the potential ambiguity of these symbols.
Use symbols that unequivocally mean love and togetherness and the specialness you share. Those will carry the most powerful magickal Energy for your love gift.
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Do you have a question you'd like answered? Email the Priestess and your question could be answered in a future issue.
(Note: questions may be edited for brevity or clarity. No real names will be disclosed. For reasons of legality, all questions become the property of Wicca-Spirituality.com.)
Note: These may not leap out at you as typical Yule quotes. If you're a student of A Year & A Day: 53 Weeks to Becoming a Wiccan, read the Yule or Earth Element lesson first, and it'll make perfect sense.
Can you imagine what it would feel like to become aware of an omnipresent ocean of wild divine love that has always been a secret to you in the same way that the sea is invisible to a fish?
~ Rob Brezsny
You must be nothing but an ear that hears what the universe of the world is constantly saying within you.
~ Rabbi Dov Baer of Mezritch
If you need to visualize the soul, think of it as a cross between a wolf howl, a photon, and a dribble of dark molasses. But what it really is, as near as I can tell, is a packet of information. It's a program, a piece of hyperspatial software designed explicitly to interface with the Mystery. Not a mystery, mind you, the Mystery. The one that can never be solved.
~ Tom Robbins
Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.
~ Helen Keller
The soul is a perspective that pushes us to go deeper and see further and live wilder. ... With the gently propulsive force of the soul, we probe beyond the surface level of things, working to find the hidden meaning and truer feeling.
~ Rob Brezsny
Silence is a source of great strength.
~ Lao Tzu
Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
What People Are Saying About Wicca-Spirituality.com:
Thank You For Bringing Me Home
I'm completely new to the Wiccan faith, so I read up a lot on your beginners tips, etc. I just had to tell you what happened to me though.
You see, I come from a very Christian family and I've always felt homesick; I actually hit all but one description of a Modern Shaman. But when I read that I should talk to the God and Goddess, I closed my eyes and imagined what the Goddess would look like.
All I could think of was this imaginative woman I saw when I was in bed as a child...she called my name and felt so motherly. Well, I thought of her and I smiled and said, "Hi."
And then I saw her smile, "Hello," and I felt something break inside me. I felt like I was home for the first time. I just broke down crying right then.
So this is basically a very long message thanking you for this website.~ E.P. in USA
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Thank you, Erin Dragonsong, for without your wise words I would be totally lost. Still reaching for my way forward and you are the reason I go on, because you show me the way to the Goddess and the divine light I so pursue. ~ F.M. in South Africa
Thanks for writing!! I appreciate hearing from you! : )
Intensity continues, these days. Here's an overview of what's going on, on a planetary level...
All the rules of life are changing right now... and we don't know what the new pattern will be.
With all the changes happening and the Old-Paradigm systems breaking down one after another, there's incredible opportunity for growth. As with all clearing away of something past its usefulness, space is created for something new and better to be envisioned.If we use these changes with our Intention for personal growth for ourselves, and for the benefit of all beings, we can tap into a positive evolution for ourselves as well as for the planet.
What's happening for most of us is feeling that we keep flipping back and forth between the Old Paradigm and New Paradigm.
It's like some kind of sci-fi movie, really... we're in this New Reality then we flip back to the evil reality, and have to keep trying to claw our way get back into the good reality.
Another way this flip-flopping plays out is feeling like we're functioning on a New Paradigm level, mostly, except one foot's still stuck in the Old Paradigm. We get sucked back into seeing things from the ego-level rather than a higher perspective.
It's like looking at a candy wrapper: the outside pattern in the world still looks the same, so the mind goes "it's the same"... even though the experience of it is really different.
Emotionally we may be reacting pretty much the same way as we're used to, yet not fully reacting in the Old Paradigm way.
We're functioning on two levels simultaneously, and they're incompatible realities.
This is very confusing.
So if you're feeling really confused lately, and you wonder why you seem to break free of old patterns and then keep getting sucked back in again, it's because you're in this in-between state... just as the rest of the world is!
You might also find that you're experiencing a lot of anxiety or irritability. Fearing these massive changes, not knowing where we're headed, can bring up a lot of resistance.
It's uncomfortable, and it's scary. This can lead us (and others) into blame, anger, impatience, uncertainty, mistrust, cynicism, and so on.
There's also a lot of grief going on, as we mourn the losses and tragedies inherent in times of fundamental transformation. Old systems and beliefs are breaking down, and that's always going to cause emotional backlash.
On the positive side, when we can step across into the opportunities of the New Paradigm, we can also feel like we're on fire with intuition, insights, creative ideas, and new perceptions. We can make huge leaps in our personal and spiritual development. And we can see possibilities open up before us like a field of Spring flowers.
We can feel better than we ever have, more optimistic and hopeful, more inspired and alert. That's a benefit of functioning in the New Paradigm.
While the Energy is really high and aiming for positive growth, that can translate into a challenging time for us as individuals.
We're being impelled, from both within ourselves and from our environment, to evolve! And while on one level we want that evolution, the ego itself doesn't want to let go of what it knows and most especially of its control over us so it resists.
We get caught in a back-and-forth game between the ego and our higher self, as we sometimes align with one and sometimes with the other.
This can seem a little schizophrenic, because one minute we're operating at a level of deep awareness and compassion and empowerment, and the next minute we're reacting in the old patterns of fear, blindness, desperation, and victimhood.
This may sound impossible, but it's there, I promise you!
When we're in the New Paradigm state, we're in Flow and alignment and there's this ease about everything.
When we're in-between paradigms, there's actually still a sense of ease we can tap into, but it doesn't look like there is. It's not completely obvious, so most of us sort of panic and get into a mode of madly doing something anything, whether it's productive or destructive.
So this is why, right at this time, meditation and mind practices are so important because the mind looks at the outside world and says "it's the same it's the same it's even worse it's all going to hell AAAUUUGGH!"
And when we calm our mind, we can perceive with the rest of our being that fundamentally there's something new happening, even if we don't know exactly what it is.And with that perception comes the inner reassurance that Everything is really okay.
The other thing that's happening fairly constantly is that we're feeling discomfort (or, y'know, fear, panic, etc.) because everything's changing and we can't see ahead clearly. We don't know quite where we are, and we don't know where we're going.
If ever anything was calculated to set the survival-minded ego-self on edge, that's it!
Everything new is unfamiliar, and right now almost everything is new. So we might freak out about it a little, because we don't know what to do or how to relate in this new world.
The key piece is that it's different and so we (i.e., the ego-mind) automatically thinks that something is wrong, that we then need to "fix" it.
But we can't fix it, because it's not really wrong it's actually right ... and that's just new and different.
So great patience is needed on top of meditation.
Otherwise we'll jump into "fixing" that thing... and it'll be the wrong thing to do, because the old fixes don't work in the New Paradigm.
This is a little hard to understand without a specific example, but your example will be unique to you, so it's challenging to be more precise without one-on-one dialogue.
Look at relationships in your life, though... that's a mirror of this process. Wherever you think it's bad, the people or bosses around you are messing you up, and feeling like they're never gonna change and it's not getting better chances are that's your specific example.
You'll feel an overwhelming NEED to change those people, but what you really need to change is in yourself... then those situations just resolve naturally.
That's how it works in the New Paradigm, the new reality our planet has entered.
That doesn't fit with the ego-mind perspective, right? The ego-mind will explain the whole situation in a way that makes perfect sense and you are totally justified in your feelings and wanting them to change.
Only it doesn't work like that. They won't change, until you do.
I'm really sorry to have to break it to you.
But once you get it, you'll be so liberated and empowered, it's worth giving up the easier, blaming route.
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Notice or suspect an Energy Field going around? Can you confirm this reading, or shed more light on it?
I'd love to hear what's happening for you! Please let me know.
What to do about being caught in an unpleasant Energy Field? Click here for tips.
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