Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose…oh I LOVE this time of the year and I revert to being a complete child…
It is an absolute excuse for me to go into total cheesy festive decorating mode and of course baking lots of goodies, writing cards and wrapping presents…I really should have been Mrs Claus or should that be the Holly Queen?
So much of December and the Winter Solstice has been taken over with commercialism sometimes it is hard to escape from it, but I like to focus on the theme of Yule as being a chance to reconnect with friends and spend time with family.
No matter where you live, whether it is in the middle of a snow covered field surrounded by beautiful bare trees or whether you live in the middle of a city with the odd tree on the side of the road you can still feel the magic in the air. The crisp cold mornings, the crunch of frost under foot and that silent feel that surrounds us, the earth is hibernating, waiting patiently to spring forth once again.
At the point of winter solstice the darkness reaches its height and as the wheel turns the sun begins to return, the days very slowly becoming longer. Winter is a time to draw inwards and reflect, to look back at the months that have passed before and to plan for the coming year.
The Holly King battles once more leaving behind the waning part of the year and gives way to the Oak King to rule the waxing months, a reminder that we are in a cycle and that rebirth must be preceded by death.
Yule is a time to celebrate with your friends and family and a good excuse to stuff yourself with mince pies, puddings, mulled wine and dried fruits…and chocolate … and cake…
Hel - Norse - Daughter of Loki, ruler of Under-Earth, the Realm of Hel, and Queen of the dead (except for the heroes and valiant ones who have a place with Oðinn at Valhalla). Hel controls the souls of the wicked and those who die of sickness or old age in her underground kingdom of Helheim. She is the dark hag who walks the line between life and death, and thins the veil between the worlds. It is Hel who gifts Odin his twin ravens of prophecy and wisdom. She is the patron of Nordic shamans. Usually depicted as half alive and half dead.
Holda is a winter goddess of northern Europe and is also called Snow Queen and Mother Holle. She brings prosperity to the good but punishes the lazy. Holda is also a goddess of nature who controls the snow and fog. Often seen as a beautiful woman dressed in red and white and is said to ride on the winds at Yule to deliver fortune and good health to those that honour her.
Skadi is a giantess goddess from the Norse pantheon. Her name equates to the Old Norse noun meaning ‘harm’ or the Gothic/Old English word meaning ‘shadow’. She lives in the mountains where the snow never melts and is a skilled huntress using her bow and arrow. Skadi rules the winter and the darkness that comes with it. She bestows justice and vengeance as necessary on those that do no good and is also the incarnation of righteous anger.
Magical energies at this time of the year are good for:
Honouring family and friends
Long term projects
Excerpt from Arc of the Goddess book