The trees are bare, now that the last of the leaves have fallen, the days are short, crisp and cold, it’s dark when you get up and dark again before teatime, and the fires in both my home and my shop are blazing all day to keep us nice and warm…must be time for Yule and the shortest day!! This is the time to take a look back at what has happened to you over the last 12 months, to be thankful for the good things, let go of the bad bits and make plans for the next year to improve, maintain, and/or change things for you and yours.
Personally, I married my long-term partner, we had the addition of a grandson to the family, our kiddy-winks and their partners are all in work, businesses are going well for me and my sons, and my father-in-law celebrated his 100th birthday. All in all, this has been a good year and we are ending on a high note with two of our friends getting married on Yule itself after the clock turns. That wish box of mine has certainly been working well, but will now definitely need an update…I don’t think there is anything left on it that hasn’t been achieved for me and mine…so remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get and if you don’t know what you want to happen, it won’t. Check out the Book of Shadows on my website as it will give you all you need to know to get your wish box made if you don’t have one! We even sell a kit to get you started…you just need a pretty box! If you only need to update it like me, then on Yule, light incense and candles, sit in the quiet of the night and re-write your wish list. I would say that you shouldn’t do this too often as the Universe takes it time…just check the box every 6 months or when something big has finally been achieved, so you can move forward to the next part of your journey!
What to do at Yule…
Check out the Yule page on my website for things like the meanings behind the Yule log, pine tree, holly and ivy.
Mistletoe should be available to collect instore hopefully from 12th Dec (Mercury retrograde has it held up!). Once you have yours, keep it cool in an outhouse or fridge until Yule, then hang over the front door after dark on 21st. Take down the old, hang the new then recycle the old. If you have a new Yule pouch, replace the old and recycle its contents. If you don’t have new for one or both of the above, just leave the old in situ, unless you have had a terrible year, then get hunting for a definite replacement and bury or burn the old, taking the bad luck with it!!
Everyone decorates the home at this time with greenery and lights, whether for Yule or Christmas or Hanukkah, so help light up the world with candles and fairy lights, and greet the rebirth of the Sun with pride. Fill your home with the aromas of oranges and mandarins, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove, frankincense and myrrh to energize you and yours and keep infections at bay. Orange is one of nature’s cleansers and cinnamon and clove major infection killers as well as warm and comforting, hence why they are favourite in winter. When I was a kid, oranges and mandarins used to make their appearance for Christmas after being missing since spring, so they were always a delight. Nowadays, things are available most of the year so we no longer appreciate when something ‘comes back into season’, but when I was a child, it was something special to get a tangerine in your stocking, along with nuts and special fruit cake on the table, not to mention Turkey or goose!! Foods like chicken were so expensive that we didn’t eat them regularly so it really was a true feast we partook in as kids, but now everything is available from somewhere in the world at any point so nothing is ever truly out of season. That may have to change once again as we try to keep our carbon footprint to a minimum to help save our planet…no need for Manuka honey when our local honey is just as good and the same goes for wine…why drink Australian when a cheeky Spanish or Italian is better for the planet…same with fruit and salad etc…check their origin, eat only when in season and vote with your purse! my philosophy and my little to help anyway!
A family wishing spell…
When you and the family/friends get together, have a go at this little bit of magick for you all. You will need a little reindeer to represent the Horned God, along with some nuts, pine cones and maybe a sprig pine, mistletoe and holly and a nice set paper and envelopes. On your altar/mantle, make a small circle with the nuts and pine etc encircling the reindeer and a red candle. Using a gold pen, let every member write their wish for the forthcoming year on a piece of paper and seal in their own envelope. Leave the candle to burn for the rest of the day or until it is no more, then tie all the envelopes together with red ribbon and store in your magickal box until Midsummer. Burn all the unopened envelopes together in your Midsummer ritual fire to nudge the spell once more!
Everyone needs a Magickal box…
I was looking for inspiration for this newsletter and went to my 3 magickal boxes under the bed. One is full of herbal snippets, one full of magickal snippets and one full of spell ideas/poems and thoughts and ideas, all written on bits of paper. These three wooden boxes match but another is really bright and colourful and is full of all other ‘stuff’…like a bucket box of ideas and things to do. The winter is a great time to make your inspirational or magickal box or boxes. You might even get a box for Yule or Christmas that contains something, but the box itself could be very useful for this…or someone might give you a beautiful box as a gift. Maybe your dad will have an old cigar box or mum has an old wooden box that was too good to throw away but has never been used?
I have left my boxes as they are…one was a beautiful box that contained a gift but the others are plain wooden boxes, but you can paint or decorate your box to please you and personalize it for whatever it contains. Maybe you want to make a portable altar, containing all your elemental pieces to create an altar for travelling or outdoors. Another idea is to keep all your magickal candles, crystals, bits and pieces to use for spell work…the list is endless. A magickal altar box can be decorated with a pentagram and elemental signs etc, spell box with a Book of Shadows, you get my drift, but just make them yours. When ready to consecrate, hold your box in copal incense, fill with its contents, close the lid and draw a pentagram on the top with your finger to protect your box until it is needed. Your magickal box can then be stored in a closet or, like mine, under where I sleep. Simples!!
What about your Diary or Calendar…
Another indoor project in December or the beginning January is to personalize your diary or calendar ready for the forthcoming year. You can either use a ready-made diary or make your own special one in a beautiful book and colour code seasons, Sabbats, holidays etc. The 1st thing is to transfer information over from the old one like contacts, birthdays etc. One of the important pieces info I put in mine is Moon Times and planetary times such as Mercury retrograde too. I like to go through and put project ideas along the way. You can pop ideas on Post It notes, so you can move them through the diary if you want to change them. You can write your favourite sayings along the way on pages for inspiration…the ideas are endless but ask Helen…she makes a real fancy diary!).
Mayan Sachet for Yule…
It is customary at Yule to hang the Mistletoe but, after gifting this to members one year, I now need to prepare these special pouches each Yule, due to requests. It is an old Yule recipe, prepared and wrapped in either green or red cloth and given as gifts at this time using 12 herbs for the 12 festive days. I have selected my own version using Juniper berries, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, rosemary, cinnamon, orange flowers, lavender, Grains of Paradise, mistletoe, lemongrass and rice and mixed it all together for love, luck, wealth, harmony and happiness. £5.00 each instore… or make your own Yule pouches for gifting…
Light Fire/Sun incense and red candles on the altar, and mix the blend of herbs and spices in a bowl with your fingers saying “Luck and prosperity, happiness and harmony” for about 3 minutes, as you mix the blend together. Spoon it into green/red pouches and give as gifts to those friends and family who need a little luck, love or abundance in their lives. Paper wishes can be added by before hanging. Help them achieve hope this Yule. The pouches are to be hung over the front door and remain for the complete turn of the Wheel until next Yule.
A serious thought for next year…
No, I am not turning vegetarian or stopping wearing leather shoes, but it’s a cruel and nasty world out there and it’s only going to get worse. We should all make a promise to ourselves to do something over the next year to help our Gaia home, whether it is picking up litter you see as you walk to work, go plastic-picking on the beach with the kids, recycle more or simply try and buy as local as possible. Our country is changing and my generation have seen it as good as it is probably going to get for a while, so we have to help others where we can. Give old kids clothes to other mums or charity shops, donate or help out at foodbanks or similar, or think of other ways to help others get on, even if it is just lending an ear to a friend in need or checking on a neighbour you haven’t seen for a while. Where did community spirit go? ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’…according to Billy Ocean, so to help our fellow man, we need to get going too, and show empathy and compassion for our fellow human beings and our dear Mother planet. It is of no consequence to me whether customers are Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Pagan, Muslim or Jedi… if they want my help, they can have it…after all, they have come into a witch’s shop so they are not judging me either! People are people and everyone has the right to believe in what they want to as long as it doesn’t harm others, witches included. People should be judged on what kind of human they are, not what colour or creed they are so as the Earth starts to wake up after Yule, so, should we…let the human kindness grow!
Festive Opening times…
Normal hours (every day) from Tues 12th until Sun 24 Dec, then
CLOSED: Mon 25th till Wed 27th Dec then
OPEN: Thur 28th Dec till Sat 30th Dec (11 – 4)
CLOSED: Sun 31st Dec till Thur 4 Jan
RE-OPEN Fri 5 Jan usual hours and back to normal
New Moon: Mon 18 Dec @ 06.31 hrs Full Moon: Tue 2 Jan @ 02.25 hrs
New Moon: Wed 17 Jan @ 02.18 hrs Full Moon: Wed 31 Jan @ 13.30 hrs
The mistletoe is bunched and good to go (phew), the xmas aromas in plenty and Yule pouches ready for members and moonies. We have just enough space to wish you a merry Yule to you and yours. Be good to each other and embrace the New Year with optimism and love
Bright yuletide blessings from Chris (alias the Green Witch)