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YULE LOG

13:40 Dec 15 2009
Times Read: 520


Yule Log Pictures, Images and Photos




The Yule log is a central part of Yule festivities. The log is kindled from the remains of the previous year's Yule fire (This piece was kept in the home throughout the year for protection. The Yule log symbolizes the light returning to conquer the darkness. According to tradition, the log must either have been harvested from the homeowner's land, or given as a gift...it must never have been bought. Once dragged into the house and placed in the fireplace it was decorated in seasonal greenery, doused with cider or ale, and dusted with flour before set ablaze. The log would burn throughout the night, then smolder for 12 days after before being ceremonially put out.


At one time, the Yule log had been the center of the celebration. There are many traditional ways to collect your log. Some collect a log at Beltane and let it dry out until Yule. Others use the thickest part of the Yule tree trunk to save until it becomes next years Yule log. Still others will make a ritual of trekking into the woods at yuletide and dragging their Yule log home.



The Yule Log is a remnant of the bonfires that the European pagans would set ablaze at the time of winter solstice. These bonfires symbolized the return of the Sun.


An oak log, plus a fireplace or bonfire area is needed for this form of celebration. The oak log should be very dry so that it will blaze well. On the night of Yule, carve a symbol of your hopes for the coming year into the log. Burn the log to release it's power. It can be decorated with burnable red ribbons of natural fiber and dried holly leaves. In the fireplace or bonfire area, dried kindling should be set to facilitate the burning of the log. The Yule log can be made of any wood (Oak is traditional). Each releases its own kind of magick.


Ash -- brings protection, prosperity, and health


Aspen -- invokes understanding of the grand design


Birch -- signifies new beginnings


Holly -- inspires visions and reveals past lives


Oak -- brings healing, strength, and wisdom


Pine -- signifies prosperity and growth


Willow -- invokes the Goddess to achieve desires


The burning of the Yule Log can easily become a family tradition. Begin by having parent(s) or some other family member describe the tradition of the Yule Log. The tale of the Oak King and Holly King from Celtic mythology can be shared as a story, or can be summarized with a statement that the Oak represents the waxing solar year, Winter Solstice to Summer Solstice, and the Holly represents the waning solar year, Summer Solstice to Winter Solstice.


Lights are extinguished as much as possible. The family is quiet together in the darkness. Family members quietly contemplate the change in the solar year. Each in her/his own way contemplates the past calendar year, the challenges as well as the good times.


Then the Yule Log fire is lit. As it begins to burn, each family member throws in one or more dried holly sprigs and says farewell to the old calendar year. Farewells can take the form of thanksgiving and appreciation and/or a banishment of old habits or personal pains.


Once the Yule Log itself starts blazing, then the facilitator invites family members to contemplate the year ahead and the power of possibilities. Each member then throws in an oak twig or acorn into the fire to represent the year ahead, and calls out a resolution and/or a hope.


Families using a Yule Log with candles each family member can write a bad habit and/or a wish for the upcoming year on a slip of paper and burn it in the candle flame.


When this process is done, the family sings a song together. The traditional carol, "Deck the Halls," is good because it mentions the Solstice, the change in the solar year, and the Yule Log.


Let the Yule Log burn down to a few chunks of charred wood and ashes (or candles burn down). Following an ancient tradition, save remnants of the fire and use them to start the Yule Log fire the following year.



MAKE YOUR OWN YULE LOG:


To make a Yule Log, simply choose a dried piece of oak and decorate with burnable ribbons, evergreens, holly, and mistletoe.


To make a Yule Log with candles (suitable for indoor observances when a fireplace is not available), you will need a round log at least thirteen inches long and five inches thick. Flatten the bottom of the log with a saw (preferably a power saw) by trimming off an inch or two so the log will sit without wobbling. Next, determine where the three candle holes should be drilled along the top of the log. They should be evenly spaced. The size of the holes will be determined by the size candles you are using. Drill the holes 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch to accommodate the candles.


The log with candles may be painted or sprayed with varnish or shellac to keep it from drying out. When the varnish is dry, insert candles and decorate it with holly, evergreens, and mistletoe. Candles may be green, red, and silver or white to represent the Oak King, the Holly King, and the Goddess; or white, red, and black to represent the Triple Goddess.

COMMENTS

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Unknown Christmas Facts

13:33 Dec 15 2009
Times Read: 522




DID YOU KNOW THAT: "Christmas Trees" and "Hanukkah Bushes" are Pagan and forbidden by the Bible: "Thus saith the Lord: Learn not the way of the heathen…for the customs of these people are vain. For one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with hails and with hammers, that it move not." Jeremiah 10:2-6


DID YOU KNOW THAT: The celebrations of birthdays was forbidden by Jewish law?

Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, states: "Nay, indeed the law does

not permit us to make festivals at the births of our children." The only

birthdays recorded in the Bible were those of two evil men, a Pharaoh (Genesis

40) and Herod Matthew 14:6-10.


DID YOU KNOW THAT: according to the evidence presented in the New Testament, Jesus could not have been born in winter, but probably in early autumn? Shepherds in Palestine do not "abide with their flocks in the flocks by night"

in winter – its too cold. They bring them in to caves or stables by the end of October.


DID YOU KNOW THAT: December 25th was celebrated as the festival of the birthday of the Sun-God Mithra, as well as a host of other Incarnated Gods (Avatars) including Bacchus of Egypt, Bacvchus of Greece, Adonis of Greece, Krishna of India, Sakia of India, Shan-ti of China, Chris of Chaldea, and Jao Walpaul of ancient Britain: All were said to have been born of a virgin, perhaps because the astrological sign of Virgo, the Virgin, is newly risen above the horizon at this time.


DID YOU KNOW THAT: most of our customs in celebration of the Winter Solstice were taken from the ancient Pagan festival of Yule? Today the Solstice falls on December 21, but in ancient times, before the recent calendar changes, it was on December 25.


DID YOU KNOW THAT: the carol "Here we come-a-Caroling" was originally "Here we come a-Wassailing"? Wassailing was an ancient Pagan custom of singing and talking to the fruit and nut trees at Yule to insure an abundant harvest in the season to come.

COMMENTS

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