December, 2011

Welcome to the Yule Issue of PaganPages!

December, 2011

We have a great holiday issue for you this month!!  Have a happy and safe holiday!!

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Wicked Wonderful Witchery

December, 2011

A Winter Spell in a Bottle

Now that harvest time is over and the cold is starting to settle in, we are spending more time indoors and are also retreating inward, looking inside ourselves a little deeper.  The dark months are a time of reflection.  Now is the time to draw back, “hibernate” and think about our lives, our paths and ourselves in general.  Harvest isn’t just the actual bounty of the earth but also a harvest of our own achievements and experiences, both good and bad.  Winter is the ideal time to have a good look at what we have created in our lives, spread it all out and contemplate it.  Winter is also a great time for cleansing of our homes, minds and bodies.

This working is very simple and appropriate for the coming dark months.

To signify your willingness to move on and let go of things, first do a really thorough cleaning of your home.  Go through your closets and cupboards and donate anything you no longer need.  Keeping “stuff” signifies that you may also hang onto emotional baggage.  Break out the duster and tackle every nook and cranny – don’t forget on top of picture frames and the ceiling fan!

When the snow falls, go outside and gather some in a jar.  Your jar can be as plain or as fancy as you like.  You can use one that appeals to you based on color or shape, or simply because it had your favorite wine in it.  Just make sure it has a screw top and closes firmly, because you don’t want it to leak.  Let the snow melt in the jar, until the jar is full of water, all of it straight from the sky itself.  Add a handful of fresh pine needles to your jar or bottle of rain.  Pine is said to have cleansing, purifying properties and is easily found around your home or in a park.  Other herbs to consider are lavender, mint or sage.  Close the bottle and let it sit in a window where it will be exposed to both daylight and moonlight for three days and nights, to cleanse and empower it by the sun and the moon.

Find some quiet time when you will be alone and uninterrupted.  Light a white candle and if you like, cast a circle or call upon deities.  Have ready a piece of thin newsprint paper and a pen.  Think about your long term goals, as well as things that you would like to change.  Consider your experiences from the past year, and what you have learned from them.  Has anything happened that you need to let go of, such as old hurts from others or guilt upon yourself?  Perhaps there are situations you wish turned out differently that are still weighing upon you, or you are hanging onto some resentment.  Whatever it is you’d like to change or get rid of, write it down on the newsprint.  Some examples are healing a broken heart, overcoming shyness, breaking bad habits and addictions, or forgetting about someone who has wronged you.  Purge all of this out of yourself onto the paper in your own words or pictures.  See yourself as free and clear of these issues.  Then roll or fold the paper up, put it in the bottle and recap it tightly.

Put the bottle somewhere you will not see it much, like the cellar or far in the back of a closet.  Leave it there for exactly one year.  Let the snow water and herbs work away at the paper, deteriorating it and your concerns.  The ink will disappear and blur too, the elements in the bottle erasing the unwanted, unneeded hindrances.  (This is why it is important to use thin newsprint or tracing paper.  It breaks down easier.)

Next year on the same day retrieve your bottle.  Shake it up and see how the paper has changed form, perhaps into mushy nothing.  Have the long-term nasties you put onto your paper also deteriorated or changed, at least somewhat?  Even better is if you’ve forgotten what you’d written at all, the problems have been solved so successfully.

At this point, dump the contents of the bottle into a lake or river and then send the bottle to be recycled.  Don’t keep it.  Think about the positive changes you have made in a year, how things have progressed, and how far you have come.  Then walk away and call it done.

Blessed be!

K. White Moon

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Hally’s Hints

December, 2011

The Evolution of Humanity

We all like to believe that we have evolved from a thousand years ago; one hundred years ago and even from fifty years ago. However, what has evolved is the technology that we use to communicate and often mis-communicate as well as misbehave. We, ourselves however, remain the same.

Whilst this may seem to have a negative undertone this isn’t necessarily a bad thing because for evolution to occur the existing version must no longer be able to adapt or survive within the environment.

We, as humans, have proven that we are more resilient than cockroaches. We are extremely flexible, adaptable and have a unique ability to survive the most horrendous conditions.

With this said, when an environment continually changes and evolves, all life force must complement this, even on the most basic level to ensure the species continues.

Whilst many speak of 2012 being “the year” where change will occur, it isn’t something that simply occurs overnight. It started years ago and it is coming to the crescendo of that shift. There are increasing elements hinting towards the need for change; openness and connecting beyond the survival mechanism.

Hence, the increasing pressure to change, the planet forcing us to look at ourselves through tragedies and impromptu weather changes and there are many more examples we are yet to discover as we come into alignment with this overall shift.

The fact is that we, as humans, are so much more than we allow ourselves to be. However, for countless years we have allowed ourselves to be stuck in the ego rut continually failing because we are more than ego though have not evolved past this belief.

Consider the saying that “money does not buy happiness” and it isn’t until we are in this predicament that this message bares any weight.

How many other situations need to arise for us to realise that ego is a tool not a fundamental? It is there to support, not dictate.

We are energetic beings connected energetically to all life force. This includes all living creatures, animals, plants; everything that exists energetically. The more we embrace this the more we will find the answers we seek; the more fulfilled our lives will be and the more that we as a race will finally evolve into the pure intent of being.

The evolution of humanity starts with the openness to connect beyond logic, knowledge and into the voice within that has been whispering for us to listen. We have the power within ourselves to turn on the light and then another and another along the line of connecting energies.

As one we can achieve anything including the evolution of allowing our species to be truly brilliant simply by being naturally aligned energetically.

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Perthro’s Pronouncements

December, 2011

“Perceptions of the gods”

Today I want to continue my “study” of the perceptions of the gods and goddesses by talking about something to which we can all relate. Their perceptions of US.

We humans are a pretty perceptive bunch. We like to observe everything around us, see things in every way they can be seen, whether it be from a wide out view, such as from space, or from a microscopic view. We try to see everything down to the last detail. The trouble is, there are details that we are not even aware of, nor are we able to perceive them, but the gods can. They see us in ways we can’t even fathom. They see where we’ve been, where we’re going, they see everything about us.

I hinted in an earlier article that I had a theory that we are in fact the actual children of the gods. In many ways, even if we are not, I believe the gods perceive us in that light. They see how we are limited in our perceptions, but do not hold it against us, and treat us as “lower” life forms. Rather, they try to assist us as best they can, without directly interfering with our natural development, and they treat us with the utmost respect.

If I had to put it “in a nutshell”, I’d say that the gods watch how we live our lives much in the same way as we watch our children, with less direct interaction. They see how we live, and I dare say they stand in wonder of it, as their existence is so different. They may even wonder how we survive being so “limited”. It’s just my opinion, but I believe it’s entirely possible it’s true.

I’ve really been thinking a lot about perception lately, and how it relates to how I interact to other people in my daily life. If you can put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and see how their life really is, it makes you tolerant. You become more patient, you see that your life is not as bad as it may seem.

I also find myself seeing my own personal thoughts differently. My emotions are more ordered, they are much less chaotic than they used to be. The gods live in an environment of pure love, for each other, and for all of creation. I’ve tried to apply that to my own life, and see the universe in a different light. Sometimes it takes going inside yourself to see the outside with new eyes. Not everything is as it seems. The way one experiences life has a lot to do, no, everything to do, with how it’s perceived. I always say, “You could be having the worst day of your life, but if you don’t see it that way, then, it’s not.”

That one sentence can be applied to every part of your life. Relationships, jobs, the daily “grind”, everything you do and how you deal with it depends on how you perceive it, emotionally. The gods know this, and choose to see everything with love. Being happy is a choice.

May we all be like the gods, and perceive each other and our lives with divine eyes.

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December, 2011

With December being a month that contains so many days of celebration it made me think of recipes for some homemade brandies and liqueurs.  I wish I had had this idea long before now as these recipes are required to sit for a time, with the exception of one, however they would still make unique Yule or Christmas gifts, as well as just being a fun project in general.  I came across these recipes in the 2007 LLewelyn’s herbal almanac, so they are from a trusted source, but they should be used in moderation. I’ve tried to include enough variety in hopes of their being something for just about every taste.  I hope you all enjoy these and wish you the most Blessed of holiday seasons!

Aniseed Liqueur:  2 Tbs. crushed aniseed, 2 inches cinnamon stick crushed, 1 crushed nutmeg (optional), 2 Tbs. honey, 7 oz. good quality brandy, 1 cup spring water.

Put all ingredients in a glass jar, seal, and let the contents macerate for six weeks.  Shake the jar at least once a week.  After six weeks filter it through cheesecloth and seal and bottle.  According to this recipe try 1/4 cup at bedtime as an aphrodisiac!

Honeysuckle Liqueur:  According to the recipe I have honeysuckle is said to produce one of the best and unusual floral liqueurs .  Ingredients include:  6 oz. honeysuckle flowers, 8 oz sugar, 1 cup spring water, 1 pint vodka or other spirit of personal choice.

Lightly bruise the honeysuckle flowers and pack into a jar.  Gently warm the vodka or other spirit on very low heat.  Pour the spirit into the honeysuckle jar, seal it and place it in a warm part of the house for 2 months.  Shake the jar a few times each day.  After 2 months, put sugar in the jug, fill it with 8 oz spring water, and dissolve sugar into syrup.  Strain the alcohol while pressing down firmly on the flowers.  Addd the sugar syrup to the alcohol, mix thoroughly, and pour into a decorative bottle, adding fresh honeysuckle flowers if it’s clear.  Seal and label the bottle

Pineapple Malibu:  Juicy pineapple slices in Malibu rum are a treat whether it’s a cold or warm climate.  Gather the following ingredients:  1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup spring water, 1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced, ( I would use canned slices in natural juice), 1/2 cup Malibu rum.  Combine sugar and spring water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Then let it cook without stirring until it becomes a thin, clear syrup.  Pack slices of pineapple into warm, sterilized jars.  Stir Malibu rum into sugar syrup and pour over pineapple slices.  Seal, cool to room temperature then store in the refrigerator.  This recipe makes no mention of allowing this to sit for an elongated period of time.  If your having quite a few guests, I would use large mason jars, rather that individual small ones, unless you like that as a serving or gift giving idea.  At this time of year it’s not hard to find the cases of mason jars in assorted sizes.

Hazelnut liqueur:  Hazelnuts are not only good when eaten or used in cooking, but they are also fabulous in liqueur form.  This can also be used to drizzle over ice-cream or custard puddings.  A drop or two in your morning cup of coffe can add a nice extra “oomph”!.  To make 1 pint of hazelnut liqueur gather, 6 oz. hazelnuts, 1 vanilla bean (1 inch long), 1tsp. allspice, 1 1/2 cups vodka, 1/3 c sugar syrup.  Combine vodka, vanilla bean, and allspice in a jar.  Finely chop the hazelnuts to release the flavor, add them to the jar and cap tightly.  Let the contents age for 2 weeks, shaking the jar once a day.  After the 2 weeks, have a taste to determine if a stronger flavor is desired.  If so, add more hazelnuts to the jar and re-steep for anothe 10 days.  Strain and filter the mixture.  When it is clear, add sugar syrup and stir well.  Pour liqueur into a dark bottle and let it sit for another 3 weeks before serving.

Blueberry cordial:  This can be made with or without alcohol, such as gin or vodka.  If making it non-alcoholic, substitute spring water for the cups of alcohol in the recipe.  This recipe makes about 1 quart of blueberry cordial.  4 cups blueberries, 3 cups vodka or gin, 1 cup spring water, 8 whole cloves, 1/2 tsp coriander seeds, 2 cups sugar

Wash and drain blueberries before crushing them in a bowl or blender.  When done scrape into a clean wide-mouth 2 quart jar.  Pour in the spring water.   If using alcohol pour it in also.  Add cloves and coriander, then stir the jar’s contents.  Cover the jar and let it stand in a cool dark place, shake the jar once a day. The contents will gradually turn a deep bluish-black color.  After 10 days strain through a paper coffee filter into a large jug.  Add sugar to the jug and stir with a long spoon until dissolved.  Pour the cordial into a bottle and seal.  Store the bottle in a cool dark place for 5 weeksbefore using.  Once opened for consumption, store the bottle in the refrigerator.

Vanilla cordial:  This recipe can also be made with or without alcohol.  Make sure the vanilla beans you use for this are fresh, soft and fragrant.  If making this without alcohol use four cups of spring water rather than the vodka.  5 vanilla beans (5or 6 inches long) 4 cups vodka or spring water, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup spring water, 1 vanilla bean left whole and intact.  Cut the vanilla beans into 5 pieces.  Using a sharp knife, split each piece lengthwise.  Insert the split beans into a clean bottle, add the 4 cups of vodka or spring water, seal the bottle and shake it firmly.  Place the bottle in a cool, dark place for three weeks before removing the seal for a sip.  If the taste is to your liking, filter the cordial into a dry, clean bottle and discard the vanilla pieces.  Combine sugar with half a cup of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil for 2 or 3 minutes.  Let the saucepan cool completely before pouring liquid into the bottle containing the vanilla.  Put 1 whole vanilla bean into the bottle.  Seal tightly and shake well.  Allow it to age another 5 weeks before using or diluting.

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Myths and Legends: Journeys Through Time

December, 2011

“Thunderbolts  and lightning- very, very frigtening me..”
Lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

Thunderbolts and lightning. What are they? Are they the same thing or are they different? Better yet why are they important? Thunderbolt…what is it? According to the dictionary a thunderbolt is a flash of lighting with a simultaneous crash of thunder…as  you see the lightning and immediately hear thunder. What’s lighting? It’s a series of electrons that forma chain going from the ground to the sky. The chain is seen as light and has many different shapes. Normally though it’s perceived as a quick flash, like the flash from a camera. Sometimes though during thunderstorms..especially severe ones, lighting can come in the form of forks or bolts. So thunderbolts and lighting…pure lightning aren’t the same thing. Similar..but not the same. As to why they’re that’s where it gets fun.
Long ago in the times of Ancient Greece, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome..pretty much in the time of the ancient civilizations..people didn’t know what caused thunder or lighting. To them, lightning was an act of the gods. Well technically everything to them was an act of the gods..but weather especially was attributed to the gods. Ever hear the phrase “May God strike me down if I’m lying?” that has roots in ancient mythology. We all know that the change of seasons are attributed to the Goddess Demeter in Ancient Greek mythology and Ceres in Ancient Roman mythology. The weather however was different altogether. As many as 10 different gods or goddess might be responsible for an aspect of the weather. Anything from the winds to the calm before a massive storm. The most fearsome and awe inspiring display of power though…lightning was reserved for one God and one God only. That God, my readers, was Zeus. In Roman mythology Zeus is known as Jupiter. His Norse counterpart would be Thor. Although Thor is not the king of the deities, (In Norse mythology Thor’s father Odin is the All-Father or king of the deities.) he does have control over the element of lightning. Aside from king and/or father of all the Olympian gods and goddess…who exactly was Zeus? In all technicality, Zeus is a titan. He’s the youngest son of the titans Cronus (Saturn in Roman mythology) and Rhea (Identified with the Goddess Ops in Roman mythology). Zeus was one six children. In the order of their birth from youngest to oldest his siblings are Hestia (virgin goddess of the hearth, architecture and the right  ordering  of domesticity and family), Hades (God of the Underworld, also known as Pluto to the Romans), Demeter (responsible for the growth of crops, and change of seasons. Known as Ceres to the Romans), Poseiden (God of the oceans, Neptune to the Romans) and Hera (goddess of women and marriage, Juno to the Romans). Zeus was born last. As each of his siblings was born, their father swallowed them because he had been told that one of his children would overthrow him as he had overthrown his father, Uranus. Rhea wouldn’t allow this to happen so she hid Zeus in a cave on Mount Ida in Crete. From there the story branches out…one story says he was raised by his grandmother Gaia. Another story says that he was suckled by his cousin; a goat named Amalthea while a company of soldiers shouted and clashed their swords and shields together making such a noise that Cronus couldn’t hear the baby’s cries and the last story. This story says that he was raised by a nymph named Adamanthea who fed him goat’s milk and because Cronus ruled over the skies, earth and water, suspended baby Zeus from a rope on a tree so that was touching neither, earth, sky nor water thus rendering him invisible to his father. When Zeus was old enough it’s said that he forced his father to regurgitate the children he swallowed in reverse order thus making Zeus the oldest and Hestia the youngest. The accounts differ on how he managed this but the most common account is that he cut his father’s stomach open. Then to overthrow his father and all the other titans, Zeus released his uncles…The Giants, the Hecatonkheires and the Cyclops. The Hecatonkeheires and the Cyclops are the ones responsible for giving Zeus his thunder and lightning. Of all the Olympian Pantheon..Zeus was more…prolific then the others. Although married to Hera, he had many consorts, Goddess and mortal alike. Some of the children he’s fathered are Perseus, Athena, Hercules, Hermes, Aphrodite..pretty much the entire Olympian Pantheon aside from Hera are his children. Zeus is also the father of the fates, Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos. Sometimes that puts him in a difficult positions as not even he is directly allowed to interfere with Fate. When he was angry, he was said to have hurled lightning bolts..which led to the belief that to lie was to anger Zeus and thus get you struck by lightning. All in all though Zeus was a fair and wise ruler. Promiscuous perhaps, but still fair and worthy of being the King of all Gods and Goddess.

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December, 2011

I’m so excited! The start of the Christmas season has begun!

Not because I celebrate as a Christian or even celebrate it as a secular holiday. It is because it signals my favorite time on the wheel of the year. Winter.

Just saying “winter” brings to my mind clear, crisp, cold nights standing outside looking at the stars, the darkness falling by late afternoon. The smell of wood burning in fireplaces and snuggling inside surrounded by the quiet of the night. Truly, Silent Night bliss.

Our home prepares for the decorations of the season in November with Thanksgiving. Cleaning and making room for family and guests is step one. Preparing menus for the next several weeks is step two   followed by the trimming of the house with decorations for Winter Solstice.

Our main tree is in the family room.  We have collected and made ornaments that represent the elements as well as suns, moons and stars.  We also look for things that each of the family loves. There are fairies, mountain bikes, birds, ballet dancers, roses, ivy, and frogs and things from our childhood trees, which are now considered “antique”! A star is shining on top and quilt batting is laid underneath as a blanket of snow. A blanket our cats look forward to each year.

I have a tree dedicated to Bridget in my kitchen. Garlands of macaroni as well as miniature pots and pans adorn it. Star anise is hung, as are little cookbooks. A cornhusk doll holding bread in on top and a darling cow sits patiently at the base.

This year I am creating a Pink Bubble tree for our bedroom. A Pink Bubble is a visualization technique where you see the person or situation as perfect and then surrounded by a pink bubble. Release the bubble to float and find the highest good of all concerned.  My tree is a pink feather tree with clear glass balls and garlands of glass balls. It looks like it is covered in bubbles! The larger glass balls can be opened for a slip of paper with a name or situation written on it to be placed inside. I wake each morning and smile as I see this tree. Blessings bubble up and are sent to family and friends

Christmas, Solstice, Winter; all three words remind me of the importance of family, friends and home. It is our need to find the Light in the darkness to bring hope, clarity and warmth.  How beautiful it is to be in harmony with the world at this time. A perfect time to “Pink Bubble” this beautiful planet!

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Thrifting the WitchyWay

December, 2011

My Dad always told me that life is how you see it. As a witch I know that how I see the world is the most important tool I have to change it.

Focus, will, and intent are the foundations that any spell/ritual/working are built on, but you have to see what you are trying to effect and you have to have the imagination to really see and believe in the change you are trying to bring about. With out the focus to see the world as it is, and the imagination to believe it can be different then we cannot change it. But luckily we’re witches so we have focus and imagination in spades.

So now let’s turn that towards how we look at objects and their potential. I want you to do something that may seem a little weird. I want you to find the ugliest, most detested thing in your house (ex spouses, messy rooms, and naughty pets don’t count, lol). Come on, fess up. We all have that one thing that we have but can’t stand to look at, whether it’s there out of necessity or because we try really hard not to look at it, or think about it, or generally acknowledge that it exists, so it stays right where it is. Well I want you to dig that thing up, and take a good long look at it. Close your eyes and picture the piece in your mind then picture it fading away, just as you would in spell work or a focused meditation.

Now open your eyes again.

I don’t want you to not see it as that horrible dresser hiding in the guest bedroom with the ugly knobs and good gods why did someone paint it that color?

No I want you to look at it as a blank canvas.

See what’s really there. Look at the shape, or function and then start imagining a version of it that you would like. Let your subconscious play around and picture what you could do with different pieces of the object. Would those drawers make great shadow boxes? Could the frame be used for a kids cubby box? Or is the shape great but with some new hardware and maybe paint of decoupage could the whole thing be reborn as a different dresser.

This is where having a Thrifting Journal would really come in handy.

What is a Thrifting Journal you ask? Well a Thrifting Journal is a nifty little tool that helps to keep you organized.

This can be a notebook, a binder, or just about anything you want to use really. You can even decorate it up if you want to. The essential part of it is that you need to be able to write in it. My own journal has taken many forms- from a binder to a notebook to it’s current form, an address book that I found on sale. The most important part is that it is something that will be comfortable for you to use. Because if it isn’t convenient and comfortable I probably ain’t going to use it. I’m a little chaotic that way

I have found three sections to be indispensable to me- a list of shops that I frequent, a list of my current projects, and a list of materials that I have available (I am a sucker for a good list, lol).

The first on the list (there are those lists again) of things that I find helpful in my journal is which shops I enjoy shopping at and what they usually have a good selection of and the general vibe of the establishment. Do they have a lot of this or that? Are most of the pieces positive, negative, or even neutral? Are the staff pleasant, attentive, and professional? Ask yourself these questions about the shops that you frequent as well as any shops you may stop by for the first time. Being on the prowl for a deal doesn’t mean you should have to frequent establishments that stock a lot of negative items or whose staff is offensive or rude. All hunters have their favorite hunting grounds so why shouldn’t you? Also, some shops will have discount days that give you 50% off and so on during certain times of day, or days of the week, or on certain types of stock. These are great things to note down so that you can get things even cheaper. Having this information in one spot can help you find just what you’re looking for and make shopping for projects hassle free and fun.

The next on my list of must have sections for my journal is a list of what projects I am currently working on and what I am getting ready to start. This helps me to budget not only my funds, but my time and available project space. Getting your own special ritual space, or home decked out in proper witchy style shouldn’t be a stressful process. You should be able to take your time and let your creative juices flow allowing you to pour the good feelings and power into your creations. Taking on more than you can comfortably handle is a sure way to end up stressed and not enjoying the creative flow. Keeping a list of what projects you already have on your plate and what is still waiting to be done is a great way to keep things manageable.

The last of the lists that help keep me sane and crafting my heart out is a list of the materials that I have on hand. Every time I see a wonderful new project take form from the interesting things I find on one of my thrifting safari’s I like to be able to know that I can complete it without having to run out for supplies in the middle. Nothing adds stress like starting on a project only to realize that you need more glue sticks after you already half glued it (I have found that things most things need way more hot glue than I ever thought they would there fore I have formed a hypothesis that hot glue does, in fact, hold parts of the universe together). Or that I’m out of the ribbon that I  had seen in my head for the trim or the paint tube for the embellishments is almost empty. Our local craft stores are more than used to seeing me wander down their aisles with crazy eyes and bits of paper stuck in my hair and it’s never pretty.

Mainly though, just remember that this is your journal. Include anything that you’ll think is useful to you. I would highly suggest including drawings or descriptions of project ideas, color schemes, or anything that you feel you’ll want to use later. This is your place to keep track of how you’re projects are going and what you want your space to look and feel like. Your Thrifting Journal can be your best friend and handiest tool.

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Yule Correspondences

December, 2011

Lesser Sabbat – Winter Solstice, circa Dec 21

Other Names:
Jul (“wheel”, Old Norse), Saturnalia(Rome ~December 17 & 18), Yuletide(Teutonic), Midwinter, Fionn’s Day, Alban huan, Christmas (Christian~December 25), Xmas, Festival of Sol, Solar/Secular/Pagan New Year

Animals/Mythical beings:
yule goat (nordic), reindeer stag, squirrels, yule cat, Sacred White Buffalo, Kallikantzaroi-ugly chaos monsters(greek), trolls, phoenix, yule elf, jule gnome, squirrels, wren/robin


cat’s eye, ruby, diamond, garnet, bloodstone

bayberry, cedar, ginger, cinnamon, pine, rosemary, frankincense, myrrh, nutmeg, wintergreen, saffron

gold, silver, red, green, white

Tools,Symbols, & Decorations:
bayberry candles, evergreens, holly, mistletoe, poinsettia,mistletoe, lights, gifts, Yule log, Yule tree. spinning wheels, wreaths, bells, mother & child images

Great Mother, Befana (strega), Holda (teutonic), Isis(egyptian), Triple Goddess, Mary(christian), Tonazin(mexican), Lucina(roman), St. Lucy (swedish),Bona Dea (roman), Mother Earth, Eve(Hebrew), Ops(roman Holy Mother), the Snow Queen, Hertha (German), Frey (Norse)

Sun Child, Saturn(rome), Cronos (Greek), Horus/Ra(egyptian), Jesus(christian-gnostic), Mithras(persian), Balder(Norse), Santa Claus/Odin(teutonic), Holly King, Sol Invicta, Janus(God of Beginnings), Marduk (Babylonian)Old Man Winter

honor, rebirth, transformation, light out of darkness, creative inspiration, the mysteries, new life, regeneration, inner renewal, reflection/introspection

death of the Holly (winter) King; reign of the Oak (summer) King), begin the ordeal of the Green Man, death & rebirth of the Sun God; night of greatest lunar imbalance; sun’s rebirth; shortest day of year

honor the Triple Goddess, welcome the Sun Child

personal renewal, world peace, honoring family & friends, Festival of light, meditation

lights, gift-exchanging, singing, feasting, resolutions, new fires kindled, strengthening family & friend bonds, generosity, yule log, hanging mistletoe, apple wassailing, burning candles, Yule tree decorating; kissing under mistletoe; needfire at dawn vigil; bell ringing/sleigh-bells; father yule

nuts, apple, pear, caraway cakes soaked with cider, pork, orange, hibiscus or ginger tea, roasted turkey, nuts, fruitcake, dried fruit, cookies, eggnog, mulled wine

blessed thistle, evergreen, moss, oak, sage, bay, bayberry, cedar, pine, frankincense, ginger, holly, ivy, juniper, mistletoe, myrrh, pinecones, rosemary, chamomile, cinnamon, valarion, yarrow



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Across the Great Divide

December, 2011

The Ghosts beneath the Mistletoe

The days are increasingly shorter, the air chills to the bone, and nature slumbers beneath a blanket of sparkling snow. This is the time of year when we gather with friends and family to talk, share life’s adventures, and relive the year’s memorable moments. If you’re like many folks, you’re also gathered around a television to enjoy classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and Dickens’ immortal A Christmas Carol.

But take a step back and look at these holiday classics through the lens of a seasoned investigator and you’ll begin to see them in an entirely new light. It is, after all, a fairly spooky ghost story wrapped around the morals of giving and sharing.

The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future are similar to the phenomenon of “Anniversary Imprints,” residual hauntings resulting from an emotional, physical, or electrical discharge that “records” an event into the atmosphere of a particular location and which usually manifest around the same time each year.  Such imprints can appear non-conscious and redundant, but since the Spirits were highly interactive with Scrooge, it appears Dickens melded different aspects of the Spiritualist philosophies which were commonplace in the London of his day.

The arrival of Bob Marley on the first anniversary of his death fits the definition of a Revenant. These entities project an appearance of being distressed or misplaced; often a recently departed person who returns very briefly to make contact with loved ones to serve as an act of closure before going on to the afterlife. Perhaps the more appropriate classification for poor Marley is the Guardian, a spirit who returns to warn family members of imminent danger. These entities offer messages or aid during moments of distress to others.

The Ghost of Christmas Future is clearly a Harbinger, a ghost that brings warning of impending events.

Aside from the various spiritual entities throughout the story, some other cornerstones of psychical research play a large role in the adventure. For instance, Scrooge’s journeys are what we refer to as Astral Projection, or Astral Travel. Astral Travel is the theory that a person’s spiritual awareness can temporarily detach itself from the physical body, remaining connected by what is called the “silver cord,” and experience things in other locations, time frames, or dimensional planes; the spiritual body and the physical body are then able to act independently of each other. That is why Scrooge travels through time and space but must return to his bedchamber to await the next spirit- and all within a single night.

But this is all, of course, fiction; so what sort of real-world personal experiences provide similar events? Here are but a few anecdotes that I will share with you.

The Winter Solstice also brings with it a recurring event to residents of Lower Boscaswell (Cornwall). A lady in white holds a red rose in her mouth, then turns and walks into fog. Some say that to see her will bring misfortune.

On Christmas Eve in Kempston (Bedfordshire), England, local legend tells of a child that ran out of Kempston manor to greet his parents who were returning in a horse-drawn coach. He was hit by the horses and died of his injuries. Now, the anniversary of the event is marked by the reoccurring sounds of the tragic incident.

A man’s mother passed away in 1964; that same year he moved from Nova Scotia to Ontario. Christmas Eve, 1971; on the tree, one string of lights, which was supposed to flash, had stopped several days before. According to the witness it was five minutes to midnight when the fireplace suddenly went out, and the string of lights started to flash, and the other lights stopped flashing. He reported the room becoming very chilly when a figure appeared in the recliner- his mother, with a smile on her face. His wife, who had never met her, reported the same thing. It never spoke but at the stroke of midnight the fireplace lit up and the lights on the tree stopped flashing and the others started flashing again. The figure was gone and the lights on the tree never flashed again.

A woman received a call from beyond one Christmas. The phone rang and upon answering it, a familiar voice casually said, “Hello there.” It was her mother’s voice, who had dies three years prior. The line had static noise and it cut in and out.

Lewisham Station, London is the place of a crash in December 1957, caused by fog, that killed ninety people and injured over one hundred. Their cries can be heard on the anniversary of the accident.

So as you take in the many feasts this holiday season and enjoy the company of loved ones, take a moment to reflect on those dear departed and raise a glass in their honor- they just may be celebrating along side you and your kinfolk.

So, dear readers, any experiences of your own you’d like to share?

**I would like to take this moment to thank you all for following along each month as I explore the paranormal. I extend to you- whatever your faith or tradition- a warm blessing for a year well-spent, and a new year well planned. Happy Holidays, best wishes, and see you on New Years Day.

© 2011 R. Wolf Baldassarro/Deep Forest Productions

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