Sunday, December 25, 2011

Blessings

I hope all of my readers have a blessed Festivus, Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Saturnalia, Sol Invictus, Kwanzaa, or anything else you might celebrate.



Thursday, December 22, 2011

Yule

Yule is one of my favorite holidays. It was originally a Germanic holiday celebrated for twelve days, starting on the winter solstice.

Many decorations are the same as the Christian ones, because the traditions were adopted by them in an effort to sneak-save the Germanic pagans. As a result it is one of the two holidays that pagans who have not announced what they believe to decorate their homes in their own traditions.

In Germanic mythology Odin disguised himself with a long blue cloak and traveled to earth on his eight-legged horse. Once he arrived he would watch for people gathered around campfires to see how content the people were, and who was hungry. He left gifts of food for the hungry, then disappeared. Over time, the children began to anticipate his arrival and filled their boots with straw, carrots or sugar. Odin rewarded the kind children by replacing the food with gifts and treats inside the boots.

Many Wiccans celebrate the birth of the Great Horned Hunter God, who they view as the newborn sun. Other rituals are the death of the Holly King and the birth of the Oak King.

In Greek mythology, Demeter is looking forward to Persephone returning and winter begins to loose its hold.

Personally, I decorate my small tree and give gifts to my immediate family, including my pets. I would also extend this to aunts, uncles, and cousins, but I'm too poor to buy over 50 presents every December. I also have dinner with family on Christmas (since they are Catholics), followed by watching a movie or playing a group game like Trivial Pursuit or Rock Band.

Monday, December 19, 2011

44 Days of Witchery: Day 10

Your sun sign

Aquarius Correspondences

  • 20 January - 18 February
  • Planet: Saturn, Uranus
  • Deities and Heroes: Ganymede, Heracles,
  • Metal: Uranium (Radiocactive Danger), Aluminium, Lead
  • Cross: Fixed
  • Element: Air
  • Stones: Zircon, Glass, Onyx, Topaz, Sapphire, Amber, Malachite.
  • Power Stone: Garnet.
  • Numbers: 3
  • Day: Saturday
  • Season: Winter
  • Flowers and Herbs: Snowdrop, Olive, Foxglove
  • Tree: Pine, Aspen
  • Color: Violet, Light Yellow, Electric Blue.
  • Bird: Cuckoo, Albatross, Phoenix, Peacock, Eagle
  • Animal: Dog, Otter

Sunday, December 18, 2011

44 Days of Witchery: Day 9


 

A favorite mythological animal

The griffin is a creature with the head, wings, and beak of an eagle, the body of a lion, and (occasionally) the tail or a serpent or scorpion. Its origin is unknown, but believed to be either Mongolian, Babylonian, Assyrian or Persian. The myth of these creatures spread through the then-known world, and can be found in cultures such as Egyptian and Asian.

In Greek mythology, they belonged to Zeus. Later, Romans and medieval Europeans used them for decorations. Especially along-side gargoyles on buildings.

It is likely that traders in Mongolia discovered dinosaur fossils and misinterpreted them as the Griffin, but I like to hold out hope that evidence of this Cryptozoological creature actually existed in antiquity.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Holidays (Updated)

I've been seeing a lot of unhappiness in the virtual world lately. Bloggers and Facebookers are fighting. Christians saying "Put Christ back in Christmas" and "It's Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays". Others are fighting back, and it's turning into a flame war.

Instead of snapping back with things like "Santa is a rip-off of Odin" or "It was a Pagan Solstice Tree long before it was a Christmas tree", take a deep breath. Try not to take up arms in the supposed "War on Christmas".

The phrase "Happy Holidays" isn't meant to take anything away from anyone, even Christians. It's meant to embrace every holiday in December. Christmas, Yule, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Festivus, Sol Invictus, and Saturnalia, just to name the ones I know of. There's probably more I don't. Taking offense to "Happy Holidays" shows off your bigotry. It says you are incapable of coexisting with someone different from yourself.

I actually believe in "all or nothing" when it comes to federal, state, county/parish, or city buildings. When displaying Christmas Trees or Nativities for the public, they should be inclusive of all religions represented by the people. Being tolerant does not mean hiding evidence of differences. It means showing off the differences, while putting them on equal footing with the others. Or, only put up secular decorations.

I get tired of hearing about Christians whining that they're being deprived of their holiday, of their religion. In reality, they are not. They are only being forced into equality with other religions that have holidays overlapping their own. As anyone who has researched can tell you, nearly all Christmas symbols were stolen from older pagan religions in an attempt to trick said pagans into converting. Including, but not limited to, decorating evergreen trees, giving gifts, waiting for a magical being/deity to punish or reward, and a miraculous birth.

I seriously think we all need to take a collective step back and mind our own business, instead of forcing everyone around ourselves to agree with us, or go away. Because trying to force people to conform to your beliefs is like trying to mix oil and water. It's impossible to do so. We're all different, and we're designed that way. It's time to get over ourselves, and just enjoy whatever holiday is important to us, secular or religious.


I changed my mind, and decided to have a video instead of a picture here. Enjoy!


44 Days of Witchery: Day 6

A Favorite God

Apollo was the son of Zeus and Leto, as well as the twin brother of Artemis. His realm was music, prophecy, colonization, religious healing, archery (except war and hunting), poetry, dance, intellectual inquiry, and shepherds. He was also a God of light, sometimes called "Pheobus" (which means radiant or beaming), and had replaced the previous solar deity of Helios. He was also a God of plague and was worshipped under the name of Smintheus (rat) and Parnopius (grasshopper). Ironically, he was also the destroyer of these plague-carriers. According to the Iliad, he shot arrows of plague into the Greek camp. Being the God of religious healing, he gave people guilty of murder and other immoral deeds a ritual purification.

Hera, the wife of Zues, was outraged with jealousy when she found out Leto was pregnant by Zeus. Hera decreed that Leto was forbidden to give birth anywhere on earth. Not the continent, nor an island. The only shelter Leto could find was at Delos, in the center of the Aegean, which was a floating island. It was difficult to get to, because of strong under-currents.

Hera, angry about the loophole, imprisoned Ilithia, the Goddess of childbirth. Fortunatly, other deities intervened and forced Hera to release Ilithia, resulting in Leto giving birth to Apollo and Artemis on Delos. As a gesture of thanks, Delos was secured to the sea floor by four columns to give it stability and became sacred to Apollo.

Apollo's first acheivemnt was to rid Pytho (later called Delphi) of a serpent (sometimes a dragon) called Python. The monsterp rotected the sanctuary of Pytho from its lair near the Castalian Spring. It stood guard while the "Sibyl" (later called Oracle) prophecied as she inhaled vapors from an open chasm. Apollo killed Python with his bow and arrows and took charge of the oracle.

This act was a blessing for the countryside, because Pythos had destroyed crops, sacked villiages and polluted water. However, Pythos was a son of Gaea, and Apollos punishment for killing him was to serve as a cowherd for eight to nine years for King Admetus.

When his pennance was finished, Apollo returned to Pytho in the disguise of a dolphin, bringing with him priests from Crete. He also took on a new name, becoming "Pythian Apollo". He dedicated a bronze tripod (a symbol sacred to this God) to the sanctuary and bestowed divine powers on the priestesses, who became known as the Pythia.

Delphi was named after Delphinios (meaning dolphin or porpoise), which is Apollo's cult title. The Pythia inhaled hallucinating vapors from a fissure on the temple floor, while sitting on a tripod and chewing laurel leaves. After she mumbled her answer, a male priest would translate it for the supplicant. In time, Delphi became the most important oracle center of Apollo.

Monday, December 12, 2011

44 Days of Witchery: Day 5

Sorry about the long wait. Work has been crazy busy lately. I'd promise it won't happen again, but chances are I'll have little time again in the near future.

Anyway, here's day 5!

A Favorite Goddess

Gaia (in Roman she is Terra) is the name of the soul of the planet. Without her, Earth would be as dead as most of the other celestial objects in our solar system.

In ancient Greece, she was the primordial Earth Goddess. She was the great mother of all, the first mother. She is the one who created the Titans, who in turn created the first humans, as well as all the plants and animals.

In modern paganism, she is a popular deity. Pagans from belief paths other than my own believe that she is literally the Earth. Others believe that she is a creation Goddess, a Mother Goddess from which the other deities are descended from.

Label Cloud

101 2011 2012 44 days of witchery ability activism agnosticism air alberta altar ancestor anubis apatheism apocalypse apollo aquarius arachne arts athame atheism athena autotheism autumn banner beliefs bigotry bottle burning times calendar canada candle celtic child children's christian christmas cleaning coexist common man correspondences crafts creation cryptozoology cycle dalai lama deism deity deity of the month demeter deucalion E3 egypt electronic entertainment expo electronics elements end of the world endymion equality equinox extinction feast festival festivus fires flood food fur g4 gaea gaming germany glass god goddess great flood great spirit greek green griffin halloween hanukkah health henotheism herbalism history holiday holidays hospitality instructions international internet irish italian jack o'lantern kathenotheism kwanzaa lakota lavender leather life luna magic magical place makoshika meatless monday microsoft minerva mjöllnir monolatrism monotheism mothers mythology native american nature norse oil oisin ostara pagan pagan values month paganism pandeism panentheism pantheism pelops pepitas persephone philosophy pipa pirate politics poll polydeism polytheism prayer prayer chain preternatural prophecy pumpkin pyrrha rant Recipes religion religious roman rules sabbat sacred element samhain saturnalia seasons seeds selene shrine sioux sol invictus solstice sopa spider spiritual element spiritualism spring stories sun sign sword of truth symbol tantalus thor three tir na nog tools triad trials trio triskele values vegan vegetarian veneration viking vinegar warlock water wax wheel wheel of the year wicca winter witch witchcraft wizard xenia year yule

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