Monday, December 17, 2007

Yule Enjoy This

It has been a very long time since my last posting. My apologies to all my readers. This time of year gets very busy, to which I am sure you can all relate. My wife was asking me more about Yule the other day. It made me realize that there is some stuff that folks might not know.

First off, the full moon in December is called the Oak Moon. Why? Well, now that you is because it is named for the Oak King. The Oak King and the Holly King are brothers in the realm of Deity. Twice a year they battle for the hand of the Maiden Goddess. At summer solstice, the Holly King wins the battle and so we begin to have less light from the sun and darkness descends upon the world. At Yule, or winter solstice, the Oak King wins the battle. Thus we have increasing light come into our world. So how does this pertain to our current belief structures? Well, first off, when you look at the myth of the birth of Jesus you will find a lot of similarities to those of other birth stories of other deities. Basically the Son of God (Sun of God) is born. There are a lot of other things involved as well when it comes to the similarities of religious beliefs, but I would like to look more at some of the deeper meanings.

Within us all there is always a struggle between the Light and the Dark. This is an eternal struggle and, for those who think that they can win one over they other, let me tell you that the only way to win this particular struggle is to abandon it completely. The more we try to be only Light, the stronger our shadow side will emerge. The more we try to be only darkness, the stronger our light side will emerge. Jung would love this stuff! Anyway, the thing is to allow both to coexist in harmony with each other, each a powerful ally to the other. So we need to be strong and gentle along with a little wild and crazy. That way we don't drive ourselves bonkers trying to wear a mask that will only fit part of the time and only serve to smother us the rest of the time.

Yule is a time for indulgence. My favorite indulgence at this time of year is chocolate. Why do we indulge? Because our ancestors did. It was a time to celebrate the bounty of the coming year. So eat lots, drink and be merry and full of cheer. We don't have to be gluttonous drunks in order to do this. We just need to give ourselves permission to become less anal about having to show up at the gym (you pick your own personal dogma here!) on Christmas morning to make sure we don't break our routine workout for even a nano second. We can have that little Hershey's kiss and not worry about putting on 10 pounds. We can laugh and have a great time losing weight by laughing with friends, which will make up for any we put on in the last 5 minutes! We can celebrate! CELEBRATE! Now, for all the hyper religious folks out there, I would just like to point out the difference in spelling. It is spelled C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-E. Not c-e-l-i-b-a-t-e. That is where the most fun part of indulgence comes into play! Yes, most of Christmas traditions are based on pagan traditions that are about 4000 years older that Christianity itself. So what? This just means that we can all have a LOT in common for a change.

So don't be so afraid of the dark. After all, that is where the true benefits in the difference in spelling takes place! This is also probably why there are so many September babies born the following year.

Okay, so it is late at night when I am writing this and I am just going to post it and not worry about editing. That will mean that I will rely on you, the reader, to comment on it to let me actually know if you did indeed enjoy this posting. What say you?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Solstice Gatherings

Having missed this week's drumming circle, I find myself waiting with great anticipation for next week's Yule Ceremony. The Winter Solstice is a very meaningful time for me. Besides all the stuff about the mystical aspects of what the Solstice is, I find that personally it is a time of joy and light. This was affected for a while after having numerous members of my family (mother, father, mother-in-law and sister) die very close to each other over just a couple of short years. For a while there, I found the Yule season challenging. That is all part of the grieving process. But now I am back to experiencing the light and the joy of this time of year.

I enjoy getting together with friends and family and just visiting or playing board games. I very much enjoy the Christmas lights that are all around the house and the city. I adore the way the moonlight plays off of the sparkles in the snow. These things are magical to me. They remind me that in every glint of snow and in every star in the sky there is a connection with every cell of my body and that I am at one with all of Existence. Every light on the Yule tree reminds me of the endless light within my heart and the connection my heart has to all those around me. I also end up spending a LOT of time blowing snow out of our driveway. This is an arduous task, but it does give me time to think about my many blessings. One of the most delicious things for me is to get on a sled or toboggan or whatever and SLIIIIIIIDE down a hill. I think this appeals to my Otter Medicine. Climbing back up the hill is another story, but well worth the effort because I can then have the thrill of the slide once again!