When it comes to Yule, there aren’t as many seasonal myths as there are for other holidays. The most frequent one that comes up in my research is the Holly and Oak Kings. I’ve never been able to pin down this myth’s exact origin, but it is generally believed to be Celtic. Basic story: There are two brothers who rule at different times of the year. At Midwinter and Midsummer they duke it out and from Midwinter to Midsummer the Oak King rules and the Holly King reigns after the Midsummer battle. It is a representation for the change in seasons and the switch in duality. I also want to note that my favorite translation has the Kings as two different aspects of the Stag King. Yule is also strongly associated with the solar deities, so myths about Belenus and Ra definitely apply. The main themes of the season are change and duality. Enjoy reflecting on these aspects as the sun shifts from wax to wane.
© Ariadne Woods
I got home from school less than a week ago and already I want to throttle everyone. I love my family, I do, but it is hard to go from a situation of independence and self reliance to back home on my mom’s couch. You having similar problems? I share with you the tools I use to get me through to the next semester.
- Take a Walk: I realize it’s cold. But getting out of your house and observing nature is good for the soul and has a strong calming affect. Which you’ll need when your great aunt asks for the fourteenth time why you’re not married yet.
- Don’t Revert to Old Habits: This is a good one to buddy up on. My cousin is a former smoker and I eat EVERYTHING IN SIGHT when stressed. So during the holidays we tag-team to keep each other in check.
- Enjoy Traditions: I am so excited for my Solstice vigil, the candlelight service at my mom’s church, gift giving, drinking with my sister and cousin, and my grandmother’s food. Those are what I want to take away from the holidays, not my mom’s nagging.
- Keep in Contact with Friends: They’re going crazy, too. Don’t be the constant texter, but sending each other encouraging texts will help everyone stay happy.
- Headphones: Absolute lifesaver.
© Ariadne Woods
Like a lot of women my age, I use a purse. While the bag itself changes on a regular basis, what I carry doesn’t: my cell phone, wallet, credit cards, ID, etc. One thing that always gets switched is a makeup bag. While in one section I have lip gloss and a compact, I also carry a few special objects. For one I have a set of runes I am trying to program. I also have three stones I favor and a set of mala beads. The reason I bring these things with me is not because I really use them in public, but rather they center me in times of crisis and bring me a measure of peace. For example, I hate getting shots. Earlier today I went into my doctor’s office for my flu shot. I slipped one of the stones into my hand before the procedure and it helped me remain calm. These objects are not tools I use every day, but I am always happy to have them in my bag.
If you carry any similar objects with yo, share in the comments!
© Ariadne Woods
As you know, Cauldron and Brew has been suspended during my final exam period. It was really intense this year, so thanks for the patience and encouragement.
Starting tomorrow, I will be back to regular posting. I’m super excited to share some new Tips and other things.
This week has been heartbreaking. Like a lot of people Friday, I wanted the news from Newtown, CT, in horror. Those families are experiencing unimaginable grief and sadness. It is one thing to lose a family member this time of year, but it is quite another to lose a child. In the coming weeks, may the Lord and Lady stand with them and give the families love and strength.
To the victims of the violence, may your path be clear and shine with bright light and blessings as you walk to the next life. By the power of the Goddess and God, so mote it be.