This was my last article for the Sunday Stew.
I always hate goodbye. Whether its taking down the last witch and skeleton from Halloween with a tear in my eye, or taking down the tree from Christmas/Yule when it’s well beyond New Year and absolutely dreading the boxing of the lovely decorations that stirred my heart at evening time.
Magic is everyday.
Just when you thought the fun had stopped along comes the New Year and you are bouncing at the opportunity of this new year to be extraordinary.
Mischievous, revelry, wine begins flowing, champagne corks popping, creating a world of magic and mischief right before your eyes. You can be wild and free. Dancing through the aisles, drums to shake
the rafters, songs to stir the heart and chants to fire the spirit.
Spell for the New Year…..
We are at the Waning Moon-write everything you don’t like, people too, energies, blocks, aggravations, predicaments, put them all down on paper. Then burn the sucker and see everything uncrossing, unblocking, banished to a mere ash. Aah that felt good, and you will feel the same. Free. The space to be replaced with all good things to come.
The journey of winter is upon us; and travelling through the celtic countries, where Yule, New Year, Hogmagog, Christmas and the Winter Solstice have uniquely interlaced over time; each finding its own way to stand on the edge of nature while she sleeps. And so, over the coldest of seasons, her peoples have sought to connect the old and the new through song and dance, the death and rebirth of a new year!
Yule has passed, a celebration in which scholars have connected to the Wild Hunt, the god Odin and the pagan Anglo-SaxonModranicht. Odin was often depicted as leading a hunting party through the skies.
I love reading about the Wild Hunt and Herne the Hunter and Odin, Father Christmas riding the sky at night in animal skin.
The Fairy Spirit of Old Father Time at the New Year is the personification of Time and the more friendly version of the Grim Reaper. Typically pictured as an old man with a white beard doning a cloak and oft times carrying a scythe and hourglass. In ancient times he was known as Chronus or Saturn.
He symbolizes the flow of time and its effects. His old body is a reminder that time is the devourer of all things and that, like the sand in the hourglass he often carries, his life will run out, as all good things come to an end.
Oh what a joy to live
How very special are we
For just a moment to be
Part of life’s eternal rhyme
While New Year’s Eve is celebrated around the world, the Scots have a long rich heritage associated with this event – and have their own name for it, Hogmanay.
The traditional New Year ceremony of yester year would involve people dressing up in the hides of cattle and running around the village being hit by sticks. The festivities would also include the lighting of bonfires, rolling blazing tar barrels down the hill and tossing torches. Animal hide was also wrapped around sticks and ignited which produced a smoke that was believed to be very effective to ward off evil spirits. The smoking stick was also known as a Hogmanay.
“The Horn Dance” comes from Abbots Bromley in Staffordshire. Eight men danced through the village with antler horns on their heads in order to “bring in the luck” for the New Year. The tradition still continues in Abbots Bromley. This dance is thought to have its origins in Pre-Christian Fertility Rites.
The Stag Dance and Hoof and Horn.
The horn will blow
The piper calls
The Stags will dance
As darkness falls.
Also in the medieval traditions, this is the night of first-footing. Men only: this is an opportunity to rack up a store of good luck or karma for the coming year, by being the Footer. You do this by bringing a blessing gift (called a handsel) to the master or mistress of a home or gathering place, just after midnight. There should be three items that symbolize warmth (firewood), wealth (salt), and food (cake). In some villages the Footer also brings an evergreen sprig or a red herring.
My friend, the Lord of Misrule, is my favorite. I saved him for last.While mostly known as a British holiday custom, the appointment of a Lord of Misrule comes from antiquity. In ancient Rome, a Lord of Misrule was appointed for the feast of Saturnalia, in the guise of the good god Saturn. During this time the ordinary rules of life were subverted as masters served their slaves, and the offices of state were held by slaves. The Lord of Misrule presided over all of this, and had the power to command anyone to do anything during the holiday period.
To me this is so empowering, and the Fool Card dancing through life bringing merriment and magic is a vision to behold for the new year. It allows oppportunities and holds a child like space, open, where anything is possible and that is Magic.
It is here I will say goodbye, my final article for The Sunday Stew. I owe my blog to the Stew and to Kallan Kennedy, for giving me a forum, confidence, and friendship, that means a lot. I loved being allowed, here, to bring my friends and teachers along, mostly, the opportunity to get to share their thoughts with you. The interviews and articles had everything to do with Magic, at the heart of what I contributed. Being a part of this was also like family. I hold each writer I wrote alongside dear. I’m crying as I write, even though I promised to be brave. I am happy, too.
Kallan; I love to write and you provided me a vehicle with deadlines to commit to which allowed me to create a body of work I never would have otherwise. It’s so easy to say I’m gonna do this, or do that, even a book, but getting your thoughts out and giving yourself the time without guilt and really digging in is lost unless you are relentless and committed. You are a shining example of that. Thank you.
Thank you, to all the readers that honored me with every article and interview read.
Life is a journey.