Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Yule 2012: Parties & Pouches & Wands

At this writing it is a little less than 3 days before Yule or Winter Solstice, which will be on Friday, December 21st at 6:12am. Considering what has transpired less than a week ago, I ask you to forgive me in advance for the omission of tragic events that are being chronicled consistently in every type of media available. Though this does not surprise me; understanding the cyclic tides of nature, marking us clearly in the last few days of the season of Samhain, the last spoke of the Wheel of the Year, the season of Death. Even with the moon in Pisces, my natal Moon, it is hard to escape the somberness cast by recent tragedies. But still, were it not for my vocation as a reverend, I would certainly succumb to the waves, but cannot. It may be in my nature to slumber in somber, but there is too much to be done in preparation for what is easily one of the busiest weeks of my year.

You see, I am a Witch, to the bone & to my boots. I understand the mysteries of death. It comes with the job I suppose. If I have learned anything, it is that death, though apparently real in this world, is in itself unreal, an illusion to the immortal & eternal part of me. Thankfully this part of me is becoming more dominant in my awareness as I grow in my path of wisdom through experience. So it is that among all of the tasks on my to-do list that I must now gradually & gently turn my focus to Yule & the rebirth of the Sun. For in truth, there is no death without rebirth. We see this is nature & surely this applies to all of us; eternal beings clothed temporarily in the disguise of humanity.

Yule is indeed a time of good cheer, as what once seemed to die is slowly on the rise in its rebirth. Though the land will slumber until March & Ostara/Spring Equinox, the Sun itself will begin to rise day by day; lengthening the light minute by minute until it reaches its height 6 months from now at Litha/Summer Solstice. So I am challenged to not just shift my focus, but to embody this rebirth through a somewhat cautious optimism. I must do this, for the events ahead of me dictate it so. Not in some facsimile of joy, but to really reach for it & become that joy. It is what my path dictates & I am its willing pilgrim on that path.

In a few hours I will be attending a dear friend’s birthday party. The following day I will attend a lunch with that same friend & others that I meet with weekly. It is a treasured break from my work & career as a Professional Witch, where I get to laugh & be snarky for a few hours. Then Thursday we host our annual Silver Broom & Drawing the Circle’s Yule party at our center in Sayville. It is a well attended event each year, one where we gather to recognize that the rebirth we all seek is indeed coming. Because of Hurricane Sandy, we did not meet for our annual Halloween Party, so the community is most likely chomping at the bit for a party, a reprieve from the mundane craziness of the holidays.

Each year Amy & I craft Yule Pouches as gifts to all who attend. In each pouch is a combination of herbs & crystals chosen to signify intentions desired to manifest over the next Wheel of the Year. It is our tradition that we have become very adept at creating. I also post the spell & its ingredients each year so those who cannot attend can attempt at making their own pouch, or at least work the spell in their own creative ways. Here is the spell & its ingredients. I wish you all the best of success with it:

Yule Spell 2012:
Happy, Healthy, Wealthy & Wise

Happy - Catnip, Lavender, Witchgrass, Blue Lace Agate
Healthy - Spikenard, Galangal, Nutmeg,
Wealthy - Basil, Cedar, Cinnamon Oil, Mint, Aventurine
Wise - Sage

As the Yuletide Sun does rise,
With all the power it implies,
Waxing Sun with full surprise
Now manifest before my eyes.
All the good that does comprise
Happy, Healthy, Wealthy & Wise.
For the Highest Good & Harming none,
as I will it, so let it be done.
So Mote it Be!

You can see that we chose herbs & stones to correlate to each intention of Happy, Healthy, Wealthy & Wise. Though some of the ingredients may be a bit obscure like Galangal & Spikenard, I’m sure that a simple list of correspondences will suffice to help you choose easier to find substitutions. But what gives me so much joy is the making of these pouches & with Amy. We have become a well oiled machine of spell crafting. We cranked out 111 of them in under an hour. No easy feat, though the choosing of ingredients & the actual writing of the spell took me weeks. But should you make your own, or get one at one of the parties, I wish you all the happiness, health, wealth & wisdom that it inspires.

One thing that has given me great joy & distraction this passing Samhain season is the crafting of wands & staffs. I haven’t put my hand to craft other than magickally in decades. My own artistic endeavors have been in the spoken word alone for a long time. So it was with great surprise that I find myself obsessed somewhat with the making of these wooden objects, each a work of art for me, even if for me alone. They will make up the majority of gifts that I will give this year, at least to my magickal family. Yes, I am selling them at The Silver Broom’s shop is Sayville as well, with the proceeds going to help the Broom as well as myself get the bills paid.

The wood came from the trees that fell during the storm, as well as from a Sweet Chestnut tree that died this past year. Mother Maple, one of my biggest & most beloved trees threw off half of her wood during the hurricane. So it was with fierce determination that I set about the rebirthing of the form of wood into something truly magical & precious. Wands & staffs are surely more akin to Witches nowadays thanks to  Harry Potter. This is why I will ask each I give a wooden gift to, to go to the Broom & select their own. After all, the Wand chooses the Witch.

But I cannot escape the symbolism of the death of the trees being reborn as wands. It is what has kept my head down to my work; barking, sanding, carving, wood-burning & varnishing each piece. It has been my open eyed meditation. It has also provided me with a new vocation if you will. I have become an Ollivander of sorts; though the core of each are the wood itself, my own passion & intention sculpted into a new form, from that which has fallen.

Is this not what Yule is? Do we not look back over the past year & seek to identify the best through appreciation? Even in our New Year’s resolutions we seek to plant new seeds for growth based on the dead year left behind. So it is that I will, after this posting, get in the shower, go get a strong Venti Starbucks Latte & shift my vibration upward. I will party among the best of them this week, keep my focus held diligently, if not gently, toward the good that must come with the season if I look for it. Then, when the dust has settled, the tinsel packed away & the parties subsided, I will step into the a new year with my company, ministry & coven; wishing for myself & all I meet the very best that constitutes a life lived Happy, Healthy, Wealthy & Wise.

Blessed Be,

Rev. Mark A. Lyons, President
Drawing the Circle Productions INC.
631-968-8307 @ProfWitch on Twitter

Monday, December 17, 2012

Yule Sale ends Thursday, December 20th at Midnight!

Hey People,
I'm doing a Yule Sale for readings!
Buy a Gift Certificate for a 30 minute reading for $30 or an hour reading for $50 with Mark.
Purchase at The Silver Broom Ministries or online at:
Sale ends Thursday, December 20th at Midnight.
Gift Certificates will be honored at the discounted price throughout 2013.