What will you leave in the past and what brightness will you draw to you in the new year?
On a dark wintry night, a bright light shone through the snowflakes, twinkling like a charm, and releasing the fetters of the old year gone by. The White Lady is passing in her wagon spinning a spell of sparkling snow….
Journey to the Wishing Well Ritual
Purify with intention and smoke. Ground and center. Create sacred space. In your mind’s eye, sit before the hearth and gaze into the coals. On a Saturday, just before the New Moon on December 18th make a shrine to the goddess with a white cloth and white candle and leave an offering of milk and cookies there before bed. If you have elderberry cordial or syrup take a small sip or make a cup of elderberry tea. Pour out a bit for the spirits. Say a charm prayer to the elder tree.
Queen of the Herbs
-Tree Readings: 13 Ogham Tree Oracle
See before you the elder tree ogham sigil, a charm to guide you onward. Write it on the middle joint of your pinky finger. Chant the elder’s ogham name Ruis (rweesh) three times to activate its magical energy. In trance, Northern Shamans use the hollow tubes of the elder to journey. The elder’s hollow stalks become the road down to the underworld. You slide down one of them to The White lady’s magical well to make a wish that you will have closure for the year that soon will be passing. Once you arrive at the well you will want to make a wish for the new year. The Winter Goddess will guide and protect you as a loving mother through this new moon cycle and the Twelve Nights of Yule, a time of rest when the supernatural has its sway.
To prepare for the new year, make sure you have made a list and checked it twice that all important past tasks that need doing are done. Once you are clear that you can move forward into the future, become a spinning wheel, whirling and humming and spin a rhyme for your travel back up to your waking reality.
Draw the latch,
Sit by the fire and spin;
Take a cup,
And drink it up,
And let good temper in”
—Cross Patch Nursery Rhyme
Holda’s Symbols for Meditation: Feather bed, snowflakes, wagon, goose, candle crown, wishing well, spinning wheel, straw, gold, the elder tree, hedgerow, crossroads. Hold these in your mind when you think of the Winter Goddess.
Winter Incense Suggestions: Juniper, Mugwort, Cedar, Pine, Cinnamon, Rosemary, Nutmeg, Clove, Copol, Gugul, Myrrh, Frankincense.
Bioregional Incense Ideas. Look for trees, resins, and plants that grow in your locality http://kivasenchantments.com/incense.html
Note: The elder is never to be cut for that would be bad luck for all time to come. When the elder sheds old branches it is time to make an offering of hair, blood, water or a special gift and say a prayer to Hylde Moer, asking for a bit of her leaves and wood for a shine to her. She is called the medicine chest of the people, the elder tree, Sambucus nigra, who gives freely of her berries for tea or plant medicine.
"Old girl, give me some of thy wood and I will give thee some of mine when I grow into a tree."
Resources & Credits
Picture: Creative Commons, “Holda, the good protectress" (1882) by Friedrich Wilhelm Heine
The Old Goddess http://www.suppressedhistories.net/secrethistory/oldgoddess.html
Sambucus nigra https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/e/elder-04.html
Elder Clip Art http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/55700/55713/55713_elder.htm
Celtic Ogham Font by Curtis Clark https://www.dafont.com/beth-luis.font
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