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Yule Meditation – The Holly and Oak King

 

 

BLESSED YULE

 

 

 

YULE MEDITATION – THE YULE MEDITyULE ATION – THE HOLLY AND OAK KING

Yule Meditation 

The Holly and The Oak King

HOLLY AND OAK KING

Close your eyes.  Take deep breathes, in through your nose and out through your mouth.  With each intake of breath feel yourself fill with warmth and joy, and with outtake you feel yourself relaxing. (13 breaths) you are at your ritual level. Continue to breathe in and out, in and out (after 12) you are at your meditative state.

You find yourself in a cottage in the woods, and you have just finished decorating your yule tree.  As it is winter you now wish to take dried fruit and seeds out to the birds and animals that live in the surrounding forest.  You put on your warm wool cloak that your mother had made you the winter before and gather your gloves and basket full of goodies for the forest critters. 

You follow the path from your cottage to the forest and can hear your steps crunch underfoot.  Looking up to the forest before you, you see not the lush forest from winter, but barren trees with scattered evergreens. As you walking into the forest still following the path, you can hear the birds twittering as the day is clear and crisp.  A good day for the animals to forage.  Off in the distance you can hear smaller creatures moving around, looking for food.  You have a special place to leave your gifts and continue to walk for a time and very faintly you can hear some moving water.

You reach a small clearing to your right.  Next to the clearing is a stream that has all but frozen over.  Beside the stream is a small tree which is very bare and the perfect place to leave seeds, nuts, popcorn and cranberry strands as well as dried fruit.  You decorate the ground and tree with your offerings and say a little prayer for the animals.

Just off to the right of the tree is another path that leads to a very special place for you.   You follow the path, your arms now light as the basket only olds one item now.  You can see your destination ahead; a Holly Tree that has grown against an Oak tree. Your Grandmother has told you stories that twice a year, on this very spot the Oak King and Holly King, the forces of summer and winter, battle for supremacy over the Land. The Oak King, lord of spring and summer, presides over light and warmth. 

While the Oak King rules, the land is fertile, the days are long, and the winds are clement.  The Holly King, lord of autumn and winter, has the power of darkness and cold. His winds are brisk and bracing. The fields are barren under his watch. You smile and shake your head. You have tried to catch a glimpse of this duel but alas is but a faerie tale. 

You start to move forward so that you can leave your annual offering at the trees base… suddenly you hear a noise, not one that you recognize. You stop short and hide behind a nearby tree so that you can peek around and see if it is safe to proceed. Up ahead two men approach from opposite directions.

A man with a holly wreath upon his head says: I am the lord of winter. See my works and rejoice!

The night sky is dark and beautiful.

 

The sun is not so bright as to scorch your skin or burn your eyes. The winter snow is white and beautiful. My evergreen trees stand tall and proud. There is no incessant buzzing of insects on my watch. Everything is quiet, pristine, and pure. All is as it should be. May winter last forever!

 

The other man with a wreath of oak leaves and acorns upon his head returns with:

 

No, my brother! It is time for your reign to end. Yes, the long nights are pretty, but now the sun must return. The blue sky of summer is just as beautiful as the starry sky of midwinter. The pines are beautiful, but so are the apple, maple, and oak trees. Snow is a wonder to behold, but so are flowers. Insects may buzz, but they also bring life to flowers and fruit trees. You reign must end. Spring must come!

 

You smile, the Goddess has blessed you with the sight to see the changing of the season.  The Holly King speaks: My brother, if you seek to rule the land, then you must take it from me by force. Let us be joined in battle.

 

You look to the Oak King for his retort: Yes, my brother. Spring must arrive, and so I will do as I must. Let us do Battle!

 

The two kings begin. At first, they are evenly matched, but the Holly King briefly appears to be winning.

See! I hold the power of night, the power of winter. Yield to me, and I will spare you!

Never! I must bring back the power of the sun. I will not yield!

 

The Oak King’s combat prowess increases and the Holly King starts slowly retreating under the Oak King’s relentless blows.

The Holly King shouts: No! Winter must continue!

The Oak King shouts back: There must be balance, my brother!

 

The Holly King is now obviously running out of energy. Under the barrage of blows, he drops to one knee, and then collapses to a heap on the ground. The Oak King stops swinging his weapon and holds his sword at the ready position, aimed at the fallen Holly King.

 

The Holly King speaks: I yield. I am defeated. But I ask of you, my brother, that you spare me.

 

The Oak King extends a hand to the Holly King and raises him to his feet.

 

Oak King: Of course I shall spare you, my brother. You are need just as much as I am. The land must have balance between light and dark, warm and cold, waking and sleeping. Take your rest now.                      And we shall meet again at midsummer.

 

The Holly King bows respectfully to the Oak King speaks out into the forest  “Let the light return. Let the days grow longer. May life return to the land.“ and both Brothers leave whence they came.

 

You are so excited, the balance of power shifts from darkness to light, and you have now witnessed one of the great battles. From now until midsummer, the days shall increase and the skies will brighten. All is as it should be. Your rush forward and leave your offering at the base of the tree also offering the Goddess a prayer for allowing you to witness such a rite.

 

You turn now as you wish to hurry home and share what you have witnessed with your sisters.  As you walk down the path you become aware of your breathing, in and out. Continue your breathing as the scene before you begins to fade. Breathe in and out, in and out and as you breathe become aware of your physical body sitting on the floor (12 breathes). 

Continue to breathe in and out and start to become aware of your surroundings. Wiggle your fingers and toes. Stretch and open your eyes.

 

Adapted by Autumn Storm

SACRED HAVEN COVEN

Yule Sabbat

 

 

Twas the Night of the Solstice

 

Twas the night of the Solstice, the party was done, soon we would gather to call back the Sun;


The season of Winter was halfway through, we called for the Mother to birth Him anew.


The children were quiet or now fast asleep, the elders drew nigh then, the Solstice to keep;


All were prepared and the Circle was raised, in peace and in silence as deep as a cave.


The Priestess then lifted the sword upon high, the Priest made the ancient call to the sky;


So ancient, that cry that asks for rebirth, as the Mother and Sun Child are called to the Earth,


Then what to our wondering eyes did appear? The Lord and the Lady our folk all rèvere!


"What is your need that you call us this night?" "Bring us," we chorused, "the Child of Light!"


"Lady, Who art the seasons of birth, come to us, bless us, dear Mother Earth"


"We hear you" She answered, "and so it shall be, as Solstice is here, I return Him to thee."


"But remember your promise and cherish your land, for He gives both the seed and the death by his hand."


The silence was total, the Priestess bowed low. The Priest gave salute, asking, "What do we owe?"


"You owe your laughter," He said "and your love, and in all of your magic's respect for her grove;


Rape not Her body, nor pillage Her soil, labor with love and give free of your toil."


"And follow the seasons of Moon and of Sun, do so with love and We always will come.


To comfort and guide you, to bring you rebirth, so give of your love to your land, Mother Earth!"


So saying, They faded; we wondering looked on, the Solstice rite done with morning birdsong.


The message They gave us was of love, not of pain, that the land that we cherish be fruitful again.


The Circle was ended, the peace yet abides, through the cycles of seasons and love we'll not hide.


Her children who met Them that night in the grove, still cherish the land and Their message of love.

Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart

 

 

A Winter Prayer 

 

 Light a Yule Candle Ritual

The festival of Yule is based on the 12-day Roman mid-winter feast, Saturnalia. During these days, we celebrate the rebirth of the Sun Lord and the return of the light. Why not take a few moments each of those 12 days at sunset, or whenever you deem appropriate, to gather together as a family for prayers in observance of the holiday.

 

Get a pillar candle and decorate it by carving it with sun symbols, or using white craft glue and glitter to make it decorative. Set it on your altar or in a special place. Every evening as the sun goes down, join together for a special prayer and light the candle, saying a few words about the holiday, or singing a song. Do this for the 12 nights of Yule, beginning with the eve of the Solstice. 




Yule Meditation

Author Unknown

 

You are walking in a cold mist, shortly before dawn; you can make out little in any direction. You wonder where you are, but feel totally safe. Merlin's voice whispers in your ear. "This way. You are expected." He takes your arm and waves his staff in front of you, and the mist clears. You see a standing stone, and Arthur leaning against it. He smiles in welcome and gives you a great bear-hug, then puts his arm round your shoulders. He leads you forward. Ahead of you is a stone circle. Between the two yew trees through which you will enter it stands Morgan, who reaches out for you and kisses you full on the lips. "Welcome back, dear friend," she says, "Come into the circle."

 You step between the tall dark trees and beneath the high stone gate. Once you have passed within the mist and cold disappear. Below the grass is bright green with sparkling dewdrops and overhead a pale pre-dawn winter sky with a waxing moon in the west. You stare about you in wonder. The circle is full of all creation; there are animals and birds, insects, reptiles, and in a pool water creatures; there are the divas of the plant kingdom, the creatures who guard and protect the mineral world and above and around you the spirits of the elements and the upper worlds whom we humans rarely see. In the middle of the space is a large stone throne covered with warm sheepskins on the seat, back and arms. You wonder whose throne it is. There is an air of excited expectancy among your companions that catches your attention.

Silent as a cat, Guenevere comes beside you and slips a light cloak around your shoulders. "Very soon now!" she whispers.... You hear the sound of a horn carrying upon the still air. The life forms around you suddenly quieten. The sun's rays begin to show over the horizon behind the throne opposite you. You watch the daily magic as it rises, a glowing golden arc surrounded in its own glory, gradually lifting to be a hemisphere of light and then higher still to become a globe of golden brilliance that floods across the world. You hear the sigh of joy from all the throats around you, and from your own, and watch as from the centre of the golden sphere a shape emerges. A figure... and it comes towards you, growing ever closer and larger. As the shape comes closer you realise that it is not one figure, but two. At first just a silhouette, there now emerges a dark skinned young woman dressed in robes of russet, citrine, olive and black, carrying in her arms a child, from whom the light of the very sun itself shines. You hear around you a great cheer from the whole of creation as she dips below the stone gate and enters the sacred space. The woman smiles at the assembled beings and takes her place on the stone throne. She holds up the new child of light, freeing his small arms from the deerskin in which he is wrapped. He is the most perfect child you have ever seen and you notice high on his brow the tiny start of twin antlers.

 He looks directly at you, taps his mother's arm and points, saying your name. She beckons you to approach, which you do, and you find yourself kneeling before her and the child. He smiles at you, and then asks, "What have you brought me?" What indeed? You reach in your pockets, but there is nothing there. You think very hard... and finally you say, "I have brought myself. I have nothing else to give." The child laughs. "That is the best thing I could have asked for. And I give you myself." He leans forward and kisses you on the lips, the most tender and complete kiss, full of pure love, that you have ever felt. "And I give you light that will never die to hold within yourself and to share with others...." He reaches out and touches your head with his small bright fingers and you feel the light transfer from him to you, and the glow as it sinks downwards to lodge in your inner heart, ready for use whenever needed. "And this is especially for you," he says... As everyone's gift is different, you need to be very aware of what is yours. It might be that he slips something into your hand, or shows you a vision, or whispers a few words to you... You remember what his gift is and take it with you, close in your heart. You do not know what to say. Thank you seems vastly inadequate. You stutter something out and he laughs. "No need to thank me, it is I who should thank you. You can now do my work in the physical world and I rejoice."

 Guenevere comes beside you and takes your arm, raising you to your feet. You realise that she looks very similar to the child's mother... "We are One" she says softly, and leads you to Morgan at the gate. "All Goddesses are One," says Morgan, "The Bright and the Dark side are all equal." She takes your cloak and hands it back to Guenevere, then passes you on to Arthur who puts his finger on his lips. "You don't have to say anything. You did well," he says. He leads you away from the standing stones to Merlin who takes you into the mist.  "Remember to pass the light on," he says softly, "and know that it is inexhaustible - there are no limits to it and it is there to use." Slowly he fades from your view and you feel yourself back in your physical body, but you hear bells and music in the distance welcoming the new light. Listen and remember……….

 

 

The Twelve Days of Yuletide

On the first day of Yuletide
The Goddess sent to me, 
A Pentacle in a pear tree.  

On the second day of Yuletide
The Goddess sent to me, 
Two wise Owls,
And a Pentacle in a pear tree.

 

On the third day of Yuletide,
The Goddess sent to me,
Three Moons arising,
Two wise Owls,
And a Pentacle in a pear tree.

On the fourth day of Yuletide,
The Goddess sent to me,
Four Quarters calling,
Three Moons arising,
Two wise Owls,
And a Pentacle in a pear tree.

On the fifth day of Yuletide,
The Goddess sent to me,

Five shining stars,
Four Quarters calling,
Three Moons arising,
Two wise Owls,
And a Pentacle in a pear tree.

On the sixth day of Yuletide,
The Goddess sent to me,
Six rays of light,
Five shining stars,
Four Quarters calling,
Three Moons arising,
Two wise Owls,
And a Pentacle in a pear tree.

On the seventh day of Yuletide,
The Goddess sent to me,
Seven major Chakras,
Six rays of light,
Five shining stars, s,
Four Quarters calling,
Three Moons arising,
Two wise Owls,
And a Pentacle in a pear tree.

On the eighth day of Yuletide,
The Goddess sent to me,
Eight Wiccan Sabbats,
Seven major Chakras,
Six rays of light,
Five shining stars,
Four Quarters calling,
Three Moons arising,
Two wise Owls,
And a Pentacle in a pear tree.

On the ninth day of Yuletide,
The Goddess sent to me,
Nine Celtic maidens,
Eight Wiccan Sabbats,
Seven major Chakras,
Six rays of light,
Five shining stars,
Four Quarters calling,
Three Moons arising,
Two wise Owls,
And a Pentacle in a pear tree.

On the tenth day of Yuletide,
The Goddess sent to me,
Ten Doves of Peace,
Nine Celtic maidens,
Eight Wiccan Sabbats,
Seven major Chakras,
Six rays of light,
Five shining stars,
Four Quarters calling,
Three Moons arising,
Two wise Owls,
And a Pentacle in a pear tree.  

On the eleventh day of Yuletide,
The Goddess sent to me,
Eleven Mystic Gates,
Ten Doves of Peace,
Nine Celtic maidens,
Eight Wiccan Sabbats,
Seven major Chakras,
Six rays of light,
Five shining stars,
Four Quarters calling,
Three Moons arising,
Two wise Owls,
And a Pentacle in a pear tree.

On the twelfth day of Yuletide,
The Goddess sent to me,
Twelve months returning,
Eleven Mystic Gates,
Ten Doves of Peace,
Nine Celtic maidens,
Eight Wiccan Sabbats,
Seven major Chakras,
Six rays of light,
Five shining stars,
Four Quarters calling,
Three Moons arising,
Two wise Owls,
And a Pentacle in a pear tree.

Rowan Morgana 2012

 

 Silent Night

Silent Night, Solstice Night

All is calm, All is bright

Nature slumbers in forest and glen.

Till in springtime She wakens again.

Sleeping spirits grow strong!

Sleeping spirits grow strong.

 

Silent Night, Solstice Night

Silver moon, shining bright

Snowfall blankets the slumbering Earth

Yule fires welcome the Sun’s rebirth.

Hark, the Light is reborn!

Hark, the Light is reborn.

 

Silent Night, Solstice Night

Quiet rest till the Light

Turning ever the rolling Wheel

Brings the Winter to comfort and heal

Rest your Spirit in peace!

Rest your Spirit in peace.

                                          

 

We Wish You A Happy Solstice

   

We wish you a happy Solstice

 We wish you a happy Solstice

 We wish you a happy Solstice

 And a night of Good Cheer.

 Season’s Greeting we bring

 To all far and near

 We wish you a happy Solstice

 And a night of good cheer!

 

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