Magickal Month- December

Magickal Month December
Magickal Month December

December is a month of extremes. There’s the cold and chill outside, and the warmth and comfort of our homes, our families, and our friends. There’s the stress and frustration of holiday shopping, finances, parties, etc., and there are the sweet, happy moments of seasonal joy. It can be incredibly difficult for a lot of people, or it can be the month that people look forward to all year. It can bring out the best and the worst in us. The holidays are full of contradictions.

In nature, everything is quiet. A lot of places have gotten their first snows (not here in Georgia- we may be lucky to see some in January or February), and most of the trees are bare. This is the season of muted colors, greys and browns, and of soft focus sunlight filtering through the trees. I love Winter, despite the fact it flares up my fibro and leaves me in pain. It’s just so calm and peaceful and quiet. Outside of malls and shopping centers, that is.

I haven’t really seen much wildlife lately, though I’ve been hearing blue jays. I’m mostly concerned for the neighborhood cats, and I’m hoping that their people take them in for the night. Last year, Pandora (a neighborhood stray) had 3 kittens, and only 1 made it through the cold Winter (our Minerva). We’ve since had them both fixed, and while she tends to find her way into the crawl space under our house, I’m thinking we need to build her a warm cat shelter outside from a Rubbermaid container and a styrofoam cooler. I worry about who will take care of her and all of the other neighborhood cats next Winter after we’ve moved.

December 7- New Moon in Sagittarius, 2:20am EST
December 22- Full Moon in Cancer, 12:48pm EST

December 6- Mercury goes direct at 4:23pm in Scorpio
Geminids meteor shower peaks December 14th.
Ursid meteor shower peaks December 22nd.

Celtic Tree Month:
Elder (November 25- December 23): Endings and new beginnings, completion of the cycle, focusing on greater happiness and your heart’s desire, evaluating what you’ve learned over the last year, cutting loose ends, thinking about your dreams for the new year, judgment, transformation, death and regeneration, fate, the inevitable, exorcism, banishment, prosperity and healing, leaves and berries can be used for protection and breaking spells cast against you.
Birch (December 24- January 20): Beginning of Celtic tree calender, new beginnings, making plans for the future, contemplation, resolutions, inception, “Lady of the Woods”, reflects feminine aspects of nature. Renewal, protection, wards evil, banishes fears/builds courage, beauty and tolerance.

Holidays (non-Pagan):
December 1: World AIDS Day
December 2: First day of Advent (Christian)
December 3: First day of Hanukkah (Jewish)
December 6: St. Nicholas Day
December 7: Pearl Harbor Rememberance Day
December 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Christian)
December 10: Last day of Hanukkah (Jewish)
December 24: Christmas Eve (Christian)
December 25: Christmas (Christian)
December 26: First day of Kwanzaa
December 31: New Year’s Eve

Holidays (Pagan):
December 9-10: Feast of the Greek Goddess Athena
December 10-11: Feast of Greek deities Aphrodite and Hermes
December 13: Feast of the Light Bringer, honoring Juno Lucina and Swedish St. Lucia
December 14-15: Feast of Posiedon, Aphritrite, and all Greek deities of the seas
December 17-23: Saturnalia/Opalia, honoring Roman god Saturn and goddess Ops
December 21: Yule/Winter Solstice
December 21-22: Old European festival of evergreen trees
December 21-25: Romano-Egyptian festival of goddess Isis giving birth to Horus
December 21-25: Greek festival Dionysia honoring Dionysis
December 25-26: Greek festival of the wind gods of the eight directions
December 25-January 5: Anglo-Teutonic Yule honoring Freyr and Freyja and Balder
December 31: Feast of Father Time/Roman god Saturn

Themes for the month: Family, friends, giving gifts to people you love, togetherness, long nights, staying cozy in the cold, celebration, joy, festivity, warmth on the longest night of the year.

General activities for the month: Getting ready for your Winter holiday of choice, making gifts, wrapping gifts, decorating trees, making cookies, gathering with friends, going out to community events, building fires, drinking hot bevvies, watching holiday movies.

Herbs I’m using: Holiday greenery. Wildcrafted holly, pine boughs, and frankincense oil in the essential oil diffuser. Tea for self-soothing as the days get cooler and the fibro flares more and more.

Stones I’m using: Rutilated quartz for clarity and pathworking. Petrified wood, my ‘teacher stone’. Clear quartz for the pure, uncluttered energy boost that I need right now, and selenite for cleansing and clearing away the old year.

Goddess of the Month: Laetitia, Roman goddess of holidays, festivals, celebration, and joy. Sometimes the holidays can be tough for people who are estranged from their families or work in retail or customer service. I’m honoring Laetitia in hopes that they can find some joy this season.

December 3 card reading
December 3 card reading

December’s Reading:

This reading was so literal it made me laugh.  It’s so very, very tied to this time of year, I love it!

First, we have The Devil, which represents temptations.  The early part of December is all about rushing around to make all the parties, buy all the gifts, eat all the food, and drink all the holiday cheer.  This is a hedonistic time of year, when everyone goes off their diets, overspends, and just generally revels in the joy of the season.  So The Devil is a warning to revel within reason- don’t go too overboard!  Because….

It’s all really about the rebirth of the sun/son/solar deity of choice.  So when the sun rises the day after the longest Solstice/Yule night, we get to be reborn as well.  The King of Wands is the male at the height of his fiery/solar power, and this card is so clearly representative of the energy of the Solstice and the fire of the sun being reborn.  The only thing that would have been more appropriate would have been the sun itself, so I think this is a sign that we need to embody that solar energy ourselves and let ourselves be reborn with the sun.

Finally, we have Death.  Death is usually all about a change where something has to be let go so that we can continue on, unemcumbered.  And what we need to let go of is all the negativity, expectations, and goals of 2018 to make way for 2019.  So at the end of the month, we’ll have the death of the old year.  So the question is what do you want to leave behind?  Make a list and burn it in the Yuletide fire, and clear your life out for the new things to come in 2019.

Our special guidance card especially cracked me up.  It’s SO perfect to tie the reading together.  It reads “When I accept the love of the universe as my primary teacher, I will always be guided back to the light.”  And since the longest night will be on the 21st of the month, every day after that leads us to progressively longer/warmer/brighter days as the sun builds in power.  We’re absolutely, 100% being led back to the light.  The cards are laughing at me, I think.

So we’re going to party, welcome back the sun, and then let go of 2018 so that we can be led back into the light.  Viola!

The Christmas Holly
By Eliza Cook

The holly! the holly! oh, twine it with bay–
Come give the holly a song;
For it helps to drive stern winter away,
With his garment so sombre and long;

It peeps through the trees with its berries of red,
And its leaves of burnished green,
When the flowers and fruits have long been dead,
And not even the daisy is seen.
Then sing to the holly, the Christmas holly,
That hangs over peasant and king;
While we laugh and carouse ‘neath its glittering boughs,
To the Christmas holly we’ll sing.

The gale may whistle, the frost may come
To fetter the gurgling rill;
The woods may be bare, and warblers dumb,
But holly is beautiful still.
In the revel and light of princely halls
The bright holly branch is found;
And its shadow falls on the lowliest walls,
While the brimming horn goes round.

The ivy lives long, but its home must be

Where graves and ruins are spread;
There’s beauty about the cypress tree,
But it flourishes near the dead;
The laurel the warrior’s brow may wreathe,
But it tells of tears and blood;
I sing the holly, and who can breathe
Aught of that that is not good?

Then sing to the holly, the Christmas holly,
That hangs over peasant and king;
While we laugh and carouse ‘neath its glittering boughs,
To the Christmas holly we’ll sing.

My personal tides: I’m already starting to plan for 2019, and I think I may have my phrase for the year. Things are starting to come together to the point that we can start looking for our new home, and I’m excited to change things up. In that spirit, I keep looking around at all this junk I’ve accumulated in the 14 years that I’ve lived here, and I’ve been deciding what’s really essential. Ideally, we’ll move and just take the things we absolutely have to have, and then have a moving sale for the rest, but I really want to get rid of it now. At the very least, I’ve already started packing books up. I’m just ready to let go of all of the old and make way for the new. I expect to give up at least half of my ‘things’.

My personal goals: I’ve ordered a Passion Planner this year, and I want to spend the last week of December doing some in-depth planning. I also want to offer a variety of ‘year ahead’ tarot and oracle readings for 2019, so look for those soon. My holiday shopping as about half done as of this writing (November 28), and I should be able to get everything on time, which is a stressful proposition every year. We’re lucky this year to have a little extra cash in reserve, and I’m grateful.