Category Archives: Yule

A Hare at Heart Lake

So again I am musing, as I do every winter, about the plethora of Snowshoe Hare tracks with no Hares in sight. Yet during this outing I did spy a Great Horned Owl gliding between the branches. Snowshoe Hares are hard to spot, but I suspect this owl is up to the challenge. In most photos it’s taken me about a minute to spot the Hare even though the frame is small and I know it’s there. I’ll bet these bunnies are all around me and I just don’t see them.

I’m more and more aware that it’s not just the trees, rocks, and water that witness my presence in the woods. All around me are eyes peering behind twigs and bushes. I’m never alone.

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While the Sun is in Her Southern Domicile

Illustration by Anton Hartinger.

 

Well, I got my manuscript polished and sent off this week. Now it’s time to buy presents and send cards, and to take a break both from work and getting worked up. Happy Solstice, Yule, Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, or whatever other holly/holy day you celebrate!

Bright blessings,
Hearth Moon

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The Antler Wagon

I’ve written a lot about deer, especially reindeer, this year. Here is a poem about the Saami reindeer sun goddess Beiwe.

She rides across heaven in antler wagon.
She rides across heaven in antler wagon.
Holding her daughter, she defines the day.
Holding her daughter, she defines the day.
She crosses antler heaven holding her daughter,
defining a day in the wagon ride.

Bring peace to hearts in the blackness.
Bring peace to hearts in the blackness.
Offer red blood of white reindeer.
Offer red blood of white reindeer.
In the heart of the blackness offer red blood.
White reindeer bring peace.

Bring light to wake forest in springtime.
Bring light to wake forest in springtime.
Make rings of birch branches.
Make rings of birch branches.
Birch forest light rings, bring branches, make
time wake the spring.

Her reindeer daughter brings heart. Her reindeer
antlers hold the light of day. In the
forest she wakes blood in birch. Time
branches, crosses heaven, makes
an offering. Black, red, white define
the wagon ride. Peace.

Photo: Alexandre Buisse/Wikimedia Commons.

Photo: Alexandre Buisse/Wikimedia Commons.

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Recording for Book Event (Mago Solstice Program)

Here is the recording for the program highlighting Goddess/Female Divine Books for 2015.

Program is also available at the following link:

Solstice Program Book Event

Access all Mago Academy Solstice videos at

Mago Nine Day Solstice Celebration

Have a beautiful solstice and other holidays you are celebrating. Next post will be following the New Year.

solstice

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Book Review Program Coming Next Week

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The online review of women’s spirituality books published in 2015 will be this Wednesday December 16th at 3:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. You can access the program meeting room starting at 2:45 pm with this link:

2015 Goddess/Feminine Divine Books

Type your name and enter as a guest; no password or registration required. You may be asked to download an “add-in” from Adobe Software to configure your device for the meeting room.

There will also be an interview with poet Elizabeth Hardy. This program is offered in conjunction with the Mago Academy Nine Day Solstice Program.

A more detailed description of the program was given in last week’s post.

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Here is the Program: Day 3 Mago Solstice, 2015 Books

booksbooks

Stay in touch with emerging concepts in Goddess spirituality. Join us for a review of spiritually oriented books published in 2015. The program will be live at 3:00 pm EST on December 16th. There will be a mixture of essays, nonfiction, fiction, and poetry.

To access program live on the day of the broadcast use this link:
https://hearthmoonrising.adobeconnect.com/solsticebooks2015/

Type your name and enter as a guest: no registration needed. Program can be accessed by desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone. You may be asked to download an add-in by Adobe Software if your device is not configured for the meeting room. Go ahead and click okay; it’s safe and fast.

A link to the recording will be available the day following the program on this blog.

The program will include a live interview with Elizabeth Hardy, author of Female Sperm Whale … and other [feminist] poems

The following books will also be featured:

Healing Your Feminine Essence: A Transformative Journey Within for Women Who Wish to Be Free by Marie de Kock

Ancient Spirit Rising: Reclaiming Your Roots and Restoring Earth Community by Pegi Eyers

Locust Girl: A Lovesong by Merlinda Bobis

The Mago Way: Re-Discovering Mago, the Great Goddess from East Asia (vol i) by Helen Hye-Sook Hwang

She Rises: Why Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality? edited by Helen Hye-Sook Hwang and Kaalii Cargill

More on the Mago Nine Day Solstice Program here.

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More on the Book Discussion for Nine Day Solstice Celebration

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On December 16th, as part of the Mago Nine Day Solstice Celebration, I will be hosting a program on Goddess/Feminine Divine books published in 2015. This will be online, and you can join through a link the way you may have participated in online meetings. The link will be posted here and probably a few other places as well. I will have slides of these books and I will read a brief description of the books and authors. There will also be a few interviews.

The program will be live at 3:00 Eastern Standard Time on December 16. I will be recording the event and the recording will be available for nine days.

I still am looking for submissions. Anything of a feminist spirituality slant is acceptable; it doesn’t have to be about goddesses. The book can be non-fiction, fiction or poetry. Also, you don’t have to be interviewed to have your book included. More details about submitting your work here.

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Nine Day Solstice Program – Mago Academy

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Regarding last week’s call for contributions for the book program, here is more information:

“We anticipate the Nine-Day Solstice Celebration to be an event of joy, solidarity, and self-empowerment for us, Goddessians/Magoists and all in WE! Why the Solstice season? Celebrating the day of December Solstice would be a way of balancing ourselves, as human members of the terrestrial community including the moon, with the songs and dances of the cosmic community. Traditionally, Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere marks a new beginning of the year’s cycle for the earthly community in the North. We would take this seasonal mark as a symbol for us to recognize the oneness of the whole community, as our ancient ancestors did.”

Web page for the event is here. There will also be a program on meditation guides and possibly one about women artists.

Here is the tentative schedule:

Day 1 (Dec. 14): Opening by Mago Sisters and Mago Circle Members hosted by Helen Hwang, Trista Hendren, and/or Kaalii Cargill
Day 2 (Dec. 15): Mothers and Daughters hosted by Trista Lee Hendren Løberg
Day 3 (Dec. 16): 2015 Published Goddess/Female Divine Books hosted by Hearth Moon Rising
Day 4 (Dec. 17): Seeking Inner Voice of S/HE (Meditation Guides) hosted by Marie de Kock
Day 5 (Dec. 18): She Rises Contributors Speak hosted by Barbara Daughter
Day 6 (Dec. 19): Goddess Pilgrimages hosted by Kaalii Cargill
Day 7 (Dec. 20):
Day 8 (Dec. 21):
Day 9 (Dec. 22): The Collective Rising: Our Visions and Dreams for 2016 hosted by Trista Hendren, Kaalii Cargill, and/or Helen Hwang

More information and links for accessing the programs will appear closer to the event.

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Sun through the Zodiac

Nut as sky goddess. Note the red sun disks on her body and at her mouth and vulva.

Nut as sky goddess. Note the red sun disks on her body and at her mouth and vulva.


Happy Solstice everyone! This Sunday-Monday marks the time when, from our perspective, the sun is at its southernmost arc on the horizon in the Northern Hemisphere or its northernmost arc in the Southern Hemisphere.

Barbara Lesko in The Great Goddesses of Egypt shares this interesting perspective on the Winter Solstice:

A professional astronomer has recently published maps of the pre-dawn Egyptian sky as it would have appeared in the predynastic period on the morning of the winter solstice. The Milky Way exhibits an amazing likeness to the outsretched figure of the goddess Nut, with her feet on one horizon and her hands touching the other. The sun would have appeared in the winter solstice in the correct area of the figure’s anatomy to suggest to observers that it was being born by Nut. Nine months earlier, at the spring quinox, the sun began to rise an hour and a quarter after sunset in such a position that it appeared to fall into Nut’s mouth, which would have easily suggested the idea that the great female in the sky was swallowing the sun, only to bear him nine months later during the last days of what is now December.

Could this explain why the birth of the Sun King is celebrated at this time?

Here is another scientific explanation of sun movements and weather patterns.

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Gyrfalcon Circling the Spruce: Another Frejya Episode

Gyrfalcon. Plumage ranges from dark gray to brown to white and varies greatly. Photo by Omar Runolfsson.

Gyrfalcon. Plumage ranges from dark gray to brown to white and varies greatly. Photo by Omar Runolfsson.


Frejya has appeared to me as a stocky young woman against a backdrop of tall spruce forest, standing on the snow beside the kind of weaving, shallow streams that develop in the north as winter moves into spring. She comes as a spring goddess, evidenced by the height and intensity of the sun. (One of the nice things about a vision is that you can look directly into the sun without feeling pain in your eyes.) When I say she is stocky, I don’t mean fat: her shoulders are broad and she is proportioned like a tall woman. Her rib cage is large, like the stout breast of the gyrfalcon. She has a brown cloak, curling brown hair and glistening brown eyes. Some describe Frejya as blond, but to me she appears in falcon coloring. What those who have seen Frejya mostly comment on, however, is her mouth: a small, very red, well-shaped mouth with lips curved in a joyful yet seductive smile. It is an entrancing smile, a smile that says she knows just about everything. I do not believe that Frejya would have had to have slept with the dwarves to obtain the Brisingamen Necklace; she must have done so only to please herself. To obtain the necklace she would only have had to spread those red lips in the smile no creature could resist. But I digress.

Frejya’s Amazonian proportions and her seductive manner place her in the “maiden” category for those who see goddesses in terms of maiden-mother-crone. Yet the fertile, family-focused boar is usually associated with motherhood, and Norse pagans appear to have regarded Frejya as a benevolent goddess bestowing wealth and favors. Her rune is among the most auspicious, and Cooper describes its divinatory meaning as “Good fortune, fertility, increase in property and success in endeavors.” These are qualities that proclaim “mother.”

Frejya's rune Feoh.

Frejya’s rune Fehu (FAY-who).

The point of intersection between the fir, falcon, and boar is, of course, death. The gyrfalcon is a fierce hunter who winters in the frozen world. The Norway Spruce thrives in cold environments and remains forever green. The boar is also fierce in her own way, and carrion is a major part of her diet. As described in the last post, there are dying and resurrecting gods and goddesses from other European and Middle Eastern cultures with pine, pig, or falcon associations, but we don’t really need these examples to establish the point.

Frejya’s representation throughout the lifecycle suggests an affinity with the sun, which defines the cycle of the year. Her association with both the winter and the summer solstices reaffirm this connection, as does the Yule fire and the summer bonfires. Frejya’s amber necklace represents her command over the sun and hence the passage of time. Those who see Frejya as blond may be focusing on her sun aspect, perhaps dazzled by the brightness of her nimbus. It is interesting in this regard that the Egyptian sun god Horus also takes the form of a falcon.

Although Frejya is a goddess for all seasons and all ages, I want to explore Frejya’s death aspect more closely. I will do so in a later installment of this series.

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