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Temple of the Spiral Path


TSP's 2018 Winter Solstice Playlist

by Denise, HPS of North Wyldewood Coven

 

The Yuletide has come ‘round once again! Many of our known secular Christmas activities are heavily pagan influenced. So you will see a mix of pagan and traditional Christmas songs on this list.

 

 

Return of the Light

At the Winter Solstice (21st) it is the longest night of the year. Just as at the the summer solstice the Sun is at its highest point (and in very northern lands barely sets at all), at the Winter Solstice the Sun is at its lowest point. It’s dark and cold “...and full of terrors” (a nod to Game Of Thrones). The wind howls. The cold bites. The hearth-fire gives light, warmth, and protection through the long nights. This is when Odin leads the Wild Hunt across the skies. 

 

But this is also the turning point where the sun’s hours will grow until June 21st, and the cycle continues. So though it is dark, the light is “returning”

 

Swedish Julbock - Yule Goat - traditionally associated with Thor

 

Fires, Food, and Festivities

So now we gather around Hearth fires — centers of your home, sing songs; tell family stories of past holidays; and/or, watch classic movies about tales of love and hope; we gather with family and friends to feast merrily, a different gathering than at Thanksgiving. 

 

This type feasting often includes drinking and toasts. It’s possible that our ancient Scandinavian and Germanic ancestors passed this onto us. Drinking a toast to something or someone is similar to the three rounds at a Heathen sumbel (a ritual involving drinking and feasting).

 

There is much more that I could say, but that is more than the focus of my song list for this year. Next time! Enjoy this short list of new and familiar songs.

 

 

The Music

To listen to the Playlist, click HERE!

 

We in the Temple raise a cup of mead to you and yours, and wish you a happy and healthy new year!

God Jul!

Wes thu hael!

-- Denise

 

 

Further information:

Want mead? Buy a bottle or so from my friend Jon Talkington at: http://brimminghornmeadery.com/ 

 

Curious about Heathen (Asatru) rituals and beliefs? Check out my friend Patty’s book: 

A Practical Heathen's Guide to Asatru 

 


 

TSP's 2018 Samhain Playlist

by Denise, HPS of North Wyldewood Coven

 

Season of the Witch

31 Days Of Halloween

Fright Fest

All Hallows’ Eve

All Souls Day

Dia de los Muertos

 

For most witches and pagans, and a fair number of non-Magick folk, too, these words stir up night coming early, crisp temperatures, and who knows what lurks in the darkness ... 

 

Darkness

It is the place of endings and beginnings. We are buried under the earth and we are nurtured in the womb. From Samhain to Beltane we are in the Dark Half of the year, the winter months. Both Samhain and Beltane are Sabbats which are the end of one part of the year and the beginning of another thus making them days out of Time, neither one or the other, liminal. 

 

In the dark it is hard to see and what is unknown is often feared. So it is our fears which haunt the forest of our inner landscapes. But there is great power in the darkness, the shadows. Once we confront and integrate our shadow-selves, we become whole owning our power. Not to say this journey is easy or done in one season! Lol 

 

To the Celts, and some other cultures, places and times that were in between were considered openings that let in or opened up to the Otherworld.

 

The Veil to the Otherworld

The Otherworld isn’t necessarily a separate location, but rather a layer of our world. At Samhain, as the end of the growing season, the Veil thins and our ancestors are more easily able to be accessed; although they are never far from us. 

 

The Good Folk in Celtic mythology travel to their winter homes. Some are beautiful to behold while others are hideous. The Wild Hunt rides accompanied by the Dead led by Herne the Hunter. In Norse mythology, the Wild Hunt is led by Odin/Woden. Skeletal figures and the creatures of the Wild dark join in the frenzy of wind and moans. Hence we have our traditions of dressing up in fantastical costumes. We may walk among them, and them with us, on these three nights of the festival. 

 

The Goddesses and Gods

This is also the time where we can learn and gain wisdom from the gods of the dead. Cerridwen (Welsh) has her cauldron of death and birth which offers a shamanic rebirth; Freya (Norse) who can speak with the dead while in a seidh-trance, receives half the battle-slain, and yet incites lust, love, and sex; Inanna (Sumerian) strips herself to enter the underworld to die and bring back her lover, and is transformed stronger; Rihannon (Welsh) who suffered a great loss and travelled to the underworld to regain her child; Hekate (Greek) goddess of the Crossroads, Of Magic, the moon, and witchcraft among other things; Persephone the wife of Hades, Lord of the Underworld, is the spring maiden grown into the woman ruler of the dead. 

 

Dionysus (Greek) is the thrice born god of vegetation, dance and theater, and, wild places which can bring madness and/or communion with deity; Odin/Woden has many faces and, like Dionysus, can offer madness as well as knowledge, Magic, and speaking with ancestors; Herne the Hunter (Celtic) is a god of animals and the wild dark forest. 

 

This is not a complete list and is not the focus of my post. These gods and goddesses either transform or are transformed by their experiences and can offer power, knowledge, and guidance. But beware, you must be open to their words and ready for the challenges. 

 

 

The Playlist

 

The themes and gods are mentioned or honored in this playlist. One other theme which may, at first, seem like it doesn’t belong: sex and death. Sex is part of the life cycle. When there is fear, there can be a feeling of separation. Sex reunites parts and reaffirms life. In French and orgasam is called Le petit mort, “the little death”. So some of the songs have a dark sexiness to them. 

 

Another way to handle your fears when you confront them is to laugh, so some songs included are a bit campy. 

 

The music genres are wide in range: Pagan, New Age, folk/storyteller, rock, metal, jazz, classical, and instrumental. You don’t have to agree with my selection. Maybe you don’t find Marilyn Manson dirty-sexy like I do, so make your choices and enjoy!

To listen, click here

 

 

Blessings of the gods, otherworldly beings, & ancestors to you this Samhain!

 

Denise

HPS, North Wyldewood Coven

TSP's 2018 Autumn Equinox Playlist

 

by Denise Cruci, HPS of North Wyldewood Coven

 

Cooler temperatures. Reds, oranges, yellows, greenish-yellow, and Browns colors explode from gnarled tree branches. Seed pods fall amongst wet sidewalks and dying grasses. Royal blue skies give way to pale blue and grey clouds. The Earth births the abundant harvest of vegetables, squashes, pumpkins, potatoes, onions, and fruits of apple and grape varieties. It’s the season where Nature lets go and prepares to gather-in and rest. It is time for the second harvest!

 

A Time Of Balance

For us, we are busy! Busy enjoying the last warm and sunny days outdoors with friends. Busy with Fall-only fun activities here in the Northeast: Apple picking, visiting vineyards, getting kids outside after school, hitting the farmers’ markets. Busy getting what we’ll need for the colder months: buying winter boots and jacket, storing summer gear, and making repairs to our homes. 

 

With all of our comings and goings, there is a balance we can recognize if we stop a take a moment to be present in the season. The Equinox day is when light and dark is roughly the same length. After this the evening/night will darken earlier until the solstice. Remember to find the balance within you. Some songs on this list sing about everything having its season because life is a cycle. That’s why the Sabbats are called The Wheel Of the Year.

 

Pagan Thanksgiving - A Time of Gratitude

Just like in the spring, I like to throw my windows open, let in the fresh air, and, dance ‘n’ sing while cleaning! I do a purge (it’s never-ending) and although it’s difficult to let go sometimes it’s the best thing to do. Then I do a big spiritual cleansing not because I think anyone’s “out to harm me”, but because energy gets stale and stuck in places, plus I remove some basic House magicks and freshen them up. 

 

After all that, I take a breather (I’m very fond of resting). Mabon is also a time to take stock of what you have in your life, what you set out to accomplish this year, and, which dreams you had to let go. Sometimes that comes with a twinge of sadness. Songs on this list also have a flavor of resignation. It’s ok to feel sad. Many deities start their process of going to the underworld and there is sadness at what is lost. At Samhain I’ll write more about the Underworld and darkness. However, the Dark Place is not our permanent residence. There is hope, if you chose to embrace it. Invite friends over and share what you have accomplished. A pot luck is perfect for that!

 

Celebrate & Be Present

It’s also the season of Pumpkin Spice! So grab a cup, get some pungent cheeses, stuffed grape leaves, olives, sliced crisp apples, a blanket and a friend and head out to the countryside, the public park, or even your rooftop to enjoy the autumn air. Sit back and listen to the playlist.

 

The Playlist 

These songs are my choices. Some are are also from Ozark Paganmama’s Autumn Equinox Playlist. If you don’t like them or don’t agree, feel free to make your own. It’s even better for you!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/playlist/autumn-equinox-mabon/pl.u-4JomXqNIaM7zR2 

 

Blessed Mabon!

Denise, HPS, North Wyldewood Coven

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