Kota A hope is a hope~
Sub-Lesson 1.4: Litha and Yule
•Celebrated On: June 21st
•Also Known As: Midsummer, Alban Heruin
•Simple Description: On this longest day of the year, light and life are abundant. It is an ideal time to reaffirm your vows to the Lord and Lady or your dedication to following the old traditions.
•In-Depth Description: At mid-summer, the Sun God has reached the moment of his greatest strength. Seated on his greenwood throne, he is also lord of the forests, and his face is seen in church architecture peering from countless foliate masks. Midsummer Night’s Eve is also special for adherents of the Faerie faith. Note: Sorry that this one is so short, but it seems to be a more minor festival. Yule makes up for this one’s shortness though…
•Celebrated On: December 20th-23rd
•Also Known As: Midwinter, Solstice Night
•Simple Description: Yule is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, the sun’s “rebirth” is celebrated with much joy. On this night, people celebrated the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth. From this day forward, the days will become longer.
•In-Depth Description: In celebration of this sabbat, bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were “wassailed” with toasts of spiced cider. Children were escorted from house to house with gifts of clove spiked apples and oranges which were laid in baskets of evergreen boughs and wheat stalks dusted with flour. The apples and oranges represented the sun. The boughs were symbolic of immortality (evergreens were sacred to the Celts because they did not “die”, thereby representing the eternal aspect of the Divine). The wheat stalks portrayed the harvest, and the flour was accomplishment of triumph, light, and life. Holly and ivy not only decorated the outside, but also the inside of homes, in hopes that Nature Sprites would come and join the celebration. A sprig of Holly was kept near the door all year long as a constant invitation for good fortune to visit the residents. Mistletoe was also hung as decoration. It represented the seed of the Divine, and at Midwinter, the Druids would travel deep into the forest to harvest it. However, the ceremonial Yule log was the highlight of the Solstice festival. In accordance to tradition, the log must either have been harvested from the householder’s land, or given as a gift… it must never have been bought. Once dragged into the house and placed in the fireplace it was decorated in seasonal greenery, doused with cider or ale, and dusted with flour before set ablaze by a piece of last years log, (held onto for just this purpose). The log would burn throughout the night, then smolder for 12 days after before being ceremonially put out. Ash is the traditional wood of the Yule log. An herb of the Sun, Ash brings light into the hearth at the Solstice. Many traditional customs of Christmas can be attributed to some of the aspects of Yule.
Thus concludes Study Lesson 1. Hopefully, all of you have learned a bit about the sabbats because you’ll be having a quiz on them next week. 50 questions. Get at least a 95% or you’ll be kicked off. Sorry, had to do it… That was a joke, no test.. o.o Now, I’m still considering what I should do for Study Lesson 2, so if anyone has a suggestion, drop it in the comments. A few that Mythos recommended were Chakras, Meditation, and Magick.. Of course, you can add your own… So go ahead and, well, suggest!