Yule

Posted in Tarot on December 19th, 2010 by Kristine Gazel

So – what is this Yule-tide about, anyway?

In Danish it has been suggested that there may be a connection between the word Jul and Hjul (Wheel) as in the wheel of the year. Another word Guili signified a period of  midwinter celebrations from late December to the first days of January, determined by a lunar calendar.

Yule was a midwinter festival celebrated by Germanic and Nordic people as a celebrating of  the return of light at the winter solstice, but was later absorbed by Christianity. A yule log was lit at the hearth of the house, and the celebrations lasted as long as it was still burning or glowing.

It has also been suggested that it was a blót or a drinking festival in honor of the german and norse gods Thor and/or Odin, and scholars have linked the celebrations to the myth or legend of the Wild Hunt.

Yule was celebrated for a fertile and peaceful season and consisted of a fertility sacrifice, which is inherent in the concept of blót which means a sacremental meal or feast, with sacrifices of food or animals.

So, what are we celebrating? The return of the light and the sun, fertility, prosperity, the hope of peace and the happy expectations of a new Beginning. One circle has come full – a new circle is starting all over. So it is definitively a period of passage from dark to light, and thereby it signifies something holy or sacred – also for us modern pagans/heathens.

With these words I’ll start my Sacred Days of Yule Spread.

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Reading #6: Another little cross

Posted in Alchemical Tarot, Journal on November 15th, 2009 by Kristine Gazel

I made another little cross; one card (the Center, the Situation) crossed by another (the Challenge).

I drew 9 of Staffs:  The Grey Wolf – sacrifice, overcome with passion crossed by 2 of Staffs Hermes and Aphrodite – one lover lost in the other.

The Wolf

I’ve met the Wolf before; It is as said above about Sacrife; “A wolf is sacrificed in a fire. This is an alchemical symbol representing the restoration of the king, who was devoured by the wolf.

Tarot wisdom: You face a calamity, a fire out of hand. Fire consumes you to exhaustion or illness. The message also suggests sacrifice, especially for a higher purpose, like suffering for the good of others, or being a martyr, or subduing the animal passions for spiritual purpose”.

The Alchemical Tarot Study Group says about 2 of Staffs; Hermes and Aphrodite:
“A hand holding a staff emerges from a cloud and lights the end of its staff from an already burning staff planted in the ground. At the base of the grounded torch is the symbol for Venus; above the hand in the air is the symbol for Mercury, which suggests the uniting of lovers. Fertility is suggested by the flowers around the grounded staff. There is life springing from this union. Tarot wisdom: Like begets like; one torch lights another. Your enthusiasm is contagious. …”
Hermes and AphroditePlease notice the little third branch on the torch – this points to the thirdness as a product of the conjunction of the two, the lovers. This is the creative outcome of the relationsship, their child. Being either a creative product or an actual child.
So – in context these cards are about my willingness to sacrifice my self and my own needs to bring an offer for the greater good, for Eros and for the relationsships I’m  in, with my family and loved ones. Both on a one to one basis i.e. to my husband, and our children – but also for Eros on a grander scale. For the things I’m engaged in that has to do with other people and with creating.

The message being that it is only possible to create something new and to engage in life on a truly passionate basis if I’m willing to let go of my old worn out (wolfy) I.

The fire will devour and purify.

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Reading #4: The Grey Wolf

Posted in Alchemical Tarot, Journal, Meanings on January 26th, 2009 by Kristine Gazel

6 of Vessels

So I asked the Alchemical: What do I need to do this last week of my maternal leave – before I go back to work?

And I drew:

6 of Vessels: The Gardener -nuturing, not too much, not too little; 9 of Staffs:  The Grey Wolf  – sacrifice, overcome with passion; and Queen of Staffs – presenting a choice between the raw and natural and the refined.

The first card makes me think that I have to nuture my kids and my family, to see to what has to be done at home, while I still have the time and energy.   The second card – The Grey Wolf – seems much more complicated. This is about sacrifice, somehow.

The Alchemical Tarot Study Group says:  “A wolf is sacrificed in a fire. This is an alchemical symbol representing the restoration of the king, who was devoured by the wolf. 

Tarot wisdom: You face a calamity, a fire out of hand. Fire consumes you to exhaustion or illness. The message also suggests sacrifice, especially for a higher purpose, like suffering for the good of others, or being a martyr, or subduing the animal passions for spiritual purpose.”

9 of Staffs - The Wolf

Hmm. This may make more sense seen with the message of the Queen: The choice between the natural raw and the refined .

The Alchemical Tarot Study Group says:  “A crowned woman in classical dress stands in the desert holding two torches. The torch in her left hand is raw and natural left as it was when taken from a tree. The other is refined, and has been carved in a decorative classical design.

Tarot wisdom: Like the Queen of Swords, the Queen of Staffs is presenting us with a choice. In this case, it is between that which is natural, unprocessed, or possibly crude, and that which is refined or sophisticated. For more insight into these choices, look at the cards that flank this one in your layout.”

So: the Wolf may be the natural, raw, instinctive, while the King – that shall be restored – being the refined, intellectual, conscious. The Wolf also reminds me of my “motherly instincts”, taking care of my offspring. The 6 of Vessels – nuturing – also has to do with cultivating and refining.  

So this apparently is a message about the possibility of making a transition from one state of mind to another. I say possibility – because the Queen of Staffs presents this as choice. I have to use this week to make this transition and put something behind me – and step out of the cave, so to speak.

 Apart from that – this deck is really “cool” to work  with, as I have suggested in an earlier post. It does not give much – don’t tell me what to do, just shows me the possibilities, then I can go figure out  for my self.   

Queen of Staffs

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