The Goddess Gift Ezine

The Goddess and the Yule Season

December, 2007

This Issue: Table of Contents

History and Traditions of Yule Time
The Five Stages of Holiday Grief (Humor)
Getting All Dolled Up


Just six weeks ago I had a plan. I knew exactly what this newsletter was going to contain ( lots of stuff about Dreaming, Intuition, and the Goddess and Cultural Diversity).

And I knew just when it was going to be sent out (early in December). And now here we are a day or two after Solstice, but hey, who's counting?

And shortly thereafter my life spun horribly out of control . . . website under sporadic, continual and sustained attacks by cyber-demons and a series of health crises (somewhat expected, due to some therapy I've undertaken) but it still surprised me, leaving me unable to focus well, visually and mentally.

So . . . this newsletter isn't exactly what I'd expected it to be. But the plans are still there, just delayed by "circumstance beyond our control", and will give us some wonderful things to bring to life in the New Year.

Which reminds me of one of the Five Secrets to Happiness that David Richo talks about in his wonderful book, The Five Things We Cannot Change . . . and the Happiness We Find By Embracing Them.

The third secret, Richo says, is that: "Things Do Not Always Go According to Plan. Yet we can find equanimity to say yes to what is and thanks for what has been. This opens the archetype of synchronicity and of a divine plan that makes our destiny larger than we ever imagined."

A perfect blessing, absolutely in tune with . . .

The Winter Solstice and the Yule Season

The Winter Solstice celebrates the magic of birth, death, and rebirth, marking the journey from this year to the next, and the travel of the spirit from one world to the next. It is a time of dreaming, magic, and setting one's intention for the New Year.  In numerous cultures the gods and goddesses of light were being born during the Winter Solstice.

The longest night of the year (in the Northern hemisphere, traditionally on December 21) was followed by the birth of the sun deities and the start of the solar year.  It was celebrated by festivals of light that honored the  rebirth of the Sun and reflected the lengthening of the daylight hours.

In Northern Europe, the year's longest night is called "Mother Night" for it was in darkness the goddess Frigga labored to bring the Light to birth once more. The Young Sun, Baldur, who controlled the sun and rain and brings fruitfulness to the fields, was born. Frigga's blessing is invoked for all birthing women, and a white candle that last burned on the solstice is kept as a charm to provide a safe delivery to those who labor.

Why do we kiss under the mistletoe at Christmas? Use the link to find out. (Hint: It has to do with the Goddess Frigga and her son Baldur.

Many Christmas traditions, including the decision to celebrate the holiday in late December, derive from ancient pagan celebrations. The Yule practice of  celebrating the birth or rebirth of a god of light with the use of fire, both in candles and the burning of a Yule log, for example, was incorporated into the Christmas tradition as well.

The Christmas tree has its origins in the practice of bringing a live tree into the home so the wood spirits would have a place to keep warm during the cold winter months.  Cookies, candies, and other treats were hung on the branches for the spirits to eat. Bells were hung in the limbs to signal that an appreciative spirit was present. A pentagram, the five-pointed star that is a symbol of the five elements, was placed atop the tree.

The last night of the year in Scotland is called Wish Night--a magical time when wishes, and especially those made for the coming year, are at their most powerful. The Winter Solstice is also the time for dreaming and the time for visions. The goddess Rhiannon  rides through the dreams of her people at night, transporting them to the place between the worlds where they can create their own visions for the future and helping them to make their dreams become reality.

Learn more about the folklore and meaning of the Winter Solstice.


Do you remember Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and her five stages of "anticipatory grief", the predictable stages that people go through when they learn that they are dying??? 

Well, if this holiday season has left you feeling like death warmed over and it seems like a good time to resurrect your sanity, read on for a good laugh...


THE FIVE STAGES OF HOLIDAY GRIEF

By Lisa Earle McLeod
www.forgetperfect.com

Where are you in the countdown?
 
DENIAL:
This year it will be different. I'll get the cards in the mail over Thanksgiving. My husband will help with the decorating. I'll buy all my gifts online in time
for early shipping, and baking will be fun because the kids are going to help.

ANGER:
Since when am I responsible for everybody else's Christmas? Half these people don't even send us a card back, and if my husband doesn't get off the couch to help put up this tree I'm going to scream. I can't believe those bloody PTA moms had the nerve to ask me to send in "three home-baked pies" for the teachers. Don't these women have anything else to do? I hope
nobody expects me to clean up all this glitter.
 
DEPRESSION:
This holiday has lost all meaning - I don't know why I even bother. I bet he doesn't even know what we're getting his mother. What have I done to make my children so greedy? I've probably put on 10 pounds already. Nobody in this family even asked me what I want.

BARGAINING:
If I get the gifts bought by the 22nd, maybe I won't have to pay overnight shipping. I'll put some Slice 'N Bakes on a pretty dish and it will look like I was
baking. A personal phone call means more than a card to my real friends.  If I stuff myself into a body-squeezing undergarment maybe I can still get into
my black dress. I'll drink one glass of mineral water for every glass of Chardonnay.

ACCEPTANCE:
I'm a tired, broke, fat woman who did the best she could. Maybe next year will be different.

*****************************************

Lisa Earle McLeod is a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and the author of "Forget Perfect" and "Finding Grace When You Can't Even Find Clean
Underwear."

You can pick up some free chapters of "Finding Grace When You Can't
Even Find Clean Underwear" by going here:

http://www.forgetperfect.com/books/fg_excerpts.htm


Getting All Dolled Up -- You're Gorgeous as the Goddess You Are!

When we started our work on the web, one of the 'values' that we established as an underpinning for our endeavor was to be supportive of the efforts of other 'goddesses' who were learning or working to increase the presence of the Goddess in the modern world.

Beverley Danusis and Diane Estrada are two of those contemporary goddesses who have blessed our efforts and we are delighted that they are now seeing their dream come true. An article in PR Newswire detailed the debut of their empowerment dolls that are based on the Greek goddesses, SophiaDolls:

"Beverley worked in the cosmetics industry for many years. After losing a good friend to suicide and struggling with her own daughter over body issues, she set out to create a new message for women about beauty, diversity, and self-esteem. The result is an exquisite line of limited edition Goddess collectible dolls that honor the different sizes, shapes and attributes of women, designed to combat the constant stream of messages telling women they are not enough just the way they are."

(How true!! Just consider how true and authentic the 'fat woman' self-talk in the previous article seemed. Ofttimes we bombard our selves with those messages.)

Greek goddess Demeter

Demeter: The Greek Goddess of Abundance

"A SophiaDoll is more than a doll, the article explains, -- she is a symbol of the innate abilities and talents within. It has always been Beverley's dream that, through SophiaDolls, the world's definition of beauty will expand to embrace inner gifts, individual qualities, and physical variety.

The concept is powerfully simple - let's look inside to discover our real selves, and let go of whom we feel we should be - and how we feel we should look."

Get a preview peak at: SophiaDolls


Starting to Panic??

For a last minute gift idea, consider giving a gift certificate for the Goddess Quiz or the Greek Gods Quiz for men. You can email them for almost immediate delivery . . . and it's not just a gift, it's a blessing that says "I recognize the divine that is in you!"

Gift Certificates for the Goddess Quiz and the Greek Gods Quiz


And in closing,

'Tis the Season . . . when people of widely varied religions and belief systems throughout the world celebrate the birth of light with thoughts and dreams of the year to come. We wish you a holiday season that brings the awakening to new dreams and the release of old regrets.

Blessings for a Bright and Beautiful New Year,

Sharon, Liz, and Sarah
The Goddess Path
 To Goddess Gift