Tag Archive | Yuletide

Yuletide – Pagan Carol – What Child Is This?

What Child is this?

What child is this who brings such light
That all who see Her grow hopeful? The Solstice candles this darkest night
Rekindle a flame in our souls.

This, this is the Solstice Child The Maiden brilliant,
the Maiden mild.
Come family to hold her near.
The hope and the light of the New Year.

Yuletide – Pagan carol – Ye Children all of Mother Earth

Ye children all of Mother Earth ( It came upon a midnight clear)

Ye children all of Mother Earth Join hands and circle around.
To celebrate the Solstice night When our lost Sun is found.

Rejoice! The year has begun again. The Sun blesses skies above.
So share the season together now In everlasting love.

Yuletide treats – Moravian Christmas cookies

Moravian Christmas Cookie

3 ¾ cups sifted cake flour
¾ teaspoon ginger
¾ teaspoon cloves
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon salt
¾ Teaspoon baking soda
½ cup butter or other shortening melted
1 cup molasses, heated
½ cup brown sugar

Sift flour once, measure and sift together with spices, soda and salt 3 times
Combine butter & molasses, add the sugar and the flour mixture and let stand in cold place for a week or two.

Roll out paper thin and cut with fancy cookie cutters and bake in a moderate oven (375) degrees) 6 minutes on a greased cookie sheet.

Remove at once from sheet, cool and store indefinitely in a closed tin
Makes about 200 cookies.

As you can tell this recipe is old. It’s pre-refrigerator and temperatures on ovens.

This used to be my favourite dough to sneak pieces to eat while we were cutting them out.

Yuletide treats – Spritz Bakelser

Spritz Bakelser
1 cup sugar
2 cups Butter (never ever ever use margarine in any cookie calling for butter unless you want a nasty tasting mess)
1 egg ½ cup finely chopped almonds
4 cups Soft as Silk cake flour

Chop nuts in blender or food processor. (this used to be done by hand by her indentured servants) Cream Butter and sugar together until light and delicate
Add egg and gradually work in flour and almonds
Chill dough Squeeze through pastry tube with small star tip on to foil lined cookie sheets (Mom used a cookie press with the star opening, much easier and more fun)
Bake in a preheated oven 400 degrees for about 12 minutes or until tinged with pale tan
Remove carefully when set Makes 3-5 dozen

This recipe is from my Swedish great-grandmother and was transcribed my grandmother. It began as a little of this and just enough of that.

Yuletide – Pagan Carol – Silent Night

Silent Night

Silent Night, Solstice Night.
All is calm, all is bright.
Nature slumbers in forest and glen.
Til in Springtime She wakens again.
Sleeping spirits grow strong.
Sleeping spirits grow strong.

Silent Night, Solstice Night.
Silver moon shining bright.
Snowfall blankets the slumbering Earth.
Yule fires welcome the Sun’s rebirth.
Hark the light is reborn!
Hark the light is reborn!

Silent Night, Solstice Night.
Quiet rest until the light.
Turning ever the rolling Wheel.
Brings the Winter to comfort and heal.
Rest your spirit in peace!
Rest your spirit in peace.

Yuletide treat – Toffee bars

Toffee Bars

2 cups all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or ½ cup butter and ½ cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 oz of milk chocolate
½ cup chopped walnuts

Cream butter and sugar
Add egg and vanilla
Mix well
Add sifted dry ingredients mixing just enough to combine
Spread in shallow 10×15 greased pan
Bake in 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and cover with 6 oz of melted milk chocolate
(Grate on sheet immediately)
Then sprinkle with nuts
Cut into bars immediately and remove to wire racks

Makes 50 1×3 bars

Where there is magic…

It’s easy to be a Christian if you have no imagination and no creativity. Most church services don’t demand anything of you other than stand up for a few hymns and the rest of the time you can sit like a lump and not even engage if you don’t want to do it. Pagans don’t have that option. If you go to a pagan circle of almost any kind something will be demanded of you. You must engage. You must as we say, “BE HERE NOW!”

In the twenty years or so from birth to when I left the church I was only truly engaged during 2 services in the church calendar, they were the only two magical occasions, Christmas Eve and Good Friday. Not even Easter is as magical as Good Friday. Easter is just mostly loud and long.

But almost every pagan circle has engagement even when they colossally flop they have some magic, some time when they are between the worlds. Sometimes when we are taken out of ourselves and our mundane lives. The times when we are no longer Muggles but magical.

The only reason I stayed as long as I did was music. Music makes magic when you sing with others especially in a well trained choir. Then you do leave yourself behind and join with the rest of the singers in a magical space but in the end it was never enough. Church never felt as holy a place as a forest or a lake or any other natural place that holds its own magic just by existing. If you have any imagination at all the wild will call you and make a place for you. Trees know your name. The wild things know you are kin to them. When you can look in a stag’s eyes you are looking at your wild self and joining with every other wild thing that runs, walks or crawls upon the Mother. And you know the Mother is more than just a saying.

Robert Burns said, :

My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here,

My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer –

A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe;

My heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go.

Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North
The birth place of Valour, the country of Worth;
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.

Farewell to the mountains high cover’d with snow;
Farewell to the straths and green valleys below;
Farewell to the forrests and wild-hanging woods;
Farwell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.

My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer
Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe;
My heart’s in the Highlands, whereever I go.

He knew. Any pagan knows that it’s not Highlands of Scotland necessarily but the wild places that call, entice and beguile a pagan’s heart. That is some place between four walls cannot contain those of us with wild hearts. Some are called by the forests. Some are called by rivers and oceans. Some hear the deserts call in their blood and if we are listening we follow.

This Solstice night the cold night, even in the middle of the city, will call me out under the trees in the yard. To look up to the stars. To see that which is bigger than my small self and join on the shortest night of the year with others looking up at the stars and awaiting the Sun’s return. I’ll go back inside and light my candle against the bigger darkness and listen to the world hush and breathe and feel the magic of being.