The sounds of drums, calling forth winter…
The battle between the light and darkness wage its daily war in the hearts of all humans, as it has for thousands of years.
In the Northern hemisphere, as the dark nights draw in -and the days shorten- our hearts turn towards the winter holidays. Call them whatever you feel appropriate, they are a time to dwell on the both life and death issues - as they always have been. We see the lessening of sun-hours and the lengthening of night's dark oppression and it depresses even the most civilised of us.
Even primitive man feared the subjugation of winter. We need the warmth of the sun to warm our hearts, to lift our spirits, and generally increase our feelings of well being. So the extended darkness feels like a weight.
Thus we devised that at the harshest, darkest, coldest times we would huddle together and feast on the fruits of our previous labours. This gathering and feasting soon took on ritual basis and the winter holy days were created by nearly all the diverse peoples of the North.
Some of these feasting times have remained with us in the form of Christmas, the Winter Solstice, and Yule. (Even the Southern hemisphere has its 'winter' feast with the likes of Hanukkah and Dwali.)
The Solstices and Equinoxes are markers on the Wheel of the Year, dividing up the twelve months into seasons. The four indicators mark the mid-points of each season. Thereby, the Winter Solstice -which (in the North) falls around the twenty-first day of December- became important because of the truncated daylight-hours, the cold climate, and lack of available substance. Without natural food and warmth Neolithic Man found surviving each winter a gruelling endeavour.
Thereby, we began to hoard food over the winter period. A time when light became a precious item in the drawn out nights. And the harshness of the earth took its toll on the moral of peoples. Producing a morbidity that overtook winter - the season of many deaths from hyperthermia and starvation.
We, humans, soon realised that gathering together and sharing what we had made the long nights and staved-off the barbaric winter weather with communal warmth.
And when we come together to eat and socialise, we created the rituals of the Winter Solstice.
This remained a constant throughout the millennia.
Whoever ruled understood how this state of fear held within the hearts of the peoples of the North. They honoured the gods of light and darkness with the festivals and feast that still hold true today.
We are a multicultural world, and as the peoples of the world mix, and become one diverse culture, the old terms of Christmas and Yule have begun to become redundant in the West.
The new buzz-word is Winterval (an amalgamation of the terms 'winter' and 'festival'), created to describe all the feasts festivals from late October, through November and December, into January.
As the drums beat time, the procession of the sun (through the season of Winter) marks the death of the growing year (with the solstice) ... and the rebirth of new life within Spring (at the point of the equinox).
Each and every one of these quirky daily activities has a past that stems from folk law and folk magic. Superstition and believe are one and the same.
|.: Magic at your fingertips :.|
Magick and Belief
The two have gone hand-in-hand for centuries. Think about the Christian mass or miracle healing, these have very pagan (or folk magic) beginnings. Each and every religion says they ‘own’ these practices, which are actually extensions of rites much older.
Magick is simply a ritual to produce a given result. Take prayer. When a person prays they’re asking for something from the divine. It might be said that to commune with a single god is to commune with the hole of nature; thereby, communing with that which delivers on our ‘prayers’. In just the same way, a magical practitioner solicits a god, goddess, or nature spirit to provide a result to their ‘spell’.
Rituals are the basis of all religion. We do them until we ‘feel’ happier, better, more content with the world. This is manipulating the world around us.
|.: Magick is the light of imagination :.|
What is a spells?
Spells were originally spoken. They were words of power.
Think about the phrase, spell-it-out! To spell, is to take a word apart and reconstruct it from its parts. In Hebrew each word is made from letters that represent items that are a part of the word.
Magical spells are recipes to produce a given state (positive or negative). Like recipes, spells only work properly if they are followed to the letter - miss-out a step and the result is a sad one. Get it right and the result is a piece of cake.
“Is it just a case of making up a ritual and performing it, and then the treasures of some lost kingdom will appear at your door?” I hear you ask. Of course not; nothing could be further from the truth. Spells are difficult because they have to raise a concentration in the practitioner that subverts the conscious mind and accesses the subconscious.
We need to fuel these rocks of ‘want’ with desire - the greater the desire the greater the result. To achieve the improbable, we have to harness the mind in an impossible way. We have to talk directly to the bit that really focuses our desires. We have to exploit this section of the brain (the creative bit) and ‘make’ it work - when it so clearly has no desire to work. It’s the laziest bit of the mind because its so powerful.
So, in short you have to put a lot of effort into a spell; or you’ll get very little back.