Yule Rites by Manivannan Navasothy – NEW Book Out now. Over 50 pages – explores the the symbols, ceremonies and traditions of Winter Solstice rituals. Includes 3 full and varied rituals that anyone in a pagan group or coven can do, or facilitate as an Open Ritual.
download this FREE within the next 3-4 days. It will be available in Amazon Kindle soon).
Somewhere between Magic, Religion & Science lies reality and life itself.
And Yule Rites (Winter Solstice Ceremonies) have always been about the Hope and celebration of Life, Light and renewal of Hope – at the darkest hour. And dare I say – the months leading to this moment have been getting darker, in real terms as well as on a personal level. Like icebergs, huge chunks of my life have broken off and fallen into the cold Abyss. It may be because of stellar influences – like the Uranus-Pluto oppositions that are with us on and off between 2012 to 2015, or a cumulative result of some intense Eclipse magical works I did.
Or perhaps, the World really is going through a major shift on 21st December 2012 – the supposed end date of the previous Mayan Calendar, and what we are all experiencing are those re-birth pangs! Which brings us back to Winter Solstice – and rebirth of the Sun-child.
Included in its entirety are 3 Yule/Winter Rituals, which I had personally wrote and enacted in 2004, 2008 & 2011. So you are not just reading a book on Yule Rites, but have the choice of actually doing some rituals – and riding on the energy streams which have been created already by those rituals. Photographs of those rituals & set-ups will be on slide show presentation on my websites, so you can take a look at what we did, and gain more ideas.
This particular project (Yule Rites) originally started as a Webinar to be broadcasted for December 2011, following on from our Halloween & Samhain webinar on 31st October 2011. However, the Solar & Lunar Eclipses of November took much of my focus (that’s resulted in several Astrology Webinar, and 2 Books.. so far!) So I am pleased to finally complete the `Yule Rites’, albeit in a book form! And guess what? As per the original idea of sharing knowledge openly in a Webinar, this book is initially free for any and all to download. And then it becomes available as an eBook for purchase on popular online portals.
What started out as a very short Guide, just a few pages to hand out on websites for new comers to Paganism at each seasonal festive time, has grown into what you see here. So I am not just pleased, but very pleased in deed.
As always, I’d be very happy to hear form you – comments & constructive criticisms, and even suggestions of what Guides & books you might like to see me publish. Under the Gaian Times Social Enterprise Initiative, we have plan to start publishing `your’ books too! So get writing! It’s the perfect time for birth of new ideas and ventures!!
Best Wishes & Bright Stellar Blessings
(December 2012. London, UK)
1. Paganism, Wicca & Witchcraft.
2. Yule Rites – Symbolism, Traditions & Ritual practises of Mid-Winter.
Sun Gods from around the World.
Sun Cycle: Earth orbit & the Seasons.
Dark Days of Winter & Equation of Time.
Rebirth of Sun: Myths & Rituals.
Druid Rituals at Stonehenge (England, UK).
Battle of the Holly & Oak Kings and ritual killing of Wren.
New Beginnings & New Year Resolutions.
Yule Log & Fire.
Mistletoe – between the worlds.
3. Sun Worship at Winter.
Hindus: Sooriya & Festival of Pongal
Mayas & Aztecs: Tonatiuh & Inti
Egyptian: Ra, Horus & Isis.
Mithras of the Romans.
Festival of Saturnalia.
4. Christmas Connections.
25thDecember : Christianising the Pagan Festival
Dis-integration: Satanising an old God.
Saint Nicholas: Green vs Red Santa (the media rewrite!).
5. Yule Rituals & Magical Work.
Ritual words & communication with your Deities.
a) A Wiccan Coven Yule Ritual (2011).
b) A Public Winter Solstice Ritual with Sky-God & Earth-Goddess (2008).
c) An Egyptian themed Winter Solstice Ritual with Isis & Horus (2004).
6. References.: Books & Websites.
7. Articles & Online Resources.
Appendix 1: What is Paganism?.
Appendix 2: 8 Major Pagan Festivals.
Appendix 3: Pagan symbols.
Appendix 4: Concerns of Satanism, Devil worship & Human Sacrifices.
Appendix 5. Online Resources.
Appendix 6. Other Publications by the same author .
For other books by Mani Navasothy, please visit Mani’s Amazon Author Page here.
The National Census in Uk took place on 27th March 2011.
The data is being released in stages by the Office for National Statistics http://www.ons.gov.uk.
Pagan organisations made a concerted effort to campaign among pagan communities, asking them to register themselves in the religion category as `pagan – xxxxxx’ where the individual can state their particular path as a sub-category of `pagan’ so that a clear number can be gleamed.
Well, the xls sheet that gives religion data does not yet give this details.. So pagans will have to hold their breath a little longer.
But here’s the religion data that has been released.. (xls sheet available for download freely from ONS website). here’s the link
This is for the WHOLE of England & Wales
Christian 33,243,175 (1)
Buddhist 247,743 (6)
Hindu 816,633 (3)
Jewish 263,346 (5)
Muslim 2,706,066 (2)
Sikh 423,158 (4)
Other Religions 240,530 (7)
No religion 14,097,229
Religion not stated 4,038,032
Now assuming all the pagans did state their religion, as either `Pagan’ or `Pagan-Druid, Pagan-Wiccan’ etc.. or just as `pagan’, `Druid’, `shaman’ etc.. it all will be within the `Other Religions.. 240,530.
The above table shows that Christianity has the largest declared numbers, followed by Muslims – second largst, then Hindu (3rd place), then Sikh (4th place), then Jewish (5th), Buddhist (6th place).. Other Religions (there could be hundreds!) currently occupy 7th place..
here’s a screen capture of the interactive map that shows the percentage of people in areas ..for the `any other religions’ category…as it was in 2001 Census and the current 2011 Census UK. (darker the blue, more numbers!)
We’ll wait and see what the `Pagan-xxx’ category will show up ..when the full data is released.
On the night of 23rd of December, I celebrated the Winter Solstice in a private coven (withchy) Yule ritual in south London. Then on the night of 24th of December, I attended a small local Church service in north London. Quite a bizarre one for many pagans and Witches, am sure. Many pagans have woken up to it, and have been previously unfulfilled or unsatisfied Christians. So when they hear about an initiated Wiccan / pagan going to a Christmas service ..it must raise questions such as – has he started to waver? is he going over to the other side?
Unusually for our coven, especially at Yule, we had 5 guys (Priests or male Witches) and 1 gal (High Priestess). Almost 5-6 of the other Priestesses had not turned up due to one or other personal circumstances. Initially, when I turned up, the other 4 guys were almost at a point of giving the Yule ritual a miss and going straight on to the celebrations, feasting and sipping of the wines! But after some discussions, we decided to do a rather informal ritual.. (which ended up having almost all the ritual components anyway, albeit in different order at places!). Yule is about the birth of the Sun-child, so considering the numbers present, I suggested the Priestess holding a Cauldron, and the 5 Priests lighting (in turn) candles inside the Cauldron. That seemed a good symbolic ritual.. where the Cauldron is the birthplace of light!
Following day, I went to be with my partner for the Christmas / festive 3-4 days.. and we went to a local church for a short service. Some bus-driver talked about Jesus, sin, loving God, following the rule of the God (people who sinned can;t go to heaven) and Gods’s love and own sacrifice (God sent his only Son into mankind to take on all of our sins, so mankind can be free to enter heaven). Now this `sin’ part was not something neither my partner nor I ever accept or agree. Needless to say, we believe we are all born free and pure – no sin – full stop! It’s what we do there after that creates a sort of `good/ bad’ person. Sadly, seeing that this sin-issue is at the heart of Christianity makes it impossible for any pagan to digest.
We were not there to infiltrate, nor recruit, spy, disrupt or anything of the sort. We were looking for a bit of rejoicing.. festive experience. Singing..!
To give it perspective, I must mention – few weeks back, we had both unexpectedly went to a Service at St.Paul’s Cathedral in Central London, and it had been hea
venly..the ethereal singing that echoed through that Cathedral. I guess we wanted a re-experience of that. It could also be that after many years of being practicing Witches/ pagans, we are feeling certain elements to be lacking. Christianity may have come only 2000 years ago, in contrast to Paganism that has existed for many thousand years, but at least in modern times – pagan celebrations of Yule does not seem to nearly even match the festive atmosphere and celebrations of Christmas, it’s choir and carol singing, the lights and decorations. And it is that festive element that we seem to miss, and sought in that Church service.
Another factor to add – one of my friend- a Christian – came to a pagan open ritual recently.. only few days prior to this – to see what it’s like. So I guess we were just completing the exchange – not that it was some contrived exchange. Truth is – we all seem to have did it for our own personal genuine reasons.
In the case of my partner and me, (despite my bad-back experience which started on Christmas day).. we had a quiet and personal few days together – sipping wine, watching period dramas on TV, Xmas films on old videos (Scrooged, Miracle of 34th street..) and having the Christmas meal for 2 evenings in a row – with a X’mas / yule tree and plenty of candles around us. That in the end gave us what we had been searching for – which neither coven nor church seem to provide for us.
This all reminds me of the old pagan principle – “If that which you seek you do not find within, you will never find it without!”