With Heartfelt Wishes
for You
To Have a Soulful Yule

~ Sharon, Liz & Sarah
at the Goddess Path

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire.
 It is the time for home.

  ~
Edith Sitwell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Goddess Gift E-Zine
Winter Solstice  
December 2013 
 

The Goddess knows and sympathizes. She sees way too many of her daughters feeling hurried, harried and ready for the holidays to be over and done with.  

A couple of years ago a card arrived that reminded me what the Goddess wants for us during the Yule season . . . Laughter, peace, contentment. and the joy of new beginnings.

Nothing especially unusual about the card's cover -- the cute fuzzy-dog in a Santa hat, napping/exhausted/done-in-by-it all.
We know just how this little doggy feels.

But the wonderful thing about this card was the sentiment inside:

May you be overwhelmed with joy
this holiday season.

What a graceful reminder that the bustle of the holidays sometimes leaves even the most resilient of us overspent, out of energy, and definitely under-whelmed with joy.

But the timeless message of the Yule, a season that marks the birth of so many sun gods and goddesses, is the call to slow down and preserve our energy in readiness for the more meaningful things that are to come.

The Goddess offers us the opportunity to rest, to repair and to dream, if we'll just take it-- all in preparation for the growth and change that will happen in our lives when we let it.

There was one who learned this lesson the hard way. Her name is Befana. Though she was originally just a mortal witch, you could call her a Christmas goddess since the spiritual journey she undertook on the first Christmas led to her becoming immortal.

The goddess lessons Befana has for us

  • Release unrealistic expectations and standards that ask too much of us, especially during these holiday seasons. (We can't all be Martha Stewart. After all, she's already taken!)
     

  • Forgive yourself when you let all the hustle go. Do only what you enjoy, what literally brings you joy.
     

  • Nourish your spirit, search for what is meaningful
     

  • Hold yourself open to the possibilities. Even some of the cruelest challenges work out to bring you miracles that transform your life.

The Story of Befana

A long time ago, there was an elderly woman (in goddess terms, a Crone), who lived quietly in the forest. She was not one to socialize and, as rumor would have it, she was probably even a witch, a follower of Trivia (a goddess of sorcery and witchcraft, the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Hecate.)

Befana's neighbors seldom sought her out unless they needed one  of her herbal concoctions. (They had to admit that, odd though she might be, she was a healer and quite useful to have around.) But Befana was aware of the rumors the villagers spread about her.

Parents were quick to warn their children to keep away from her cottage, passing on rumors that children who went near her house were sometimes "Never seen again".

Of course they could not name a single child who'd been "disappeared" that way, but it was a convenient way to teach the children to obey their parents, rather like the injunction to "Never Speak to Strangers" in today's world.

Befana had long ago given up on ever having children of her own, so it wounded her deeply to know the village children were afraid of her and would be punished if they came near her as they played.

Befana cared enough that every day she cleaned her cottage from top to bottom and baked a batch of cookies so she'd be ready to entertain any child who was brave or curious enough to come to her door.

None did, of course, so Befana set the cookies out for the animals and creatures living in the forest to feast upon.

But in the year that the Christ Child was born, an incredible thing happened. It was to change Befana's life forever.

Spoiler Alert:  Unbeknownst to her at the time, Befana, once shunned as a witch, was about to become the beloved Goddess of Christmas and the Epiphany.

Not only that, she created so many delightful Christmas customs that she is known as the predecessor of the modern-day Santa Claus.                              ... Read More

You can follow the link below to read the curious tale  of how this lonely old woman with
too-much-to-do followed her heart and not only became happy and immortal, but gained the love of children everywhere.

Enjoy the rest of the legend of Befana here.

(Pssst! She was also the first Santa Claus.
But don't tell the kiddies until they're old enough to handle it!)

 

     Goddess Quiz: Discover Your Goddess Type

 

 
 

In closing,

May you be underwhelmed
by the list of things you have to do.

May you make time to nap,
 take time to dream big dreams,
and have the courage to follow them,
      even if you know not where they will lead.

But most of all . . .

May you be overwhelmed with joy.

Goddess Bless,

Happy Holidays!

Sharon