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.
especially unusual about the card's cover -- the cute fuzzy-dog in a Santa hat,
But the wonderful thing about this card was the sentiment inside:
May you be overwhelmed with joy
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
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
(Pssst! She was also the first
May you be underwhelmed
May you make time to nap,
But most of all . . .
May you be overwhelmed with joy.