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On this fifth night let us rejoice in what we have made

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Dark Blessings.

The candles are burning brightly on this night as candle five is lit in honor and thanksgiving for the power to create. We Honor all those things which we have brought into being on this night, and all the boons we have been granted from the Lord and Lady.

For the baker, the cakes that have brought delight and satisfaction. For the social worker, the network of support for the clients that has been woven through work and dedication. For the Priest and Priestess, the rituals which have facilitated worshipful rites for those who have come to gather. For the fast food worker, the standard of service in the face of low wages and grueling economic realities that can dampen the Spirit. For these things and more, we are grateful.

This is a night in which perhaps it is good to plan new creations for the year. Let the flame burn away the procrastinating spirit within and reveal a fiery drive within. Children should be allowed to draw pictures of how they see the year that has passed away, and what they have made in it. Adults should be allowed to draw pictures of the same. These should be folded tightly and placed on the altar, to be burned on the last night.

This is also a good night to resolve to learn a new craft, if so inclined. Textile crafts such as weaving, knitting, crocheting, needle crafting, sewing, are all very good and seasonally appropriate. It is an Icelandic Tradition to have created new garments in these ways from the shorn wool of autumn. There is a lovely little poem regarding this that both adult and children alike can enjoy :

"The Yule Cat"
By Johannes ur Kotlum
You all know the Yule Cat
And that Cat was huge indeed.
People didn't know where he came from
Or where he went.

He opened his glaring eyes wide,
The two of them glowing bright.
It took a really brave man
To look straight into them.

His whiskers, sharp as bristles,
His back arched up high.
And the claws of his hairy paws
Were a terrible sight.

He gave a wave of his strong tail,
He jumped and he clawed and he hissed.
Sometimes up in the valley,
Sometimes down by the shore.

He roamed at large, hungry and evil
In the freezing Yule snow.
In every home
People shuddered at his name.

If one heard a pitiful "meow"
Something evil would happen soon.
Everybody knew he hunted men
But didn't care for mice.

He picked on the very poor
That no new garments got
For Yule - who toiled
And lived in dire need.

From them he took in one fell swoop
Their whole Yule dinner
Always eating it himself
If he possibly could.

Hence it was that the women
At their spinning wheels sat
Spinning a colorful thread
For a frock or a little sock.

Because you mustn't let the Cat
Get hold of the little children.
They had to get something new to wear
From the grownups each year.

And when the lights came on, on Yule Eve
And the Cat peered in,
The little children stood rosy and proud
All dressed up in their new clothes.

Some had gotten an apron
And some had gotten shoes
Or something that was needed
- That was all it took.

For all who got something new to wear
Stayed out of that pussy-cat's grasp
He then gave an awful hiss
But went on his way.

Whether he still exists I do not know.
But his visit would be in vain
If next time everybody
Got something new to wear.

Now you might be thinking of helping
Where help is needed most.
Perhaps you'll find some children
That have nothing at all.

Perhaps searching for those
That live in a lightless world
Will give you a happy day
And a Merry, Merry Yule.

This is a good way to remind them of the spirit of giving to others. The Sun gives the world Life, and thus giving is a reflection of this, indeed.

Blessed BE



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