Now open at 640 Merrimon Avenue, Suite 207. Store Hours are 10 AM to 8 PM Monday thru Saturday. 12 PM to 6 PM on Sunday.

December 2021 Newsletter

December 02, 2021

We are so grateful to all of you for your support the last 8 years at the 555 Merrimon Ave shop and we look forward to you joining us at our new location 640 Merrimon Ave.

We are moving just up the street from our current location, and the new site will offer a lot more perks!

Our new space will provide us with the opportunity to offer for the first-time handicap access via the first floor elevator, a dedicated classroom, expansion of our retail space, a production space for handmade shop products and more parking! We wish the owner of the 555 Merrimon Ave. building the best in their new endeavors.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook & Instagram. We will be posting updates and sneak peeks of the new space that you will not want to miss!

And mark your calendars for our upcoming MOVING SALE at our current 555 Merrimon Ave. location: December 26, 2021 through January 8, 2022. Stop in for some great sales & help us say goodbye to the 555 location that has served us so well.

The 555 location will close on January 9, 2022.

And the new upstairs shop location at 640 Merrimon Avenue will open on January 15, 2022! We will continue to be open 7 days a week from 11am-7pm.

We value each of you as a customer and look forward to serving you with not just the same magical products but even more items in our new location.

Blessed Be!

Lisa, Mike, Byron Beth, Ed, Jonathan, David, Star, LeeAnn, Pamela, Alicia, Sky, Liz, Atena, Shifera, Rebecca, Sam, Jay, and all our local vendors:

Appalachia Sacred Smoke, Byron Ballard, Calamus and Honey, Chakra Fox, Emily Eaggen Art, Fairie Made, Florrie Funk, Gifts ofLakshmi, Justine Briggs, lavender Oshun, Mandrake and Malkin, Mari Jo Moore, Moon Goddess Shoppe, Open Coven, Owlery of Oreon, Pure Ritual, Rhythm and Ritual, River Island Apothecary, Sacred Soaps, Sisters of Mother Earth, Spiral Roots, The Forgotten Log, Word Emporium, Wyrd Mountain Gals, Yvanna Woods, Zusa Fragrance.

Yule is the festival that celebrates the Winter Solstice on December 21, the shortest day of the year.

As the days started getting colder and nights longer pagans around the world light candles to lure back the sun.

Colors of the Season

Red for the waning Holly King. Green for the waxing Oak King. White for purity and the hope of new light. Silver for the Moon and Gold for the Sun.

Plants of the Season

Bay Leaves represent prosperity, luck, and success. Evergreens are brought indoors to symbolize life, rebirth, renewal. Holly Leaves, symbolic of the Holly King, symbolize hope and the red berries represent potency. Mistletoe’s green leaves symbolize fertility and its white berries the seed of the Oak King. The Yule tree represents the Tree of Life and traditionally was decorated with the gift’s pagans wanted to receive from the Gods. Seasonal fruits and nuts like acorns, pecans, walnuts, oranges, and apples.

Other Yule Traditions and Symbols

Yule Logs are symbols of health and fertility. The custom of burning the Yule log symbolizes the continual hearth fire and is believed to prevent bad spirits from entering the home.

Candles symbolize the light and warmth of the returning sun.

Bells are hung to banish negative energies and call in positive.

Yule Ritual

Yule is a time of reflection during the darkest days of the winter, as the trees and flowers go through their cycles of death and rebirth. A suggested ritual to help you celebrate your rebirth this Yule.

Cleaning is another way of taking out the old and making the space for the new to enter our lives. Walk around your home while burning the Yule incense (included in your box) requesting energies that do not belong to you to leave and stay away. After your space is clear, start at the entrance to the room, with the bell included in your box in your right hand, move slowly around the room in a clockwise motion, ringing the bell in a light but quick rhythm, allowing the bell to sound as it will. Voice your intentions loudly and joyously. Let the bell lead you around the house. Ringing a bell will quickly change the way the home feels and helps to manifest your intentions. After you have finished your cleansing decorate your altar and home with symbols of the season. Make yourself a cup of mulled wine or cider and light your candle. Think of all your accomplishments and ways you plan to adapt to strengthen yourself in the upcoming months. Express your gratitude for your achievements and what is to come. Many pagans stay up on Winter Solstice to greet the rising Sun (the way we did on Summer Solstice) with the ringing of bells.

Happy Yule!

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Most of the colorful leaves of Samhain have fallen. The brisk autumn winds and leaf fights among happy children have scattered them across the land, depleted by the growing season, to decompose and be absorbed back into the earth as compost. The few leaves that remain attached to branches serve as a reminder that there is still time to follow the example of the trees and release the things in our lives that no longer serve us well. For some of us, it is an opportunity to let go of a toxic relationship. For others of us, it is a defining moment to choose to stop believing untrue stories told to us long ago by those that would have us believe that we are not smart enough or thin enough or good enough. Recognizing the false narratives, we have released them into the Samhain winds and they are gone.

As we move through Samhain towards Midwinter, the shortest day and longest night of the year, we are provided with more opportunities to harmonize our lives with Earth’s rhythms and to renew and reset our lives in profound ways. We notice that there are fewer daylight hours and sunset arrives much earlier in the evening. Plant growth has slowed. Annual plants, brushed by the breath of frost, have died with some dropping seeds into the earth with the hope of a rebirth in spring. The fur of animals has become thicker as they prepare for colder days and some of our furry friends, like bears, will soon go into hibernation. Crops have been gathered in and preserved. Wood has been stored for future fires on long, cold nights. While the cues from the natural world are clearly visible, we are sometimes so caught up in our fast-paced schedules that we miss, or choose to ignore, the messages to slow down, rest, and take time to process our lives.

In the earlier days of our nation when communities were more agrarian, there were fewer distractions and self-care was a more normalized and respected practice during late fall and winter. There were no climate-controlled environments or electric lights to extend daytime activities. There were no Netflix series or social media posts to stay engaged with into the wee hours of morning. The focus was on rest, renewal, and reflection. In the evenings there were conversations with other family members by the light of a cozy fire and bedtime came much earlier. In the darkness of this quiet winter womb, the physical body was able to rest and restore from the busyness of the harvest. Although it was a time of rest, it was not a time of fallowness. Ideas for new spring gardens, more efficient farm management, and improved animal husbandry practices were being conceived and developed with the hope of giving birth to their plans during the warmer days of the coming year. Unseen, like the underground workings of Mother Earth, rest and renewal were working their magic and plans for the future were taking shape.

As we pass through this darker period of the year, I invite you to be kind to yourself. Slow down. Rest. Spend some time alone and mindfully consider: What will I allow myself to conceive during these darker days? What will I nurture, grow, and birth when the light returns? Midwinter will arrive without fail and, as the Yule sun rises, know that the birthing of your dreams is not far away.

The pending approach of the longest night of the cycle in the northern hemisphere, Winter Solstice, brings with it the scents associated with the Yuletide but also the beginning of the cold and most barren time of the year. Our friends in the southern hemisphere will be enjoying the height of the growing season and celebrating the Summer Solstice.

The aroma of freshly cut greenery is as much a part of the winter season as newly mowed grass is during the summer. The hanging of garlands and wreaths of evergreen and holly, and the ubiquitous Yule tree all perfume the air with scent of pine and has the ability to conjure memories of childhood.

Intermingled with the fragrance of evergreen is the peppermint of candy canes, the spicy aromas of baking pies and other savory recipes, as well as the scents of citrus. For some, these scents are wonderful and comforting. For others, they can resurrect a childhood or past that is anything but. Even for those who have positive associations with the holiday celebrations that center on the Yuletide, it can still be a stressful season.

Citrus oils like orange, tangerine, and lemon all have the ability to elevate the mood, and promote a sense of joy. Before the year-around availability of citrus thanks to global shipping and the diversification of the variety of citrus grown, much of the citrus we have become accustomed to was mostly only available beginning in the late fall and through the winter. It made oranges and other citrus fruits an obvious choice for seasonal gifts. An orange or tangerine were often to be found in the toe of one’s Yule stocking.

The winter months are also good for taking stock of the year’s accomplishments, planning for the next cycle, and simply resting a bit. Incorporating aromas that can help support these actions can make the first month of winter easier, more productive, and more restful.

As mention above, citrus scents lend themselves to countering depressive moods with their relentlessly cheerful and uplifting scents. While the therapeutic actions of essential citrus oils can vary, most hold antiseptic, digestive, and tonic properties – all offering some level of help for strengthening the body and improving its overall performance.

Winter is also the season with the greatest proliferation of colds and flu. Including essential oils like cinnamon, clove, myrrh combined with some variety of citrus can help to boost the immune system and limit the spread of viruses due to their antiseptic and often antimicrobial qualities.

The key to creating a great blend begins with identifying the scents that resonate personally and that possess the desired qualities for whatever purpose is sought. Experimentation can help open the door to discovery of not only what resonates but also which aromas work well together. Sometimes the explorations of scents and combinations reveal unexpected results.

In the coming months, I will outline the basics of organoleptic testing, how to keep a scent journal, and crafting blends for ritual and personal uses. Blessed Winter Solstice and Merry Yuletide to you all!

Blend for Cheer and Optimism:
5 drops of Orange essential oil
2 drops of Clove essential oil
1 drop of Myrrh resin
1 drop of Benzoin resin

Blend for Joy and Awareness:

4 drops of Lavender essential oil
4 drops of Tangerine essential oil
1 drop of Cinnamon essential oil

To apply topically:

Blend with 1-2 oz of Sweet Almond
Shake well before each use

To use as a spray:
12 oz of distilled or filtered water
1⁄2 oz of witch hazel or alcohol
Add witch hazel to spray bottle, then drops of oil, and finally water.
Shake well before each use

A note on safety and how to conduct a skin patch test As with all essential oil blends, a skin patch test should be done before topically applying. Simply apply a small amount of the blend to the inside of the upper arm. If no irritation develops after 24 hours, then it is safe to use. If at any point during a skin patch test if irritation develops, the application area should be immediately treated with either a dairy-based product like milk or yogurt to halt the irritation. Then the testing area should be and thoroughly washed with mild soap and water and cleaned of the substance applied.

Please note that no matter how safe and natural you believe essential oils to be, they are not recommended to be applied straight or “neat” directly on the skin. There are a few exceptions for regular use, but even those should only be used that way under the advice of a certified or registered aromatherapist. Young children, the elderly, anyone with a comprised immune system, and those who are pregnant may require a formula that is much reduced in active ingredients. Essential oils of any variety should always be cautiously used around pets, and never used on cats or in any way that would allow them to ingest it—like breathing in vaporized spray or licking it off of their fur.

Deck: The Spirit of Nature Oracle by John Matthews with illustrations by Will Worthington, published by Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.

Card: Holly - "Tinne". December bears the shift into Winter, and Holly is perhaps one of the trees most associated with Winter Solstice and Yule. Holly has long been associated with protection, but also “strength of purpose and steadfastness.”

This month be mindful of how energy is used and what actions are being fueled. Allowing anger to run unchecked, or the heart to rule the head can lead to undesired consequences. The ability to temper passions, using them as needed fuel to accomplish positive change is key. Moderation of energy, clear thinking as to purpose and possible outcomes, and taking decisive action are all likely to be important in this last month of the calendar year.

Raising the Circle

A Bright Voice: Here at the gateway of the year,

May we strive to make good cheer.

In our revels shall joy abound

And sorrow be cast underground! (from Caitlin Matthews)

North In Winter, the forest is still and deep. The hearts of the trees beat slowly, the bears dream of blueberries and fierce love. Stones are cold, blades of grass sharp as steel. In Winter, the forest is still.

East  In Winter, our breath makes clouds in the chill day. Sunrise comes too early and sunset does the same. Ankle winds force us into stout boots and we wrap our faces against the night. In Winter, our breath makes clouds.

South In Winter, we warm our hands at the fire. Mantles over fireplaces hold fragrant and ever-green branches, hold stockings at Yuletide. Bonfires reach skyward, candles hold promises. In Winter, we warm our hands at the fire.

West In Winter, water is slippery stone. Icicles line the window ledges, jagged teeth. Water, soft and beautiful, falls white upon the fields and beaches. And the sea, eternal, caresses Her dancing tides. In Winter, water is slippery stone.

A Bright Voice: Let the harp of the new Moon sound and mark our celebration! Omnia tempus habent! (There is time for everything!)

 

Releasing the Circle

West: Snow and icicle. Black ice and Brigid spring. Water like stone. Water like stone. Blessed be Water and blessed be all we. Happy Solstice!

South: Bonfire. Hearthfire. Candle and incense. Bonfires reach skyward. Bonfires reach skyward. Blessed be Fire and blessed be all we. Happy Solstice!

East: Clouds of breath. Early dawning. Wrapped against the winds and chill. Breath like clouds. Breath like clouds. Blessed be Air and blessed be all we. Happy Solstice!

North: Tree and stone. Sharp cold grass and dreams of blueberries. The forest is still. The forest is still. Blessed be the Earth and blessed be all we. Happy Solstice!

Asheville Pagan Supply

555 Merrimon Ave
Suite 100
Asheville NC 28804
United States

© 2021 Asheville Pagan Supply