New Moon – December 7, 2018 12:20:15 a.m. Mountain Standard Time
The Blessings of Yew- Ioho
Ah, we are being taken into the deeper roots of the Tree of Life through this final lunar cycle of 2018. This is quite a change from the tradition of the Celtic Cycle of the Trees. Yet, I was receiving messages that the end of this year we would celebrate the lunar cycle in a different way. I must admit that my usual “inner critic” of the wisdom I receive caused me to pause and want to do the “other” tradition which is to bring to this lunar cycle the Blackthorn Tree, this is most often honored between Winter Solstice and Christmas. Yet, even when I argue with my own wits and wonder if I’m on the path of illusion or truly hearing the Holy One, I let go to the wisdom that comes in meditations, dream times, and the quest through the dimensions. Remarkable gifts do occur when I let go and honor HER wisdom.
When I had a clear realization that 2019 begins with a January New Moon in Capricorn, thus Birch, I had to review the whole calendar of the year of 2019 to recognize that each new moon would be right in alignment with the sacred lunar trees of the Celts. This lead the beginning of my quest to know what I was to offer for this final lunar month of 2018. I asked for guidance, again believing I would be called to honor the Blackthorn Tree. I truly argued that I should just leave the process and do as I would normally do: honor Birch at this New Moon.
However, I heard, “Yew!” Then my logical mind got in the way. Oh, yes, I know this is a very sacred tree to the Druids. In fact, it is one of the elements placed in Cerridwen’s cauldron:
Ioho – Yew, Letter I: Provides the power to create complete change in life-direction and attitudes of limitation. Fate, power of Death, sister of Ailim (power to die and be born again)
There are remarkable notes within the Norse tradition that give the Yew the name of “The Tree of Life,” called the “Yggdrasil”(ig-druh-sil) in the Celtic language. We know that this is the Tree of legends. It is said that Odin hung upside down on a Yew and received All Wisdom. He pierced a sword through his self to be connected to life and death. He remained in this position for nine days and nine nights. During this time he journeyed through nine worlds. The number 9 vibrates with the Law of Wholeness. If we use 9 + 9 we have an 18 and that number vibrates with the Law of Life, Death and Rebirth. At the end of this letter I have some descriptions of The nine worlds of the Celtic Norse people. For now, let’s look at more of the tree wisdom of the Yew.
The name “druid” is a derivative that means Tree Wisdom, thus we Druids give a lot of honor to sacred vibrations within trees and their blessings of wisdom. Most particularly, we honor Ioho (Yew),
Yew – Ioho
The background of the Yew month is the frequency of Elder and the continual power of Silence. Use this wisdom, for Silence will guide you through the use of the wisdom of the Yew. As you contemplate the Yew, flow into silence and let yourself hear the voice of the Divine guide you through the wisdom of the Yew.
The power of the Yew, given its nature of representing the Tree of Life, holds the vibration of the Realm of Source and its revelation of its Beauty as the Divine Feminine (WomanSpirit).
It is the energy of All Wisdom. And as we look at the final month of the year of the Law of Cause and Effect, we have an honor of recognizing what we must do to evolve through the Tree
of Wisdom and glean the greatest of knowledge we are capable of accepting.
The first message we can see is the reality that Odin hung upside down and Ioho means to create a complete change in one’s life. It is a message of changing our attitudes of limitations and see our connection to the greater wisdom of all life.
As I have been in deep contemplation with the Holy One about this Yew month and the path of Her wisdom to be shared throughout 2019, I have come to several points of wisdom. As we move through this sacred month, we are to turn our selves upside down and empty out our known reality and enter the realm of a Higher Reality–the Realm of the Divine. In fact, that is the Causal Quality of this month. Empty out! The effect is our vessel is ready to Receive the Higher Wisdom of Source/WomanSpirit.
As we move through this month, we also have the Celebration of Winter Solstice and this is a festival of “emptying out” as we remember and honor all that we have done through out the year. In fact, we are encouraged to write all of our experiences (good and not so good) on a piece of paper and send it through the fires of transformation and transmutation. Before we place our memories into the fire, we are to examine both sides of every story we have told this year and perhaps the stories we have held in our unconscious for many years. As we prepare for Winter Solstice, it is important to take time to journal and contemplate the greater rewards of the two sides of our stories, the challenges and rewards of 2018. We are called to make our notes a sacred story. When done, we can wrap our notes in a sacred cloth, or sacred packet that we have blessed, and with prayers to release and let go, w are to put the bundle in the fire of annihilation.
We are to be complete, for 2019 offers something very special, especially if we release and let go. When we release and let go, we will enter the most sacred place of the Yew, the great expansiveness of wisdom, the realm of Eternity, and feel the beauty of our immortal self intertwined with our mortal existence. Oneness!
The Yew tree is an evergreen; thus the symbology of forever living. It often is mistaken as an Ash tree. Subtle, but the connection is a wise one. For within the Ash Tree we find the power of its partner, Neptunia and the Law of Reversal and Reflection. Hmm, this wisdom also carries the number 12 and 2019 will reduce to a 12 and a 3. Secret hint of the year ahead.
Ah, the Holy One was pushing me to connect with the Yew and give its message to all who have eyes to read or hear the words. Finally, I understand why the change for this Lunar Cycle. This last lunar month of the year of Cause and Effect is leading us directly into the New Year. Another divination card associated to the number 12 is the Hanged Man. This is an image of hanging upside down and dwelling in the realms of our Unconscious in order to discover our True Self. But, it too, offers a time to let go of our beliefs that limit the wisdom of our greatest reality that we are Source embodied.
The work with the Yew Tree for all of us is to turn ourselves upside down and dump out. Once again, we are called to release anything that stands in the way of our Higher Wisdom. WomanSpirit guides us to do this as we continue to enter the darkest night (Winter Solstice) and return to the Light. She calls this a Quest to empty out throughout this lunar month and refill as the Light of the New Moon of January occurs. January 5th, to be exact.
Please do enjoy your holidays and allow the sacred holiday of the Druids, Winter Solstice, be a very sacred time for you. Do take a quest backward in time for this year of 2018. Do the suggested exercise of writing and then burning your written work in a ceremony.
May love prevail in everyone’s life and blessings occur for our entire world.
Love and peace,
Rev. Katherine Bell, PhD, DD, CEO/Founder SPICA – Way of Light
~Lunar Phases of Yew~
New Moon – Dec 7, 2018
Crescent Moon – Dec 10
First Quarter Moon – Dec 14
Gibbous Moon – Dec 17
Full Moon – Dec 22
Disseminating Moon -Dec 25
Last Quarter – De 29 Balsamic – Jan 3
Birch New Moon – January 5
Holidays to make note of are: Hanukkah – December 2 – 10, Winter Solstice – Dec 21 and Christmas – December 25, Kwanza December 26 – January 1.
Do check out the following pages for the Nine Worlds of the Celts!
First World – Niflheim: The World of Fog and Mist
Niflheim (Old Norse: “Niðavellir”) and it means the world of the Mist. It is the darkest and coldest region in the world as is described in Norse mythology. It is a realm of Three Wells and is guarded by Nidhug, a Dragon. It is from this realm that the River of All Life flows.
Second World – Muspelheim: The Land of Fire
Muspelheim (Old Norse: “Múspellsheimr”) It is a burning hot place, filled with lava, flames, sparks, and soot. Fire giants and fire demons live here. This is aninferno of death for all at the end of the world. Giants guard it as well as the Dragon of Fire.
Third World – Asgard: Home of the Gods
In the middle of the world, somewhere high up in the sky is Asgard (Old Norse: “Ásgarðr”). This realm is the home of of the Godsand Goddesses, the Sacred Ones. The male Gods in Asgard, are called Aesir, and the female Goddesses are called Asynjur. It is this realm that Odin rules. His Queen and consort is Frigg, Queen of the Aesir. Within this realm is Valhalla, the heaven for Warriors.
Forth World – Midgard: Home of the Humans
Midgard (Old Norse: “Miðgarðr”) “middle earth” is located in the middle of the world, below Asgard. The forth world is connected to the third world by a Rainbow Bridge. Midgard is surrounded by a huge ocean that is impassable. (The Ocean of Ayin perhaps?)
Fifth World – Jotunheim: Home of the Giants
Jotunheim (Old Norse: “Jötunheimr or Útgarðr”) is the home of the Jotuns (giants). They are sworn enemies of the Aesir. These beings live mostly from the fish of the rivers, and the animals of the forest. There are no fertile lands of their realm. The Jotuns’ land is separated from Asgard by a river that never freezes.
Sixth World – Vanaheim: Home of the Vanir
Vanaheim (Old Norse: “Vanaheimr”) is the home of the Vanir Gods and Goddesses. The Vanir Gods and Goddesses are considered to be very ancient beings. They are masters of sorcery and magic. They predict the future. Their land is a mystery. In lore some of these Gods came to Asgard as their world began to disappear. Today is a mystery as to where they might dwell and only uncovered by the devout who learn to work in the realms of Magick with a heart of unselfishness, compassion and love for Good of All.
Seventh World – Alfheim: Home of the Light Elves
Alfheim (Old Norse: “Álfheimr or Ljósálfheimr”) live next to Asgard in the high heaven. They are considered to be beautiful creatures of light. They are known as“guardian angels.” The Light Elves are minor Gods. They serve the power of fertility and nature. Their magical powers can help or impede humans. They are similar to the Tricksters who call humans to turn and learn at deeper levels or be fooled in their plight of life. The Light Elves are like the Greek Muses as they deliver inspiration that encourages ones to express through song and art forms.
Svartalfheim (Old Norse: “Niðavellir or Svartálfaheimr”) is the home of the dwarves. Their existence is under rocks, in caves, and deep within the underground. They reveal the powers of craftsmanship. They present their gifts of power to The Gods and Goddesses of Asgard. In fact, it is considered that they created Odin’s Spear that he pierced through himself as he hung from the Yew.
Ninth World – Helheim: Home of the dishonorable dead
In our language we would call this Hell. The place where those who have murdered, stolen, lived dishonorable lives would dwell. Within the Norse mythology, these were the beings who did not live bravely enough as warriors. Within this realm the dead live in a cold place. No joy or happiness is felt by them ever again. Their lore says they will by guided by the ruler Hel to create a war with the Gods and Goddesses with the intent to end the world(s).