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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

A work in progress. Explaining words and phrases that I often use. Noting new and interesting ideas. Discussing certain verbal warning signs. There’s no social justice or political correctness here.

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Today's secret word is
year and a day       year marriages       yuca       yucca       Yule       Yule log            
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year and a day

When we recollect that thirteen is the number of lunar months in a year, we can see how both this and the number seven are associated with moon magic. This may be the real secret of their magical reputation; as the waxing and waning of the moon are man’s oldest astrological observations. The old common-law month was twenty-eight days, during which the moon displayed all her phases, and went round the compass of the zodiac. The number twenty-eight is not only four times seven, but also the sum of numbers from one to seven. Each period of seven days in the lunar month was associated with a different phase of the moon, and with a different state of the tides of the sea. There are thirteen lunar months to the solar year, with one day left over, which is why the expression ‘a year and a day’ occurs so often in old Celtic myths.
Valiente makes one of her few errors here. She calls sidereal months (27.321 days) lunar months (29.530 days). It's an understandable mistake, but we need to keep the differences clear.
This time period is based upon a number of early European traditions. In some feudal societies, if a serf ran away and was absent from his lord's holdings for a year and a day, he was automatically considered a free man. In Scotland, a couple who lived together as husband and wife for a year and a day were accorded all the privileges of marriage, whether or not they were formally wed (for more on this, read about Handfasting History). Even in the Wife of Bath's Tale, poet Geoffrey Chaucer gives his knight a year and a day to complete a quest.

The year-and-a-day rule is found in a number of cases of common law, both in the U.S. and in Europe. In the United States, notice of intention to file a medical malpractice lawsuit must be made within a year and a day of the alleged incident (this doesn’t mean the lawsuit itself has to be filed in that time frame, simply a notice of intent).

For many Pagans and Wiccans, the year-and-a-day study period holds a special significance. If you've recently become part of a ​group, this time period is enough that you and the group's other members can get to know one another. It's also a time in which you can familiarize yourself with the concepts and principles of the group. If you're not part of an established tradition, using the year-and-a-day rule allows you to give your practice structure.
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year marriages      See Lammas

yuca     Not yucca. See cassava

yucca      Yucca glauca

Yucca is a genus of perennial shrubs and trees in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Agavoideae. Its 40–50 species are notable for their rosettes of evergreen, tough, sword-shaped leaves and large terminal panicles of white or whitish flowers. They are native to the hot and dry (arid) parts of the Americas and the Caribbean.

Early reports of the species were confused with the cassava (Manihot esculenta). Consequently, Linnaeus mistakenly derived the generic name from the Taíno word for the latter, yuca (spelled with a single "c"). It is commonly found growing in rural graveyards and when in bloom the cluster of (usually pale) flowers on a thin stalk appear as floating apparitions.

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Yule     Winter solstice.

Traditional neopagan sabbat. Quarter day, Lesser Sabbat, Low Holiday, & solar festival. Yule marks the winter solstice and the middle of winter. Supposed to be on winter solstice, but that is not always observed. Birth of the Child of Light. A Christian celebration of the light dawning in Jesus. A Norse pagan celebration of the winter-born king symbolized by the rebirth of the sun.
So if births are associated with the solstices, when do the symbolic deaths occur? When does Goronwy slay Llew and when does Llew, in his turn, slay Goronwy? When does darkness conquer light or light conquer darkness? Obviously (to me, at least), it must be at the two equinoxes. At the autumnal equinox, the hours of light in the day are eclipsed by the hours of darkness. At the vernal equinox, the process is reversed. Also, the autumnal equinox, called “Harvest Home”, is already associated with sacrifice, principally that of the spirit of grain or vegetation. In this case, the God of Light would be identical.

In Welsh mythology in particular, there is a startling vindication of the seasonal placement of the Sun God’s death, the significance of which occurred to me in a recent dream, and which I haven’t seen elsewhere. Llew is the Welsh God of Light, and his name means “lion”. (The lion is often the symbol of a Sun God.) He is betrayed by his “virgin” wife Blodeuwedd, into standing with one foot on the rim of a cauldron and the other on the back of a goat. It is only in this way that Llew can be killed, and Blodeuwedd’s lover, Goronwy, Llew’s dark self, is hiding nearby with a spear at the ready. But as Llew is struck with it, he is not killed. He is instead transformed into an eagle.

Putting this in the form of a bardic riddle, it would go something like this: “Who can tell in what season the Lion (Llew), betrayed by the Virgin (Blodeuwedd), poised on the Balance, is transformed into an Eagle?” My readers who are astrologers are probably already gasping in recognition. The sequence is astrological and in proper order: Leo (Lion), Virgo (Virgin), Libra (Balance), and Scorpio (for which the Eagle is a wellknown alternative symbol). Also, the remaining icons, Cauldron and Goat, could arguably symbolize Cancer and Capricorn (representing summer and winter), the signs beginning with the two solstice points. So Llew is balanced between cauldron and goat, between summer and winter, on the Balance (Libra) point of the autumnal equinox, with one foot on the summer solstice and one foot on the winter solstice.

This, of course, is the answer to a related bardic riddle. Repeatedly, The Mabinogion tells us that Llew must be standing with one foot on the cauldron and one foot on the goat’s back in order to be killed. But nowhere does it tell us why. Why is this particular situation the only one in which Llew can be overcome? Because it represents the equinox point. And the autumnal equinox is the only time of the entire year when light (Llew) can be overcome by darkness (Goronwy).

It should now come as no surprise that, when it is time for Llew to kill Goronwy in his turn, Llew insists that Goronwy stands where he once stood while he (Llew) casts the spear. This is no mere vindictiveness on Llew’s part. For, although The Mabinogion does not say so, it should by now be obvious that this is the only time when Goronwy can be overcome. Light can overcome darkness only at the equinox—this time the vernal equinox. (Curiously, even the Christian tradition retains this association, albeit in a distorted form, by celebrating Jesus’ death near the time of the vernal equinox.)

The Welsh myth concludes with Gwydion pursuing the faithless Blodeuwedd through the night sky, and a path of white flowers springs up in the wake of her passing, which we today know as the Milky Way. When Gwydion catches her, he transforms her into an owl, a fitting symbol of autumn, just as her earlier association with flowers (she was made from them) equates her with spring. Thus, while Llew and Goronwy represent summer and winter, Blodeuwedd herself represents both spring and fall, as patron Goddess of flowers and owls, respectively.
The Death of Llew A Seasonal Interpetation
from The Witches Sabbats

Yule celebrates the rebirth of the Sun God, born of the Goddess after her return from the Underworld. Fires and candles are lit to welcome the return of the Sun Gods light while the Goddess rests after delivery and the hardships of her winter in labour. Yule or the Winter Solstice is known by various other names, including: Alban Arthan (Caledonii or Druid), Jul (Norse), Yuletide (Teutonic), Feill Fionnain (Pecti-Wita), Gwyl Canol Gaeof (Welsh), the Longest Night, Midwinter and of course Christmas from Christianity.

The Yule celebration was particularly important to our ancestors, occurring at a time when many (the poor, the old, the feeble) were not expected to live throughout the winter. It was a time when their very survival depended on preparations they had made during the previous nine months. Starvation was a constant threat for many throughout the winter, indeed January through April were known as “the famine months”). For many, the Midwinter festival was their last great feast before the deprivations of deep winter set in. Any cattle left not needed for future breeding would have been slaughtered to provide fresh meat, and any left-over produce from the last harvest fermented and made into wine and beer for drinking.

Traditionally for the festivities, streets, homes and churches would be decorated using natural resources, such like Mistletoe, Holly and Ivy. Their use brought colour and life into the home and acted as a means of contact with the spirits of nature at a time when such has been threatened by the declining light of the Sun. The Druids especially prized mistletoe that grew in the sacred Oak trees, and on the Eve of the Winter Solstice would harvest the plant with a Golden Sickle. The white berries of the Mistletoe represented the male aspects of the Sun God, and were used to invoke fertility and the awakening powers of the Sun.
The Sabbats Yule from Controverscial.Com

Next in the cycle is the time of the Winter Solstice, called in the Druid Tradition Alban Arthan [the Light of Arthur]. This is the time of death and rebirth. The sun appears to be abandoning us completely as the longest night comes to us. Linking our own inner journey to the yearly cycle, the words of the Druid ceremony ask "Cast away, O wo/man whatever impedes the appearance of light." In darkness we throw on to the ground the scraps of material we have been carrying that signify those things which have been holding us back, and one lamp is lit from a flint and raised up on the Druid's crook in the East. The year is reborn and a new cycle begins, which will reach its peak at the time of the Midsummer Solstice, before returning again to the place of death-and-birth.

Although the Bible indicates that Jesus was born in the Spring, it is no accident that the early Church chose to move his official birthday to the time of the Midwinter Solstice - for it is indeed a time when the Light enters the darkness of the World, and we see again the building of Christianity on the foundations of earlier belief.

In a Christian culture we really only have one marker for the year, and that is Christmas. Easter and Harvest-time used to be significant, but can hardly be considered so now, when only a fraction of the British population attend Church regularly.

Druidry has eight markers, which means that every six weeks or so, we have the opportunity to step out of the humdrum of daily life, to honour the conjunction of Place and Time.
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Yule log

The Yule Log was originally an entire tree, that was carefully chosen and brought into the house with great ceremony. The largest end of the log would be placed into the fire hearth while the rest of the tree stuck out into the room! The log would be lit from the remains of the previous year's log which had been carefully stored away and slowly fed into the fire through the Twelve Days of Christmas. It was considered important that the re-lighting process was carried out by someone with clean hands. Nowadays, of course, most people have central heating so it is very difficult to burn a tree!

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