Out of the Mists Yule 2011
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VOLUME 1, ISSUE 1 Winter 2011
Pumpkin Funat Samhain
Introducing OAs Oak Scouts
Out of the MistsOzark Avalon Church of Nature
Yule 2011Out of the Mists2
Published by Ozark Avalon Church of Nature
26213 Cumberland Church RoadBoonville, MO 65233 firstname.lastname@example.org
Our mission is to provide access to nature, a safe place for outdoor worship in an earth-centered, earth-honoring spiritual context, to promote community among persons with these beliefs and to further environmentalism and appreciation for nature spirits and the earth. Ozark Avalon's 160-acre nature preserve is located only three miles off I-70 between Kansas City and St. Louis. We are 18 miles from Columbia, MO near the Overton Bottoms South Conservation Area. We have beautiful woods and meadows with hot water showers, fire rings, hiking trails, a spring-fed lake, established camping areas and a small swimming pool. Drive-Up and hike-In Camping, small RVs allowed (no hookups). Our artistic Frog Bog Shower House has indoor composting toilets, solar-assisted showers and solar lights. This newspaper is published by the community and for the community. If you would like to contribute articles, ideas or photos, please send them to email@example.com. We reserve the right to edit articles for grammar and space. All work must be original. Photos published only with the express permission of those appearing in the photos and photos of minors with the permission of their parents. Out of the Mists respects the privacy of those who attend events at OA and elsewhere in the community.
Weve all seen the Ozark Avalon group on Facebook. Weve all been reading along and watching a number of events unfold in our public forum. Ive noticed that what has actually come from what could have been considered a commu-nity-wide disagreement is a renewed vision for our church. It allowed people to see that in most cases we all want the same thing for the church. We have learned that whatever happened before is in the past and the rebirth of Ozark Avalon is on the hori-zon. People have been coming out of the woodwork and discussing the reasons they left -- and with everyone weighing in, we have started to craft an idea of what we want Ozark Avalon to be as a community. I am so excited to see what the next year brings to Ozark Avalon. I already see the beginnings of a scout troop for our children, groups forming to plan festivals, a sisterhood developing among the women of the community and of course a rebirth of OAs newspaper! And that is just in the past month. I cant wait to see what we come up with next month! My family is currently living in the retreat center, and Im hoping to see much more of all of you in the coming year! The community has this beautiful space and Id love to see it used a lot more this winter. I am looking forward to alot of fellow-ship and community building. I would love to hear ideas from everyone about what kinds of events and gather-ings people would like to see at the retreat center. We had two awesome drum circles to send energy to Grant Withers in November. The way everyone came together to send energy to one of our own in need was just incredible. You could just feel the energy swirling around the retreat center and out to Columbia to the hospital. There is still alot of work to do. There is still a lot of healing to be done and alot of disagreements settled between people, but I think for the first time in a long time the community really has the opportunity to give birth to a stable, happy church for us and our children. Lets keep it rolling and try to remember that we havent suc-ceeded until we have a place for EVERYONE.
For there is no greater magic than love.
A New Day is Dawning...by Nancy McGee-Lee
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In the future, this space will be reserved for opinion columns, letters-to-the-editor and things like that. We would love to hear from you! Please submit letters or opinion columns to firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks before the changing of the season. In other words, spring starts March 20, so the deadline for the next issue will be March 6. We also welcome articles by ANYONE in the larger pagan community. If you have stories, poems, illustrations, recipes or anything youd like to share, please feel free to send them to us! We reserve the right to edit for space and grammar. We ask that all work be original and that any pictures come with a release signed by everyone in the picture. (Local OakSpir-its can give verbal consent.) We dont want to out anyone acci-dentally. If you would like to advertise with us, please drop us an email at email@example.com and we will be glad to send you a rate sheet. Our advertising is very reasonable and our readership is a very specific target audience!
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Ozark Avalon Announcement Pagewww.facebook.com/pages/Ozark-Avalon/108913115796249Ozark Avalon Main Pagewww.facebook.com/groups/295222527267/Volunteer Pagewww.facebook.com/groups/176424545781894/Sisters of Avalonwww.facebook.com/groups/160675557362839/Oak Scoutswww.facebook.com/groups/250546345005253/
Ozark Avalon has a number of groups on Facebook to keep our mem-bers informed and allow them to help with the planning and execution of festivals. Please feel free to join us in any of these groups!
Yule 2011 Out of the Mists 3
The original reason for the season is the Winter Solstice. Solstice is a Latin word meaning stands still. At this time for 6 days the sun appears to stand still on the horizon. This was a time of uncertainty and mystery as people wondered if the sun would return. When it did, year in and year out, festivals grew up in just about every place and culture. Even today in our modern indoor society the Solstice continues to be a time for celebration across the world. The theme of light emerging from darkness is universal at this time of year. In primitive societies the priests and shamans were most certainly the astronomers. Knowledge of the math-ematical calculations needed to calculate the time of the Solstices would be seen as high magic in these cultures. In locations across the world from New Grange in Ireland to Chaco Canyon in New Mex-ico, to the great solar temples of Egypt, people developed elaborate sites to track the times of the Solstices. Stonehenge is the most famous of these solar temples and its construction from massive stones is one of the great unsolved mysteries to this day.
The celebration of Horus or Ra the Sun God in ancient Egypt involved decorating with greenery -- especially palm branches -- with twelve fronds and directly linked the Sun God to the natu-ral rhythms of the Sun in the sky. The Soltice time in Babylon was Zagmuk. The Babylonians incorporated their Sun god Marduk, who defeated the Monsters of Chaos during this dark and shadowy time. This holiday introduced the idea of the struggle between good
and bad; continued today in magical per-sona of a Santa Claus who uses the grant-ing of presents or coal to judge children. The festival of Sacaea continued this theme. The Persians and later the Greeks celebrated the reversal of order that was stirred up by Kallikantzaroi, mischie-vous imps who roamed about during the twelve days of Sacaea. These imps had a darker side than the elves Santa associates with today. In Rome the major festival for this time of year was Saturnalia, the birthday of the Roman God Saturn. This festival was celebrated December 17 - 24. This holiday included a pig sacrifice and gift exchange and was followed by the Kalends, and early January celebration of the New Year where houses were decorated with green-ery and lights. Both of which are usually still up on New Years Day in modern America. The Norse arrived independently at a similar holiday that bears the closest resemblance to the modern celebrations and, unlike the Celts and many others, made this a major holiday. We can thank them for the word Yule, which is still used interchangeably with Christmas by many contemporary persons. We can also thank them for the traditions of caroling, the Yule log and the first custom of bringing an entire evergreen into the house. It is fitting that this would be a major holiday for those who lived so far north that the winter nights literally swallowed the days in the time directly before Solstice.
Modern Solstice Celebrations
Christmas The earliest record of a Christmas celebration was in Rome in 336 CE Pope Liberus in 354 CE placed the holiday on December 25th. The Armenian Church still celebrates on January 6. The holiday remains an almost universal celebration around the World. Many people partici-pate in the cultural elements of Christmas to a much greater extent than the reli-gious. Joint celebrations allow us to expe-rience the diversity of spiritual experience as well as the good will and magic of the season. Even as Christmas seems to be everywhere it is important to remember that other solar festivals remain and new ones have been established.
Pagan Yule The word Yule is from the Scandina-vian word Jul, meaning wheel. Many pagans honor the turning of the wheel at this time. Many Wiccans honor the theme from the Celts: they see Yule as the time of battle between the aging Holly King and young Oak King. Others may use the Greek myth of Per