Posted tagged ‘Christmas’

Episode 137 – Yuletide Cheer! 2018

December 21, 2018

Summary:

In our annual holiday episode, we turn to the natural world for carols and lessons on the plants and animals of the Yuletide season.

 

Please check out our Patreon page! You can help support the show for as little as a dollar a month, and get some awesome rewards at the same time.  Even if you can’t give, spread the word and let others know, and maybe we can make New World Witchery even better than it is now.

 

Producers for this show: Heather, WisdomQueen, Regina, Jen Rue of Rue & Hyssop, Little Wren, Khristopher, Tanner, Achija of Spellbound Bookbinding,  Johnathan at the ModernSouthernPolytheist, Catherine, Carole, Debra, Montine, Cynara at The Auburn Skye, Moma Sarah at ConjuredCardea, Jody, Josette, Amy, Victoria, Sherry, Donald, Jenni Love of Broom Book & Candle, & AthenaBeth. (if we missed you this episode, we’ll make sure you’re in the next one!). Big thanks to everyone supporting us!

Play:

Download: Episode 137 – Yuletide Cheer! 2018

Play:  

 

 -Sources-

Much of the lore featured in this episode comes from the following books and websites:

 

If you have feedback you’d like to share, email us or leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to follow us at Twitter! And check out our Facebook page! For those who are interested, we also now have a page on Pinterest you might like, called “The Olde Broom.” You can follow us on Instagram or check out our new YouTube channel with back episodes of the podcast and new “Everyday Magic” videos, too! Have something you want to say? Leave us a voice mail on our official NWW hotline: (442) 999-4824 (that’s 442-99-WITCH, if it helps).

 

 Promos & Music

Music from this episode is licensed from Magnatune unless otherwise noted. “CC License” indicates a Creative Commons 2.0 Share-and-share-alike license.

 

Song List:

  • The Holly & the Ivy – Quire Cleveland
  • Ceremonies for Christmas Eve – Passsamezzo
  • The Holly Witches’ Dance – Harper’s Hamper
  • Ivy is Good – English Ayres
  • Green Grows the Holly – Shira Kammen
  • The Blood-red Rose at Yule – Music for a Winter’s Night
  • Christmas Tree – Emma Wallace
  • Kentucky (Ohio) Wassail – Quire Cleveland
  • Apple Tree Wassail – Shira Kammen
  • Here we Come a-Wassailing – Harper’s Hamper
  • Wassail Song (1913 – Vaughn Williams) – Quire Cleveland
  • While Shepherds Watched their Flocks – Alabama Sacred Harp Singers (Wikimedia – CC License)
  • Shepherd’s Carol to be Sung on New Year’s Day – Passamezzo
  • On Christmas Day – Jean Ritchie (Library of Congress – Public Domain)
  • The Boar’s Head Carol – Harper’s Hamper
  • The Wren in the Furze – Shira Kammen
  • Fowles in the Frith/Bird on a Briar – English Ayres
  • Little Skylark – J. Tucker (used with permission of artist)
  • Da Day Dawn – Samantha Gillogly (used with permission of artist)

 

Incidental Music for this episode includes “O Christmas Tree,” by Jeff Wahl (Magnatune); “Snow Drop,” by Kevin Macleod (Free Music Archive – CC License); and “The Sighful Branches,” by Axletree (Free Music Archive – CC License).

 

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Blog Post 211 – Holly and Ivy

December 20, 2018
The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown.
From “The Holly and the Ivy,” a traditional carol

We’re deep in the Yuletide season, which means not only can you expect an episode of carols and stories from us soon, but that you’re almost guaranteed to hear at least one or two carols mentioning holly, ivy, or both (in fairness, it’s probably a lot better to keep your elf-ears tuned in for those topics than to be hyper-vigilant in your efforts to avoid Wham!ageddon, right?)

The above-mentioned carol, “The Holly and the Ivy,” has been around for at least two hundred years, but likely dates back even further as a folk song, deriving from medieval traditions in England of associating the plants with various winter festivities and customs (see, for example, KIng Henry VIII’s carol “Green Groweth the Holly“).

In North America, we have several species of holly that are native to our continents, but ivy is a different matter. Most of the “ivies” associated with the holiday season are things like English ivy, which are imports and can be very invasive and destructive if not controlled (similar vines like Japanese kudzu are notorious for the damage they do and their proliferation). If you are in North America and using holly and ivy, it might be worth thinking about picking a twining vine native to the continent, like Virginia creeper, especially if you’re planning to plant anything.

Holly has long been used to decorate for the winter holidays, including in Ancient Rome. Some stories claim that the Christian cross was originally made from holly, which is why its berries are often stained red like blood. Linda Raedisch tells of a hobgoblin named Charlie who haunted an inn in Somerset, England and liked to perch on a holly beam above the fire to warm his feet (when he wasn’t hiding all the dinnerware to annoy the guests). Raedisch also notes several important appearances of holly in the lore and literature of the UK. She points out that in the classic Arthurian tale Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the titular swain appears at Arthur’s court to issue his challenge bearing an ax in one hand and a sprig of holly in the other. The Blue Hag of Scotland hides her magical staff under a holly bush (which prevents grass from growing beneath holly bushes in general). And of course, when the ghosts of Christmas Past and Present appear to Ebeneezer Scrooge in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, they both bear holly as well.

While holly is often thought to be a good plant to bring in for the winter holidays, ivy is thought to bring ill fortune if carried indoors for winter festivities. Ivy is also associated with cemeteries and graves, as well as the wheel of St. Catherine, and thus, spinners and fiber workers (although it should be pointed out that St. Catherine’s wheel is NOT a spinning wheel, but a torture device…however it’s nice to see the imagery repurposed for better things). Some English lore says that ivy brought into a sick room will prevent recovery, and that taking ivy leaves from off of a church wall will doom the one who picks them to illness.

According to Judika Illes, medieval Europeans believed holly wood had the power to protect against wild animals. While the spell she references involves throwing a piece of holly at an aggressive beast, a contemporary alternative might be to take a small disk of holly wood and inscribe (paint, carve, or burn) it with the name of an animal friend or protector (a companion pet from your life or even one that you know of from books or stories). When preparing it, speak to the animal friend you have in mind and ask them to intercede with any creature you encounter and grant you safe passage. Wear the disk as a necklace or bracelet when going into wild places (possibly consider adding a couple of small bells to the jewelry, as that will alert wild animals to your presence long before you see them, and thus ensure they skedaddle before you make contact…they are usually far more scared of you, after all, than you are of them).

Holly was also thought to be protective against evil spirits. Churches and cemeteries planted holly around their perimeters in England as a way to deter pesky spirits who would get caught on the prickly leaves (this may also have worked to discourage vandals and some wild animals as well). If you do decide to plant holly, bear in mind that it is best left to grow on its own. It is considered very bad luck to cut down a holly tree.

One of the main uses of holly and ivy is in love work. A holly charm recommended by Judika involves picking nine holly leaves at midnight on a Friday. Without speaking, wrap them in a white cloth (like a handkerchief) and put that under your pillow. You should dream of your true love before daybreak. Ivy can also be used to determine who your lover will be. A Scottish charm involves plucking an ivy leaf in secret (not from a church, please) and uttering the words “Ivy, ivy, I pluck the, In my bosom I lay thee; The first young man who speaks to me, Shall surely my true lover be.”

Men hoping to attract women should carry holly leaves, and women hoping to attract men should carry ivy (those hoping to attract their same gender would carry the plant that most corresponds with their attraction: to attract women carry holly, to attract men, ivy).

You can also use ivy to discern who is working against you by wrapping a candle in ivy and burning it. The identity of your foe will become clear (likely through dreams or other omens). Ivy can help determine future illness, too, as one New Year’s divinatory ritual involves laying leaves of ivy in water on New Year’s Eve, naming each leaf for a loved one, and leaving them there until Twelfth Night (January 6th). Any leaves that are still green indicate health for that person, while leaves with black spots or those that have shriveled up reveal who will suffer great illness in the year to come (it probably helps to mark each leaf in some way, as with a dot of nail polish, to ensure you know whose leaf is whose).

And both holly and ivy can be used for more severe spellwork, too. You can put a token from a target (such as their name, a photo, or even a bit of their hair) into a bottle with twists of ivy and sharp-pointed holly leaves. Fill the bottle with black ink and some swamp water or war water, then seal it and bury it upside down. I can even imagine doing a rather dark and wicked little “sinner’s tree” of your enemies by taking a branch of holly and hanging little glass ornaments filled with your enemies’ names, holly leaves, and ivy, with a bit of black ink (they make fillable ones you can buy at craft stores, or you could just save a few small spice bottles). Tell them they will spend the next year in perdition and torment if they do not change their ways, then burn the tree  and the contents of the bottles, and scatter the ashes at a crossroads or in running water.

Of course, if they *do* change their ways, you should probably put them on your “nice” list next year and perform an equally powerful blessing on their behalf.

Thanks for reading, and a Merry Yuletide to you!
-Cory

Sources
  1. Henderson, Helene, ed. Holidays, Festivals, & Celebrations of the World Dictionary, 3rd ed. Omnigraphics, Detroit: 2005.
  2. Illes, Judika. Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells. Harper Collins, New York: 2009.
  3. Opie, Iona, and Moira Tatem. A Dictionary of Superstitions. Barnes & Noble Books, New York: 1989.
  4. Raedisch, Linda. The Old Magic of Christmas. Llewellyn Publications, Woodbury, MN: 2013.
  5. Santino, Jack. All Around the Year: Holidays and Celebrations in American Life. Univ. of Illinois Press, Chicago: 1995.

Episode 85 – Yuletide Cheer! 2015

December 21, 2015

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Episode 85 – Yuletide Cheer! 2015

Summary:

Our annual holiday music show is light on the talk (due to Cory’s recent illness) and heavy on the, well, wassailing. So pour a warm cup of something delicious and enjoy!

 

Please check out our Patreon page! You can help support the show for as little as a dollar a month, and get some awesome rewards at the same time. Even if you can’t give, spread the word and let others know, and maybe we can make New World Witchery even better than it is now.

 

Producers for this show: Diana Garino, Renee Odders, Ye Olde Magic Shoppe, Raven Dark Moon, Ivory, The Witches View Podcast, Sarah, Molly, Catherine, AthenaBeth, & Jen Rue of Rue & Hyssop (if we missed you this episode, we’ll make sure you’re in the next one!). Big thanks to everyone supporting us!

 

Play:

Download: Episode 85 – Yuletide Cheer! 2015

 

-Sources-

See below for a complete track listing.

If you have feedback you’d like to share, email us or leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to follow us at Twitter! And check out our Facebook page! For those who are interested, we also now have a page on Pinterest you might like, called “The Olde Broom.”

 

Promos & Music

The following songs are used through Creative Commons Licenses and distributed as podsafe media, used under a purchased license, or presented with the permission of the artist. Please see the distribution sites for additional information on the artists, their works, and how to purchase more of their music.

 

  1. “Ding Dong Maerrily on High/St. Anne’s Reel,” Keltricity (Soundcloud)
  2. “The Holly Bears a Berry,” Shira Kammen (Magnatune)
  3. “Byla Cesta,” Kitka (Magnatune)
  4. “Shchedrik,” Kitka (Magnatune)
  5. “Wassail Song,” Music for a Winter’s Eve (Magnatune)
  6. “Tapster Drynker,” Shira Kammen (Magnatune)
  7. “Gloucestershire Wassail,” Keltricity (Soundcloud)
  8. “Bring us in Good Ale,” Shira Kammen (Magnatune)
  9. “On Christmas Day in the Morning,” Jean Ritchie (Lomax collection: Library of Congress)
  10. “Old Christmas,” Boyd Asher (Lomax collection: Library of Congress)
  11. “In the Bleak Midwinter,” Emma Radford (Soundcloud)
  12. “Solstice Night,” SJ Tucker (With Artist Permission)
  13. “Patapan,” Lisa Goettel (Soundcloud)
  14. “Fum Fum Fum,” US Army Men’s Chorale (Soundcloud)
  15. “The Wren in the Furze,” Shira Kammen (Magnatune)
  16. “Twelfth Eve/Christmas Cheer/Chestnut Vagary,” Harper’s Hamper (Magnatune)
  17. “Da Day Dawn,” Samantha Gillogly (With Artist Permission)

Podcast 72 – Yuletide Cheer! 2014 (Part Three)

December 26, 2014

Podcast 72 – Yuletide Cheer! 2014 (Part Three)

Summary:
Our last holiday show is chock-full of new-old-fashioned-way music to put you in the holiday spirit. I keep the talking to a minimum this year and focus on Christmas carols, winter songs about birds, and of course, wassails!

Play:
Download: New World Witchery – Episode 72

-Sources-
See below for a complete track listing.

If you have feedback you’d like to share, email us or leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to follow us at Twitter! And check out our Facebook page!

Promos & Music
The following songs are used through Creative Commons Licenses and distributed as podsafe media, or presented with the permission of the artist. Please see the distribution sites for additional information on the artists, their works, and how to purchase more of their music.

 

  1. A’Soalin – The Bird Sings/Lisa Goettel (Soundcloud)
  2. In the Bleak Midwinter – Richmondie (Soundcloud)
  3. All Hayle to the Days/Drive the Cold Winter Away – Harper’s Hamper (Magnatune)
  4. Fum Fum Fum – UnToupoutou/Army Men’s Chorale (Christmas Chorus, 2012 – Soundcloud)
  5. Nou is Yole Comen – Shira Kammen (In the Castle of the Holly King – Magnatune)
  6. Wren’s Carol – Shira Kammen (In the Castle of the Holly King – Magnatune)
  7. The Darkling Thrush – Brooms of Destruction (2012 – Soundcloud)
  8. Carol of the Birds – Broceliande (Magnatune)
  9. Children Go Where I Send Thee – The Bird Sings/Lisa Goettel (2013 – Soundcloud)
  10. Holy Night – Ronny Matthes (2012 – Jamendo)
  11. Hail Mary – UnToupoutou/Army Men’s Chorale (Christmas Chorus, 2012 – Soundcloud)
  12. Stille Nacht – Kat 330 (2013 – Soundcloud)
  13. Wassail Song – James Edwards (Christmas Bells, 2009 – Jamendo)
  14. Gower Wassail – Shira Kammen (Magnatune)
  15. Wassail Wassail – The Bird Sings/Lisa Goettel (2013 – Soundcloud)
  16. The Boar’s Head Carol – The Bird Sings/Lisa Goettel (2013 – Soundcloud)
  17. Coventry Carol – UnToupoutou/Army Men’s Chorale (Christmas Chorus, 2012 – Soundcloud)
  18. Deck the Halls – Harper’s Hamper (Magnatune)
  19. The First Noel – Tuba Chick (Composing and Arranging, 2011 – Soundcloud)
  20. Da Day Dawn – Samantha Gillogly (With Artist Permission)

 

Incidental music isMidden in de winternacht” by Ralph Rousseau (2009 – Jamendo).

Podcast 71 – Yuletide Cheer! 2014 (Part Two)

December 26, 2014

Podcast 71 – Yuletide Cheer! 2014 (Part Two)

Summary:
In the second holiday episode, we have a short documentary on the annual celebration of Krampuslauf in Philadelphia and an interview with author Linda Raedisch, who the book on Christmas monsters.

Play:
Download: New World Witchery – Episode 71

-Sources-
Check out the Krampuslauf Philadelphia webpage for more on that celebration. Many thanks to Amber Dorko Stopper and the entire Krampuslauf entourage for making space for me to do this documentary.

You hear Robert Schriewer (who was on a previous episode of our show as well) in the interviews. Please check out his book The First Book of Urglaawe Myths, and see the Urglaawe site for more information on Pennsylvania Deitsch Heathenry.

Big thanks are due to Timothy Essig of the Landis Valley Museum for his help and information as well.

We must recommend The Old Magic of Christmas, by Linda Raedisch, and we thank her highly for being on the show! Also check out her book on Walpurgisnacht as well.

I also highly recommend this little site, which explores several of the critters we discuss.

For information on the Belsnickel, I point you to Alfred Shoemaker’s Christmas in Pennsylvania and Earl Haag’s Pennsyvaanisch Deitsche, as well as Gerald C. Milnes’ Signs, Cures, & Witchery. Chris Bilardi’s Red Church and Jack Santino’s All Around the Year also informed this episode.

If you have feedback you’d like to share, email us or leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to follow us at Twitter! And check out our Facebook page!

Promos & Music
Title music:  “Homebound,” by Jag, from Cypress Grove Blues.  From Magnatune.

Promos:

  1. Welcome to Night Vale

Down at the Crossroads

Podcast 70 – Yuletide Cheer! 2014 (Part One)

December 26, 2014

Podcast 70 – Yuletide Cheer! 2014 (Part One)

Summary:
Our first holiday episode features Cory & Laine discussing the general theme of ‘Christmas monsters,’ or the scary side of the winter season.

Play:

Download: New World Witchery – Episode 70

-Sources-

Most of the beasties we mention in this episode can be found in The Old Magic of Christmas, by Linda Raedisch (she’ll be in our second holiday show, by the way).

I also highly recommend this little site, which explores several of the critters we discuss.

For information on the Belsnickel, I point you to Alfred Shoemaker’s Christmas in Pennsylvania and Earl Haag’s Pennsyvaanisch Deitsche (all of this will also show up in Podcast 71 as well).

If you have feedback you’d like to share, email us or leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to follow us at Twitter! And check out our Facebook page!

Promos & Music
Title music:  “Homebound,” by Jag, from Cypress Grove Blues.  From Magnatune.

Promos:

  1. The Pagan Widow Podcast

Podcast 58 – Yuletide Cheer! 2013

December 15, 2013

-SHOWNOTES FOR EPISODE 58

Summary

Our annual fruitcake of wintery music, poetry, & other holiday goodies!

 Play:

Download: New World Witchery – Episode 58

-Sources-

Stories & Poetry:

  1. Noel,” by Katherine Porter
  2. “Christmas,” (two versions) and “Winter,” from The Real Mother Goose
  3. Christmas Trees,” by Robert Frost
  4. A selection from “The Snow Queen,” by Hans Christian Andersen
  5. Santa’s Traveling Companions,” adapted from information at the Saint Nicholas Center

Don’t forget to follow us at Twitter! And at Facebook!

Also, please enter our current contest!

Promos & Music

All songs used with permission/license, from Magnatune, SoundCloud, Creative Commons, and MusicAlley, except as noted.

Playlist:

  1. “Nou is Yole Comen,” Shira Kammen
  2. “Swete was the Song,” by Artsy Honker
  3. “Good King Wenceslas,” US Army Chorus
  4. “Candelight Carol,” Kathmandu Chorale
  5. “Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming,” Annie Hiller
  6. “Carol of the Birds,” by Broceliande*
  7. “The Holly, Witches Dance,” Harper’s Hamper
  8. “Broome, Bonny Broome,” Harper’s Hamper
  9. “Patapan,” Fugli
  10. “Cherry Tree Carol,” Rose & Thistle Band (independent artist)
  11. “This Endris Night,” US Army Chorus
  12. “Cold Blows the Wind,” Music for a Winter’s Eve
  13. “Deck the Halls,” Harper’s Hamper
  14. “Green Grows the Holly,” Shira Kammen
  15. “O Christmas Tree,” Tubachick
  16. “O Tannenbaum,” Kellianna (f. Jenna Greene)*
  17.  “Winter’s Ritual,” SJ Tucker (from Ember Days soundtrack)*
  18. “Wassail Song,” Music for a Winter’s Eve
  19. “Come Landlord fill the Flowing Bowl,” The Limeybirds (independent artist)
  20. “Boar’s Head Carol,” The Pagan Carolers
  21. “O Come Emmanuel,” Mary Ellen Kirk
  22. “Ave Maria,” Kellianna*
  23. “Da Day Dawn,” Samantha Gillogly*

*Used with artist permission

Underscoring music is “Nu Zit Wellekome,” Ralph Rousseau Meulenbroeks, and “Courdian,” Music for a Winter’s Eve, both from Magnatune.


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