by Crystal Pomeroy
In some parts of the ancient world, this
lunation was called the Oak Moon, in honor of the Oak King who overcame
the Holly King at Christmas. In Europe, trees had long been considered sacred. Oaks, in
fact, were the most venerated of all, until the Church succeeding in
wiping most of them out, when the evergreen stepped in as a central
In his book, When Santa Was a Shaman, Tony
van Renterghem writes that the first Christmas
trees were decorated with strips of raw meat
and burned to appease the gods and give thanks
for the miracle of fire received through
trees from lightening. Although this book
is fascinating, ever since I read that passage
I wondered if maybe there wasn’t
more to this ancient tradition. After all,
trees are very special, and many early cultures
possessed greater wisdom about the natural
world than we do. So it was especially exciting
to learn about the ancient Mexica custom
The Raising of the Banners. This is the name
of the 20-day period that started on December
17, during which colored strips of bark paper
were tied on trees and other plants in gratitude
for their fruits, as well as to connect human
intentions in the new solar cycle with the
energy of growing foliage. Thus trees helped
prepare for the birth of the Precious Child,
the Solstice Sun (for more on this see our
Winter Solstice Ceremony available to Daykeeper
Premium subscribers).Could Panquetzalitzli reflect
ancient knowledge of a more global kind behind
the Christmas Tree, knowledge that runs deeper
than the meat burning ceremony described
In a more European style,
authors John and Caitlín
Matthews share a Wishing Tree ceremony in
their book of Christmas traditions, a practice
that strikes a synchronistic chord with the
Mexica tradition. Your own tree or branch,
whether in your yard, living-room or local
woods, is a sacred link to nature, and to
the richness glowing in the collective memory.
A bit further on you will find suggestions
to revive these archetypes and empower your
own blessings at the Christmas Full Moon.
her Daily Success Guide, Nina Bouska has
said that this portal’s
energies are quite similar to those of the
Solstice chart. She cites the Sabian symbol for Luna’s degree: the
ability to expand one’s consciousness
by stabilizing one’s point of view at a higher level,
and the opposite degree in Capricorn: Three rose windows in a Gothic
church, one damaged by war; the necessary
realization by any individual making a violent use of collective power
that it will lead to the inevitable destruction of some of the values
ensuring group integration.These
symbols reinforce the message of Mars
in Cancer in opposition to a heavy Capricorn
stellium in the Solstice Chart, reminding
us that this year will require special attention
on harmonious conflict resolution. For that
purpose, we have included suggestions for forgiveness, as well as
a solstice power prayer to fortify the universal will to love, which
we also share below.
Oak Moon Christmas Tree Ceremony
Have on hand:
- 3” by 1” leaves or strips, cut out from
sheets of red and green paper. You can draw single leaf shapes
and make a small hole in the stem for tying on the tree, or cut
out double ones with the stem drawn on the crease of a folded page,
snowflake style, and tie the stem.
- 12” pieces of red or green yarn, one to tie
each leaf on your Christmas or other tree or branch.
- On each of your five red leaves or paper strips,
write one of the ways you in which you would like to improve what
you contribute, give or put out to life in the coming
- On your five green strips or leaves, write a blessing
you would like to receive for yourself, your family,
someone you know, or the world.
- A white candle
- A green or gold candle
- A stick of incense (preferably frankincense scent)
1) Choose your tree or branch for this occasion, whether
in your living room, yard, nearby park or some woods you go to celebrate
this Full Moon.
2) Light, your candles, saying as do so something
My appreciation of trees, of light and
unity now illuminates this space and connects
me with all the good that’s growing everywhere.
the incense, knowing that it is an offering
for the angels of the natural and supernatural worlds, and asking
them to help you connect with
the spirit of growth and love in all the
trees around the world, and all compatible consciousness anywhere.
Hug, caress and/or kiss the tree or branch
you have chosen for this occasion.
the leaves and/or strips of paper to the tree.
Note: The next two steps are designed to
bless the New Year with thoughts that offset
the potentially conflictive effects of Mars
in Cancer in opposition to the aforementioned
6) Choose someone who has hurt
or irritated you deeply, and spend two minutes
thinking of that person and how uncomfortable
or downright angry they make you feel.
- Take another three minutes to think only of the Higher Power, going
over in your mind everything good and lovely that Power represents
to you. Let all the gratitude, tenderness and any related feelings
flower clearly in your mind.
- Return your attention to the person in step one. Look at your feelings
now. Notice the difference.
- Finally, repeat words like these several times, slowly and with
Each initiative I take to love strengthens my will to love, synchronizing
me with the will to love in all hearts around the world, a will that
increases while the planet is healed now.
Bibliography and Web References
Bouska, Nina, Daily
Success Guide, www.daykeeperjournal.com
and Caitlín, The Winter Solstice,
The Sacred Traditions of Christmas (Wheaton,
Illinois, Quest Books, 1998)
Morrison, Dorothy, Everyday Moon Magic
(St. Paul, Llewellyn Publications, 2003)
Renterghem, Tony, When Santa Was a Shaman (St. Paul,
Llewellyn Publications, 1995)
to adviser in the Mexica oral tradition, Xolotl.
All rights reserved 1999-2007. Copyright © 2001-2007.