Cutting the Evergreen Tree

There are many traditions associated with the evergreen tree in the house for the holiday. Most, you've heard since childhood.

I like the pickle ornament for the tree tradition. The kid who finds the pickle ornament on the tree on Christmas morning gets a special goodie. A smart parent makes sure it's a minimal reward that is best shared, like first pick of the morning cinnamon buns or something.

I loved the wearing of Morris Bells. The ankle bracelet of bells and dancing around is so happy, very few can remain in a bad mood.

When the time comes to cut the tree, cut a Circle in the earth around it with your athame and conscecrate it with salt and water. Then stand within the Circle facing the tree and explain to its spirit:

O sacred tree
Tree of rebirth
Symbol of the Child of Promise
I require of you
Your uppermost branches
That they may be adorned and honored
This Winter Solstice.

Tap on the uypper part of the tree trunk three times with a wand or athame to drive the spirit of the tree into the lowest branches and swiftly cut through the trunk with a saw, like circular saw or reciprocating saw. Then sever the astral body of the tree with the white-handled knife. Always leave several lower branches so the tree is not killed. These can grow into a new tree.

It is also traditional to leave an offering for the tree, to compensate for the sacrifice. I prefer to pound in a couple of tree spikes and promise to plant a few evergreen seedlings next spring.

Before bringing the tree into the house, it should be consecrated to the Gods. Asperge its branches with salted water, pass the smoke of burning incense through them, and walk around it with a lit candle saying words like:

By Fire and Water, Air and Earth
In the name of the Mother Goddess
And the Horned God
Do I consecrate this tree of rebirth

Now enjoy your tree. String it with lights and celebrate, knowing you celebrate the resurrection/rebirth of our Lord.

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