Ten Best Decorations for a Pagan Yule Tree
Decorating a Tree for Yule
Cultures around the world have decorated trees and brought living greenery into winter homes as part of their traditional celebrations for thousands of years.
The Christmas tree originated in Germany and it too has its roots in earlier Pagan traditions. For this reason, you will often find a decorated tree in the homes of practicing Pagans around the Winter Solstice time.
We certainly enjoy having our tree with all the lights and decorations. It brings a sense of the holiday spirit to our home as we celebrate the return of the Sun once more to the earth.
Here you will find some ideas for ways to decorate your own Yule tree in the Pagan traditions.
Make Your Own Decorations
Some of the best Yule decorations don't come from the shop, they're made by hand in your own home.
For great family fun, spend an evening stringing popcorn and dried fruit on heavy string. These garlands can then be hung on the tree.
Oranges studded with whole cloves give off a very nice aroma while providing lovely hanging baubles.
Give coloured paper and crayons to little ones and let them create snowflakes and other decorations.
1. More Holiday Craft Ideas - for kids of any ages
Have a look through this book if you'd like some holiday decorating ideas beyond stringing popcorn and cranberries on a thread.
The Yule Log
Early Europeans would bring a giant log into their homes and burn it to celebrate the return of the Sun God at the Winter Solstice each year.
Over thousands of years this tradition has altered and transformed. Most homes no longer have large fireplaces built for burning large logs. The Yule log has gotten smaller and smaller, and in many places been replaced entirely by a decorated chocolate cake.
2. Your Own Yule Log
Huge fireplaces that could hold an entire tree are a thing of the past, and many houses if they have a fireplace are purely decorative. Add to your Yuletide decorations with these Yule Logs.
Beneath the tree
the altar cloth
In decorating a tree, the Pagan is creating a small altar. A cloth under the tree can be used not only to cover tree stands and electrical devices, but also as part of the decorations.
Choose a length of fabric that is bright gold, red or green and wrap it round the base of the tree after you've finished decorating.
A Bit of Winter Greenery
Evergreen branches, holly leaves, mistletoe
These were all signs that life still remained on the earth. These plants were sacred to the Pagans of long ago.
They celebrated the return of the Sun God by bringing branches of these sacred plants into their homes to decorate the hearth.
So, deck those halls with boughs of holly. Hang up the mistletoe. It's all part of the Pagan traditions.
4. Holly Branches
If you don't have a holly tree in your garden, you could instead use this length of holly leaves. Best of all, you can re-use it for years to come.
5. And Mistletoe
Mistletoe can be found growing on trees in England, but it can still be difficult to find around the holidays. I usually buy mine at the shops.
Silver and Gold
Silver for the Mother Goddess who gives birth to the Sun God each Winter Solstice
Gold for the Sun God, reborn each year at the Winter Solstice.
Silver Stars and Moons and Gold Suns.
Hang them with abandon from your tree.
6. Silver Moon and Stars
Decorate your Yule tree with lots of dangling moons and stars.
7. Gold Suns
This lovely golden ornament will become a family treasure in years to come.
The Solstice is one of the Fire Festivals. It's celebrating the return of the Sun.
Once upon a time, candles with open fires were placed upon the tree. This is much too dangerous, so we substitute strands of electric lights.
Picture in public domain. Dreigiebelhaus (three-gables-house) Am Laien in Ditzingen, Baden-WÃrttemberg, Germany, with christmas illuminations. The house is the town's landmark and includes since 1993 the towns library and gallery.
If you're tired of replacing bulbs and strands of non-functioning lights each year, take a close look at the LED lights that are available. These lights last a very long time, they use minimal electricity, and they look pretty.
Yule can be translated to mean 'wheel', which one of the Pagan symbols of the sun.
So, hang up your wreaths of holly and evergreen bows, and celebrate the rebirth of the Sun God.
9. Yule wreaths
I have made my own wreath using cast off branches from the Christmas tree. This can be fiddly work, but well worth the effort when you see it finished.
If you'd like something a bit less fiddly, why not get a green wreath and add your own decorative bits of holly berries, mistletoe, and silver and gold to it.
Winter Birds and Woodland Creatures
The God as Lord of the Hunt is represented by woodland creatures such as deer and birds.
Ornaments of small animals, deer, and non-migrating birds are all appropriate representations for the tree.
We have a set of deer that hold tea lights and sit on our TV as part of our decorations. Hidden amongst the branches of our tree each year you can see a small English robin sitting in its nest.