Solitary Witchcraft - Holidays : Yule
Tis the Season...
The history of Yule (pronounced You-elle) is wide and varied. Much of it depends on what part of the world you are from as well as what traditions you grew up in. The traditions of Yule, Christmas, Kwansaa, Boxing Day and etcetera have managed to overlap each other in many ways over the years. This article will look at some of the pagan traditions of Yule as well as a few fun things you can do to celebrate your own personal traditions.
Yule is the second holiday in the pagan calendar. It takes place on the shortest day of the year also known as the Winter Solstice. The actual date of this event fluctuates from year to year but it usually occurs around December 20th through the 22nd. This is both the shortest day of the year as well as the longest night of the year. For pagans this is the time to celebrate the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King or the Giver of Life that warms the frozen Earthmother and aids her to bring forth from seeds that have been protected through the fall and winter in her womb. From this day forward the sun will remain in the sky longer each day as a sign of the God’s strength and warmth returning.
- Budget101.com - - Homemade Holiday Ideas for Christmas- Winter Solstice- Yule
Hundreds of easy inexpensive christmas gift ideas for heartfelt christmas gifts, jar gifts, cone mixes and gifts from the kitchen
In research stations throughout Antarctica, Midwinter is widely celebrated as a way to mark the fact that the people who winter-over just went through half their turn of duty. Depending on the station the celebrations can last from a day to a week and are typically marked by parties, team games, redecoration of the premises and days off work.
Symbols of Yule:
These are common items that people decorate with during the Yuletide season. A Yule log, or small Yule log with 3 candles, evergreen boughs or wreaths, holly, mistletoe hung in doorways, gold pillar candles, baskets of clove studded fruit, a simmering pot of wassail, poinsettias, christmas cactus.
The Yule Log (Not the one you eat)
Burning a Yule log is probably one of the oldest Christmas tradition there is. Originally, the Yule Log was burned in honor of the gods and to bring good luck in the coming year. The log was usually from one of the largest trees that could be found locally. On a scrap of cloth or paper personal faults, mistakes and bad choices were burned in the flame so everyone's new year would start with a clean slate. The log is never allowed to burn completely, a bit is kept in the house to start next years Yule log. The Yule log also brings good luck. Any pieces that are kept protect a house from fire, or lightning, or hail. Ashes of the Yule log can be placed in wells to keep the water good. Ashes are also placed at the roots of fruit trees and vines to help them bear a good harvest.
A different type of Yule log which is more suitable for modern practitioners would be the type that is used as a base to hold three candles. Find a small branch of oak, pine or a wood you can find locally. Recently a large branch dropped from our willow oak tree and I have mad several Yule logs from it. Flatten one side so it sets upright. Drill three holes in the top side to hold red, green, and white (season), green, gold, and black (the Sun God), or white, red, and black (the Great Goddess). Continue to decorate with greenery, red and gold bows, rosebuds or cloves and then dust with flour.
More Gift Ideas
Other Yule Goodies
Herbs of Yule:
Bayberry, blessed thistle, evergreen, frankincense holly, laurel, mistletoe, oak, pine, sage, yellow cedar.
Foods of Yule:
Cookies and caraway cakes soaked in cider, fruits, nuts, pork dishes, turkey, eggnog, ginger tea, spiced cider, wassail, or lamb's wool (ale, sugar, nutmeg, roasted apples).
Links to More Pagan Carols
- Pagan Wiccan Yule Carols for the Sabbat presented by Crystal Forest
Pagan Wiccan Yule Carols for the Sabbat presented by Crystal Forest yule lore traditions wassailling gingerbread men holly mistletoe christmas tree angel angles holly oak druids odin wheel of the year correspondences activities ideas incense and oil
- Yule Carols Songbook
- Wiccan Yule Carols
There are Christmas Carols abounding this time of year, but what about the die-hard pagan who want to sing something a little more appropriate to their beliefs? Yes, Virginia, there are pagan carols.
Moon of Silver
(Tune: We three Kings)
Chorus: Oh, Moon of Silver, Sun of Gold,
Gentle Lady, Lord so bold!
Guide us ever, failing never,
Lead us in the ways of old.
Maiden, Mother, Ancient Crone,
Queen of Heaven on your throne,
Praise we sing thee, love we bring thee,
For all that you have shown.
Lord of Darkness, Lord of Light,
Gentle brother, King of Might,
Praise we sing thee,Love we bring thee
On this Solstice Night.