Yule – Tis’ the Season
Yule, the Winter Solstice is a great time of power and symbolism. It is a holiday that observes the cycles of life and death and the intricate energy between light and dark. It’s a time that can serve to remind us, that even in the bitter, cold darkness of the season, that there is a sense of promise, and hope that the sun and warmness will return to embrace us.
For some, the Winter Solstice is a very sacred and spiritual time, a time that can be filled with numerous traditions and rituals. For others, it is the beginning of the 12 days of Yule; a time when we set intentions, have new hope, and honor
the rebirth of the Sun God. It’s also a time for quiet energy, regeneration, renewal and self-reflection.
For many it’s a time to say goodbye to the old and welcome the new. This is a perfect time of year to take a moment to perform a Yule Cleansing, a Yule Log Ceremony, or a Yule Blessing – just to name a few! In the Norse text of Heimskringla, The Saga of Hakon the Good,
it talks about the Yule only lasting for three days or until the ale ran out. There are many origins, lore, and legends surrounding Yule. You could literally get lost for days researching the topic!
To celebrate on your own, take some time to set up your sacred space in honor of Yule.
Light red, green, white, silver, or gold candles.
Light incense of cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh, clove, juniper, sweet orange, cedar, pine, or sage.
Add bells. Yule Crystals such as: Bloodstone, clear quartz, diamond, emerald, garnet, and ruby.
Yule decorations such as: Holly, mistletoe, nuts, berries, sun and solar symbols, snowflakes, ornaments, lights, elves,
pinecones, blessed thistle, sage, wreaths and greenery, a cup of Wassail, or even a Yule log.
You could also add images of Yule corresponding animals such as, bear, boar, goat, squirrel, stag, eagle, snow goose, owl, or sow.
Whatever you do, make it special and make it your own. Make this about a time of personal reflection, new beginnings, and happiness.
You will need:
One white candle
Lighter or Matches
Fireproof dish or offering bowl
One or more of the following: Blessed thistle, cedar, sage, pine needles, bay leaf, cloves, orange peels, allspice, juniper,
cinnamon, or rosemary.
Charcoal disc – if you are burning the herbs, this will help to keep them lit.
Find a quiet place and light your candle.
Have the dish/bowl and herbs near you.
Sit quietly and close your eyes.
Begin to think about new hope, peace, healing, and light entering your world tonight.
When you are ready repeat the following,“May I find calm & peace in the promise of this night.With each new day now being blessed with more light.A time of rebirth, new beginnings and magick galore.I welcome peace, joy, and harmony through my dwelling’s door.I will rejoice on this night, for without the dark, there cannot be light.May I always be blessed from the light within.May well-being be mine as the new cycle begins.(Grab some of the herbs and place them in the dish/bowl – you can either burn them or just leave as an offering in the bowl)I burn (or offer) these herbs, to cleanse myself and my space.Rest and renewal, I shall now embrace.These words are spoken and given power by me.This is my will. So, Mote it be!”
Here is another quick ritual – Create a Yuletide Charged Charm
You need:One wooden spoon
Red, green, or gold ribbon
Take the spoon in your dominant hand and repeat, ‘Brightest of blessings on this Yuletide Fare, give love, healing and peace in equal share'.
Next tie the ribbon in a bow around the neck of the spoon and repeat, ‘May this home be safe and blessed, with Yuletide energy give protection to kin and guests.’
Take your charged spoon and place it in an appropriate place in your kitchen. This charm can be embellished in many ways, for example, tie some cedar and a stick of cinnamon together with the ribbon. This would also make a beautiful gift that you could easily create yourself with an added bonus of a charged blessing!Wassail Anyone? (Waa-sl)
Wassail derives from the Old English words "waes hael", which means “be well”, or “good health”.
It is a strong drink, usually a mixture of ale, honey and spices or mulled apple cider.
When pagans went into the forest to fell the great oak for the Yule log, they would anoint the tree with wassail and decorate them with wassail-soaked cakes, thus the ritual of wassailing was born.
At home, the wassail would be poured into a large bowl during feast time. When guests would come, the host, would greet them by lifting a drink and wishing them well with a “waes hael”, to which the guests would reply “drinc hael”,
which meant “drink and be well”.Wassail Recipe
8 cups sweet (soft) apple cider
2 cups hard apple cider (alcoholic cider)
½ cup brandy
2 ounces fresh ginger (cubed)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon coriander seed
8 whole cloves
6 green cardamom pods
6 allspice berries
2 star-anise pods
1 medium apple
Pour both the soft and hard ciders into a medium pot, and then stir in the brandy.
Add ginger, cinnamon, coriander, cloves, allspice, and star anise into the pot.
Warm the wassail over medium heat until steaming, and then turn down the heat to low.
Cover the pot and allow it to warm at least 20 minutes before serving.
While the wassail is warming slice an apple crosswise into discs about ⅛-inch thick. Set them aside.
To serve, strain the wassail through a fine-mesh sieve into mugs or a serving bowl. Garnish with apple slices. You can
store prepared wassail in the fridge for up to 3 days. To serve, warm it on the stove over low heat until pleasantly hot.
Heat it gently, over low heat as this will prevent the alcohol from burning off.
Whatever ways you decide to celebrate Yule, I hope you find peace, health, and happiness with the turning of the wheel.
Until next time…Live, Love & Magick!
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