Yule, (pronounced EWE-elle) is when the dark half of the year
relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun
climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known
as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, much celebration was to
be had as the ancestors awaited the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the
Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth and made her to bear forth from seeds
protected through the fall and winter in her womb. Bonfires were lit in the
fields, and crops and trees were "wassailed" with toasts of spiced
Children were escorted from house to house with gifts of clove spiked apples
and oranges which were laid in baskets of evergreen boughs and wheat stalks
dusted with flour. The apples and oranges represented the sun, the boughs were
symbolic of immortality, the wheat stalks portrayed the harvest, and the flour
was accomplishment of triumph, light, and life. Holly, mistletoe, and ivy not
only decorated the outside, but also the inside of homes. It was to extend invitation
to Nature Sprites to come and join the celebration. A sprig of Holly was kept
near the door all year long as a constant invitation for good fortune to pay
visit to the residents.
The ceremonial Yule log was the highlight of the festival. In accordance to
tradition, the log must either have been harvested from the householder's land,
or given as a gift
it must never have been bought. Once dragged into the
house and placed in the fireplace it was decorated in seasonal greenery, doused
with cider or ale, and dusted with flour before set ablaze be a piece of last
years log, (held onto for just this purpose). The log would burn throughout
the night, then smolder for 12 days after before being ceremonially put out.
Ash is the traditional wood of the Yule log. It is the sacred world tree of
the Teutons, known as Yggdrasil. An herb of the Sun, Ash brings light into the
hearth at the Solstice.
A different type of Yule log, and perhaps one more suitable for modern practitioners
would be the type that is used as a base to hold three candles.
Find a smaller branch of oak or pine, and 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, cloves, and
dust with flour.
New Moon Occult Shop is the best place to source herbs, incense, oils and jewelry associated with Yule. I recommend contacting them directly and asking for help finding just what you need as often they will source things they don't usually carry in stock.
Deities of Yule are all Newborn Gods, Sun Gods, Mother Goddesses,
and Triple Goddesses. The best known would be the Dagda, and Brighid, the daughter
of the Dagda. Brighid taught the smiths the arts of fire tending and the secrets
of metal work. Brighid's flame, like the flame of the new light, pierces the
darkness of the spirit and mind, while the Dagda's cauldron assures that Nature
will always provide for all the children.
Symbolism of Yule: Rebirth of the Sun, The longest night of the
year, The Winter Solstice, Introspect, Planning for the Future.
Symbols of Yule: 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,
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).
Incense of Yule: Pine, cedar, bayberry, cinnamon.
Colors of Yule: red, green, gold, white, silver, yellow, orange.
Stones of Yule: rubies, bloodstones, garnets, emeralds, diamonds.
Activities of Yule: caroling, wassailing the trees, burning the
Yule log, decorating the Yule tree, exchanging of presents, kissing under the
mistletoe, honoring Kriss Kringle the Germanic Pagan God of Yule
Spellworkings of Yule: peace, harmony, love, and increased happiness.
Deities of Yule: Goddesses-Brighid, Isis, Demeter, Gaea, Diana,
The Great Mother. Gods-Apollo, Ra, Odin, Lugh, The Oak King, The Horned One,
The Green Man, The Divine Child, Mabon.
---Adapted by Akasha Ap Emrys
For all her friends and those of like mind
Copyright remains with the original author of the work.