Hail and welcome witches! Lets talk about the magickal eight sabbats that many of us pagans (witches, wiccans, druids and so forth) celebrate. In this article series you can read about the eight different holy days that we love and cherish. These eight holy days follow the natural rhythm of Mother Nature. And reminds us that we also are a part of her.
Celebrate Yule by searching within
Between the 20th and 25th (normally 20., 21. or 22.) of December the Wheel of the Year turns ones more. This time it is time to celebrate the return of the sun on the winter solstice with the pagan sabbat called Yule. This is the shortest and darkest day of the year.
One version of neo-pagan lore explain the “return”, or “victory” of the sun, as a neverending battle between the Holly King (representing winter) and Oak King (representing summer). During the winter solstice, the Oak King wins and with his victory the sun returns and will keep growing in strength everyday until the summer solstice when the Holly King wins. With his victory the days grow shorter until the next solstice, ans so on it goes.
I love these explanations (there are many of them) of the forever changing of the seasons with the battle between these two Kings, who also by the way is personifications of the male aspect in pagan traditions. I will write more about these aspects in a dedicated post later on. It makes it easier to understand the pagan viewing of how nature and is energy is forever changing in its own perfect rhythm and dance.
A perfect time to search inwards
Even though this is a celebration of the suns return, Yule is, by mine opinion, a perfect time to search inwards and to work with your darker sides. When winter solstice is upon us and the Wheel of the year shows Yule, it is as I mentionet the shortest and darkest day of the year. Personally I use this darkness to work with my inner “darkness”.
I use some time during Yule to contemplate and reflect over the year that has been and release what does not serve me. Meditation and some quiet time is gold during this sabbat – it really goes with the sabbats energy (although meditation is always gold). Approximately tre days before after the solstice, the sun basically stands “still”: it rises ans sets at the same places. The word solstice actually means “the sun stands still”. In many ways this is the “bottom” of Mother Earths energy during the year, at least in the Northern hemisphere. Live in balance with nature: rest, meditate, sleep, recharge and reflect. Spring and new energy will come again, don’t you worry!
Ask yourself some questions
I also use this sabbat to be grateful for all that has happened, good and bad – because this is my personal journey that my soul wanted me to experience. I also reflect and ask myself some deeper questions. These are some questions you also can ask yourself during Yule:
- What am I grateful for?
- Who am I grateful for?
- What do I want to release before the new year?
- What has the last year thought me?
- What are my goal for the coming year?
Make a Yule Log to celebrate
There are many different things you can do to celebrate Yule. Not only the more mental aspects as i mentioned above, but also in décor and rituals. I’m a pretty laid back (and lazy?) witch when it comes to rituals. They need to be quick an easy for me to do, especially when I write this post and little witchling Luna is just a little over 3 weeks old.
A Yule log is a symbol of the year that has been, and that will come. Maybe the threes way of living cyclically is the reason for this symbolism. You can do this ritual in many ways, just google away or get “lost” on Pinterest in awesome inspiring post. This is how I do this little ritual:
- I take the log that I burned last years log (you can see it has some burn marks from last years Yule on it) and bless it, thank it for what has been.
- I then sit with it the log in my hands in front of the fireplace and reflect about the year that has now come to pass (don’t mix me with the crazy log-lady from Twin Peaks, even though that would not be som far away from how I am 🤣).
- Then I put the log in the fireplace and lit it with a new log that represents the year to come. Before I lit the old log i bless, and make wishes for the year to come for the new one. I make sure that the log for the coming year don’t burn out, I then put it on my altar for Yule/ The Holidays, and store it away until next Yule. Sometimes I also fins a suiting poem or verse that I say as the old log burns.
- Sometimes i also decorate the logs, other times, like this year, I just let it be a log. You can be super creative about this. Make offerings with different ribbons, spices, drinks and so on. Personally, for me, it is the intentions i set for the coming year and the gratitude for the old year that is most important for me.
- This year I have also written a list over all that I am releasing from 2021. I will burn this list with the log from 2021. Just a little extra to let go some heavy stuff from this year😅
- If you can’t burn the log, just make the ritual symbolically and release what you need to release, be grateful and make happy wishes for the year to come! You can also bake a Yule Log, it’s just a google search away 😉
Enjoy and have a blessed Yule!
I hope this little article written between breastfeeding and diaper changes gave you some inspiration and ideas on how you can celebrate Yule and reflect over the year that has been and make positive wishes for the year that is coming!
I wish you a blessed and magickal Yule!
Yule-blessings from Ragna🧙🏻♀️