This beautiful second stop on the new Wheel of the Year represents the rebirth of the Sun! During Yule, we celebrate the ability to begin cultivating strength.
As the Holly King dies and The Goddess gives birth to the Oak King, we realize that we must thank and release the internal struggles that we worked through during the dark half of the year. Then, we welcome in the strength to use the lessons from our prior hardships. We celebrate the light that always comes after the dark, the peace that comes after the struggle.
- The Gods Of Yule: Apollo, Attis, Balder, Bacchus, Dionysus. The Green Man, Helios, Lugh, The Oak King, Odin, Ra, Sol
- The Goddesses of Yule: Aphrodite, Brigid, Demeter, Fortuna, Gaia, Hel, Holle, Ishtar, Isis
Yule Spell Work: Spell craft performed for Yule should be for peace, harmony, hope, strength, love, and increased happiness. Unconditional love, World healing, and World peace.
Symbolism of Yule:
- Hope after darkness,
- Lights to bring back the Sun,
- Rebirth of the Sun
At the Winter Solstice, the two god themes of the year’s cycle coincide – even more dramatically than they do at the Summer Solstice. Yule (from the Norse iul, meaning wheel) marks the death and the rebirth of the Sun God; it also marks the vanquishing of the Holly King, the god of the Waning Year, by the Oak King, the God of the Waxing Year.
The Goddess, who was Death-in-Life at Midsummer, now shows her Life-in-Death aspect; for although at this season she is the leprous white lady, Queen of the cold darkness, yet this is her moment for giving birth to the Child of Promise, the Son-Lover who will re-fertilize her and bring back light and warmth to her Kingdom.
- Symbols: Evergreens, Holly, Mistletoe, Poinsettias, Lights, Yule Log, Wreaths, Bells, Gifts, Stars, Sun, Snow, Ornaments, Garland, Santa Claus, Reindeer
Activities Of Yule:
Modern Christmas celebrations are full of pagan symbology. Santa Claus is the Holly King, the sleigh is the solar chariot, the eight reindeer are the eight Sabbats, their horns represent the Horned God, the North Pole symbolizes the Land of Shadows and the dying solar year, and the gifts are meant both to welcome the Oak King as the sun reborn and as a reminder of the gift of the Holly King, who must depart for the Oak King to rule.
- For prosperity: burn ash wood.
Activities include: caroling, wassailing , burning the Yule log, decorating the Yule tree, exchanging of gifts, feeding animals, birds with grains and seeds, become a part of nature, acts of kindness, wreath on the door, mistletoe indoors, kissing under the mistletoe, food and clothing donations, sunflower seeds outside for birds, ring the bell to greet the Solstice Morn, and perform magick for a peaceful planet.
- For Yule blessings: Gather up Yule greens after 12th night and save. At Imbolg, burn the greens to banish winter and usher in spring.
Foods of Yule:
Cookies and caraway cakes soaked in cider, nuts, eggnog, ginger tea, warm and warming drinks, spiced cider, wassail, or lamb’s wool (ale, sugar, nutmeg, roasted apples), figgy pudding, mincemeat pies, and fruit cakes, apple cider, spiced cinnamon cakes and cookies, dried fruits, eggnog, gingerbread, mulled wine, roasted meats, spiced meats, roasted apples.
Trees for Yule:
- Oak : Endurance, Strength, Triumph, Protection.
- Yew : Last Day of Solar Year; Death
- Silver Fir: Winter Solstice Day; Birth.
- Birch: Month following Winter Solstice; Beginnings.
The Animals of Yule:
Bears. Deer, Owls, Phoenix, Reindeer, Snow Geese, Squirrels. Stags, Cardinals, Wrens, and Ravens.
Gold, Green, Red, White, Silver, Yellow, Orange
Herbs for Yule:
- Bay Laurel, Blessed Thistle, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Evergreen Trees, Holly, Ivy, Juniper, Mistletoe, Pine, Poinsettias, Rosemary, Sage, Wintergreen, Holly, Fir, Birch,
Sun plants like mistletoe, balsam, and fir, and also any dried herbs from Summer, are predominant this time of year because they contain light and warmth.
On Yule, when witches decorate their houses, they do so from the doorway inward, this inviting the light inside. We adorn doorways and mantles with evergreen boughs, bunches of dried summer herbs and Witches cords in reds, blacks, greens, and golds. Our ancient ancestors brought an evergreen tree inside to mystically ensure there would be light all year round. The evergreen retains sunlight, staying green all year, and reminds us that life is forever present and renewable.
Other Yule herbs, plants, flowers and seeds:
- Pine cones, Pine needles, Oak leaves, Yule log ashes, Hazel bark, Apple leaf, Dried apples
Incense and Oils for Yule:
Cedar, Cinnamon, Clove, Frankincense, Juniper, Myrrh, Orange, Pine, Ginger, Wintergreen
Gemstones for Yule:
Rubies, Bloodstones, Garnets, Emeralds, Diamonds, Clear Quartz
Being the time of rebirth, this is a great time to remove anything that holds us back and to sow the seeds for the upcoming year. Success spells are best cast this evening. Many people also perform blessings, not only for themselves and their families, but for others as well. Cleansing your home and altar and banishing negativity can also be done this night. Whatever you do, make sure your heart is filled with peace, love, and joy and work magic to bring merriment to others.