The day of the Winter Solstice marks the longest night, and shortest day, of the year.
The sun has reached its Northern most point along the horizon, where it will stay for a few days, before beginning its journey back Southward.
The sun rides low in the north, rising late and setting very early.
Days and nights are cold, dark and dreary.
The mornings are laid in frost and fog.
Winter is upon us.
Yule holds a little seed of hope, a seed of regeneration, a spark of light in the darkness.
For although the sun is now too far away to lend us it’s warming rays, Yule marks the beginning of our return to the light and warmth of the summer months.
In mythology, The Goddess is giving birth.
Her son, and future lover, is being reborn, returning us into the waxing half of the year.
She labours to birth her son, her lover, the sun and the light.
The Goddess herself is in her triple aspect.
She is the Crone, sleeping, tired and reflective, immersed in the dark days of winter.
She is the Mother, whom is giving birth.
She is the Maiden, regenerated, a seed dormant in the earth, awaiting the return of the light to call her to the surface.
At Yule, with the dark days and long nights of winter upon us, we celebrate the promise of a return to the light and the beginning of a New Year.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the Sabbat of Yule coincides with Christmas, itself steeped in Pagan tradition.
The Christmas tree originates from Yule tradition.
By bringing an evergreen tree into our home, a tree that has been grown and nurtured in the light of the sun throughout the year, we can bring that light and warmth into our homes.
Light plays a big part in Yule and Christmas celebrations, symbolizing our hope of the return to the light and the warmth that it brings with it.
The Longest Night Of The Year is steeped in dark Pagan mythology.
One of the more well-known stories, is that of The Wild Hunt.
On this dark night, the Horned Gods shall ride with their band of lost souls.
Tearing through the countryside, they will take with them anyone that is unfortunate enough to cross their path.
Fire and light provides protection from the Wild Hunt, which rides only through the darkened places.
Bonfires, Yule lights and candles blaze, keeping safe those that reside within the confines of the light.
If you hear the wind screaming around the eaves on Solstice Night, chances are the Wild Hunt is passing nearby.
Bonfires are traditional for this Fire Festival.
A fire kept burning throughout the darkest night of the year, ensures the return of the sun and keeps the Wild Hunt at bay.
You can make a Yule log to burn in the fire.
Tradition dictates this log comes from the root of a tree, or even the entire tree itself.
In Australia, the Yule Log is taken from the roots of a eucalypt tree.
One of my personal markers of this Sabbat, is the first shoots of my Winter bulbs.
Planted in Autumn, they are now breaking ground, their tender green shoots sprout from the Earth.
I love Winter bulbs.
They bloom around Imbolc, during the height of winter days, a flash of colour breaking the gloomy surroundings.
Yule sees the potential of these winter bloomers, little shoots of hope.
Yule is a time of pause and quiet.
A time to give thanks to our loved ones for their love and support during the past year.
A time to give thought to what we wish to achieve in the coming year.
Yule is when we first begin to form these plans, to let our hopes and dreams incubate and take shape.
This is not a time of action, but it is the first stirrings of our future actions.
What are you hoping to achieve this coming year?
During the dark days of Yule, look to the cold and the darkness which now surrounds us and take time to honor the eternal dance of the earth and the sun, the light and the dark.
Celebrate promise, hope and regeneration.
- 2pt Frankincense
- 2pt Pine Resin
- 1pt Sandalwood
- Ipt Juniper Berry
The symbolic colours of Yule are red, white and green.
Red for the rebirth of the sun and The God.
White for the regeneration of The Goddess.
Green for the regeneration of the Earth.
- Green Man
- Horned God
- Yule Log
- Evergreens & Ivy
- Holly & Mistletoe
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Yule Tree
- Pine & Pine Cones
- Snow & Ice
Stones & Gems:
- Cats Eye
- Tiger Eye