6 Rituals for Celebrating the Yuletide
Yule is quickly coming upon us, for many people this is their favorite time of year. Indeed it does invoke feelings of warmth, comfort, coziness…joy. Humans as a race have been celebrating this time of year for almost 5,000 years, continuously. Undoubtedly there is something sacred about this season.
The History of Yule
5,000 years ago in Egypt, people were celebrating the rebirth of the God Horus this time of year, who happens to be a Sun God among other things. Buildings were decorated with greenery but the most important plant was a palm branch, complete with 12 fronds as each frond represented one solar month. Feasting, Ritual and festivities took place to welcome back the Sun. Winter Solar festivals were celebrated throughout the whole of Mesopotamia, by the Babylonians, the Persians, the Israelites-throughout Europe by the Greeks, the Romans, The Nords and Germans, the Ancient Celts & the Indigenous cultures of the Americans, venerated and Celebrated the Winter Solstice. Each of these cultures gives us a piece of what we collectively call “Yule” today. However, the occasion remains the same. The Rebirth of the Sun.
Why Yule in Important
There is something to be said when the same event is celebrated around the world. It demands our attention. In our modern living circumstances, it’s difficult to understand why it was so important that the sun return to it’s full glory. We can get almost any food we want year round. We have central heat to keep our homes warm and lamps to light those homes. But our ancient ancestors didn’t. They had to survive off the fall harvest all winter and spring until the first foods came in, it had been cold and dark for weeks now-with still more weeks to come. Disease was common in the winter and if you didn’t die from disease you may have died from starvation. To our ancestors, the sun was sustenance, it was light and warmth. To them, their very existence depended upon the Sun being reborn – and even though we’re so far removed from it now, our lives still also depend on it. They would hold ritual, light massive fires and sing and dance, all to encourage the sun to return.
How you can Celebrate the Winter Solstice
Put up a Yule Tree. Evergreens don’t shed their foliage during the harsh winter months, and as such represent everlasting life. Decorating in colors of red (blood, life force) Green, (Life), Gold (sun) for some color magick- Lighting the tree is also a form of sympathetic Magick. By lighting our trees and home, we are encouraging and calling the sun back. We have some beautiful handmade Rune Ornaments & Quartz Point Ornaments to add some runic magick to your tree! Like attracts Like. As above, so below.
Make a Yule Log. The Tradition of the Yule Log comes to us from Germanic Paganism. A Log was ritually decorated with seasonal greenery and burnt in ritual fire as a symbol of the Returning Sun and to banish the dark cold days.
Create a Yule Altar: Altars are great focal points for your spiritual practice and changing them out season to season helps you stay in alignment with the cycles of the earth. Decorate it with evergreens and Candles. Dedicate one candle as your Yule Candle. Once widely used at Yule throughout Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia, Yule Candles were colored red, green or blue and decorated with sprigs of holly or some other evergreen. Light the Candle on Yule Eve, let its light shed on the festival supper and burn throughout your celebration. We have gorgeous hand rolled beeswax Yule Candles inlaid with Pyrite.
Hold a Ritual, with optional Bonfire! I know bonfires aren’t practical for everyone, but they’re a great way to celebrate Yule. Hold a Ritual to welcome back the sun. In some regions it was customary to stay awake all night chanting and dancing until the newborn sun arose the next morning! Burn the traditional herbs of the Solstice for some solar magick. We put together an amazing Yule Ritual Set this year which includes our Yule Candle, Yule Perfume, Tumbled Garnet, Bloodstone & our new Yule Incense which includes Mistletoe, juniper, fir, cedar, rosemary and more! I also like to anoint during my rituals, I also anoint my candles and stones and any other tools I'm using during ritual. I've made an anointing and perfume oil just for yule. With notes of Orange, Juniper and Pine it's sure to raise your vibrations! You can find it here
Gift Giving. Why not give gifts on the Solstice too? Gift giving was a common custom in Rome during Saturnalia and is where our custom of giving gifts this time of year originates! We exchange gifts the night of the Solstice. We have a ton of great solstice and holiday gifts for everyone in your circle. From Witchy Bath & Body, Magickal Perfumes, Gemstone Jewelry Spell Candles you’re sure to find the perfect gift for every magickal person in your life. Check out our Gift Section for great ideas, you're sure to find Holiday Gifts for all on your list!
Toast the Solstice Morning: Head outside to watch the sunrise, the last sunrise of long nights. As the sun rises toast: “Winter Day of longest Night, Step Aside now for the Light, Thank you for the things you’ve wrought, that only darkness could have brought”.
Have a Blessed Solstice Wild Ones. Let us Welcome back the Sun.
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