Blessings and Well Met at Yule! As I often say, the Wheel of the Year does not clunk sharply from one Spoke to the next, but rolls gently and serenely on its way. The Wheel is now rolling to Yule, Christian Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza and many more religious festivals celebrated world-wide at or near the Winter Solstice. I hope that you will find something on these pages that you can use in your personal celebrations for this especially Blessed time.
When writing this, I pictured a bygone time when an older woman, not unlike me, might be approached by a seeker, not unlike you, who would ask for help and advice in following the Solitary Path.
Sitting by her fireplace, the Crone would share what she had learned from others along with revelations of her own that she had amassed through experiences in her life as well. Much of modern Witchcraft has come down to us in this way, and I hope that I may continue this tradition through you, my reader.
First of all, it is not intended to be the definitive guide to Wicca or any form of Witchcraft. Secondly, it is not just Magick Spells or Incantations - although it may contain some from time to time.
It is original Heartsongs, as I call my original poetry and prose, as well as Rituals, Ceremonies and excerpts from my Laptop of Shadows, as I call my Book of Shadows, which I keep on my MacBook.
This is what I have found is right for ME. Don't ever let anyone tell you that their way is the only way!
I hope that you will enjoy your visits here, but always remember to follow your own, true Path.
Walk with Love in the Light!
The symbolism in Western Traditions of Winter Solstice are many and varied. I’d like to share my favourites with you.
The Yule Tree – whoops! It was revered at the Winter Solstice long before The Christians adopted it! - is traditional. Hollies, ivies and evergreen trees were seen as symbols of eternal life - always green, always renewed, a metaphor for the immortal Soul. Appropriate decorations for your Yule tree would include small apples and oranges, cinnamon sticks, popcorn or cranberry strings, icicles and snowflakes.
If you decide to cut branches from living hollies or evergreens, always ask permission of the Spirit of the tree first. If you feel a positive response, do so with care and respect for the tree, and always thank it and leave a small offering behind – maybe some seeds or bread for the creatures who share its bounty. Remember to only take living branches in areas where it is permitted.
Phoebe, the Hippie Chick on ‘Friends’, saw cut evergreen trees as “fulfilling their Christmas destiny”. If you don’t see it that way, you do have other choices. You can buy a small potted tree and then later plant it outside, or grow it on your patio. Decorate a live tree with ribbons and gifts to wild creatures such as bread and birdseed balls. Never ever use unpopped corn, uncooked rice or other ‘human’ seeds/grains. These can swell inside the bird and kill!
Lighting the Yule log symbolises the return of light. Each year, a portion of the log is preserved to use for lighting next year’s log.
This is one more allusion to rebirth. We need to remember our ancestors were simple people and needed these visual representations of their beliefs.
Mistletoe was originally hung at the entrance to a Sacred Space to mark the doorway between this mundane world and the Otherworld.
Kissing under the mistletoe is simply allowing us to do something out of normal space and time that we could not normally do.
(what you do in another space-time continuum stays in that space-time continuum)
Giving gifts was a way ancient peoples could share the bounty and good fortunethey had been blessed with.
Also it showed good planning and management to have enough to share at bleak midwinter!
And finally, remember that some common Christmas plants like the poinsettia, mistletoe, and holly may be toxic to dogs and cats. Candles should never be left unattended. Don't overload your electrical sockets.
Make sure everyone has a Blessed, safe and happy Yuletide!