Tag Archive: Yule

Happy Yule!

A festive little throwback, from a 2013 performance:


Taken from

This is a time of rest. As the night is long and the days are short it becomes a time of self healing and rejuvenation. As mother Earth has tucked herself in, so should you. It is perfectly fine to allow yourself the time to heal and relax that is necessary.

This is also known as the Yule Moon, as it usually falls right before the Yule celebrations begin. Take time for reflection on the past year. Honour all that you have learned and mentally clear out what you no longer need. Enjoy the long night as it is a time of peace on Earth and a great time of personal healing.

Whether you celebrate Yule, Christmas, Chanukah or Kwanza, it is a time of peace and love, to all mankind and to the creatures of the earth. Do not forget to put out food for our animal friends as food is getting scarce and all life is sacred, this becomes a good time to honour all life.

This is also the time of fellowship, when friends come together and new friends are made. When the prosperous help support those who struggle, there is no greater joy than the sharing of what you have with those who have not.

In the native belief, the time of the moon covered from one month to the next, so it was not just one day, it was the cycle of the moon. So there was always plenty of time to do what needed to be done in that time. So do not think that you only have one day to honour, celebrate, meditate and rest. Spend the whole month doing so. Allow yourself the time to rest and repair. But also allow yourself time to celebrate and share.

There are no set rules to honour this time of year, there are many customs and beliefs, but you should do what your heart feels is right. Your guides can help you or you can follow the tradition of your choice. In my home we honour all, I will set up for Yule, we will have a tree, I will light the candles of the menorah, I believe all holidays have a valid point or they would not exist. Besides it is fun to study others beliefs, helps me to be more understanding, then any judgment or fear of someone else’s beliefs fade away and I continue to grow. So on that note, I shall bid you adieu, from this moon ’til the next, many blessings to you and yours.


And this is from:

Tonight is a Full Moon it is called the Cold Moon or the Before Yule Moon.
This is an especially special Full Moon because it is the last one of this year. It is a time to use the Moonlight to charge our energies ready for coming Yule and the New Year.
This particular Full Moon will not be boring and will have an unpredictable vibe along with it. What was stuck may suddenly begin to move or shift. If emotions are clogged, they may surface and flow.
Allow this.
Be with it as loving as possible with your self and others.
The potential of the Full Moon in Gemini is to become aware of where you are engaging in dualistic thought, emotions and behaviors on auto-pilot. This may be generating a lot of mental stress and tension plus sending out mixed signals to others and the Universe. Some people may be irritable and cranky.
Emotions can be raw and urgent.
Breathe deeply.
Ground yourself.
Keep a sense of humor.
Be of good cheer.
Be the calm in the storm.
Get in the driver seat and empower yourself.
Be honest with yourself.
Stop arguing for your limitations.
Take responsibility for your life. In this way, you can change what is not working. You are the master of your destiny.
Take your power back from society and/or other people.
Learn from your mistakes.
Vow to do better next year.
Make a commitment to your success.
Be adaptable.
Make friends with change. It is not the enemy. Change is your friend. Change sheds the old and gives birth to the new.
With Yule and New year approaching look deep into yourself and ask what you want to happen in the coming year, ask yourself how you will bring it about. Make this the year that you make all your dreams come true. The energy from this Full Moon wants you to succeed. Tell the Moon your hopes and dreams write them down on paper and burn them by a white candle. As the smoke drifts to the heavens the universe will receive your message. Have a blessed Full Moon.
May the Goddess watch over you.

I celebrate Christmas with my family, as they are all some for of Catholic or another. But Christmas is not so different from Yule; much symbolism is shared between the two.

Yule, also known as the Winter Solstice (the longest night of the year) is on December 21st and celebrated as the rebirth of the sun. The Christians turned this holiday into their Christmas, but many of the sentiments and traditions remain the same whether celebrated by Pagans or Christians.

Traditionally, a Yule Altar is placed facing north, as that direction aligns with the season of winter. Use a red, green, or gold altar cloth. Set a cauldron or other bowl in the center, and place a solar candle (red, gold, orange or yellow) inside it. The cauldron or bowl is the symbol of the Goddess, and the candle represents the Sun God and his rebirth. Rub the candle with cinnamon oil, and leave it until the evening of the Winter Solstice.

Time to Decorate!
When decorating for Yule, make sure to include lots of greenery such as ivy, holly and the boughs of evergreens either through the use of wreaths or garlands. These can also be decorated with red ribbons or sprinkled with red glitter.

Hang mistletoe over your doorway. Although this is a common practice today among non-Pagans, it definitely has Pagan roots!

We all know that flowers have meaning. Two particular flowers stand out during the season.
Holly is used for protection, anti-lightning, luck, and dream magick.
The poinsettia is for rebirth, and rejuvenation.

While I am not a huge advocate of artificial fragrances (scented candles, air “fresheners”), the use of natural scents can be a pleasant and welcome addition to your holiday scene.
Violet: Protection, luck, love, wishes, peace, and healing.
Patchouli: Money, fertility, protection, divination and physical energy.
Rose Geranium: Invites protection, fertility, love, and health.
Frankincense: Protection and spirituality.
Myrrh: Protection, along with healing and spirituality.
Lilac: Protection, and beauty, love, purification and to help see past lives

Colors are a BIG element in decorating and celebrating.
Abundance, growth, healing, prosperity (and more!).
Love, passion, fire, willpower, courage, energy, strength, anger, blood, life cycle, desire and war.
Cleansing, peace, protection, healing, truth, divination, tranquility, purification, childhood and innocence.

Animals and Birds
The mouse symbolizes attention to details.
A deer symbolizes gentleness and innocence, a gentle luring to new adventures.
The horse stands for travel, power and freedom.
The bear symbolizes the awakening of the power of the unconscious mind.
A robin celebrates the spread of new growth.
The Snowy Owl stands for silent wisdom and nocturnal vision, healing and magical powers.

Other Symbols
Bells were originally rang throughout the dark and cold time of the year to chase away demons.
Candles are an important aspect of Yule as the fire melts away the chill of winter and encourages the sun to come back again. Lights have been used for years to frighten away negative energies and to encourage the sun to shine.
The sleigh represents the chariot used by Freyja, the Norse Goddess who delivered gifts to her friends during the 12 days following the Winter Solstice.
The snowflake is a winter symbol of love.
The wreath, in the shape of the circle represents everlasting life – the eternal cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth. It is also used to represent the sun.
The Yule Log is lit on the Winter Solstice and burnt continuously for 12 days. A portion of the wood is saved to start the fire at the next Winter Solstice. Some people save several pieces of the log to light different festival fires throughout the year. The Yule Log is a symbol of the Celtic Oak King and it decorated with evergreen (which represent the Holly King). It signifies the death of darkness and the return of the sun, light and warmth.

Wassailing is a practice similar to caroling but directed at nature instead of at other people. Prepare a wassail drink with ale and apples and pour into bowls to take outside with you as you go from tree to tree (especially fruit and nut trees) “anointing” each with some of the wassail. Wassail, along with wassail songs, are used to help ensure a good crop in the coming year.

Yule Log  
There are several ways to make a Yule Log. The first type of log we will go over is for those who do not have a fireplace to burn a log. With this kind of Yule Log, we will make holes to insert candles to burn instead of burning the log itself.

What you need:
A birch log about twelve to eighteen inches long
Candles (at least 3) The candle size depends on the size holes you want to cut into the wood. You can cut smaller holes and use tapered candles, or larger holes and use either votive, or tea light candles.
Red Ribbon
Any other items you would like to use to decorate the log with.

What you do:
First the log must be prepared – it either needs to be sawed lengthwise to make a flat bottom while the top remains rounded, or it must be nailed to a flat service to prevent it from rolling.
Next the holes must be drilled for the candles – make sure you drill the holes to the size candles you want to use.    Add the candles and any other decorations you would like to use.
This type of Yule log can be used over and over.

Homemade baked goods   This can include more than just cookies and candy. Try breads, jams, butters and spreads too. Go for something unique!

Bath salts   Combine sea salt and Epsom salt along with your choices of essential oils. Mix well and spread out thinly on a cookie sheet to dry. You may also add just a hint of coloring to give off different hues. Put the salts into pretty decorative jars, which you can also make yourself from empty glass jars. Use paint, glitter or ribbons to decorate the jars.

Candles   There are all kind of different candles you can make. I save all of my wax drippings throughout the year and then make brown pillar candles at the end of the year. (Mixing different colored waxes together will give you brown). I also add ground cinnamon and a few drops of cinnamon oil to give them a nice scent that matches the color. Candle molds can be found at your local craft store or online.

Potpourri   Make homemade potpourri with pine needles, orange rind, vanilla bean, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, ginger, dried apples or cloves. Potpourri can also be stored in glass jars you decorate yourself. You can also use these same items but put them through a grinder to make incense.

Personalized scented pillows   Personalize the pillow with colors and patterns reflective of the person you are making it for. Also personalize the pillow with scents appropriate for that person by sewing herbs into the pillow or by dropping a few drops of essential oils into the padding. Store these in resealable type freezer bags to keep them full of their aromas – and to not “give away” what the gift is!

Herbal Kitchen Wreath   Use the same method described earlier for the evergreen wreath, but instead of evergreens, use bunches of herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, lemon balm, or mint. You can even make a bedroom wreath out of dried lavender.

Elfkat has a great (and super simple) recipe for Yule Cookies here.
Mocha Bûche de Noël-Recipe from Good Housekeeping.

Midwinter Gingerbread (Recipe from Confessions of a Kitchen Witch)
This spicy-sweet bread is also wonderful sliced, toasted, and buttered for an afternoon tea, accompanied by a warm, cozy throw and a good book.

½ stick butter or solid margarine
½ cup molasses
1 large free-range egg
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup boiling water
½ cup orange marmalade or good apricot jam
½ cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, gently melt the butter with the molasses and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the egg and brown sugar and beat well. Pour in the melted butter/molasses mixture and beat with an electric mixer to blend well. Then, by hand, stir in the flour, spices, and salt, just enough to blend.
Add the baking soda to the boiling water and stir well. Pour this soda water into the batter and gently mix. Add the marmalade and pecans, again, stirring just until mixed in.
Pour the gingerbread batter into a lightly greased 8-by-8-inch or 9-by-9-inch pan. Bake for about 30 minutes. The gingerbread is ready when a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean. Let the pan cool for 10 minutes, then insert a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread. Gently invert, placing it onto a plate.
Serve simply as squares dusted with powdered sugar or topped with a spoonful of fresh whipped cream.
Serves 8.
Blessed Yule!

Blessed Yule!