Yule is around the corner, so it's time to start thinking about those things you'd like to do for a special Yule ritual and what items and supplies you might need to create the perfect ritual to honor the season. For those who are new to the craft, Yule is the time of the rebirth of the Sun God, born from the Goddess in the darkest of nights, December 21st (The Winter Solstice). As this is the longest, darkest night, every day after this is representative of the Sun God, newly born, gaining strength and power until he is at his strongest at the Summer Solstice (June 21st), which is also the longest day. So you can see how the story of the Sun God works with the seasons, where he is weaker (shorter days) in winter, and stronger (longer days) in summer.
When the Sun God is reborn at Yule by the Goddess, she goes into a resting period to return at Imbolc (February 2nd) as the virgin Goddess renewed. The Sun God is now gaining in strength every day, and by Ostara, the two are beginning to grow alongside each other in strength until they are of marrying age at Beltane, which is when the Great Rite is performed. The Great Rite is the union between the Goddess and the God, when the God impregnates the Goddess with the child Sun God, which will be reborn at the following Yule.
As the year progresses into Litha (Summer Solstice) the Sun God (sometimes referred to as the Oak King) and the Holly King engage in a battle in which the Oak King is injured and begins to wane in strength, growing steadily more and more weak until he dies out at Samhain, to be reborn again at Yule. In this sense, you can see how Yule is one of the most important festivals in the Wheel of The Year - birthing the Sun God who is incorporated in all the other festivals throughout the year itself.
Yule is a fantastic time of celebration, feasting and sharing gifts of food, wine and other items with friends and family. A main feature of Yule is the Yule Log – which in ancient times was a large bough of tree brought into the villages and lit ablaze through the long Yule night to help bring the sun again. Often times the Yule Log would be decorated by villagers as well, and it was often seen as a communal activity alongside feasting and singing.
Yule can be celebrated by witches in a number of ways, with rituals focusing on saying goodbye to the dark and hello to the light again, and by incorporating festive food and drink into your ritual as well. Chocolate Yule Logs can be used in the cakes and ale part of the ceremony, which adds a nice festive touch. If you're stuck on what to buy for Yule, why not jazz up your altar with a great, green, Tree of Life altar cloth from our shop - perfect to represent the renewal of the Sun God, and the festive color green!
With Yule now just over a month away, don't delay in getting your order in to make sure you have it ready for the big day. Perhaps check with your local group if you have one, or any friends who might be interested in joining you for the celebration. It can be a great prelude to Christmas on the 25th. Merry Yuletide!