#Blogmas Yule Sabbat is here.

Archive, Blogmas 2019, Christmas gifts, Witch, Pagan, Druid, Faery, Spiritual

Gather ye fellow witches and pagans, it’s the Winter Solstice, or better known Yule. From the German word Jul. Pronouced as Ewe-Elle. This year Yule is 22nd December until 2nd January.

The solstice is the signal that life and light is beginning to return, halfway through the darkest times, and come Imbolc 2nd Feb the first stirrings of life can be seen. It’s a time to celebrate!!

The Festival of Rebirth and The Return of the Sun

We celebrate the eventual end of the longest night, we realise now the dark is defeated with the Return of the Sun, there comes the return of light, hope and promises. Now is the time The Goddess gives birth to the Sun/Sun God. The Sun begins to wax, get stronger and stronger, which in turn means the days grow longer. All that is hidden will begin to emerge

The Oak King and The Holly King
The old ones have stories and tales of the two warring kings. They rule a season each. There is the Holly King who rules over the darkest parts of the year which ranges from Midsummer solstice to Yule, he is God of the Waning Year.

At Yule he is defeated, and gives his life to the young light Oak King, God of the Waxing Year and his twin, who rules over the lightest parts of the year, which ranges from Yule to Midsummer. Both rule for half of the year, both fight for the love of the Goddess and both give up their life force for the well-being of the land. In truth, they are one.

Yule

Is truly a time of celebrating, feasting and being together. Knowing you’ve survived the bleakest times and the light is returning, means more feasting is allowed, hence the big Christmas dinner. And our Yule tree is no different to a Christmas tree either, it’s how the tradition starred, deep in pagan roots.

Evergreens represent everlasting life which is why us pagans use them. Traditionally they would be hung around doorways and windows. And of course each one has a symbolism of its own. Do you know what they are? You may be surprised that all your Christmas traditions are actually Pagan Magick.


Mistletoe
A plant deeply steeped in pagan history and revered by the Druids, this is the healer and protector. It is carefully cut to ensure it never touches the earth. The magical properties it has from it lives between the worlds, between sky/heaven and earth. The white berries of mistletoe represent the fertile white semen of the life-giving male. Bet you didnt know thats why we kiss under it?!


Holly
Another evergreen of protection, I mean it’s spikes say protection all over!! The holly’s spiky bristles are believed to repel unwanted spirits, and unwanted attacks from everything else too. Back in the old days newborn babies used to be sprinkled with ‘holly water’, water in which holly had been soaked, especially potent if left under a full moon overnight. Holly is sacred to Holle, the Germanic underworld goddess, and symbolizes everlasting life, goodwill and potent life energy, as most red things do! Its red berries of this holly represent feminine blood.

Together, mistletoe and holly represent the Sacred Marriage at this time of year with the re-birth of the Sun/Son. Again this is why you often see these adorning your Yule wreaths and Decorations.

Ivy
Evergreen symbol of immortality and resurrection, and once again used for Christmas and yet no one knows why. Well as it growes into a spiral, this symbol reminds us of reincarnation and rebirth. Sacred one to God Osiris, where His death and resurrection was a central theme in Egyptian religion. Sacred also to Dionysys, god of vegetation, blossoming and the Return of Spring.


Pine
Its branches bring healing and joy to the home, and this is the Traditional tree we all choose to adorn our homes. We decorate it with representatives of lives, hopes, dreams, and honour our ancestors. It’s why our decorations are traditionally Green, for life, Red for feminine, White for masculine, Gold for the God and Silver for the Goddess.

Yule Log

Well it never used to be chocolate, rather it would be a lot from the previous year, that would be lit, and kept alight until Yule is over. Modern Yule logs can be logs made to hold tea lights or of course eat a chocolate one.

However you celebrate, I hope it’s a truly magickal blessed time for you all.

#Blogmas 2018 Yule tide Blessings

Archive, blogmas 2018, Family Adventures, Witch, Pagan, Druid, Faery, Spiritual

You know the year has gone fast when the Solstice is here, seems barely five minutes since the Summer Solstice 21st June.

Some believe that the Winter Solstice is a day celebration, but in reality they had no clocks or calenders, so Yule lasted over a period of days. Yule 2018 will begin on Friday

21

th December and ends on

Tuesday

1st January 2019.
And is a time of great symbolism and power. It marks the return of the sun, when the days finally begin to get a little longer. It’s also a time to celebrate with family and friends, and share the spirit of giving during the holidays.

You can as a pagan hold rituals, both with a circle or as a solitary. But as we are a family, we choose to do this in a far more understated way. Instead I rather have a good meal, where we save some as an offering to the spirits, light candles to honour the ancestors. And have a Yule log, we’ve had both a chocolate log very nice, but also one to light our candles on too.

Everything we do as a Christmas celebration is really a Yule celebration, from the feast to the tree, wreaths and gift giving. So they are already hand in hand. But on this day especially it is nice to take a reflection over the year that has passed, and of time yet to happen. Because the returning Sun is the promise of things to come.

Like at Samhain, you can burn wishes wrote down, if you choose to have a bonfire outside. But weather being awful this month, and myself not doing well health-wise, it’s not likely for us this year. But not all is lost, you can make those wishes as you blow out the candles after your feast?! Like a birthday wish. Or burn them in your real fire or log burner if you have one.

So eat up and drink and be merry, it’s time to give thanks for all that you have. Feel blessed, it’s been an eventful year.

Our plan is a full on Roast, and Christmas movies galore, probably Arthur Christmas, and Home Alone.

Yule Celebrations, what’s it all about? #Blogmas Part 1

Archive, Blogmas 2017

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Yule: Winter Solstice – Dec 21st/22nd

What is the origin of the word Yule? It has been suggested that it has origins from the Old English word, geõla, or the  Old Norse word jõl, a pagan festival celebrated at the winter solstice, or even the Anglo-Saxon word for the festival of the Winter Solstice, ‘Iul’ meaning ‘wheel’. In old almanacs Yule was represented by the symbol of a wheel, conveying the idea of the year turns like a wheel, The Great Wheel of the Zodiac, The Wheel of Life. The spokes of the wheel, are the old festivals of the year, the solstices and equinoxes.

The winter solstice, is  the rebirth of the Sun, is an important turning point, as it marks the shortest day, when the hours of daylight are at their least. It also the start of the increase in the hours of daylight, until the Summer Solstice, when darkness becomes ascendant once more. Finally the light is returning, you can feast, party knowing that the darkest days are over.

Cycle of the Year

Yule is deeply rooted in the cycle of the year, it is the seed time of year, the longest night and the shortest day, where the Goddess once again becomes the Great Mother and gives birth to the new Sun King. The oak king rejoices once again. On this the longest night of the winter, ‘the dark night of our souls’, that there springs the new spark of hope, the Sacred Fire, the Light of the World. New life is set to return.

Fire festivals, celebrating the rebirth of the Sun, held on the Winter’s Solstice can be found throughout the ancient world. The Roman festival of Saturnalia was held on the winter solstice, boughs of evergreen trees and bushes would decorate the house, gifts where exchanged and normal business was suspended. The Persian Mithraists held December 25th as sacred to the birth of their Sun God, Mithras, and celebrated it as a victory of light over darkness. In Sweden, December 13th was sacred to the Goddess Lucina, Shining One, and was a celebration of the return of the light. On Yule itself, around the 21st, bonfires were lit to honour Odin and Thor.

The festival was already closely associated with the birth of older Pagan gods like Oedipus, Theseus, Hercules, Perseus, Jason, Dionysus, Apollo, Mithra, Horus and even Arthur with a cycle of birth, death and resurrection that is also very close to that of Jesus. It can hardly be a coincidence that the Christians, also used this time of year for the birth of Christ, mystically linking him with the Sun.

That Yule is another fire festival, should come as no surprise, however unlike the more public outdoor festival of the summer solstice, Yule lends itself to a more private and domestic celebration. It is definitely more private for us, firstl its too cold and so close to Christmas, so its easier to celebrate at home quietly. Yet like its midsummer counterpart, is strongly associated with fertility and the continuation of life. Here the Goddess is in her dark aspect, as ‘She Who Cuts The Thread’ or ‘Our Lady in Darkness’, calling back the Sun God. Yet, at the same time, she is in the process of giving birth to Son-Lover who will re-fertilise her and the earth, bringing back light and warmth to the world.

BlessedYule12