It's hard to believe that it is that time again, but with a light snowfall where I am in Washington state it is a lovely dusting.
Yule, our Winter Solstice is a beautiful time to enjoy others company, shop till you feel like you are going to drop, baking cookies, chasing the excited children away from the tree, and get the cat away from it too. We don't want any trouble like on Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase.
The Sun is just beginning to return to us, but for months we will still be bundled up!
As you prepare your altar choose those items that speak to your heart. Some like to make a Yule log. I did some years ago and it was one of the loveliest experiences I have every had. You can look online for some ideas. I had an old log that when I moved from Utah many years ago, it travelled with me to CA, and finally moving here to WA I figured out what I wanted to do with it.
They are easy to do, and bring a lot of joy I think. You can have your children join in, or maybe a quiet evening for you to make yours. It's a lovely project that I think you will like. I will see if I can add pictures on here of mine.
Yule is our celebration of light returning to us, even though it looks dead of winter out your windows!
For my altar I am including: Pine cones, sprinkled with cinnamon oil and cinnamon powder. Star of Anise sprinkled on the altar cloth. Fresh greenery from a pine or evergreen that you choose, with asking for it's permission first, of course. Candles – one gold, one silver and one white. Gold representing our Sun and the God, Silver for the chill of the frost, the incredible moon and the Goddess, and the White for our purity of Spirit for the Season. Add in some incense of your choice if you would like.
If you like taking a cleansing ritual bath first, then what ever cloak or clothing calls to you. Possibly a crown of holly made carefully for your comfort, or one you make yourself with artificial materials. If you usually cast a circle you may do so now. As you sit or kneel before your altar, close your eyes and see what images might come to you. Are you possibly seeing images of what the Winter Solstice has been for our earlier ancestors?
As you light the first candle, the Gold for the Sun, say the following or words of your own.
“Tonight we welcome the evening of our Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. Our Wheel turns slowly once again and tomorrow the Sun begins it's journey back to us. With the return of the Sun once again, our beautiful earth will slowly come alive bringing it's usual beauty to enlighten our souls."
Lighting your second candle, the Silver one for our Goddess, say the following or words of your own.
“We give thanks for your many blessings Goddess. We honour you as we see and feel the turning of our beautiful Wheel of Life. May we remember to acknowledge the things we have accomplished this past year. May we set goals for the seasons to come. We honour our Wheel that continually represents our eternal circle of birth, death and rebirth”.
Lighting your third candle, the white, to honour our hopes for the coming year, say the following or words of your own.
With arms raised in Goddess position.
“We honour the changes of our beautiful earth. We set hope in our hearts that we may teach others to love our earth and all of it's beauty. To be mindful of remembering to set new goals for the coming seasons. Bring back the light to aid us in our endeavours. Bring peace to our hearts and warmth to our souls.”
Light your incense if you have it, if not look into the three flames honouring birth, death and rebirth. Let your thoughts drift if they will, and see if any images come to you.
May we all stand strong in our convictions, remember Gaia needs our help and to walk through this next year with honour in our hearts.
When you are ready, thank the God and Goddess for lending their spirits with us.
Meditate as long as you desire, then bring out your cakes and wine.
If you circled for protection, release it with joy in your heart knowing with each step forward we continue our journey as our Wheel of Life turns once more.
I wish you all blessings of the season!
StormloverWolf High Priestess, and Hearth Guardian of Kitchen Witch Coven/School/Community