Celebrating Yule by Sue Perryman
We all live such busy lives these days, and I'm sure we have all had situations arise when for one reason or another, you just can't hold a ritual to celebrate a Sabbat, or you want to add something extra to your regular celebrations. There are lots of different ways that you can celebrate these special days, and we have come up with a few ideas that we hope you find useful for the approaching Winter Solstice. If you have any ideas of your own you would like to add, please post them in the comments below.
Research deities associated with the Sun or with the Winter Solstice.
Go for a walk in nature, even if it's your local park notice the changes in the natural world and what birds and other wild animals are around. If possible, gather some greenery such as holly and ivy to decorate your home.
Make or buy a Yule log and decorate with a small candle (birthday cake candles are ideal) which you can light to welcome the return of the Sun.
Bake some Yule cookies, you can add seasonal spices and even shape them into mini sun shapes if you want.
Make a Yule incense or oil with herbs and spices associated with this time of year. Use whatever you have in your cupboards. or whatever you are inspired to use. A few examples are: cinnamon, nutmeg, rosemary, bay, ginger. Add a resin such as frankincense or myrrh of your making an incense.
Craft shops often have clear plastic or glass baubles that are ideal to be filled with herbs and decorated with ribbons to be hung on your tree or around your home. Make a magical bauble by filling it with herbs and using coloured ribbons with the properties you wish to attract, although if you haven’t got something, let your intuition guide you.
Oranges represent the Sun, make an orange pomander by wrapping a ribbon around one and sticking cloves into the spaces, you can create spirals, runes, sigils and other magical shapes if you like and when you've finished it can be hung around your home. They smell divine as they dry.
Make a wreath for your front door using evergreens such as fir, holly, ivy, rosemary and bay. There are lots of instructions on how to make one on the internet.
Light a gold/ orange or yellow coloured candle, gaze into it and meditate on something associated with this time of year such as: rebirth, peace, the return of the Sun.
Get up early to watch the Sun rise.
Write down a list of all the things you have been grateful for in the past year.
Make plans for the coming year.
Invite family and friends round for a celebration meal.
If you have an open fireplace or a firepit/chimenea outside have a Solstice fire and burn a Yue log. Watch the flames leap and dance, you might even see an image in them if you are lucky.
Donate to a food bank or charity of your choice.
Decorate your Altar if you have one with candles and other items associated with Yule that you feel drawn to use.