Yule Lore (December 21st)
Yule, (pronounced EWE-elle) is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, much celebration was to be had as the ancestors awaited the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth and made her to bear forth from seeds protected through the fall and winter in her womb. Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were "wassailed" with toasts of spiced cider.
Children were escorted from house to house with gifts of clove spiked apples and oranges which were laid in baskets of evergreen boughs and wheat stalks dusted with flour. The apples and oranges represented the sun, the boughs were symbolic of immortality, the wheat stalks portrayed the harvest, and the flour was accomplishment of triumph, light, and life. Holly, mistletoe, and ivy not only decorated the outside, but also the inside of homes. It was to extend invitation to Nature Sprites to come and join the celebration. A sprig of Holly was kept near the door all year long as a constant invitation for good fortune to pay visit to the residents.
The ceremonial Yule log was the highlight of the festival. In accordance to tradition, the log must either have been harvested from the householder's land, or given as a gift... it must never have been bought. Once dragged into the house and placed in the fireplace it was decorated in seasonal greenery, doused with cider or ale, and dusted with flour before set ablaze be a piece of last years log, (held onto for just this purpose). The log would burn throughout the night, then smolder for 12 days after before being ceremonially put out. Ash is the traditional wood of the Yule log. It is the sacred world tree of the Teutons, known as Yggdrasil. An herb of the Sun, Ash brings light into the hearth at the Solstice.
A different type of Yule log, and perhaps one more suitable for modern practitioners would be the type that is used as a base to hold three candles. Find a smaller branch of oak or pine, and flatten one side so it sets upright. Drill three holes in the top side to hold red, green, and white (season), green, gold, and black (the Sun God), or white, red, and black (the Great Goddess). Continue to decorate with greenery, red and gold bows, rosebuds, cloves, and dust with flour.
Deities of Yule are all Newborn Gods, Sun Gods, Mother Goddesses, and Triple Goddesses. The best known would be the Dagda, and Brighid, the daughter of the Dagda. Brighid taught the smiths the arts of fire tending and the secrets of metal work. Brighid's flame, like the flame of the new light, pierces the darkness of the spirit and mind, while the Dagda's cauldron assures that Nature will always provide for all the children.
Symbolism of Yule:
Rebirth of the Sun, The longest night of the year, The Winter Solstice, Introspect, Planning for the Future.
Symbols of Yule:
Yule log, or small Yule log with 3 candles, evergreen boughs or wreaths, holly, mistletoe hung in doorways, gold pillar candles, baskets of clove studded fruit, a simmering pot of wassail, poinsettias, christmas cactus.
Herbs of Yule:
Bayberry, blessed thistle, evergreen, frankincense holly, laurel, mistletoe, oak, pine, sage, yellow cedar.
Foods of Yule:
Cookies and caraway cakes soaked in cider, fruits, nuts, pork dishes, turkey, eggnog, ginger tea, spiced cider, wassail, or lamb's wool (ale, sugar, nutmeg, roasted apples).
Incense of Yule:
Pine, cedar, bayberry, cinnamon.
Colors of Yule:
Red, green, gold, white, silver, yellow, orange.
Stones of Yule:
Rubies, bloodstones, garnets, emeralds, diamonds.
Activities of Yule:
Caroling, wassailing the trees, burning the Yule log, decorating the Yule tree, exchanging of presents, kissing under the mistletoe, honoring Kriss Kringle the Germanic Pagan God of Yule
Spellworkings of Yule:
Peace, harmony, love, and increased happiness.
Deities of Yule:
Goddesses-Brighid, Isis, Demeter, Gaea, Diana, The Great Mother. Gods-Apollo, Ra, Odin, Lugh, The Oak King, The Horned One, The Green Man, The Divine Child, Mabon.
How Do YOU plan to celebrate YULE? If you have a blog or URL with ideas about YULE, leave them here and Merry Yule-Tide!
Chérie De Sues
Chérie De Sues is a "critically acclaimed", "award winning" and "bestselling" author of thrillers, paranormal and contemporary suspense romances from sensual to sizzling heat levels. A member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), and RWA participant in both the RITA and Prism Awards.
When Chérie takes a break from writing novels, you can find her at romance conventions, book signings, online, or traveling to research her next novel. She shares her beach house on Galveston Island, Texas with her Irish terrier, Reilly.
She makes her home on Galveston Island, Texas with her Irish Terrier named Reilly.
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About The Author
not anti-Christian ~
~The Earth Does Not Belong To Us, We Belong To The Earth~
~"Oh, do not tell the priest our plight, or he would call it a sin,
But we've been out in the woods all night, a-conjuring summer in,
And we bring you good news by word of mouth, good news for cattle and corn:
Now is the sun come up from the south, by Oak, and Ash, and Thorn."~
Cats & Dogs--If a black cat should cross your path it brings good luck. If the cat stops to look at you the luck will be greater, but if the cat spits at you it brings back luck. Dogs howling for no apparent reason brings news of death.
Spiders--spiders hold a deep fascination with gypsies and you should never kill a spider. If a spider should attach a filament of web upon you, the fates are about to make a change in your life.
Butterflies--A butterfly settling upon a young woman foretells a pregnancy; on an older woman it signifies a new baby in the family. On anyone else the butterfly foretells a time of celebration & frivolity.
The Moon--To see the new moon out of doors is very lucky. You should bow to her three times, then turn your money over three times; it will increase ninefold by the next new moon. Make a wish on the full moon, and of course you should always wish on a shooting star - but never tell your wish to another, or it loses its power and won't come true.
The Gypsies say that the power of magick lies in four simple ingredients. The first of these is the desire/need of the practitioner. The stronger your desire for something to happen and the stronger your need for a thing, then the stronger is the power that you generate towards that goal. We can say, then, that the first ingredient (indeed the first necessity) for successful magick is will.
Along with the will for something to happen must go a certain amount of concentration, the second ingredient. It is no good doing anything, least of all magick, in a halfhearted manner. You must concentrate on what you are doing so that you can put that necessary will power into it.
There is no magick wand as described in children's fairy tales. There is no way you can wave a wand or utter a chant or spell, and FLASH! the thing is done. No; even magick takes time. Some spells can have effect within 24 hours, but most take longer. Some can take weeks, months, or even more. So the third ingredient is patience. Do the spell with the necessary will power, give it the required concentration; then be content to sit back and wait for it to have effect... and it will take effect.
The final ingredient is simply secrecy. Gypsies don't announce when they are doing magick, nor what exactly they are doing. They do it quietly, within the privacy of their vardos. So you, too, should keep secret what you are doing. By running around telling - perhaps bragging to - your friends, you are only weakening the power of what you have done.
Book of Shadows
I am the Great Mother, worshiped by all creation and existent prior to their consciousness. I am the primal female force, boundless and eternal.
I am the chaste Goddess of the Moon, the Lady of all magic. The winds and moving leaves sing my name. I wear the crescent Moon upon my brow and my feet rest among the starry heavens. I am mysteries yet unsolved, a path newly set upon. I am a field untouched by the plow. Rejoince in me and know the fullness of youth.
I am the blessed Mother, the gracious Lady of the harvest. I am clothed with the deep, cool wonder of the Earth and the gold of the fields heavy with grain. By me the tides of the Earth are ruled; all things come to fruition according to my season. I am refuge and healing. I am the life-giving Mother, wondrously fertile.
Worship me as the Crone, tender of the unbroken cycle of death and rebirth. I am the wheel, the shadow of the Moon. I rule the tides of women and men and give release and renewal to weary souls. Though the darkness of death is my domain, the joy of birth is my gift.
I am the Goddess of the Moon, the Earth, the Seas. My names and strengths are manifold. I pour forth magic and power, peace and wisdom. I am the eternal Maiden, Mother of all, and Crone of darkness, and I send you blessings of limitless love.
Yule Lore (December 21st)