Winter Solstice/Yule Correspondences
December 21 (approximately)
Colors: Red, Green, White, Gold, Silver
Sacred Stones: Turquoise, Peridot, Serpentine
Herbs: All evergreens, holly, mistletoe, ivy, pine/fir cones, cinnamon
Symbols: Yule Log or Tree, evergreen wreaths, holly/mistletoe, cinnamon sticks, bells,
Deities: The Holly King, Odin. Osiris, Hathor, Ixchel, Hecate, the =orns, all winter fae
Food & Drink: Roast fowl, ham, apples, oranges, nuts, mulled cider/wine
The Winter Solstice or Yule (ewe-elle/yool) is the shortest day of the year and the time when pagans celebrate the rebirth of the Sun. The date of this event tends to vary and falls sometime between Dec 20th and Dec 23rd. It is a fire festival and a quarter Sabbat. On this longest night of the year, the now elderly Holly King makes way for the newborn sun who will soon be the Oak King. This holiday is celebrated worldwide and is known as Alban Arthan (druids), Mid Winter, and Yuletide.
Before Christianity rose to power, the Winter Solstice was associated with the birth of a Divine King. The reason for celebrating the Winter Solstice has also remained the same: rebirth and renewal, the return of hope, and that life will continue. Jesus is not the only deity said to be born at this time, he’s in the company of Pagan gods like Apollo. Mithras, and Horus. The church decided that it was easier to incorporate the pagan celebration into theirs than to change it altogether. As a result, the pagan Sun God is born on the same day as the Christian Son of God, who is by the way also called “the light of the world”. Here is an interesting tidbit….Did you know that mistletoe was banned from churches due its pagan association?
Yule is also a festival of light and candles are a traditional item. Candles were lit at midnight as a symbol of birth of the Sun God. In Ireland, oil lamps were left lit all night long. Special Yule candles were also poplar and would be lit every night throughout the Twelve Days of Christmas. As with any candle, blowing it out causes the accumulated luck that resides in the candle to blow away”. The purpose of the candle is to bless the house and family in the coming year.
Activities for Yule include, making treats and feeding our feathered friends. If you have access to the forest you can find a yule log for your home and decorate it. Help those less fortunate by donating food or gifts to a good charity. Stay up all night and celebrate the rebirth of the sun at dawn. Create a special red Yule candle to burn, buying one is okay too! Decorate your Candle with evergreens and holly. Activities, although I doubt of =ncestors spent as much or gave as many gifts as we do today.
THE HOLLY AND THE IVY
The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown.
The rising of the sun, and the running of the deer,
The playing of the merry organ, sweet singing in the choir.
The holly bears a blossom, as white as lily flow’r,
And in our hearts, we bear pure hope, and sing every hour.
The holly bears a berry, as red as any rose,
And in our hearts we bear a flame of life, and with hope it grows.
The holly bears a prickle, as sharp as any thorn,
And our skin bears the sun’s sharp rays, bringing life this Solstice morn
The Desert Path: The dusty ramblings of a desert pagan. https://thedesertpath.com/
Sacred Spirals (the place where all paths meet)
Pingback: Winter Solstice/Yule Correspondences — The Desert Path | Vermont Folk Troth