Yule is the celebration of Midwinter. The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year, when the Sun King is re-born to light the world, to free it from the chilling grip of winter.
Traditionally a time of getting together, parties and festivities. In the past, villages and towns were often cut off from one another, going through the harsh part of winter alone. Yule was the hope which people hung on to, the hope for the return of warm weather and planting seasons. When Yule arrived, with it was cause for celebration, the source of life was re-emerging from darkness
The Goddess at Yule
At Winter Solstice, the Goddess is seen as the Mother. The Dark Mother, Mother Night, Mother Winter. Just as death is followed by re-birth, the Crone Goddess of Samhain becomes the Mother who gives birth to the Sun.
The Dark Mother is the giver of gifts and the teacher of lessons. She gives her gifts and her love freely to her children, without limitations. We don't have to earn them. We don't have to "deserve" them. We simply receive them. We are worthy because we are.
The God at Yule
The gifts of the Mother are brought by the God, the Bring of Gifts. He is the one who carries them into the world to be used and enjoyed.
Old and tired by the longest night, the God goes to sleep in the arms of the Goddess and is re-born at dawn as the Sun, and fresh possibilities are re-born in us all.
He brings all of your hopes and wishes and dreams for the coming year with him. From him we learn to rest and be renewed when we are tired, and to trust, especially when life seems hard, that change will come.
The Altar at Yule centers around the Sun. A yellow candle, a picture, or a figurine can be used to represent the Sun. I like to use a white Altar covering, representing the snow covering the sleeping earth. Pine Cones and nuts represent the sleeping earth A Yule log, made from last year's tree, with a hole whittled in it holds the yellow candle representing the sun.
The Colors of Yule
Red and Green are traditional colors this time of year. White, gold (for the Sun King, and silver (for the Holly King) are also appropriate.
Incense, Herbs and Woods
Bayberry, cinnamon, frankincense, are the traditional Yule scents, as well as spruce or pine.
Write wishes on bay leaves then throw them into the Yule fire. Holly invokes the powers of protection and good fortune.
Birch, Pine and Ash make up the Yule fire, inviting protection and prosperity for t he coming year.
Traditionally, Yule is associated with the longest night of the year, the hope of return of the sun and light, rebirth. In you meditations, you may want to think about how you might like to invite light, hope, and energy back into the world and your life.