Winter Solstice or Yule is a festival of fire that has been celebrated for many, many centuries. Yule is Scandinavian in origin meaning wheel and solstice means that the sun is standing still. Yule is a solar holiday, which gave birth to the Yule log tradition. The Yule Log is burned to inspire the sun god to bring blessing and the warmth of the sun back. It is the shortest day and the longest night in the northern hemisphere. This is the night that the King of Oak and the King of Holly battle. The King of Oak wins the battle and the sun begins the waxing cycle. After this night the days will begin to get longer and the nights shorter. A Yule Tree is brought into the home to encourage the growth of life and the return of warmth. Yuletide begins on December 20 or 21 (Mother Night) and ends December 31 (Yule Night). This period of time is also known as the 12 days of Christmas.
For me, this winter solstice marks one year as a practicing Pagan/Wiccan. I have been practicing Wicca for an entire Wheel of the Year. Granted I did not perform rituals on every Sabbat or Esbat. Nor did I really dive into the festivals and the traditions associated with each Sabbat. What I think is important is that I was aware of Sabbats and I would do a little reading on each Sabbat during the festivals. I also became aware of the moon’s 29 day cycle. I downloaded an app that gives all the information I could ever want about the moon. This app tells me where the moon is in the universe every minute of everyday. My altar is not complete either and I do need some additional standard magick tools.
What has and will inspire me to continue my Wicca practices is my patron Goddess. She has definitely been the Being that has been keeping me on track. She doesn’t let me wander off the Wiccan path. My patron Goddess is the Triple Goddess the Morrigan. She is of the Celtic Pantheon. She is known as a dark Goddess. My experiences of her is both dark and light. There are many aspects of her that I have seen this past year and I am looking forward to many years of working with her. She has become my guide. She is there in my time of need as well as when times are good. She is the queen of the Faeries which opens doors into the faery realm. Theses spirits have become my friends and I enjoy my experiences of them.
Looking back over this past year, I have to say that it was my best year yet. Since I banished Christianity, my view of life has changed dramatically. Living without sin and hell is a wonderful experience. Now I live with Karma. I am aware of my actions at all times because I don’t want negative Karma coming back to me. The Wiccan Rede “an it harm none, do as I will” is what I live by. I’ve also notice that different aspects of my life are better without me trying. My family life, my work life, my finances and my health have improved without me putting much effort into it. There is much less stress in my life. No sin and no judgement day equals no stress. Simple equation with many positive benefits.
The Yule season is a time of letting go and new beginnings. During this season I have been letting go of things in my life that are no longer needed. I’ve thrown away a lot of stuff and de-cluttered my home. I’ve also release emotional heartaches. For the Yule festival, I did call the quarters and the goddess the Morrigan in ritual. During my ritual I wrote down a wish list for the coming year. The highlights of my wish list are to continuing to see my skills as an visual artist improve, I have good fortune throughout the year, my family continues to be in good health and I pull loving positive people in to my life. If I stay on the Wiccan path, I’m sure that my wish list items will become reality with some work.
Some celebrate Yule as the birth or rebirth of the God. Yule is when the Goddess gives birth to the God bring hope and light to the world. May your holiday season be filled with love, hope and light.
Many Yule Blessing to you and to yours.