We will be holding our Yule celebration on the 21st of December from 1 pm to 9 pm. SDCW-ATC welcomes you to join us at 104 Main St. lake city, AR as we thank the Mother for our first harvest of the year and ask for her blessings.
What is Yule?
Yule, also known as Winter Solstice, is the 21st of December.
The days have been growing darker and colder since Summer Solstice. With the end of the longest night, the dark is defeated with the Return of the Sun, the return of light, hope, and promise. The Goddess gives birth to the Sun/Sun God. The Sun begins to wax and the days grow longer. All that is hidden will begin to emerge.
The Holly King rules over the dark part of the year from Midsummer to Yule, he is God of the Waning Year. At Yule, he surrenders his life to the young light Oak King, God of the Waxing Year and his twin, who rules over the light part of the year from Yule to Midsummer. Both rule for half of the year, both fight for the favour and love of the Goddess and both surrender their life force for the well-being of the land. In truth, they are one.
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 (evergreens were sacred to the Celts because they did not "die" thereby representing the eternal aspect of the Divine). The wheat stalks portrayed the harvest, and the flour was an accomplishment of triumph, light, and life. Holly and ivy not only decorated the outside but also the inside of homes, in hopes Nature Sprites would 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 visit the residents. Mistletoe was also hung as decoration. It represented the seed of the Divine, and at Midwinter, the Druids would travel deep into the forest to harvest it.
The ceremonial Yule log was the highlight of the Solstice 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 by 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.
The 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 or red candles, baskets of clove studded fruit, poinsettias, Christmas cactus.
Animals of Yule:
Bears, Deers, Owls, Phoenix, Reindeers, Snow Geese, Squirrels, Stags, Wrens, Ravens.
Herbs and Flowers of Yule:
Bayberry, blessed thistle, evergreen, frankincense, holly, laurel, mistletoe, oak, pine, pinecones, sage, yellow cedar, chamomile, cinnamon, ivy, juniper, poinsettias, rosemary,
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).
Incenses and oils of Yule:
Pine, cedar, bayberry, cinnamon, cedar, clove, frankincense, juniper, myrrh, orange, pine.
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,