Wishing you all a merry and bright Christmas, and brightest blessings for the Yuletide.
Yule is one of the two solstices in the turning of the years wheel, where the daylight hours stop decreasing and begin to lengthen. Yay!
The days will be getting longer, and this is reason enough for celebrating!
The true date and time for Yule, this year, is on Sunday 21st December at just after 11 (23:03) The solstice marks the point of the year when the sun is at its highest point (in the north or south) and the hours between sunrise and set are the longest. We celebrate these days as the shortest day (Yule) and the longest day (Litha).
As witches, we make merry to celebrate the rebirth of the sun. It is a day steeped in tradition, and with many connotations with healing. As the shortest day, Yule can also be seen as the darkest night of the soul. It reminds us that there is always light to follow, and that no matter how bad a situation you find yourself in, you can always make it to the other side.
Easy words, for me to type as I sit in my warm and comfortable home, surrounded by wonderful friends and family, and with a well stocked cupboard of food. Not so easy to accept when faced with uncertainty, ill health, financial worries or more.
I know that this is time of year in which we are reminded of the homeless, the poor, the starving, and the elderly. The media coverage and charity organisations go all out at Christmas – to guilt us into giving, to helping, to sparing a thought. It angers me, that we are not reminded more throughout the rest of the year. But. This is what Yuletide represents, the light returning. The end of the darkest night of the soul. The end of suffering. So actually yes, spare a thought, give a little time, get active in the community, make offerings to the wildlife in your back yard.
It is not my intention to try to put a downer on your Christmas, but the Yuletide custom is to think beyond the self, to the family and to the community. Chandlers would gift candles to their customers; to honour the returning light and also the returning customer!
Throughout the year, as the wheel turns, we are reminded to think beyond the limitations of self. More so, I feel, at Yule. Be a Lord or a Lady of Misrule, to ensure everyone can enjoy the festivities, or at least a small token of kindness.
Greet the sunrise to honour the traditions of old, and the ancestors. Bid hail to the Goddess and the God, be thankful for the light returning. Enjoy the day with feasting and spending time with friends and relatives. Bring in the Yule log and burn it brightly until its end (if you don’t have an open fire, a candle is just as good!) and watch the flames flicker and dance.
Eat, drink and be merry, for the hours of sunlight begin to lengthen and the wheel continues to turn. Light will always follow darkness, and when you offer a tiny flicker of light to someone, the way out of the darkness is easier to find.