Rose Ariadne's Chitchcraft Blog

Dear Friends,

Yuletide Greetings! This time of year is always full of life and energy for Pagans and non-Pagans alike. Even before I walked this path, I loved the Yule season. Christmas is often one of the hardest holidays to “give up” for new Pagans, but understanding the actual roots of the holiday makes them realize that Christmas is more Pagan than it is on first glance. While Christmas is celebrated on December 25th, the Yule celebration takes place around December 20th. It sometimes falls on the 21st. Yule is the shortest day of the year and has the longest night. Yule is a celebration of death, rebirth, family, togetherness and accomplishments of the previous year.On the day of Yule the Holly King (which represents the death aspect of the God) is overcome by the Oak King (who represents rebirth). The Oak King rules for the half of the year between Yule and Summer Solstice, and the Holly King rules the other half. Some traditions invoke the Scandinavian Fertility God of Frey. He is associated with peace and prosperity.

The colors of the Yule season are red and green, seen in modern Christian traditions. Together, red and green represent fertility and growth in the coming season. To make your altar ready for Yule, place a piece of holly bush on it. During your Yule ritual, write down your hopes for the next year. Concentrate your energy on the paper and know that the God and Goddess will hear your request. After you are finished, place the holly into the fire (ideally with your Yule log). This is a simple but effective Yule time spell.

I find it amusing each year to see so many folks of other religions participating in what were traditionally Pagan rituals. Many of the Christmas traditions that others hold dear today actually have their roots in the Old Religion. Learning about this can help you see the whole season in a new light.

The Christmas tree is used in most households celebrating Christmas. Christians take time and care to select just the right ornaments and right lights to bring the season indoors. The Christmas tree is a variation on the Yule tree, whose lights and ornaments symbolized the sun, moon and stars on the Tree of Life. The tree decorations also represent the souls of those who have left us during the previous year. Yule is a time of remembrance and looking back to the past year, with hope for the future as well. The Ancients also offered sacred presents by tying them to Yule tree. These were left to honor deities of celebration, such as Dionysus. The modern form of this practice can be seen in leaving treats out for Santa (the deity of secular Christmas) and the giving of presents to one another.

The Druids are responsible for another common Yule tradition, hanging mistletoe and holly. Mistletoe is very magickal and is often referred to as the Golden Bough. It possesses healing powers and the Druids believed it allowed men access to the Underworld. The Mistletoe and Holly together represent the Great God and Goddess.

The Yule log is also a tradition borrowed from the Old Religion. The Yule bonfire gives renewed life, and brings the power of the sun to the festivities. Yule is the time that the sun is ‘reborn’, for after the solstice (the shortest day of the year) the sun begins to grow in power.

As you see, Yule is an ancient tradition that has been adapted into the modern world. Much of what it was still lives on, not only for Pagans but in Christian traditions as well. I hope this gives you perspective on this holiday season.
Love And Light,

Rose Ariadne, Your Warm And Caring “Resident Witch In Charge”

Posted by Rose Comment 1

1 Comment

  1. Mel says

    Thanks for everything. I really enjoy the info I receive from you, more so when they help me understand my feelings of the christian holiday that I was taught. I really didn’t see their point. When I would ask simple questions ,for example what does a pine tree have to do with Jesus’s birth? the answer was always I don’t know, it’s just a Christmas tree. And why jingle bells, wreaths, why red and green, miseltoe and of course all the gifts? to these I got they sound like Christmas, they’re pretty, I don’t know, to kiss under and to give something to the ones you love.

    I have always been miserable from the day after Halloween to after New Years day.

    Until now that is. This year I did not try to ignore or pretend ,I shared my beliefs and let people know what this time meant for me and alot of others and also shared some of the info about the questions I have had for so many years.

    Hope this isn’t to scattered and thanks for giving me a place to come to.

    In Love & Light

    December 30th, 2006 | #

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