The tradition of Yule pre-dates Christianity. It is now celebrated on December the 25th by many but on December 21st or 22nd on the solstice by some Wicca.
Yule is a celebration and a feast which marks the darkest point of the winter and the returning of the light.
The word Yule may come from the word Yoole which, in turn, derives from the Old English geōla. It may also come from the Old Norse word Jōl for a 12-day feast which Christian missionaries later turned into Christmas.
Yule on the solstice heralds the rebirth of the Oak King on the longest night. It represents not just rebirth but planning for the future.
One type of Yule log would be a large log given or harvested but never bought that was taken into the house, decorated and lit. Decorations would traditionally be greenery, reds and gold colours with a dusting of flour. The log is then doused in cider and lit from the smouldering remains of last year’s yule log. After 12 days the log would be ceremonially doused.
Today, a more common form of Yule log is one which holds three candles. The first candle should be green, red or white to represent the season. The second candle should be green, gold or black to represent the Sun God and the third candle should be white, red or black to represent the Great Goddess.
Dagda and Brighid are deities most suited to Yule. Dagda’s cauldron is symbolic of provision and warmth. Brighid’s work to teach the smiths the techniques of metalwork and fire tending is associated with the light returning from the darkness and the rebirth.
In Pure Spirit
We would like to wish every visitor a happy Yule for this year and the next. Please share your thoughts; what does Yule mean to you?