At Winter Solstice we will be looking forward to much new energy pouring into us.
Monday, December 21, 2015 is Yule, which you may also call Winter Solstice or Midwinter. This is when we experience the shortest day and longest night of the year. Lady Moon is in her second quarter, leading us to the Full Moon, also called a Wishing Moon, on Christmas, December 25.
Not only will we be looking forward to a new season beginning, we will also be looking forward to much new energy pouring into us. It would not be inappropriate to use the Christmas Wishing Moon to wish for the wisdom and spiritual guidance to help guide us into this newness so that we may benefit from it.
If you are so inclined, you may make incense to burn when you start your festivities: mix together 2 T dried pine needles, 1 T Red Sandalwood chips, 1 T cedar chips. Add 2 drops Frankincense oil, 10 drops Myrrh oil, 5 drops Cinnamon oil, 5 drops Allspice oil, 5 drops Pine oil. Stir well and finish off by mixing in 2 T Frankincense resin. Let this mixture “cure” for a day or two before burning.
Use the colors red, dark green, and white in your decorations and dress. Use Yule logs, mistletoe, holly, ivy, and evergreen boughs to decorate the site of your celebrating. You will be inviting not only your human friends but also various Nature Sprites to join your festivities by doing so.
An old German poem says: “A bayberry candle burned to the socket brings food to the larder and gold to the pocket.” If you use candles in your decorations, include at least one bayberry one. The scent is pleasant. You should also serve your guests a generous feast incorporating roast meat, Wassail, nuts, apples, cookies or cakes, and roast veggies.
If you have a fireplace, burn a Yule Log in it. Tradition says the Yule Log must not be purchased. I am noticing branches from my pecan tree falling into the yard, so it might not be too difficult to find a nice log to burn as a Yule log just “lying around somewhere.” If you have no fireplace, smaller branches tied together with a red, a white, and a green candle displayed on candlesticks within them and placed on a flame-proof dish would make an acceptable centerpiece.
In any case, the Yule log or Yule bundle should be blessed by being sprinkled with cider or ale and then dusted with flour before lighting. In the fireplace, the log should smolder for 12 days before being ceremonially extinguished. A piece of this year’s Yule log should be saved to use to light next year’s Yule log. Ash is a traditional wood used for Yule logs, but rosemary is also favored. Practically speaking, any nice log or assembly of smaller branches will do.
2016 is forecast to be a year that will bring pleasing changes to our lives. As we celebrate the change of seasons, we should also raise a toast to the newness and goodness coming in the New Year. Rejoice! Rejoice!
[Kate Braun was a contributor to the original Rag. Her website is www.tarotbykatebraun.com. She can be reached at email@example.com. Read more of Kate Braun’s writing on The Rag Blog.]