Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Yule, Winter Festival of the Sun
The Winter Solstice is a time to celebrate the rebirth of the sun. Since the Summer Solstice, the days have been getting shorter and the nights longer. Now at Yule, the shortest day of the year, the opposite is true, where the days are now growing longer, and the nights shorter. This is the time of year, when the Goddess is pregnant with new life. Full and ready to give birth to the sun once again. Ancient peoples would hold great bonfires to honor the returning Sun. They would make Yule logs and carve their wishes into them for the New Year. Then would then throw them into the fire. Women would decorate their homes with evergreens, holly and mistletoe.
The Goddesses we honor at Yule are Freya and Isis. Freya is the Norse Goddess of beauty and love. In the Nordic tradition, Yule was referred to "Mother Night", for this is when Freya gave birth to her son Baldur, the Sun God. Many women would invoke Freya for her blessing while they were in labor. It is said that they would also burn a white candle to insure a safe delivery.
We also honor Isis for she too gave birth to her son Horus at the Winter Solstice, and his symbol was a sun disk. Isis is the Egyptian Mother Goddess of the universe. She is all loving and all knowing. The Ancient Egyptians would celebrate her on the Winter Solstice with a great feast.
There are a few magical things you can do at Yule. Get a fire going in a fire pit or another safe place to hold a fire. If you have made a Yule log, carve some of your wishes in it for the new year, visualize, then throw it into the fire. Visualizing your desires coming true as the log burns. If you dont have a Yule log, you can use some bay leaves, write on them your wishes and throw them into the fire.
On our altar for Yule, have a Yule log with three candles in it, colors of red, black and white to represent the goddess. Some evergreen, mistletoe and/or pine cones. A representation of the sun. A statue of the Goddesses Freya, Isis or any other goddess associated with Yule. Crystal colors of green or red.
I hope everyone has a wonderful and magical Yule!
Photo courtesy of Wendy Andrews Art
Posted by Tara at 5:00 AM