Yule, it's that time of year
Yule falls this year on December 21st. This is the official beginning to the celebration which should last as long as you can manage (typically 12 days). Out of ease on my family we’re celebrating the twelve days before and culminating at Yule.
So, what can we do for Yule?
- give small presents on each of the twelve days
- drink cider, wine, or mead and go wassailing
- throw a party for your friends on the 21st and introduce them to Yule
- offer in a ritual
- have a bonfire shaped like a goat
- have a Yule log or a tree for inside
- enjoy your friends and family
- sing, be merry, eat, offer, pray, fill your day and night with joy
If you have kids, leave boots filled with hay outside for Woden to feed his steed and fill them up afterwards with doodads. This is an old equivalent to stockings but more pagan. It’s also a wonderful time for story telling about the gods and goddesses, your children should hear stories about them.
In all honesty, Yule is so intermingled with the western idea of Christmas that if you celebrate Yule it will be very similar to anyone you might invite over. Yule was appropriated by Christianity ages ago and they do a pretty good job of celebrating it. This means it’s obvious how to celebrate for the most part.
One thing of note worth elaborating on though: the night of the 20th is Mother’s Night (Modraniht). This night is sacred and should be devoted to the honoring of your female ancestors and motherly goddesses. I will be honoring my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother as well as Eorthe and Frige that night. I will bake bread and leave a large and very safe candle burning on an altar through the night. As much time as I can devote to it will be spent in reflection and prayer that night. I will also be weaving some that night to link into that whole magickal process and activity. The Norns would be of great importance in the night’s feeling and thoughts so spinning and weaving will get you right in the feeling. It is a subdued night, not boisterous like Yule, but instead reverent and contemplative.
The ritual I am preparing for each of these nights will be forthcoming.
As a side note, what better time of year than this is there to give others a better image of us as heathens? Heathenry has an image problem that will only be solved by awareness. So invite people to your Yule party, go all out and wow them with the true spirit of the season.