Loitsu is the Finnish word for a spell, an incantation. Loitsu Crafts is the shop of my incredibly talented friend Renée, and how fitting it is - she came to Finland from the other side of the world, yet all of her creations sing the songs of ancient Northern magic. And right now, her shop needs your support. Please visit LOITSU CRAFTS to help my dear witch friend.
A lot of you guys ask me whether you need a cauldron/a wand/a carpet with pentagrams/a ceremonial robe/a huge leatherbound grimoire and many other things to be a witch.
The answer to that is always no.
There is a huge array of fun accessories out there for a witch to have, and they’re cool and sparkly and mysterious and make us all feel special. And that’s fine. But we don’t need them. It’s not like we’re gonna be crossed off the witch list if we don’t have a drawerful of colour-coded athames.
The things you actually need to be a witch are all intangible. You need self-reliance, and critical judgement, and courage. You need an analytical mind, a readiness to learn and think for yourself at the same time, you need to be able to do some serious introspection work and be as critical of yourself as you are of the outside world, because otherwise you’re just a smug prick with a spice rack.
Sorry for the delay, guys. Now, when I started to travel I’m not able to spend my time here everyday, but I’m trying my best :) I’ve read all of your questions, they will be answered soon.
So,Yule. It is a big holiday for all of us, even for those who have nothing to do with magic - it is the winter solstice, the time when nights become shorter and days go longer. Yule is a heart of the winter, the very middle of it. After going beyond this point you can proudly say - you survived the winter. Well, only theoretically, because usually January and February are the coldest months in a year, haha.
Ahem, so. The date varies from December 20 to December 23 depending on the year in the Gregorian calendar. Seems to be very close to Christmas, right..? Right. It is actually the same thing if I may say so. Yule is a pagan religious festival observed by the historical Germanic people, later being absorbed into and equated with the Christian festival of Christmas. It’s a glorification of the novelty, purification, rebirth, the birth of something new and pure…like Jesus Christ for example, like it became later. It’s not only Christmas that is similar to this pagan tradition, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa are there too.
How do you celebrate Yule?
At first, it is a festival of Sun. And we are welcoming it with the light and fire - like candles, bonfire and more. Be ready to stock a generous amount of it! For you who enjoy setting up altars here are tips for the Yule altar. It may include:
- Symbols of Winter: any solar symbols, discs, sun wheels candles, bright and shiny things
- Yule log
- Bayberry, blessed thistle, frankincense holly, laurel, mistletoe, oak, pine, sage, yellow cedar.
- Colours: red, green, white, red, gold, silver, sparkles and glitter.
- Fruit and nuts
- Evergreen little trees or branches
- Snowflakes, icicles
Foods of Yule: Cookies and caraway cakes soaked in cider, fruits, nuts, pork dishes, turkey, eggnog, ginger tea, spiced cider, wassail, or lamb’s wool (ale, sugar, nutmeg, roasted apples).
Incense of Yule: Pine, cedar, bayberry, cinnamon.
Stones of Yule: Rubies, bloodstones, garnets, emeralds, diamonds.
Activities of Yule: Caroling, wassailing the trees, burning the Yule log, decorating the Yule tree, exchanging of presents, kissing under the mistletoe, honoring Kriss Kringle the Germanic Pagan God of Yule
Spellworkings of Yule: Peace, harmony, love, and increased happiness.
Deities of Yule: Goddesses-Brighid, Isis, Demeter, Gaea, Diana, The Great Mother. Gods-Apollo, Ra, Odin, Lugh, The Oak King, The Horned One, The Green Man, The Divine Child, Mabon.
A Ritual to Welcome back The Sun:
Have a dinner with your family, friends, coven or alone. Clean up the table. Cover it with candles. Use as many as you like; they don’t have to match. In the center, place a sun candle on a riser, so it’s above the rest. Don’t light any of the candles just yet.
Turn off all the other lights, and face your altar. If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so now.
Face the candles, and say:
The wheel of the year has turned once more, and the nights have grown longer and colder. Tonight, the darkness begins to retreat, and light begins its return once again. As the wheel continues to spin, the sun returns to us once more.
Light the sun candle, and say:
Even in the darkest hours, even in the longest nights, the spark of life lingered on. Laying dormant, waiting, ready to return when the time was right. The darkness will leave us now, as the sun begins its journey home.
Beginning with the candles closest to the sun candle, and working your way outward, light each of the other candles. As you light each one, say:
As the wheel turns, light returns.The light of the sun has returned to us, bringing life and warmth with it. The shadows will vanish, and life will continue. We are blessed by the light of the sun.
Take a moment to think about what the return of the sun means to you. The return of the light meant many things to different cultures. How does it affect you, and your loved ones? When you’re ready, go through the house and turn all the lights back on.