Yule blessings to all of us in the Southern Hemisphere, it is a cold wintry day here on the mountain with the mist covering everything with its beauty. Keep warming and Blessed Be!
Yule is celebrated at the winter solstice (Or the midpoint of winter). It is the shortest day of the year, and the longest night.
Yule comes from the Germanic “Iul” meaning “Wheel.” Yule celebrates Winter, and the rebirth of the Sun God. As Yule is the shortest day of the Year it marks the Suns low point, as after this the Sun will begin to grow stronger again. It is customary to have a Yule log – this is a log (Traditionally Oak or Pine) that you burn during this time, and keep it through the year for protection, and add it to the fire of the following year’s Yule log.
If you do not wish to have a fire, you can use a log with holes drilled into it as a candle holder which will represent the Yule fire. It is also customary to light many lights and candles as sympathetic magik to bring the Sun back, persuading him to emerge from the womb of the Earth mother..
Holly is traditionally worn by men, and Ivy by women at this time. The Yule tree (Also known as the Christmas tree) was a wishing tree, the wishes for the new year hang in the arms of the universe.
You can make a Pagan Yule tree by making decorations from Rose Buds, Cinnamon Sticks, Pop Corn, Bags of Herbs, Crystals suspended from wire, Apples, Oranges, Lemons etc. After you have made the tree, dance around it Deosil (clockwise), singing and making wishes. A time for Rebirth, reflection, new ideas, dreams, hopes and giving.
Plants for Yule: Holly, Mistletoe, Ivy, Evergreens, Pine, Cedar, Bay, Juniper, Rosemary, Pine, Apples, Oranges, Nutmeg, Lemon, Cinnamon, Frankincense.
Foods of Yule: All “Christmas” foods (eg. Turkey, Roasts, Potatoes etc.), hearty Winter foods (Stew etc.), Nuts, Apples, Pears, Caraway, Pork, Hibiscus or Ginger tea.
Stones: Onyx, Obsidian, Jet.
Colours: Red, Green, Orange, White.
Pagan belief: The Goddess gives birth to the God. Some traditions have a Holly King and an Oak King as the God, and they fight at Yule with the Oak King winning, and ruling until Litha.
Yule Goddesses: Fortuna, Gaia, Heket, Lilith, Frey, Ma’at, Pandora, Shekinah, Tiamat.
Yule Gods: Apollo, Balder, Cronos, Helios, Janus, Lugh, Oak King, Holly King, Ra, Sol, Attis, mithras, Odin, Saturn.
Litha – Northern Hemisphere
Litha blessings to all in the Northern Hemisphere as you celebrate the Summer Solstice and revel in the warmth of the season. Blessed Be!
Litha, or Midsummer, is celebrated at the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the Year, and the shortest night.
Litha celebrates the very height of the powers of the Sun and of Life. But it also acknowledges that after this date the Sun will begin to weaken and the days to grow shorter. Litha is a time of purification. An Example of a purification Litha spell is to take a small herbal bag filled with Litha herbs/flowers, put all your problems, worries etc. into the bag, and drop it into the Litha fire to burn all those worries away.
Litha is also a time to pay attention to your dreams, as these could contain messages for the future. This Sabbat is a good time to perform any Magikal workings, and jumping over a Litha balefire will increase the Magikal energy and give purification Herbs and plants for ritual use can be harvested at Litha to make use of the high level of Magik power at this time.
Litha is also a time to make protection amulets, and bless people or animals.
Plants for Litha: Mugwort, Vervain, Chamomile, Rose, lily, Oak, Lavender, Ivy, Yarrow, Fern, Elder, Wild thyme, Daisy, Carnation, St John’s Wort.
Stones: Moonstone, Quartz, Pearl.
Colours: Green, Orange, Yellow, Gold.
Pagan Beliefs: The Goddess is mature. The God prepares for his death. Some traditions have the Holly King and the Oak King fighting again, but this time the Holly King wins, and rules until Yule.
Litha Goddesses: Athena, Bona Dea, Freya, Hathor, Isis, Juno, Nuit, Artemis, Dana, Eos, Kali, Sekhmet, Vesta.
Litha Gods: Apollo, Baal, Dagda, Balder, Helios, lugh, Oak king, Holly King, Prometheus, Ra, Thor, Sol, Zeus.