Another year is coming to an end once again. With the wheel of the year at its last turn before resetting, there is more than just looking back.
Yule is celebrated and honored during December 21st when it’s cold and dark in many parts of the world. Although this commemoration is celebrated during winter, the sun is not forgotten nor forbidden. In fact, the sun is an important symbol of Yule.
December 21st is the shortest day of the year. As the days progress, the sun will once again grow in strength – waxing and growing until the next summer solstice.
The Meaning of Yule
Yule is a quiet time for early humans to reflect and sit in meditation. During this time, early humans depended only on the food they stocked from the last harvest – making food a limited resource. This, in turn, allowed early humans to reflect on their own mortality.
Death and Rebirth
Yule celebrates the rising and resurrection of the sun god during the winter solstice. This time is great for welcoming potential and new beginnings coming in the year to come. Embody the energy of the hermit and take this moment to acknowledge the opportunities that are heading your way by recognizing what worked and what didn’t work this year.
Rebirth is only possible if you allow yourself to let go. To let go of your bad habits, failures, and even your successes. The only way you will rise again is by detachment from what you perceive of yourself.
Symbols of Yule
Did you know that a lot of Christmas traditions actually came from Yule? Many Christmas symbols are familiar to those of Yule, including evergreen, holly, logs, and mistletoe. These symbolic items are usually decorated inside the home – regardless if you are a witch or not.
Logs are particularly symbolic during the season because of their association with early humans’ practice of collecting logs for firewood during the cold nights of winter. Mistletoe, on the other hand, is a symbol for life and death as represented by its liminal character.
A Candle Ritual for Yule
Yule is usually celebrated with large feasts and joyous celebrations. But to embody the true meaning of Yule, one must immerse themselves in reflection. That being said, celebrating Yule can be as simple as doing a candle ritual in commemoration of the sun’s coming.
Set a time when you cannot be disturbed. Ideally, you would like to do this before the 21st. Prepare a white or yellow candle and some objects that particularly remind you of the sun. Prepare yourself by grounding – allowing all thoughts to disperse and disappear. Once you are ready, light the candle and ask yourself these two questions:
What am I hiding in the dark? (Emotions/feelings that you are subconsciously hiding)
What keeps me lit? (Small wins that keep you moving forward)
A concrete answer is not essential at this point. Simply think of the question above and allow thoughts or waves of energy to fill your body.