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Winter Solstice/Yule


Yule is actually a Germanic religious festive that was celebrated by Germanic peoples and some neighboring people. The first mention of Yule is in Germanic month names in about the 4th century. Some scholars have connected it to the god Odin and the Pagan Anglo-Saxon holiday of Modranicht (Mother’s Night).

Today; in Wicca, the holiday is celebrated as the rebirth of the Great Horned Hunter God, who is viewed as the newborn solstice sun. Different traditions celebrate differently however most celebrate from one to twelve days beginning on the Winter Solstice of December 21st. My family prefers to celebrate the night before (December 20th, we start at about 6pm because that is when my labor started and carry on until sunrise when my son was born) and stay up celebrating on the day of the solstice (For as long as we can keep going). Then to continue the day of the 21st and as far into the night as we can.

Decorations include an evergreen tree decorated with ornaments of fruit and pinecones to represent the return of life with the renewed sun. Lights and candles to represent the newborn sun and garland of evergreen once again to represent the promise that life remains. Brooms and fireplaces represent the home, hearth and warm love that is within our hearts. Since the holiday was merged with the Christian holiday to convert the Pagans, any decoration or celebrations that you would use for Christmas (with the exception of a manger,) would be appropriate. Don’t forget the Yule Log; which was burned to give strength to the newborn sun. If you don’t have a fireplace, make a slightly flattened log into a candle holder for your alter.

Prepare a big meal, have family around and don’t forget the gifts. This is also the beginning of the Lunar Year so it is a time for that reflection of the past and the looking ahead to the future. Don’t forget the charity offerings, have someone less fortunate in for your meal or take it to them. Take some extra food and place it around the outer perimeter of your yard for the Ancestors as well. Have a wonderful time as we now know that the Wheel has turned and the Horned God has returned.

Winter Solstice

(Arrange Red, White and Black candles around cauldron with Green candle inside)

(Open the Circle)

(Ring bell three times)

This is the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. Darkness reigns triumphant, yet gives way and changes into light. The Sun King has gone to Emania, yet within the sacred cauldron of rebirth he is once more transformed into the Newborn Divine Child of Light.

All is cold and I await the coming of dawn. As the sun rises, the Triple Goddess once more gives birth to The Divine Child. In silence and wonder I stand before the sacred cauldron of rebirth, knowing that one day I too must pass through the cauldron and be reborn. For this I now give honor to the Triple Goddess.

(Light white candle)

White is for the Maiden. May You plant Your seeds of joy and new beginnings within my life.

(Light red candle)

Red if for the Mother. May You grant me gifts of creative ideas and strength to bring them to completion.

(Light black candle)

Black is for the Crone; the wise one. May You give me wisdom and understanding of the magical mysteries.

(Light green candle)

Green is for the Newborn Lord of the Forests. The Divine Sun Child who comes once more into the world. I welcome You; Child and Consort of the Goddess!

(Ring bell once in the East)

Rejoice, O Powers of Air!

Welcome the Divine Child.

Blessed Be!

(Ring bell once in the South)

Rejoice, O Powers of Fire!

Welcome the Divine Child.

Blessed Be!

(Ring bell once in the West)

Rejoice, O Powers of Water!

Welcome the Divine Child.

Blessed Be!

(Right bell once in the North)

Rejoice, O Powers of Earth!

Welcome the Divine Child.

Blessed Be!

(Face East from altar. Ring bell three times.)

Hail, O God of Woodlands and New Life!

I give You honor and ask Your blessing.

(Ring bell three times again)

Hail, Triple Goddess, bringer of light out of darkness and new life out of the cauldron of rebirth.

I give You honor and ask blessing.

(Lift wine chalice)

To the Old Gods! Merry meet, merry part, merry meet again.

Blessed Be!

(Time for celebration, gift giving, dancing, meditation and feasting)

(Close the Circle)

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