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Yule Lore (December 21st)

Yule Lore (December 21st)

PostAuthor: Hazel » Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:41 am

Yule Lore (December 21st)

Yule, (pronounced EWE-elle) is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, much celebration was to be had as the ancestors awaited the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth and made her to bear forth from seeds protected through the fall and winter in her womb. Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were "wassailed" with toasts of spiced cider.

Children were escorted from house to house with gifts of clove spiked apples and oranges which were laid in baskets of evergreen boughs and wheat stalks dusted with flour. The apples and oranges represented the sun, the boughs were symbolic of immortality, the wheat stalks portrayed the harvest, and the flour was accomplishment of triumph, light, and life. Holly, mistletoe, and ivy not only decorated the outside, but also the inside of homes. It was to extend invitation to Nature Sprites to come and join the celebration. A sprig of Holly was kept near the door all year long as a constant invitation for good fortune to pay visit to the residents.

The ceremonial Yule log was the highlight of the festival. In accordance to tradition, the log must either have been harvested from the householder's land, or given as a gift... it must never have been bought. Once dragged into the house and placed in the fireplace it was decorated in seasonal greenery, doused with cider or ale, and dusted with flour before set ablaze be a piece of last years log, (held onto for just this purpose). The log would burn throughout the night, then smolder for 12 days after before being ceremonially put out. Ash is the traditional wood of the Yule log. It is the sacred world tree of the Teutons, known as Yggdrasil. An herb of the Sun, Ash brings light into the hearth at the Solstice.

A different type of Yule log, and perhaps one more suitable for modern practitioners would be the type that is used as a base to hold three candles. Find a smaller branch of oak or pine, and flatten one side so it sets upright. Drill three holes in the top side to hold red, green, and white (season), green, gold, and black (the Sun God), or white, red, and black (the Great Goddess). Continue to decorate with greenery, red and gold bows, rosebuds, cloves, and dust with flour.

Deities of Yule are all Newborn Gods, Sun Gods, Mother Goddesses, and Triple Goddesses. The best known would be the Dagda, and Brighid, the daughter of the Dagda. Brighid taught the smiths the arts of fire tending and the secrets of metal work. Brighid's flame, like the flame of the new light, pierces the darkness of the spirit and mind, while the Dagda's cauldron assures that Nature will always provide for all the children.

Symbolism of Yule:
Rebirth of the Sun, The longest night of the year, The Winter Solstice, Introspect, Planning for the Future.

Symbols of Yule:
Yule log, or small Yule log with 3 candles, evergreen boughs or wreaths, holly, mistletoe hung in doorways, gold pillar candles, baskets of clove studded fruit, a simmering pot of wassail, poinsettias, christmas cactus.
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Re: Yule Lore (December 21st)

PostAuthor: Wildwood » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:45 am

This year the winter solstice will be fairly unique.

There will be a lunar eclipse on the same date as the northern winter solstice. This is rare for the past 2000 years there has been only one occasion when it happened, and that was Dec. 21, 1638,we won't have to wait 372 years for the next one...that will be on Dec. 21, 2094. Since I probably won't be around in 2094 I might make a special effort tomorrow. We in Britain will be able to witness the beginning of the eclipse, if skies are clear, at 0633 GMT. The stage of total eclipse will run from 0741 to 0853 GMT.

Overall, the eclipse will last for three and a half hours, finishing at 1001 GMT, and will best be seen from parts of North America.

I'm crossing my fingers with respect to the weather.

In my imagination the sun and moon, the lord and lady, meet and caress in the heavens and then the land and life is reborn as the days get longer. Just a thought, but a significant time for us all.

Another thought, I believe that cutting the wood for your wand is most propitious at the time of the full moon, would it be even more so tomorrow.

Happy moon gazing.

B.B.
Wildwood
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