Winter Solstice - Yule
21. December 2019
Traditionally the Pagans celebrated Yule on 21. December and is known as the time of the Winter Solstice. The Christian church adopted this celebration as their own many years ago when they took over some of the Pagan traditions and made them their own. Christians now celebrate Christmas on 25. December.
Yule is the time when the day is the shortest of the year and the Sun is low and weak in the sky. From this moment on the Sun can only rise & grow in strength and is traditionally a time of re-birth.
This tradition is still celebrated in many parts of the world by pagan, druid and the spiritually minded. In England we celebrate the Winter Solstice at Stonehenge. Spiritual people will gather at Stonehenge very early in the morning, before sunrise and will be given access to the stones to practice their ancient rituals associated with Yule.
The time of Yule falls in the season of Winter. Winter is a time to conserve energy and to rest, keep warm and reflect. However, in our modern society we are called to do the exact opposite. We are expected to embrace the party season of social parties, bright lights and consumerism. This goes against what we are meant to do. As human beings we are designed to be in the flow nature, to follow the seasons. During winter time nature sleeps and prepares for the regeneration of the new year in Spring time, when life returns. It is no surprise then that modern day Christmas time brings about so much illness and tiredness. At a time when we should rest we are partying, shopping and generally over doing things. Our bodies are crying out to rest, but at this time it is almost impossible due to the heavy burden of modern day Christmas.
Excessive shopping & Consumerism at at time when we need more rest
If we could embrace the traditions of Yule, we would still celebrate and embrace the Winter Solstice but in a more natural way which will keep our minds and bodies in the flow of nature.
Things you can do to celebrate the Winter Solstice/ Yule on 21. December:
Burn a yule log
Light gold, red or green candles
Spend time in contemplation thinking about the year gone. Set an intention instead of a New Year Resolution which is so often not kept. An intention will be something you want to focus on for the year ahead.
Spend time in meditation to discover your intention for next year.
Invite a small gathering to your home of like minded people, have ale or mead and cakes. If you do not drink alcohol then something soft like apple juice is good.
Decorate the home with holly and ivy.
Burn incense of frankincense and myrrh
Be gentle with yourself - do not expect your body to give you too much energy at this time of the year. Rest when you feel you need to rest.
Most importantly enjoy what ever you do. Give yourself permission to do the things you feel drawn to. Rest when you want to rest. Read when you want to read, meditate when you want to. Observe nature and see and feel how she sleeps and rests, do the same as much as you can.
I feel it is important not to view this time of year as a negative time when the darkness prevails, see it as a necessary time for rest and rebirth, contemplation and deep thought. Embrace the winter it is really beautiful when we are mindful of the benefits she brings and of her true meaning for us and for nature.
Wishing you many blessings at Yule Time
Paul & Louisa