Before you hold your Yule ritual, you may want to set up an altar to celebrate the season. Here are some quick tips on how to decorate for the Yule holiday, keeping the themes and symbolism of the Sabbat in mind, and ideas on how to deck your halls and walls for winter solstice. Enjoy the magic of the season with a Yule-themed altar!
Need a prayer or devotional for the Yule season? Here's where you'll find a wide variety, including prayers to the sun, thanks to the goddess, a reminder of why the cold and darkness are important, and more.
The ancients knew that the winter solstice was the longest night of the year -- and that meant that the sun was beginning its long journey back towards earth. It was a time of celebration, and for rejoicing in the knowledge that soon, the warm days of spring would return, and the dormant earth would come back to life. On this one day, the sun stands still in the sky, and everyone on earth knows that change is coming. Perform this ritual to celebrate the return of the sun.
About a month before Yule rolls in, start thinking about all the clutter you've accumulated over the past year. You're not obligated to keep things you don't like, don't need, or don't use, and the less physical clutter you have laying around, the easier it is to function on an emotional and spiritual level. After all, who can focus when they're constantly having to step over piles of unused junk? Do this ritual to help clear out your physical space in the weeks before Yule arrives.
If your family enjoys ritual, you can welcome back the sun at Yule with this simple winter ceremony. The first thing you'll need is a Yule Log. If you make it a week or two in advance, you can enjoy it as a centerpiece prior to burning it in the ceremony. You'll also need a fire, so if you can do this ritual outside, that's even better. This rite is one the whole family can do together.
If your family uses a holiday tree at Yule -- and many Pagan families do -- you might want to consider a blessing ritual for the tree, both at the time you cut it down and again before you've decorated it. Although many families use fake holiday trees, a cut one from a tree farm is actually more environmentally friendly, so if you've never considered a live tree, maybe this is a good year to start a new tradition in your house.
As the sun returns to the earth, life begins once more -- it's a time to bid the Crone farewell, and invite the Maiden back into our lives. This ritual can be performed by a group of four or more -- clearly, it's designed for at least four females, but if you don't have that many, don't sweat it -- improvise, or allow one woman to speak all the roles.