At Yule we can honour our descent into darkness and the return of light. Samhain gave us the opportunity to turn deep within and prepare ourselves for new beginnings. Now, we can honour our ascension and the rebirth of the sun. December 21, the winter solstice, is the longest and darkest day of the year. When we wake following the solstice, we can feel relief as the light begins to return. This year, Yule energies are magnified as the winter solstice aligns perfectly with the full cold moon.
Traditionally, Yule honours the Oak King and the Holly King. Both Kings represent the balance of light + dark and of masculine + feminine energies throughout the year; The holly king rules the descent into darkness (Litha to Yule) and the Oak King rules the brightest days of year (yule to Litha).
A fun midwinter tradition is the yule log. Yule logs are a creative way to honour the return of the light. You can use any kind of wood, but finding a wood that aligns with Yule is a great way to amplify the energy! For example, using oak could represent the Oak King in your celebrations. Drill holes into your log to place candles, decorate it with holly, ivy + evergreens and charge it with your intention + magic. Burn the Yule log and sprinkle the ashes for protection.
The wishing wreath is a tradition I practice with my brother + sister witches each year! After our Yule ritual, we write out our wishes for the coming year and tie them to a wreath. At Imbolc, February 1st, our wishes are burned and their magic is released into the universe for manifestation.
This Yule I will connect with the full moon and reflect on my journey inward, which I started at Samhain. I’m going to make an oil and anoint myself with the essence of yule and sit in reflection. This season brought me a lot of painful growth, and now I’m going to honour it and say goodbye to all that which no longer serves me.
Date: December 21 (can be celebrated until the 25)
Common Names: Yule, Yuletide, Winter Solstice, Midwinter
Gods/Goddesses: Oak King, Holly King, Helios, Odin, (sun gods), the green man
Herbs: Anise, Cinnamon, nutmeg, pine, clove, cedar, oak
Crystals: Clear quartz (reflection + amplifier), ruby (protection + red essence), green phantom quartz (green essence), peridot (return of light + Vitamin D + happiness), garnet (new year + grounding passion), jade (opening heart chakra + connecting to evergreen essence), sunstone (rebirth of the sun)
Colours: Red (sun + holly king), green (evergreens + ivy king), White (light), silver (moon + reflection), gold (sun + light)
Traditions: Yule log, theatre between the Oak King + Holly King, wishing wreath, fire ritual, hanging mistletoe, hanging evergreens in your home, decorating a yule tree (tree of life).
Significance: Return of the light and sun, setting intentions for the new calendar year, the first sabbat in the witches new year (after Samhain), turning of the wheel
Symbolism: Rebirth, intention, reflection, saying goodbye to that which does not serve us.
History: Yule is a pre-christian tradition commonly celebrated by pagans, ancient Europeans and Germanic people.
On the full moon let’s sit in reflection, honouring our journey inward and taking a look at our expansion and growth. By creating sacred space and crafting an oil to imbue us with the essence of yule, we will connect with mother earth and the spirits of midwinter.
The full moon energy will be strong between December 21 – 23. Though, you can do this ritual at any time and alter it to your liking!
Ingredients + Tools
Little dish for oil
Sun flower carrier oil (or what you have)
Cedar oil (or an oil from the herbal list)
Candle in a yule colour
Clean and keep your sacred space/home tidy. You don’t want to come out of bliss only to see your stack of dishes and laundry!
Prepare to turn off your devices, email and social media.
Find a place of comfort that is free from distractions + interruptions.
Gather your ingredients
Write your incantation (a few lines that speak your intention + the magic you want to create in this reflection ritual)
Smudge yourself and your sacred space while holding the intention for your reflection.
Using your pin, carve your intention into your candle and light it.
Sit comfortably in front of your candle and mix your oil. Dab your finger in the oil and anoint all your chakras, from head to toe, while speaking your incantation. Repeat it until you are done anointing yourself or until you feel ready to sit in silence.
Sit in silent reflection until your candle goes out. Reflect on your descent into darkness between Samhain and Yule. You can ask yourself questions, think of your gratitude, or feel the warmth of bright light that is in your future. Sit with a smile behind your lips.
Journal or free write about your reflection. Don’t edit! Let it flow.
Create a circle for yourself by calling in the elemental spirits and directions. Call the spirits of the East (air), South (fire), West (water), North (earth) and Center (ether).
Close the circle by thanking the spirits for supporting you. Speak a closing rite:
By the earth that is our body
By the sea that is our blood
By the fire that is our bright spirit and
By the air that is our breath
This circle is open, but unbroken
May we meet, may we part, but may we meet again
Drink plenty of water, thanking the water spirits every time the water touches your lips
Refrain from checking your devices and social media.
Disclaimer: I am not a psychologist or medical Doctor. This ritual + wellness advice does not replace the advice of trained medical professionals. Please seek a qualified Doctor when needed.