Today we celebrate the Winter Solstice, the return of light, and the beginning of Yule. For thousands of years, people have gathered on this night to watch for the return of the light, the sun, and the promise of new growth and new beginnings in the year to come. In that spirit, I offer this Yule ritual:
- A Yule fire – in a fireplace or bonfire if possible. A small fire in your cauldron or fireproof bowl will also suffice.
- Dry pine wood for burning (pine will help to bring about prosperity in the coming year)
- Strips of paper and a pen
- As many candles as you can gather, they don’t need to match or be any special colors, shapes, etc.
- A stick or long match that you can use to carry the fire from your bonfire to your candles
This ritual is best done at sunset.
Choose one candle to be the “Sun” candle and place it in the middle of your altar or table. Arrange the rest of your candles around the “Sun” candle. Please don’t light them yet.
Build and light your Yule fire with the pine log (if possible). Tend the fire until it’s burning well. As you gaze into the flames, meditate on what this past year has brought to you. Give thanks for the good things and send them on their way. On the strips of paper, write down anything that has ended, whether it be relationships, thought patterns, habits you needed to change, or a career that didn’t meet your soul’s needs. Once you’ve finished writing them down, slowly feed the strips of paper into the fire. Take your time here. As you feed each strip to the flames, give gratitude for the lessons you’ve learned, the opportunities you’ve had, and the changes you’ve chosen to make.
When you’re finished, light your long stick or match with the flames in your Yule fire. Begin with the outer candles and as you light them, name your intentions for the coming year. These can be goals and dreams or emotions you’d like to have more of in your life. Things that you want to be illuminated or brightened in the coming year. When only the “Sun” candle remains, pause and reflect on the lit candles. Gaze on the beautiful light and know that the coming year will bring you these things. Now, light your “Sun” candle and feel the gratitude swelling in your heart. Speak your gratitude for the things to come.
Leave the candles burning until sunrise, or they go out on their own. If you must extinguish them for safety reasons, use a candle snuffer. Don’t blow them out as you’ll blow away your intentions.
Blessed Yule Everyone