Celebrating Yule, the winter solstice
Yule is an indigenous winter festival with its roots deeply in the pagan traditions of Germanic peoples, northern European traditions and modern pagans. It is marked by the Winter Solstice, the longest night. The way it is celebrated may differ depending on the tradition, but essentially it is a celebration of conquering the dark and turning towards the light. In the ancient customs people come together to offer food to the Gods, followed by a large feast. Rituals are being performed to call for blessings as we prepare for the new cycle. Traditionally it is a 13-day celebration, honouring the elements. It begins with the element of fire celebrating the return of sunlight.
The winter season is dream time
The question simply is this: will we have the courage and patience to sit in the dark and listen to the sound of silence?
Inspiration for practices during this period:
- Create time for yourself in preparation for the winter solstice.
- Do some shamanic journey with the teachers, the crone and/or the hermit. Ask to be taken to your soul spark of light which is ready to journey with you into the new cycle.
- Prepare a winter solstice ritual or join others in their celebration.
- Make a list of questions you would like to ask yourself to prepare the journey back towards Imbolc (2nd of February) which marks the beginning of spring in the wisdom of the seasons teaching.
- Allow rest for your body and nourishment for your soul.
Winter Solstice is the tipping point after which we are moving again towards the growing of light and longer days. It is therefore the end of our growing circle and can inspire the following questions:
- What have I outgrown?
- What am I ready to leave behind to make space for the new?
Moving towards the light and a new cycle of growth, we are reminded that the future holds infinite possibilities. The teaching of the winter encourages us to dream the dream of our soul. To remember that we carry within us the spark of limitless opportunities. Ask yourself:
- What new inspirations are sparked within me?
- What transformation and what growth would l like to bring to life in this new cycle.
This time is dream time; no dream is too big. It is time to seize the moment, to connect to your gift and pure potential.
Keep a journal! Note your questions and write down answers which might come in dreams, during meditation, while walking in nature or any other time. Don’t limit yourself by judging them or thinking of limitations. Simply collect them. Dream!
May the longest night and the shortest day, bring rest to your mind and soul, I pray. May you find guidance, and may you find peace, as the cycle of light will slowly increase. Embrace the magic that the darkness bears, breath deep in the chill and shift in the air. May you always be blessed with the light from within, and may well-being be yours as the new cycle begins.