Beginning with the Winter Solstice celebration on December 21st, Yuletide kicks off with twelve days of ritual and celebration as we welcome the rebirth of the Sun and move away from darkness. It is a festive time filled with feasting and joy, as well as relaxation and hibernation, as we honour the cycles of nature and the Wheel of the Year. Some witches choose to celebrate the Yule Sabbat for a single day, others over a few days, and some for twelve. However you elect to honour the return of the light, here are twelve Yuletide activities that you can easily incorporate into your magickal celebrations and practices.
1. Make a dish or dessert that your female ancestors crafted. This could be a passed down family recipe, or a recipe from the countries you know your ancestors came from. Share your feast with your ancestors by laying a plate out for them and give gratitude to the feminine powers in your lineage for all the wisdom they sustained you before you indulge. Don't forget to make extra in case of late night munchies!
2. Roll up a joint and take a long walk in nature. As you walk take joy in your surroundings and let nature guide your way (within reason, let's not get lost in the woods now).
3. If there is snow, create snowman poppets to offer joy to those entering your home and protection from those you want to keep away.
4. Help others that are in need. Whether volunteering to deliver meals to those less fortunate, donating gently used winter clothes, tents and winter-safe sleeping bags, or giving money to causes that are near to your heart, giving back will uplift someone who might need a helping hand.
5. Decorate your Yule altar. Add candles that can represent the sun and fill your altar with symbols of the season such as pinecones, fallen evergreen boughs of fir and cedar, winter plants such as poinsettias, holly, ivy and mistletoe, and even bowls of snow.
6. Party, party, party! This year, many of us are separated from our loved ones due to COVID-19, but that doesn't mean you can't make merry! Merriment, drunkenness, and the breaking of social rules are all part of Yule. Make some mulled wine, pack up your pipe with some Jack Herer and get your loved ones and witchy friends on a video call for a fabulous virtual dance party. Share some laughs, digital love, and puff puff pass around a virtual joint.
7. Have a Yule log fire. Burning of the Yule log is said to keep evil spirits and negativity at bay and ensure prosperity and protection for the household in the year to come, particularly if a portion of the log is kept throughout the year and used to light the new log. If you do not have a fireplace, or option for an outdoor firepit, lighting a campfire scented candle is a fine replacement.
8. Sing the Sun Awake at Dawn. Lend your song to the sun at dawn for its strength. This can be any song you choose, even 'Walking on Sunshine'. You may want to sing quietly as anyone still sleeping in your household might not appreciate your sun song as much as you do.
9. Make a warm tea and rest. December is a cold, cold month. Warm up with a hot mug of tea, curl up in cozy blanket and relax! Yule is a Sabbat of respite and restoration. Take some you time.
10. Give an offering to nature. Fill your bird feeder, or decorate a tree outside with edible gifts such as oranges filled with seed or nuts or cranberry garlands. The animals that must forage during these sparse months will thank you.
11. Journal and plan for the spring. Take a few moments and reflect on the year past. What do you want to let go? What challenges did you face and overcome? What did you learn and how can you incorporate your learnings into your goals for this coming year? Reflect, relax and slowly plan your new year objectives.
12. Make an ice candle! A perfect combination of fire and ice, plus a fun winter craft. Here is a video tutorial on how to make them!
Yule tidings and blessing to you all!