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Yule - Midwinter - Winter Solstice - 'Christmas Eve' Tags: Yule Midwinter Winter Solstice Christmas Lugh Parsifal Oak King Celts

Yule - Midwinter - Winter Solstice - 'Christmas Eve'

Yule is also known as the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere as to seasonal differences.

'Nature is our only true resource, on a mental level. As we learn to use Her, we find again the connection we lack'

- parsifalrain, December 11
image: Yule-Lugh by Margaret Tarrant

Since time immemorial, man divided the Year into sections, and mark the turning points in the Natural Rhythm of the Year, by celebrating with a small or large celebration.
To celebrate the Wheel Of The Year celebrations is an Age old Tradition in Our Culture.
Long before Christian thought captured the world, lived and celebrated our Ancestors 8 fixed Festivals in the Course of the Year.
These Feasts find their origin in the Cycle of Nature, the Changing of the Seasons and in the Course of the Sun and of the Moon.
As we celebrate the 4 Solar Festivals, the Winter Solstice (longest Night of the Year, 21th December), the Summer Solstice (the longest Day of the Year, 21th June), but also the Equinoxes in Fall and in the Spring.
In the old, Matriarchal Cultures accrued 4 Moon Festivals - honoring especially the rising, full, waning and dark Moon.
These Festivals are known as the Festival of Light (Brigid, 2nd February) , May Day (Beltane, 1st of May), the Reaper (Lammas, 2nd of August) and the Ancestral Feast (Samhain, on the Night to the First of November).
When ever we are celebrating the Wheel Of The Year Celebrations, we connect with the forces and energies of Nature.

Such, a Wheel-Festival highlights the appreciation for the past portion, and aligns the view at the same time, on the new section.
We value and come in terms with our past, and so will be ready for the New - the Past will get significance for us, as well as the reorientation.

In the Wheel Of The Year, Yule is a minor Festivity

Christmas is for many of us, a Christian Feast.
Grown up and contained in the faith of the church, we celebrate in our latitudes, the birth of The Christ, a Festival of Joy, of Hope, of reconciliation and of the Light.
According to the late fourth-century scriptor Syrus, it was the custom of the Celts to celebrate the Birthday of the Sun on December 25, at which time they kindled lights in token of Festivity.
But to celebrate this religious custom of Christmas is much older than the church itself.
It goes back to the joyous Sun Cult of the Celts, who celebrated with the Winter Solstice the victory of Light (Lugh) over the Darkness of the Night.
However, as it would appear, the Celtic Feast that was replaced by Christmas might be of far older origins and may have been built upon the cult of Mithras, who, for the Persians, is the creator of the Universe and the manifestation of the Creative Logos, or Word.
His Birth on December 25 was witnessed by shepherds.
After many deeds, he held a last supper with his disciples and then returned to Heaven.

Many of the Yuletide customs we observe today were common to various Thanksgiving Day and New Year's Rites.
For example, the hanging of greenery comes from an old ivy-worshiping cult dating back to the Dionysian revels in ancient Greece.
Mistletoe was valued, almost worshiped by the Druids.
And gift exchange, most likely generated with the Saturnalia.
The Christmas tree was introduced by Prince Albert of Saxony in 1844 as an adaptation of the paradeis-tree (decorated 'Tree of Life') from the medieval drama of the Christmas Tree; (more to the Christmas tree at the bottom of my article)
 

The Cult Of The Sun

In this Sun-Cult, the Great Goddess (Mother Nature, Frau Holle, Mother Hulda... later Frigga) gave Birth, deep in the Earth, in the Most Silent of Nights, Lugh, (Baldur) the ever-returning Sun's Child.
And so the Birth of the Light in the longest Night of the Year has always been the reason for our Ancestors to summon with magical ceremonies the rebirth of the Light.
And here is the wild and consecrated nights, and our advent traditions your deepest roots.

Since the people could not let go their customs, and thus not become evangelized, the Christian festivals were layed on the special 'holidays' of the Sun Cult.
And so we celebrate - it is only since the middle of the 4th Century - the Birth of Jesus on December 24th, which was native celebrated on a different day.
But also other Christian Feasts were simply imposed over the Celts.
Many of our cherished Christmas traditions go back to the Celtic Traditions.


Lisa Thiel - Yule (Winter Solstice Song)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0Xz5w-Sr5g

Yule in the Wheel Of The Year


So, The Wheel Of The Year which has ended with Samhain, bears at Yule the New Baby of Light or the New, the Holy King Of The Wheel Of The Year (which was, in our days and modern culture cast to a commercialized Santa Claus).

This have seen all of our ancestors so why all the myths carry the same images.
These images, myths, and fairy tales are salutary, wholesome for our Soul.
These express something, what we surely can feel, even if we are not quite aware of.
Our attention is much more limited than in the case of the previous people.
The people of that Times have been both: connected with Nature and with Cosmos much more than we are.

Our ancestors have felt that at the time of the Winter Solstice and Christmas is something changing.
That's not just reigns the Darkness, but New Life will sprout, even if it is still not visible.
Under the Earth, the forces collect to new Life that breaks through in the Spring.
This enormous amount of Energy begins to grow again.
And they could feel and perceive.
And this is what was celebrated.
The New Life in his entirely innocent newborn form:

Winter Solstice
In November, the Dark and the cold Season began.
In the Autumn the leaves fell from the trees, the nature slowly died, the fog and the cold, wet weather darkened and complicated the everyday Life.
The associated topics were retreat, darkness, silence and death.
It has been at all times for the people the month of the dead, since the plants 'die' and under the earth to eke out their living.
We mourn the loss of the Sun and the heat and yearn for the Spring and Summer.
But the loss of the Sun is only apparent, because everything that fades has the power for the return, and the end is only seeming, temporary, because everything what 'dies' is born again a 'new'.

We are witnessing from the Turn of the Winter Sun that from the deepest Darkness again accrues a new Life, we experience in the Spring the sprouting and growing.

At around 21th December, we celebrate as a particularly important Festival in the Wheel the Rebirth of the Light.
After half a Year in which the Days were getting shorter and the Nights longer, the Sun's radiation is on the rise and brings the people hope and takes hold life-sustaining force in the Dark Time.
So our Ancestors were full of gleeful anticipation and the certainty:
Darkness would fade and warmth would return to the world.

Even though the Winter begins only now, are getting the days longer again.
In Nature has the turning point, which also promises us transition taken place already.

It's the time of the rebirth of Light and Hope.
After a long Darkness, Life begins anew.
Nature shows us that even in moments of deepest Darkness that it never comes to a final Death.
The born-again Light gives us the power to make us new, to grow and to flourish again.

Advent
In our advent wreath, the Celtic Tradition is reflected.
Because of the wreath symbolizes the synchronization of the beginning and the end of the Year, and reflects the eternal back and forth of the nature.
The fir sprigs symbolizes the Fertility and the number of candles - namely, four - stand for the four weeks of the Moon, for the Seasons of the Year and represent the annual Rhythm, the Elements and the four Directions.
The candle fire, however, stands for the Light of the Sun, which burns more and more sparse, to shine in new splendour.
Because in olden days, were kindled at the beginning of Advent all four candles, and with each week one less, as a symbol of the declining Sun Light.
On the day of The Winter Solstice again, all four of the candles were lit.
Today, we light the candles 'in reverse order'.

In Brittany are often used 3 candles to symbolize the Light to be reborn.


Yule was not just a one day Celebration
Yule is a 12 day holiday, it begins on 'Mothers Night' (December 21st) and ends 12 days later on 'Yule Night' (January 1st).


The Twelve Nights After Christmas (The Raunächte)
You know the expression, 'Between the Years'?
This strange phrase should actually be 'In Between Times'.
It is the time between the 25th December and the 6th of January.
The work rests, for most people it is the period to hold and to reflect over the Past Year and make new resolutions for the coming Year.
The Old Year seems to be over, the New is still far.

This interim is also called the 'Raunächte', not because they are particularly rough and wild, but because one has fumed (geräuchert) since time immemorial.
However, not to keep evil spirits and demons at bay, but to the joy and attraction of the Divine Forces and to the commemoration of the Dead.

In earlier times, 'the Wild Hunt' was led by Odin, who roared with his in the war fallen heroes across the Land and entered in all the houses and stables where the doors and windows were not well sealed.
But originally, the 'Wild Hunt' was not the symbol of fear and terror, but for fertility and growth.
It is the time of magic moments, in which can be found hidden treasures or passed over in the Otherworld.

The Winter Solstice and the following 12 Days are a time of contemplation, of silence and the blessing for what is to reveal itself in the New Wheel Of The Year-Cycle:
Yule is the best time to surrender and bring forth intentions to set for the New Year and make them count.
There are the Magical Days (Lostage), the prophetic time of the Year to forge and make plans and to take good resolutions, what one want to achieve in the next Year.
There are two old traditions to consut the Oracle: For each of the Twelve Days stands a Month of the coming Year.
The other Tradition brings to us in the first six Nights of the Old Year to complete the Past and in the next six Nights to learn the visionary for the coming Year.

More than ever, it is important that we accept our Light, nourish and, above all, let it shine, so that we can make our contribution to make our world more whole and loving.

Yule rituals to celebrate the Light
Fire Festivals, celebrating the rebirth of the Sun, held on the Winter's Solstice can be found throughout the ancient world.
On Yule itself, around the 21st December, bonfires were lit to honour Odin and Thor.
The ashes from the Yule log were often used to make protective, healing or fertilising charms, or scattered over the fields.
In Brittany, the ashes were thrown into wells to purify the water, and in Italy as charms against hailstones.
That Yule is another Fire festival, should come as no surprise, however unlike the more public outdoor festival of the Summer Solstice, Yule lends itself to a more private and domestic celebration.
Yet like its Midsummer counterpart, is strongly associated with Fertility and the continuation of Life.

* Winter Solstice Spell - perform on the Night of Winter Solstice
you need
Hollyberry oil
Mistletoe herb
clean, small piece of white paper (if you have it parchment)
a red ćandle

the ritual
write a single word in red ink that represents best the quality in yourself which you would like to enhance with the dawning of the Yule Sun.
sprinkle the Mistletoe herb into the center of the paper.
add three drops of the Hollyberry oil on top of the Mistletoe.
twist the paper closed with the Mistletoe and Hollyberry oil inside.
light the red ćandle.
from the flame of the ćandle, light the paper-package on fire.
as it burns, envision your wish fulfilled.
your spell is done.

* If you throw a sprig of Holly onto your Yule log fire, it will burn away your troubles from the past Year.

more rituals i.e. about The Yule Log in the ending of the video below: 'The True Origins of Christmas'

Yule Apple and Orange Slice ornaments


Questions to ask at Winter Solstice
How bright is your inner Light shining in the World ?
What imbalances are currently dimming your Light ?
What tools are at your disposal to balance those areas ?
What is the Universe asking you to surrender during this Solstice ?
What message are coming to your from your Ancestors and Guides ?
How can you best use the knowledge your Guides and the Universe has provided you ?
What dreams will grow alongside the Light ?
(you can also ask a Tarot Spread)

Questions we can ask ourselves at Winter Solstice
What would want to be born out of me ?
How can I be a Light in this world ?
What is the meaning of Light for me ?
What means Darkness for me ?

Wassail Punch


ingredients
    2 quarts apple cider
    2 cups orange juice
    1/2 cup lemon juice
    12 whole cloves
    4-5 cinnamon sticks
    1 pinch ground ginger
    1 pinch ground nutmeg

directions
cook 8 Hours in a slow-cooker or a large pot over low heat, combine apple cider, orange juice and lemon juice.
season with cloves, ginger and nutmeg.
bring to a simmer.
using a slow cooker, allow to simmer all day.
serve hot.

element
Fire

colors
red, green, silver, yellow, gold and white.

herbs
Bay, Evergreen, Frankincense (Boswellia sacra), Holly, Ivy, Lavender, Mistletoe, Myrrh, Nutmeg, Rosemary, Rue, Sage and Thyme.
The Winter Solstice, called 'Alban Arthan' by the Druids, was according to Bardic Tradition, the time when the Chief Druid would cut the sacred Mistletoe from the Oak.
The mistletoe is cut using a golden sickle on the sixth day of the Moon.
It is often associated with thunder, and regarded as a protection against fire and lighting.

incense
bayberry, cidar, cinnamon, pine, sage.

stones
Emerald, Bloodstone, Diamond and Ruby.

)O( Yuletide Blessings
May The Light Of The Sun Shine On You And Your Family This Yule Season,
Let Us Welcome The Returning Sun With Hope And Joy,
May You Never Thirst ! ;-)

MUST WATCH:

The True Origins of Christmas
In the multicultural west we are told to say Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas or these days Happy Holidays as to not offend others.
Lana tells about the true origins of newcomer holidays such as Kwanzaa and Hanukkah.
Where did these holidays originate? Are they original?
Why are they also in December, like Christmas?
She'll also talk about the true origins of Christmas, which is entirely borrowed from Yule, the pre-Christian European celebration of the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.
Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Christmas are all imposters, culturally appropriating from the ancient European Winter Solstice celebration.
Learn about the myth, symbolism and tradition of Yule.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnDIahOOxaQ

previous

Wheel of the Year-Celebration Samhain

next

The Twelve Nights After Christmas

related

Everything is Born out of Darkness

~~~~~

thoughts about the Christmas tree:
Though the fashion to chop or buy a sawed-off conifer and utilize as a Christmas Tree can be nothing as a veneration of the dead, a mortuary cult, so just the opposite as what it was thought !
The Christmas tree is set up as a dying object in house or apartment, and deprives the residents who are located all around their Life Energy.
Then the tree is discarded, to the detriment of the environment.
As the roots are not removed, so remain in the ground, the spirit of the tree will remain for many years in captivity and can not escape until the roots rot and disso
lve in humus.
Furthermore - it might be stunning for some to learn and experience - that if ANY tree is sawn off, energy of the Earth to disappear straight to the Cosmos whereas if he is hacked off, the fibres of the wood become mechanically sealed and the energy flow prevented.
It is at least a better custom to find other solutions as i.e. to CUT a tree or, better, to use a living tree in a pot for a Christmas tree, slowly accustom to the temperatures and then, after the Christmas holidays, when the soil is not frozen, in order to give him a chance to return to the wild, i.e. in the edge of a forest.
Think about it - Parsifalrain

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