Preparing for Yule
Yule is nearly upon us. Beginning with the Winter Solstice, (which is now less than one month away!) Yule starts on the 21st of December this year and lasts for 12 days. It marks the longest night and celebrates the return of longer days, as well as preparing us for the cold Winter months ahead.
Many of us have rather different associations with this time of year, but whatever you believe, we've prepared some fitting preparations that you can make to get ready for this years Yule festivities.
December DeclutteringMany believe in the importance of greeting Yule with a clean and orderly home. This idea comes from the belief that spirits of the dead come back to visit, and that everything must be satisfactory in order to tempt them back - who doesn't love a nice, clean home?
Throw out the excess in your life, lay down some salt and bust out the besom. When you feel like your home is particularly presentable, don't forget to give it a good cleanse too. Lavender and White Sage make for great cleansing scents.
Wish on a Yule Pinecone
Setting resolutions for the new year is a tradition that none of us are strangers to. What better way to begin the year anew than with a fresh arsenal of wishes and aspirations - or simply even a pinecone.
This has seen a lot more popularity in recent years again and is a great, charming activity that all the family can get involved with. Simply write down your wishes or "resolutions" for the coming year on a small piece of paper, then roll them up and stick them into the gaps of the pinecone.
The pinecone can then either be burned, to release the wishes within, or used to decorate a Yule tree or altar - serving as a physical reminder and manifestation of the resolutions and wishes.
Prepare a Yule Log
Whether it's oak and covered in mistletoe, or chocolate and showered in icing sugar, the Yule log is the centrepiece of this Sabbat. A tradition dating back centuries, the oak log has been adorned with things such as pinecones, berries, holly and mistletoe, and burned on the fireplace. The act of this is a powerful symbolic ritual, signifying letting go of the past and the banishment of negativity.
The slightly more modern and chocolatey variety may not share in these same magickal connotations - but it's hard not to include one in your Yule preparations anyway.