For witches in the cult of Yule, no season brings them greater joy than Winter. As the solstice strikes, each devotee finds a way to exonerate themselves by praising the Horned God, in a way that she sees fit. Each year, one of these vessels is chosen by Him to return to his dominion and birth the next horn that all will worship.
After this holiday madness, I'm going to try to put some order between my fics and fanart.
In case you missed it and are interested, here is the link to the fanfic I wrote for the Yule event organized by @loonysama
And, if you haven't read the rest of the works, I highly recommend them: @loonysama @annaofthenorthernlights @justfrozenthings @frenzy5150 and @hyggescribbles made of it an event full of art.
Find the full list here.
A heathen practice that survived Christianisation is the yearly offering to the gårdstomte (house gnome).
On the 24th of December, a bowl of (rice) porridge is placed outside the house, as a way of thanking the gårdstomte for all his hard work during the year. The porridge is supposed to be served with a pat of butter on the top. (Trust me, the butter is _very_ important.)
In Scandinavia, this practice is so common that rice porridge is referred to as "tomtegröt" (gnome porridge). Even Christians engage in it. Because we all know what happens when the tomte doesn't get his porridge. (Or his butter, mind you.)
My yule tarot spread, I got the template from @nightshadeleaf so go check them out!
Something to let go of this coming year: Strength
I need to let go of my weaknesses. The things that hold me back from being mature and able to make good decisions under emotional distress. I need to tame my impulsiveness and work on my emotional maturity. I need to let go of the control my gut instinct has over me so that I'm able to be calm, strong, and compassionate even when times are tough.
Something to keep holding onto this year: Temperance, Reversed
I need to keep holding onto the mindset of constant self evaluation, planning ahead in life. Don't get too comfortable and don't fall back into old bad habits and don't create new ones. Self discipline is important and should be worked on.
Something to be thankful for: Ten of Wands, Reversed
I need to be thankful for the people in my life who help me. The people who help lift my burdens without even needing to be asked. Make sure to take advantage of ways to lessen stress in any way. The things in my life that lessen burdens and struggles.
Something to meditate on this year: Wheel of Fortune, Reversed
Meditate on what I should do to improve situations, control my destiny, and get my life on track when things get tough. Meditate on mistakes I've made and how I can learn from them. I should meditate on change and cycles in my life, introspection and self discovery.
How to enjoy myself this season: The Star, Reversed
Have faith in the divine! And in my craft. I need to reconnect to what is truly important to me, my purpose, and inspirations. Self care, physical, mental, and spiritual care, are vital. I need to relax and take time to myself, and to work towards my goals without overexerting or overwhelming myself.
I hope you all are having a happy Yule, and I hope the new year brings blessings for everyone! If you like the way I do tarot, check my bio to see about asking me for a reading.
Todays blog is on the history & origins of Yule, Christmas, Saturnalia, & the winter solstice
The Pagan holiday called Yule takes place on the day of the winter solstice, around December 21 in the northern hemisphere (below the equator, the winter solstice falls around June 21). On that day, an amazing thing happens in the sky above us. The earth's axis tilts away from the sun in the Northern Hemisphere, and the sun reaches its greatest distance from the equatorial plane.
Did You Know?
Traditional customs such as the Yule log, the decorated tree, and wassailing can all be traced back to the Norse people, who called this festival Jul.
The Romans celebrated Saturnalia beginning on Dec. 17, a week-long festival in honor of the god Saturn, that involved sacrifices, gift-giving, and feasting.
In ancient Egypt, the return of Ra, the sun god, was celebrated, as a way of thanking him for warming the land and the crops.
Many cultures around the world have winter festivals that are in fact celebrations of light. In addition to Christmas, there's Hanukkah with its brightly lit menorahs, Kwanzaa candles, and any number of other holidays. As a festival of the Sun, the most important part of any Yule celebration is light — candles, bonfires, and more. Let's take a look at some of the history behind this celebration, and the many customs and traditions that have emerged at the time of the winter solstice, all around the globe.
European Origins of Yule
In the Northern hemisphere, the winter solstice has been celebrated for millennia. The Norse peoples, who called it Jul, viewed it as a time for much feasting and merrymaking. In addition, if the Icelandic sagas are to be believed, this was a time of sacrifice as well. Traditional customs such as the Yule log, the decorated tree, and wassailing can all be traced back to Norse origins.
The Celts of the British Isles celebrated midwinter as well. Although little is known today about the specifics of what they did, many traditions persist. According to the writings of Pliny the Elder, this is the time of year in which Druid priests sacrificed a white bull and gathered mistletoe in celebration.
The editors over at Huffington Post remind us that:
"Until the 16th century, the winter months were a time of famine in northern Europe. Most cattle were slaughtered so that they wouldn’t have to be fed during the winter, making the solstice a time when fresh meat was plentiful. Most celebrations of the winter solstice in Europe involved merriment and feasting. In pre-Christian Scandinavia, the Feast of Juul, or Yule, lasted for 12 days celebrating the rebirth of the sun and giving rise to the custom of burning a Yule log."
Few cultures knew how to party like the Romans. Saturnalia, which fell on December 17, was a festival of general merrymaking and debauchery held around the time of the winter solstice. This week-long party was held in honor of the god Saturn and involved sacrifices, gift-giving, special privileges for slaves, and a lot of feasting. Although this holiday was partly about giving presents, more importantly, it was to honor an agricultural god.
A typical Saturnalia gift might be something like a writing tablet or tool, cups and spoons, clothing items, or food. Citizens decked their halls with boughs of greenery, and even hung small tin ornaments on bushes and trees. Bands of naked revelers often roamed the streets, singing and carousing — a sort of naughty precursor to today's Christmas caroling tradition.
Welcoming the Sun Through the Ages
Four thousand years ago, the Ancient Egyptians took the time to celebrate the daily rebirth of Ra, the god of the Sun. As their culture flourished and spread throughout Mesopotamia, other civilizations decided to get in on the sun-welcoming action. They found that things went really well... until the weather got cooler, and crops began to die. Each year, this cycle of birth, death, and rebirth took place, and they began to realize that every year after a period of cold and darkness, the Sun did indeed return.
Winter festivals were also common in Greece and Rome, as well as in the British Isles. When a new religion called Christianity popped up, the new hierarchy had trouble converting the Pagans, and as such, folks didn't want to give up their old holidays. Christian churches were built on old Pagan worship sites, and Pagan symbols were incorporated into the symbolism of Christianity. Within a few centuries, the Christians had everyone worshiping a new holiday celebrated on December 25, although scholars believe it is more likely that Jesus was born around April rather than in the winter.
In some traditions of Wicca and Paganism, the Yule celebration comes from the Celtic legend of the battle between the young Oak King and the Holly King. The Oak King, representing the light of the new year, tries each year to usurp the old Holly King, who is the symbol of darkness. Re-enactment of the battle is popular in some Wiccan rituals.
Next blog will be on the Holly & Oak King stay tuned
Yule is a time to think about the coming year, and counting on things to change for the better. I'm celebrating by manifesting what I hope for in the coming year, hopefully others also get something out of this recipe!
(Not pictured: sigil made from the words two thousand twenty-two)
Red wax: vitality, strength, courage, health
Chilli flakes: ward off unwanted energies
Basil: money, luck, prosperity
Cinnamon: love, luck, money, success, power
Ginger: plans coming into fruition quickly, success
Nutmeg: luck, encourages favorable decisions, money, health
Acorn: strength, endurance, luck, prosperity
Cedarwood: healing, clarity, insight and wisdom
Tea: stability, strength, removes negative energy
Orange: fortune, health, good luck, money, peace, wealth
My little tree —-the iridescent faerie-coloured curly ribbons 🎀 I bought yesterday last minute really give it that festive touch since overall it is a very understated little tree haha —-but what I wanted —-exactly what I wanted --something natural looking —-not so commercial looking ya know? So many holiday trees are like gilding the lily —-the tree is beautiful enough in its natural state I think …. All the decorations & ornaments are handmade from forest materials (wood mostly) And I added an assortment of items I liked and was drawn to during my walks through the forests here and finished off by adding a nice forked chunk of Rowan and wrapping with my green man cloth. I wanted to honour the tree and the holiday ~ ~ not desecrate it with human commercialism 😱
Anyone just have that one random cup or mug that you always use and even though there's many cups to choose from, your favorite one is dirty or in use by someone else? So you just sit there like "I have to drink my cocoa from an inferior cup???"
Hailing from Icelandic folklore, the Yule Cat (also known as Jólakötturinn), is a massive and vicious cat that prowls the snowing countryside during Christmas time.
It is said to eat people who have not received any new warm clothes to wear before Christmas Eve.
This cautionary tale is told to children to ensure that they work hard throughout the year (to earn money to buy clothes), less they be eaten by the ferocious cat. Although, I'm pretty sure this Yule Cat just wants ear scritches. What do you reckon? Would you risk it? 😂
Anyway, I hope all of you have had or will be having a wonderful Christmas! 💖
Whatever it is you celebrate around this time of year, I hope it's going okay and that you're healthy.Thanks for another wonderful year of support! I hope in 2022 you can continue to like my cuties and give them love. It'd mean a lot to me!✨