Yule 


Yule, the rebirth of the world
By Steve Stone

Each year we celebrate a holiday that transcends religion.  It is the one holy day that has a counterpart in nearly every belief system in existence.  Whether you call it Yule, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or anything else, it is still the same holy rebirth. It is the rebirth of the light and the world.

In Wiccan and Neopagan beliefs, Yule is the first holy day of the new year.  Samhain, or Halloween marks the end of the old.  In the Tarot deck, the death card means rebirth or new beginnings.  Halloween is that same holy day.  Halloween is the death of the old year that allows the new year to be born.  But is the old year really and truly done?  Time exists between Halloween and Yule, and yet the light declines and the year grows cold and deadly.  Is this declining light and cold harsh world what we should expect for a new year?

The time between the death of the old year at Halloween, and the birth of the new year at Yule is our time to mourn.  We mourn the passing of the old and try to look at our lives and see what it is and where it is heading.  It is a time of limbo; a time of purgatory; a time of waiting.  It is a time to live in the past and learn to let it go.

Yule is the new beginning.  Yule is the second chance.  Yule comes to us at our darkest time.  It comes at a time when we have nearly given up on the light.  Our days are short and cold, and our nights are long an uncomfortable.  We need the world to stop shutting us out, and give us some hope.  Yule is that hope.  Yule is the world promising us that this is as dark as it will get.   

After Yule the days will get longer.  Our light will return to us.  Our new year is finally born.  The small bundle of light and hope that we have waited for is finally here.  We will celebrate and welcome the light of the new year; the light of the new world.  We will finally see that there is more than just a past.  There is also a future.

At Yule we welcome the joy and hope of life and we say goodbye to the sorrows and fears of our past.  We do not forget the past; we merely put it into our memory and move on.

So this year when you light your Yule light, whether it is a log, a candle, or even a flashlight; remember to welcome the new light into the world, and embrace your future.


II) The Ritual:

This year, our Yule ritual will be a rebirth of the future.  Since Samhain we have been shrouded in darkness.  Yule brings us to the end of our darkest days, and gives us hope for the new year. 


The ceremony will include several Yule traditions. 

Smudging

Challenge at entry - You will be asked before entering the circle why you are here. If you cannot answer with a true and open heart, you will not be allowed in. Each and every one of us should come with the idea in mind that we are there for our beliefs first, and social interaction second.  Too often religion becomes nothing but a social club of us against them.  For Yule, let each person be a ‘me’, with his or her own individual beliefs; and let all the people around ‘me’ be ‘my friends with whom I worship.”

Calling corners 

Discussion of the limbo between Samhain and Yule.

Group event - spicing and then lighting the Yule Log. 

sharing our light with a candle ceremony. 

throwing our old irrational concerns into the fires of the Yule log - New beginnings are not meant to eliminate everything in your past.  You should bring one item with you that reminds you of a happy time in your past.  Only by remembering what it was that made us happy can we realized what we want in our future. We will write our concern on paper to discard. 

welcoming the coming times - No matter who you are, you want something.  Whether it is money, a new job, sex, chocolate; there is something that you want.  For this gathering bring something to represent your wants and goals for the next year.

a guided meditation – toning and sounding, then relaxation and rebirth.

eat and drink traditional Yule fare -  Hot cider will be provided. We will have our social in the circle

© Virtual Reflections 2016