It’s a funny thing, Yule. For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, it strikes towards the end of June, whereas for those of us in the North, it’s late December – around the time of the Christian celebration of Christmas. I suppose in a way that makes it easier for we Southers to celebrate, as we’re not ‘competing’ with the Christianisation of what was originally a pagan festival? I know for me personally it does, I can’t speak for anyone else unless I were to ask them; and to be frank, that’s a fairly large number of people and I doubt I have the time or the contacts to reach out to them all!
For us this year, the celebration was dimmed a little due to a severe bout of illness for Darrell, so the whole ‘let’s have a slap up roast dinner and fruitcake!’ plans have been put on hold for another week or so until his body is up to it. We did however, hold a small ritual that was put together in under 15 minutes, which is something Darrell’s not used to, being more of an all the bells and whistles kind of pagan. Don’t get me wrong, I like all the bells and whistles too sometimes, but when there’s one of you sick and the other is trying to create simplicity in their practice (as well as being tired from the necessary nursing and cleanup duties), off the cuff is a reasonable alternative. So, Darrell was up, dressed and functioning to a human degree, and I was poking about in the garage for the candle supplies at 1130hrs.
By 1155hrs, I had the candles set up in the holders – the Yule Log for next year is on the list for adventuring out to get when we have vacation time soon – and the frankincense and myrrh cones were safely balanced in the cauldron for lighting. I’d dug out Dorothy Morrison’s The Craft – a Witch’s Book of Shadows (Llewellyn, 2007) and had in mind what was going on. A quick explanation and we had kick off at midday, a very appropriate time to welcome the return of the sun!
1 Red candle – represents the Mother, 1 Dark Green candle – represents the Crone, 1 White candle – represents the Maiden, 1 Yellow or Gold candle – represents the Sun/Young God, Incense was 2 cones of frankincense and 2 cones of myrrh.
We lit the incense and the tea lights that are a constant on the altar, each of us setting up circle in our own fashion. The trio of dark green, red and white candles were put on the top level of the altar, with the red in the centre, the green to the left and the white to the right. This was kind of to represent the way the Goddess is moving through her wheel – currently the Mother, soon to be Maiden again. Then, we read from The Craft – a Witch’s Book of Shadows by Dorothy Morrison (p160) as we were lighting three candles:
Old King we thank You for all You’ve done
For lessons learned, and victories won
We must, however bid You adieu
For Your reign is finished – ‘tis over and through
Come forth Young King of newest light
Be born with ease; grow strong and bright
Gain strength and stature in the sky
Shed Your warmth on us now from on high
We took a moment of quiet then lit the yellow candle with the following, also from p160 of The Craft – a Witch’s Book of Shadows by Dorothy Morrison:
O Newborn Sun of love and light
Rise quickly now, rise high and bright
Gain power in the sky above
We grant you our support and love
After elevating the yellow candle from the lower level of the altar to the upper level to represent the rising of the sun, we ended the ritual. The candles were allowed to burn down, which isn’t really the usual – the trio of red, green and white are usually kept to light the following Yule – but we’re going to start fresh in 2012 with an actual Yule log that we can set the candles into.
And that was it. Quick, simple, a little different, and worked well for us! It also made me realise I need to get some more ink cartridges for the printer, as I don’t have my generic rituals in my BOS at the moment. Then again, the BOS weighs in at around 8kgs (around 15-16lbs) and is straining at the binder clips, so perhaps I might have to ask Darrell nicely to help me out by creating a second volume…
Blessed Yule everyone!