Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Good Season's Greetings to you!
Tomorrow we celebrate the pre-Christian holiday of Yule or Jul as it was once spelled. Oh my, I could drown you in the historic lore but I'll keep it simple for now. For those who want a bit more history about this upcoming holiday, specifically December 25, please click on the bolded title of this discussion above. It's a hidden link that will take you to a Youtube video that gives a very accurate history of December 25th and what most people are celebrating this time of year in relation to Christmas. It's a very illuminating and educational video. I have done extensive research and have found it also to be very historically accurate. If your link doesn't work for some reason, copy and paste this link and you can watch it that way. http://youtu.be/xajCUE6oHkI
Jul or Yule is an ancient holiday celebrated by the Scandinavians, also the folks from Eastern Europe, the Germanic tribes and other areas the Celts took over as they migrated Westwards in their quest for peaceful lands to farm and live. The Celtic people enculturated the territories they overtook, which means they brought knowledge and advancements to the peoples of the lands they invaded.
They also adopted customs and traditions from the people they overtook. The Celtic societies became more advanced and civilized with their 'modern' advancements,inventions and innovations of the time. Yule, or a celebration of the Winter Solstice, seems to have been celebrated by many peoples from many cultures throughout time. Simply because people lived with a Wheel of the Year agricultural calendar that marked the important turning points of the calendar year. These points indicated when to plant, when to fertilize, harvest and when to leave the ground fallow.
The Winter Solstice is a time marking the longest night of the year, the shortest day. A special time to celebrate to be sure, because after tomorrow, the days become a bit longer every day, imperceptibly so in the beginning perhaps, but the days start to lengthen until we reach the Summer Solstice in June!! How wonderful and what a cause for celebration!! Bringing back the light in the darkest of winter! I'm ready!
We get our Yule tree, Yule log and Beltaine May Pole from this ancient tradition of Yule. It is said that the Germanic and Scandinavian tribes would cut down and bring into the village center a huge evergreen tree that would be symbolic of the birth, life, death and rebirth spiral dance we know today as reincarnation. That during the winter (death) we are still alive, only to be reborn in the springtime. Greens cut from the Yule tree would be brought indoors to represent symbolically this ever-life, ever-green, life after death concept.
The enormous tree, stripped of its greenery would be used in the spring to be the Maypole of the Beltaine festivities being garlanded with ribbons and flowers. After it had been seasoned for a year, perhaps a year and a day?, it would be used as the Yule log the next winter Solstice and burned in the center of the village. These enormous bon-fires were told of in legend as having a Yule log several feel tall and many yards long. A Yule fire that would burn for several days.
It is traditional that a piece of last years Yule log be saved and used to kindle the next years log, thus keeping a continuity and cycle that keeps on, year after year. It is as if the first Yule fire you've burned is continued with each successive year's Yule log you use and burn.
The Winter Solstice is also the only winter holiday we celebrate. We also have only one Summer holiday, the Summer Solstice. The other holidays are either spring or autumnal celebrations. Oh my! There is so much more we could discuss about this holiday,, but from a witches perspective, while its important to know your history, but one then needs to get out and live, celebrate and love!!
Especially this holiday season. Whatever you may call this holiday, and its correct whatever you call it as long as its meaningful to you, by all means be sure to celebrate in your way. A way that brings you pleasure, happiness and contentment. The magick of the season is yours if you want it. So . . . what do you want for this holiday season? I hope you get it.
May Peace and Happiness be yours this Winter Solstice!!!
© 2010-2011 Enchantments, LLC Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website.
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at Tuesday, December 20, 2011