I have struggled with this time of year in the past, particularly with how to celebrate this time of year. I have never been a religious person and I was lucky to grow up in a family where religion was never “pushed” onto me. So the idea of celebrating someone’s birthday who I have no personal connection or devotion to never resonated with me. But if you take the reason out of the holiday, it’s like, what’s the point? Why am I putting a tree up? Why am I wrapping presents, why am I buying presents? Why am I decorating in certain colors and making special foods?
Since embracing witchcraft and Paganism I now have a reason, the Winter Solstice! Yule is a wonderfully cozy time getting mentally ready for the winter ahead with family and friends. It’s a gateway if you will. A gateway leading away from the dark half of the year and embracing the lighter, brighter days. It’s a time to share and explore family traditions.
I am excited to decorate my house with a twinkling tree, glittering ornaments and decorations, and making my family’s traditional cakes and cookies. I love getting to take walks in the dark evenings, filling my lungs with the chilling air (well, the mild cold air we get in Texas). Since moving with my husband over a thousand miles away from our families, I can’t wait to solidify our own family traditions to celebrate the reason for my season, Yule!
The following are my personal correspondences and traditions that I am going to use and follow for Yule/the Winter Solstice.
Colors: red (fire, warmth, family), green (life), white (purity), silver (the moon, the “dark” half of the year), gold (the sun, the “light” half of the year), and blue (cold, the changing season, calmness, introspection)
Crystals: garnet, diamond, obsidian, and clear quartz
Herbs: cinnamon, star anise, rosemary, nutmeg, vanilla
Incense: frankincense and myrrh
Symbols: candles, wreaths (the wheel of the year,completion of another cycle), yule logs, yule tree (the tree of life), and bells (drive away evil spirits)
Plants: holly, mistletoe, ash, oak, christmas cactus, and pine
Foods: cakes/cookies, nuts, dried fruits, turkey, baked fish, stews, carrots, squash, kale, daikon, potatoes, leeks, brussels sprouts, clementines, and pears.
Working magic: cleansing, protection spells, manifestation of goals and dreams, leaving offerings, and enchanting of objects (or gifts!)
As this is my first year of practicing witchcraft, I super look forward to creating my own Yule ritual using these correspondences and making a tarot spread!