This year, in addition to the Yule ritual we’ll be doing tomorrow night with our little study group, I’m planning to loosely follow along with Three Cranes Grove for their “Yule Along”. It’s a set of 12 “feasts” between the solstice and the new year, intended to bring reflection and celebration of the season. I like the idea a lot, and though I’ll be traveling for part of it, I definitely want to do some of these activities.
This is what they have suggested, as well as my plans for each day:
- 12/19 Greeting the winter wanderer (Woden) – I’ll do an offering to the Wild Hunt (mostly propitiatory – while I honor the Hunt, I don’t want them hanging around my house!)
- 12/20 Mother’s night/Idesa/Solstice vigil (to be posted that day) – Yule Ritual to the Idesa and Frige, with bonus Solstice Vigil Candles lit from the setting sun, to be burned throughout Yule. Opportunity for oathmaking here; I am considering an oath towards this new study group, to solidify my commitment to them.
- 12/21 Solstice Day – Baking! Lighting candles! Hooray for the Sun!
- 12/22 Nature Spirits – Offerings to the nature spirits
- 12/23 Feast of Fools – Not sure yet what to do here. This is typically about role reversal, but I may just do something silly with my husband/friends.
- 12/24 Alfar and housewights – housecleaning and offerings to the spirits of my home
- 12/25 Spirit of hospitality and gifting – Presents! Hooray!
- 12/26 Celebrations of winter/snow – Celebrating being warm with my family.
- 12/27 Celebration of the evergreen – More presents, this time with extended family. I need to figure out how to work evergreens into this.
- 12/28 God/desses of the household (Frige) – Knitting! Lots of knitting, as I’m working on two big projects right now.
- 12/29 Shining ones – Offerings to Thunor, Frige, and Ing Frea
- 12/30 Bringing in the boar (Ing Frea, deities/spirits concerning oaths) – Roast beast! (Roast beast is a feast I don’t mind in the least!) I’ll make pot roast and consider my new year’s resolutions and any oaths I am considering making.
- 12/31 Twelfth Night — Resolutions, divination, remembrances, gratitudes – Party! Big party at my house, with friends and games and fun and champagne. I’ll initiate a conversation about resolutions, and maybe do some divination regarding the new year.
- 1/1 New Year’s Day — Returning the home to regular time – Clean up, take down, and put away all the holiday stuffs. Get ready to go back to work, cook lunches, and make some pre-prepared meals. Basically return to the normal routine.
Some of these will be a little difficult, but I think planning for them in advance will make sure I stick to it. I love the idea of making Yule a “season” – a time of feasting, sacrifice, and honoring the various Gods and spirits of my path. I think this is a fun way to do it, and it means a little bit of sacred time each day, instead of trying to cram it all into one day and getting burnt out.
What are you doing to celebrate the Solstice/Yule? Any family traditions you have that you’d like to share? I’m always looking for new traditions to borrow and try out!