This time of the year is a special time for many of us with the holiday season upon us. It is also the dark times and many of us struggle with the waning light and stress. It is a time to slow down and rest despite the many tasks and to-do lists. Can we go back to the magical time of our childhoods where we played in the snow, marveled at snowflakes and believed in Santa? I remember as a child making Christmas cookies with my mother and siblings, often more frosting landed in my mouth than on the cookie itself. The smell of the Christmas pine tree still makes me smile. Also, we’d spend hours creating apples and oranges covered in cloves. I try and capture some of those feelings in my practice of being a witch and pagan by celebrating Yule and the Winter Solstice. . Yule is just one of the many pagan festivals celebrated near the Winter Solstice throughout history. The Winter Solstice may be the darkest point of the year, but Yule is a celebration of light! From the greenery to the gold to the glimmering flames of candles, these are signs of life in the dead of winter. During the Winter Solstice, we embrace the longest and darkest night of the year with the least amount of daylight. The dark triumphs over the light, but this day signifies a turning point. It is a time where to recognize the gifts of winter, being thankful for the opportunity to slow down and reflect, to let go of all that is not serving us, but also to mourn the hardships of a cruel season that was filled with loss.
Hope is the theme of the Winter Solstice, knowing that life will return once again to nature. In our own lives, a new seed is sprouting even in the darkest of times. This is a celebration of the birth of the sun as it slowly grows in brightness and overtakes the darkness each day. At this time, we are also renewed and reborn with a hope to persist. This part of the wheel of the year is comparable to the new moon, the beginning of a new cycle. Yule is the best time to decide what you want to manifest in the coming year. It is also a great time to do shadow work and remove any blockages keeping you from actualizing your dreams.
One is the ways we can celebrate yule is to make a Witch ball. Witch Balls derive from an ancient pagan custom said to have originated in England, and brought over here sometime in the 18th century. A witch ball was designed to repel or ensnare evil spirits or energies and protect the home and its inhabitants. Yule Balls are a way to refresh the energy within your home as the wheel turns, and to be aware of what energies we choose to invite inside. Yule Balls are very easy to make. All you need is a glass or plastic ornament, a glue gun and some herbs, crystals, wire, feathers or even little trinkets. Get creative, use whatever you have in your closet, yard, or pantry. Traditionally glass was used to create Yule balls, but plastic works , too They are normally filled with all-natural ingredients that you can collect from around the house or in the garden.
Here are some suggestions;-Moss: to create a place of nurturing and for perseverance in achieving my goals Mugwort: to aid in divination (it helps me as a Tarot Card Reader), to provide relaxation and for protection Rose Quartz: to encourage self-love and love in relationships Carnelian: to stimulate creativity and keep me motivated Chamomile: to promote happiness and to relieve anxiety Lavender: to encourage a calm, peaceful environment filled with peace Spring of Rosemary: for protection, healing and wisdom Acorns: for protection and financial abundance Cinnamon Sticks: for protection, love and for success in business Bay Leaf: for protection Rose Petals: for a loving, harmonious home that heals all those that enter Key: a nod to Hecate, the Goddess who presides over magic and spells. Happy Yule & Winter Solstice.