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Post by Lunar on Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:09 pm

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THE WINTER SOLSTICE: YULE - 21st DECEMBER

Yule is the time we celebrate the return of the waxing sun. Light and life can be seen to be returning and conquering death. Yule is a turning point, a point of change, where the tides of the year turn and begin to flow in the opposite direction. It is the darkest time of the year, the time of the longest night, but there is the promise of the return of light.

We encourage the sun to rise and to grow in power, and we remember the seasons of plenty. Magickally we bring back the season of plenty, and we feast on rich foods and drinks. The fir tree represents life amidst death, it is evergreen, representing everlasting life, and lasting friendship.

Holly and Mistletoe bear berries at this time, symbolizing fertility. Mistletoe berries are white, representing the semen of the Horned God, the Holly berries are blood red, symbolizing both the menstrual blood of the Goddess and the sacrifice of the God. Evergreen trees also represent youth and freshness, and are symbols of the promise of spring. A yule custom, still practised at Christmas is to dress an evergreen tree, and make offerings.

We honour the spirit of the tree, and what it represents. It is sad that a custom of honouring the living tree has been replaced by the meaningless decoration of ghastly plastic or tinsel trees, or the cutting down of thousands of living trees so that people can have them in their living rooms for a couple of weeks, and then dump them, causing environmental damage. It is far better to honour a living tree, outdoors.

The tree may be decorated with appropriate offerings, fruit, decorated pine cones, jewellery, symbols of the sun, symbols of fertility, birds, animals, etc. At yule we say goodbye to the dying sun, and wait through the long, cold night for the sun's rebirth. The night belongs to the Goddess, and is a night of waiting, through her pregnancy, for the Child of Promise.

In the morning we greet the new sun and celebrate the waxing year. The rising sun brings the promise of the spring and the gifts that will bring. It is still a long time before the sun will be strong, but we hope and we trust. The sun is now the Child of Promise, the young hero God. It is a time of making wishes and hopes for the coming year, and of setting resolutions. From the darkness comes light.

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