Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Yule Log

The Yule log, symbolic of the New , Bright, Shinning, Son/ Sun

Death is always fallowed by rebirth… endings are fallowed by
beginnings, just as the Sun precedes the Moon…

In Roman tradition, December 25 was "Dies Natalis Solis Invictus" or
the Day of the Birth of the Undefeated Sun.
In ancient times of lands such as Ireland, on or about the date of
December 21or the Winter Solstice, was the time the Son/Sun comes back
to Earth. Many customs surround these 2 dates, one of which is the
burning of the Yule fire.

Nordic Pagans regard Yule as the New Year , coinciding with the Solar
year . ( Samhain coincides with the Lunar year)

Yule marks the succession from the Holly King, who is the king of the
Waning year, to the Oak King, who is the king of the
Waxing year/ It symbolizes the rebirth of the God to the Virgin Goddess.

Yule is a Lesser Sabbat and is a Sun Sabbat.

In earliest times this tradition , the Yule fire was a bonfire burned
out doors.
The sacred blaze was built to give power and life to the sun, among
other things.
Burning a Yule log not only gives out warmth against the winter cold,
but it is said to posses the power to
burn off the misfortune of the ending year and to bring good health
and prosperity, protection , fertility,
and good fortune in the year to come.

Traditionally a log of Oak, but may be made of any good, hard wood,
available to you.
It was carved with images of the blazing sun to encourage the return
of the Son/Sun, or Divine Child of Light, The God.
It was also carved with other symbols representing plenty, prosperity,
fertility, wealth and love.
The Yule log was decorated with whipped bees wax that had been scented
with bayberries ( or bay berry wax if available)
to bring good fortune throughout the year to come. Sprigs of
evergreens, considered sacred and representing the Eternal
aspect of the Goddess, were added as a traditional symbol of life
everlasting. Holly leaves , which are representative of The
Holy King, symbolic of death and to guard the household against evil
spirits and symbolic of the promise of ongoing life.
Oak Leaves and acorns to represent the Oak King, and symbolic of
rebirth and of all things living within both the material
and spirit world (the Oak tree is host to mistletoe plant); The white
berries and leaves of the Mistletoe ( also known as The
Golden Bough)for fertility and symbolic of the sacred seed of the God
who embodies the spirit of vegetation and divine life;
fruits and grains or other seeds to celebrate the past harvest and
the hope for a good harvest in the new year. Other item are
often attached in representation and symbolisms of requested
blessings for the up coming year as well.

Later in it's history the Yule fire was brought indoors in the form of
the Yule Log.
Later a log that will burn continuously for 3 days would be used and
it's remnants used to light the next years fire.
Most fire places now days could never safely accommodate a 3 day
So to compensate, some individuals will split the log into 3 pieces ,
then all three pieces are decorated and one piece burnt each day; or
decorate 3 smaller logs .
yet others are satisfied with one log burnt on the night of the Winter
Solstice only...
And if you don't have a fireplace, you can make a Yule log and bore
holes to accommodate 2 hand dipped tapers, 1 for the Mother Goddess,
and one for the Divine Child of the Light, the God, and burn the
tapers down to just safely above the decorations surrounding it...this
then can be placed in a secret part of the garden to return to the
Earth and bless the land to which it is given.

No mater you adaptation of this tradition… you are sure to be blessed
by the incorporation of it into your Yule celebration

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