We are here on the Wheel. Again and yet again, it is pointed out that Yule is a lesser “holiday” for pagans and not such a huge deal as the Christian Christmas has become. There are many websites which will explain all the ways in which pagan traditions were taken to make up the traditions that manifest at Christmas, the tree, the Holly King, the sweets, the mistletoe and more. I’m not one to repeat all that here.
Yule is important because it marks the longest night of the year. The days have gradually become shorter until winter arrives and while Winter is nowhere near done, Yule marks the promise that Light will reign again. From this day forward, each day will become a bit longer, the light will last longer. It’s a promise of Spring and Summer that seem so far away.
These days, it’s easy to forget that. We have electricity and furnaces and food in plenty. At this time of year, I am always amazed that in older times, people would have such faith in the turning of the seasons that they would feast on the darkest of days. Think about it.
Their homes were drafty and cold. Even when the harvests were good, they didn’t have the means to store food like we do. Their lives depended on what they had stored from the harvest and what the men could hunt. On December 21st, they still had the coldest months of January and February to depend upon their food stores then March before they saw a hint of fresh herbs growing wild. Game was scarce. Animals stuck close to their dens and men close to their fires. Yet, every year, from the humblest of towns
to the high halls of the lords
the lady of the house would take stock of her stores and lay out a feast for Yule. What faith that must have taken! To use the best of what you had to celebrate the coming of Light when you could not know if you would have enough to last through the coldest months!
That is the magic of Yule for me, that incredibly enduring Faith. I am always mindful of it as this season comes. I wonder that it does not get “lost” in our mad scramble for gifts and decorations. I try to take time to reflect on what really matters, not what gifts I can buy but what gifts I can give, of my time, my love, stories, food and just sharing good energy. Call old friends, forgive someone, laugh with children, share joy and light, the riches you have and have faith that these are things you will not run out of.
Send a card: If you are looking for pagan cards, I know the perfect place to find them. Moondragon Cards is based in the UK and has some gorgeous cards for all seasons AND calandars! Find them on Facebook
Celebrate the birth of the child of Light