The Winter Solstice is a time of celebration for all. But this time of the year holds a specific meaning for those who practice Paganism, specifically Wicca. It’s the celebration known as Yule.
Yule is a time to celebrate the time when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half (aka the Winter Solstice). The next morning at sunrise, the sun begins to stay out in the sky longer each day. This is considered the Sun’s rebirth and is a joyous time.
One Yule tradition is the Yule log. In the early days of Yule, the Yule log was the highlight of the celebration. The log had to be either harvested or given as a gift, never bought. Once placed in a fireplace, it was decorated with greenery doused with cider and ale and sprinkled with flour before being lit by a piece of the previous year’s log. Ash is the traditional wood of the Yule log. However, modern practitioners normally will use a log as a base for 3 candles (the colors of the candles can symbolize either the season, the God, or the Goddess.)
Some modern-day Christmas traditions are even inspired by Yule, like caroling, kissing under mistletoe, and decorating the Yule tree. The holiday even honors Kriss Kringle, the Germanic Pagan God of Yule!
Most modern Wiccan’s don’t exactly follow the older traditions of Yule. Most will have a Yule log, do Yuletime magick, bake Yule treats, and honor the God and Goddess of the season. Since communities of Wiccan’s are quite rare, most celebrate the holiday on their own.