The winter solstice is the death of the sun; or so it’s considered, as it’s the shortest day of the year. Yule is a solemn occasion, one filled with magick and mystery. The date of this sabbat varies from December 20th to the 23rd, depending on the year. This year, it’s today. Happy Solstice!
The Winter Solstice marks the dark half of the year relinquishing to the light half. Starting tomorrow morning, the sun will creep a little higher, and say a little longer, each day until Summer Solstice. Known as the ‘Solstice Night,’ or longest night of the year, our ancestors celebrated the rebirth of the giver of life to thaw the frozen earth. It is a time of reflection and planning.
Today, the Yule time of year is most commonly associated with Christmas, yet the pagan roots are unmistakable. Emperor Aurelian established December 25th as the birthday of the ‘Invincible Sun’ in the third century as part of the Roman Winter Solstice celebrations. Shortly after, in in 273, the church selected that day to represent the birthday of Jesus, and by 336, this Roman solar feast day was Christianized. Most of the common lore, customs and traditions and rituals associated with Christmas are actually linked to Winter Solstice celebrations of ancient Pagan cultures. So decorate a Yule tree, light a Yule Log and keep some of the ashes for enchantments, make some Apple Cider. And most of all, enjoy and give thanks to the Gods for the turning of the Wheel, back towards the light!