Simple Yule Ritual

This ritual is intended to awaken the Sun and lift your spirits and of those around you. It is also published in the 2010 Winter magazine.

- a golden or yellow candle (the God Candle)
- matches or a lighter
- a fireproof bowl
- a piece of paper and a pen or pencil

If performed in a group
- one extra candle, pen and piece of paper for each person participating

Decorate your altar as you like. Make sure the only candle on the altar is the gold or yellow candle. Place as many unlit candles around your sacred space as you want. If you are performing this ritual with a group, give each member a candle and leave it at that. Be careful none of the candles can burn you while you work.
If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so now.

Take the time to focus and then light the God Candle while you say something like:

Great God of ages, awaken now. It is the time of light. You have slept and rested, now be reborn. We of the old ways welcome you.”

Light all other candle on the room or around the circle now. Do so in a clockwise manner. If you are performing this ritual as a group, ask the first person on the right of the altar to come up to the God Candle and light their candle. While they do so, let them say something like:

I welcome you”.

Take a moment to think about the return of the sun and what it means in your life. Give each member of the circle a pen and a piece of paper and let them write down what they want to leave behind in the new year and what they will strive to do. Let each member carefully light their note at the God Candle and envision their promise to the Awakened God. Meditate on the ritual, the sun and your promise and then close the circle.

Your work is done.

How to make a Yule log

Making a Yule log isn’t hard. It’s mostly a matter of finding the right ingredients and putting them together. We make a Yule log to celebrate the return of the sun as the days grow longer yet again. Most wood kinds are perfectly alright to use but every type of wood has its own special qualities you should know about before lighting it on fire.
There are a couple of basic woods you can use. Ash, Aspen, Birch, Holly, Oak, Pine and Willow are the most common.

Ash is used for health, prosperity and forms of protection.
Aspen opens your mind to the world around you and grants insight.
Birch opens the doorway to new beginnings.
Holly opens you mind to the world beyond ours and facilitates visions and meditation.
Oak provides strength, wisdom and healing.
Pine can be used for the attraction of money.
Willow invokes the Goddess and helps you achieve your goals, dreams and (hidden) desires.

After you have chosen a type of wood to use, you need to decorate your log. You can do this by wrapping it with burnable ribbons of natural fiber, adding pine cones and other plant material to it and, most important, carving symbols into the log that represent your hopes and dreams for the coming year.

You can perform a little ritual in which you meditate about your wishes and desires before carving them into the log. This way you infuse the log with your energy and when you set it on fire, you release this energy and allow it to carry your dreams to the God and Goddess.

Lighting the log is best done in a dimly lit room with friends and family around you. Tell stories about Yule tide and share some food and drinks. Traditionally you light the Yule log on a fire started by the remainder of the Yule log from the previous year. This piece of wood has been kept in the home for protection throughout the last year and you can do the same with the remains of this log.

If you don’t have a fireplace, don’t worry. You can light a branch, carved with symbols, in a fireproof bowl on your altar or take a log and carve space into it for a candle. You can then carve your symbols into the candle before you light it on fire.

A warning; when working with fire, take all the necessary precautions to be safe. No tradition is worth lighting your house on fire for!

Enjoy your Yule log and if you want to share pictures of yours, please feel free!