Sunday, December 21, 2008

Blog Advent Tour

So today is my day to post on behalf of Marg at Reading Adventures and Kailana at The Written Word. I thought being Pagan I would post about Yule which is celebrated on the Winter Solstice (the shortest day of the year and longest night). The date varies slightly each year but is usually the 21st or 22nd and this year it is today.

Yule was celebrated before the birth of Christianity and many of the traditions have been incorporated into Christian lore. In the Pagan yearly cycle (called The Wheel by many) this is the time of the year that the Sun God is reborn (at midnight as the year turns and the days begin to get longer again). At thetime the wheel turns and begins it's cycle again.

Another tradition is theat the year is ruled by two Kings. The Holly King rules the waning year (from summer solstice to winter solstice) and the Oak King rules the waxing year (from winter solstice to summer solstice). Holly is used as a decoration at Yule to depict the out going Holly King, usually in the form of a wreath, hung upon the door. Also a Yule Log is brought in (today in the form of a cake) to celebrate his rebirth as Oak King. Mistletoe (sacred to the Sun) is used to invoke fertility and the healing powers of the increasing Sun. Sacred trees are decorated with offerings (the Christmas tree). It is a time of gift giving and thanks giving to the Goddess and God for the gifts that they will bring to us.

At the turning of the year, Yule is a time of awakening to new goals and leaving old regrets behind. I will be celebrating tonight by staying up to watch the sun rise and greet the new Winter King. Tonight is the night I will make any resolutions and set my personal targets for 2010.

I wish you all a Blessed Yule.

19 comments:

Nymeth said...

That was fascinating to read. Though I'm not Pagan myself, Pagan traditions make more sense to me on an emotional level than any others. Have a wonderful Yule!

mariel said...

And a very merry Yule to you! May all your winter dreams come true over the coming year. I too will be watching the sun rise, though I'll be wrapped up very warm with my antibiotics rather than frolicking about skyclad!

Clare said...

A very merry Yule :-)

Melissa said...

Fascinating.

I hope you have a merry Yule, and enjoy watching the sun rise. (All I can say is that I'm glad the days are getting longer starting tomorrow. I hate darkness!)

Kailana said...

Very cool post, Rhinoa! Thanks for joining in and sharing. :)

Marg said...

It is interesting to see what traditions have become part of Christian celebrations (the wreath, the holly and the yule log) from pagan traditions.

Thanks for your post and for participating in the tour!

valentina said...

I love this post. Thanks for reminding us of the Old ways:)

Robin said...

And a blessed yule to you, too, Rhinoa! A very interesting post, and I loved the Yule picture!

Chris said...

Merry Yule, Rhinoa!

Callista said...

Happy Yule to you too. We aren't doing a ritual this year, things have just been too hectic. Hubby and I (and daughters) aren't really celebrating Yule in any special way other than wishing each other a Happy Yule. I hope your Yule has been more interesting!

Stephanie said...

Merry Yule!! What a great post!

Caroline said...

A very happy Yule to you both! :)
This year we took the little 'un to her first theatre show, which was magic in itself on so many levels. And I have my green in the house so I'm happy (pics on blog). Hope you are feeling better!

Memory said...

Great post. Happy (slightly belated) Yule!

Bogsider said...

Merry Yule to you. I live in the cold North (Denmark) where Yule definitely was a thing for the Vikings of the past :-) And right now, when I am at my parent's place very far out in the country where the landscapes haven't changed that much the past 1000 years, one can really feel the NEED for Winter Solstice. It is SO dark out here, the sun is up for some hours and around 3 PM it starts getting dark again until the sun comes up around 8.30 AM....MERRY YULE :)

Lightheaded said...

Have a blessed Yule Rhinoa! This is such a lovely post.

jehara said...

happy yule! we celebrated at a friend's house who lead a lovely ritual where we burned burdens in the fireplace and placed our wishes for the new year on the yule tree. it was very moving. then b and i exchanged our gifts.
i hope your day was magical. ;)

Darla D said...

I hope you had a lovely Yule! I was just telling my girls about all the fun holiday traditions that come from so long ago. I love the feeling of continuing traditions that have been carried on time out of mind!

tanabata said...

Happy belated Yule. I hope you had a lovely day.

Ladytink_534 said...

Very neat poster! Hope your Yule was great!