By: Dani Kessel
With the holidays coming up, it’s time to start planning and scheduling out our celebrations. Woohoo! Maybe you are looking to mix up your yearly traditions. Maybe you are spending the holidays at home for the first time, and you want to start your own traditions. Either way, there are tons of Yule rituals in which you can partake. Each has its own spiritual significance and history in Wiccan religions, but they also can be used secularly too if they’re meaningful to you.
Here are five fun Yule rituals you can add to your holiday celebrations:
- Takes bath with essential oils
With Yule starting the light months, take the time to cleanse yourself from the darkness. Essential oils each have different uses. This is my recommended blend for Yule, Winter Solstice, or Christmas: nutmeg for muscle relaxation; cedarwood for decreased anxiety, improved concentration, and muscle relaxation; sweet orange for mental tranquility and rejuvenation; pine for improved concentration; chamomile for decreased anxiety, mental tranquility, and muscle relaxation; and frankincense for mental tranquility and rejuvenation. [Note: always remember that you must dilute the essential oils with a carrier oil like almond coconut, sunflower, jojoba, avocado, or (my personal favorite) olive. Putting essential oils straight into bath water or directly on your skin without diluting it can cause skin irritation or burns.] A ritual bath with essential oils will hydrate your skin, relax you, clear your mind, and reconnect you with the scent and essence of wintery nature.
- Cast a candle circle
Creating a candle circle can help you meditate or feel safe and connected throughout Yule. You will need 5 candles to represent the 5 elements–air, water, earth, fire, and spirit. If you want to coordinate the candles more, you can make each one a different color (any colors that represent the elements for you personally). Otherwise, pick candles with a scent that evokes the spirit of winter. Cinnamon is my favorite! Place the candles in a circle. Going clockwise, light each one, and thank an element. Mindfully, allow yourself to connect with the natural world during this time. When you are prepared to close the circle, go counterclockwise, thanking the element and blowing the candle out.
- Decorate a tree
Yule trees have gone all the way back to the Celtic days of Druids. They pre-dated the Christmas trees. To honor and decorate your Yule tree, decorate the tree with white lights to symbolize the stars, sun, and moon. This acknowledges the coming of the light. Hang clear ornaments filled with seeds, branch clippings, holly, small acorns, etc. They’ll root you to nature. Adorn the tree with crystals. String up popcorn and cranberries to wrap around the tree. Traditionally, the Yule tree would be outside and this would feed the birds. Also, to promote fertility, put up some painted, egg-shaped trinkets.
- Create an intentions ornament
The first step to making my kind of intentions ornament (there are multiple ways to do it) is to put together a twine ball ornament. It works a lot like decoupage. [The instructions are here.] After your glue is finished drying and the balloon is popped, add little bells or flowers. Now, it’s time to write down our intentions. What are your wishes? What are your desires for the new year? What do you intend to achieve soon? Write them down on small slips of paper, fold them really small, and put the paper inside the twine ball ornament. Once you’ve placed all your intentions inside, hang it on your tree.
- Bake a Buche De Noel (Yule Log Cake)
One of the most well-known rituals for Yule is burning the yule log. But I, and many others, don’t have fireplaces or firepits available. In place of this, for the modern, apartment-dwelling person, you can cook a Buche De Noel. This cake pays homage to the old Nordic tradition, but it’s also extremely practical and delicious. I’ve eaten Buche De Noel before, and it is like a giant Hostess Ho Ho. It tastes amazing! However, I have never personally made one, so here is a recipe to work from. [I know that this year, I’m going to try my hand at making a Buche de Noel. We’ll see how that goes later.] Consider incorporating this Yule tradition into your repertoire of yearly plans and include it in your holiday feast. Yum, yum!
Those five rituals are fun, easy, and a great way to celebrate Yule. They invoke the spirit of the holiday. They allow you to center yourself, reconnect with nature, and move forward with positivity. Whether you are celebrating because of spirituality or celebrating because of cultural significance, I hope you have a blessed Yule.
Thanks for reading this article. How do you celebrate Yule? Let us know in the comments below! And don’t forget to like and subscribe before you leave. We’ll see you next time.