Hello Beautiful Souls and a very Happy Yuletide season to you.
We will experience a beautiful full moon in Cancer on Yule. On this extraordinarily rare night, we are witnessing the last Full Moon of 2018 on the day of Winter Solstice and the holiday of Yule. It is a great time of power and transformation and change.
Today I’d like to share with you a little bit about Yule and how I celebrate this holiday.
First thing I like to do is redo my altar the day before, or the day of Yule. I’ve made that a tradition for myself. I like to bring in that new energy right at the solstice. I always have all the elements present. Water – are the seashells I collected from a beach in Ventura County. Also once any of my candles start to burn they can be counted as “water” while they have burning liquid. Earth – would be the many crystals I use on my altar or some pink Himalayan sea salt I have in a small bowl. Air – Is the incense and smudging herbs I use daily. I also tend to have a feather laying on my altar somewhere. Fire – Are the candles I already mentioned. I always have a few tea light holders and a large main candle. I use corresponding colors for the season. If that is not possible for you, white candles are the go-to color that works for everything. Spirit – Is me and I also may have a fairy or Goddess figure on my altar. Then from there, I go with whatever feels good to add that will reflect the season. Herbs, winter items like snowflakes, a little box with my written intentions, oracle cards or tarot cards, trail mix or fruit for offerings. Things like that are all wonderful to do.
Next, I love to bake and cook for the season. Gingerbread is always the traditional way to go, but I love to make things with chocolate and peppermint, that is my go-to favorite. I also like to bake for gift giving. I love to do press cookies, snickerdoodles, and molasses cookies. I still like to make pumpkin chocolate chip bread as well throughout the New Year.
Cleansing myself before I do a simple solitary ritual at night is important. That means an indulgent bath. I will add salts, oils, and herbs to my bath to relax and cleanse my energy. I like to have lit candles and some Indy jazz or meditation music going. I have received some powerful visions when I take baths and I like to be prepared if that happens by setting a mood for my space. I also smudge myself with Paulo Santo and Sage. (I have another blog on how I do that)
If possible I like to visit with some of my dearest friends and give them Yule gifts or my baked goods. Sharing a cup of coffee, eggnog, hot mulled spice wine or cider and enjoying their company is the best way I like to spend the holiday. Sharing stories, reflecting on the year we just had and making plans for the future can be really healing.
I want to share a little history about the Yule Log – The Yule Log is an ancient symbol of the season, it came from the Celts. The log would be lit from the remains of the previous year’s log. It could either be done by setting up a bonfire or traditionally done in the hearth or fireplace; it symbolized the return of the Sun. The entire log was decorated with holly, mistletoe, and evergreens to represent the intertwining of the god and goddess who are reunited on this Sabbat. It may also be dressed in wine or oils to bless it. Different parts of the world have slight variations of this tradition. Pine and Oak are the most common woods that are used. Each kind of wood has a different meaning. Pine signifies prosperity and Oak was for healing, strength, and wisdom. It is also common to carve symbols into the long, things you wish to manifest for the coming year, or a sun representing the sun’s return. Another tradition is once it begins to burn, each family member throws in one or more dried holly sprigs and says farewell to the old calendar year, reflecting on everything that has happened. Farewells can take the form of thanksgiving and appreciation and or the releasing of old habits or personal troubles, and then family members would contemplate the year ahead and the power of possibilities. Each member then throws in an oak twig or acorn into the fire to represent the year ahead, and calls out a resolution and/or a hope, and then stories were told.
This is one of my favorite old traditions that isn’t really practiced much in modern times with the common use of central heating. Not many people in the states use their fireplace as much anymore if they even have one.
So let’s move into a little journaling as a kind of simple ritual to do with this Yule Full moon.
This moon in Cancer is inviting us to step into a deep, dark portal, this opening is not loud and bold like we may have experienced before, but rather, it’s a soft and quiet thing, beckoning us to come home, into ourselves.
In what ways have you been neglecting your home, your body, your heart?
How much of your days do you spend living from the truth inside yourself? How much is spent living outside, detached, and distracted?
We tend to keep ourselves very busy so we don’t take the time or make the excuse we don’t have the time to really sit and do inner shadow work.
This Full Moon in Cancer sits closely by the Yule Log’s hearth and softly asks you to sit beside her, to allow her to wrap you in gentle and homey warmth. Let the energy of this Cancer moon help you raise your emotional energy to the surface. Let it ebb and flow. How are you feeling? What is coming to the surface first?
Curl up with a blanket, a nice cup of tea and your journal and favorite pen. Really dive deep into the places you’ve been ignoring, be introspective, go into your inner cave ask Bear for guidance to show you a vision.
This is the season of going inward; winter is a time of rest, of coming home, home to your sense of self. Tending to our inner hearth’s flame, stoke it and add fuel, see to it that we keep our hearts well-nourished.
I hope you have had a blessed Yule. Be well on your journey.
Love and Light Sharase