Sabbath Yule – How to prepare for the New Year

14 December 2023by Kinga Oliwia Kujawa
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Yule is a time of merriment and alignment.

What will you learn from this blog?

As we begin to approach the end of another year, it is natural to feel both excitement and anxiety about the next chapter unfolding before us.

Christmas brings joy and merriment, but it also sheds light on where we have been and where we are going.

Many of us may be wondering what’s next – whether it’s a new job, a relationship, an adventure or simply greater fulfilment.

The end of this year provides the perfect opportunity to not only look back at the past, but also to look within, reflect on the deepest desires of the heart and create our own destiny for what lies ahead.

Celebrating the yule sabbath can help you gain more clarity, wisdom and empowerment, so that you start the new year strong, full of life and truly ready to grasp what nourishes your soul. 

In this article, I’ll tell you more about the Yule Sabbath and share some meaningful ways to thoughtfully prepare to embrace 2023 with openness, intention and possibility.

What is Yule?

From 21 December until the New Year, pagans, witches and astrologers, will witness one of the most important Sabbaths of the year: Yuletide.

This is your time to invoke good luck and abundance. 

Over the centuries, Yule has undergone countless changes – but what then is the history of this Sabbath?

And what are the traditions we use today?

You can find all the answers to these questions here.

In the middle of winter, with the arrival of Yule, we welcome the shortest day and the longest night of the year. We celebrate the return of the sun and the arrival of spring light as the days begin to lengthen.

The winter solstice reminds us that death leads to rebirth.

In the northern hemisphere, Yule lasts from Sunday 22 December to 2 January.

In the southern hemisphere, the dates for the celebration of the summer solstice can vary, depending on tradition.

Yule celebrations and rituals usually take place on the shortest day and longest night of the year – the winter solstice.

History of Yule

Around the fifth century, the first traces of Yule celebrations appeared in ancient Germanic calendars.

Along with Anglo-Saxon calendars that celebrated the annual winter tradition of the ýlir, Yule became a holiday that suited the longest and coldest nights of the year.

Many of the old traditions described and documented included sacrificing animals, feasting in temples and joyous drinking with other farmers and clan members.

 

Today, the celebration of Yule combines various traditions from around the world.

For example, the celebration of the Yule log, which is a decorated tree or tree trunk, originates from the Norse tradition. The Celtic druids gathered mistletoe to decorate their celebrations.

These well-known traditions, which are often featured in Hallmark films, have their roots in the pagan and spiritual beliefs of the past.

Many pagans and witches are guided by the story that Yule is the final moment of the battle between the Oak King and the Holy King, in which the Holy King is victorious.

Yule is a festival dedicated to his triumph.

 

YULE and Christmas

You may be wondering how Yule and Christmas traditions are so strongly linked.

The obvious answer is usually correct – we blame the missionaries!

Over the centuries, hundreds of Christian and Catholic missionaries have amassed information, cultures and secrets, transforming the ancient pagan Yuletide festival into a religious God festival that better fits the Bible.

Christmas trees are the direct inheritors of the Yule clearing, we still hang mistletoe over our doors, and the 25th day, which is said to be the day of Jesus’ birth, is actually the midpoint between the winter solstice and the end of the year.

Yule has had a huge impact on today’s society in unimaginable ways.

So why not reach for the fullness and celebrate?

Common Yule symbols

Every sabbath has its own unique symbols.

Yule is no different.

You might consider using these symbols to decorate your home and make Yule a part of your daily life in December.

Colours

Green, red and white are obvious associations with Christmas.

It’s also the Yuletide spirit! Other popular colours are silver and gold, with which the strength and power of the sun and the moon are combined.

During Yuletide, lighting green and red candles symbolises abundance and protection in the home, being a tribute to the king of holly and oak.

Animals

Cattle have a special significance for Yule. Cows, goats and lambs are important in a long tradition, as can be seen in the Swedish obsession with goats.

Even in Christian folklore, lambs and donkeys witnessed the birth of Christ!

Placing a lamb or goat figurine on a Christmas altar can evoke their strength and resilience.

Plants

holly, mistletoe, myrrh, frankincense, pine, evergreen, nutmeg, cinnamon and thistle are popular herbs used at Christmas.

You might consider preparing foods or drinks that contain these herbs or use them to decorate Yule Logs or your home!

 

Rituals for Yule

Are you looking forward to celebrating but don’t know where to start?

Here are three rituals you can use over Christmas to deepen your connection to Shabbat!

A ritual for clearing space

Welcome the crisp and powerful Yuletide energies with this cleansing ritual to let go of the old and find the new.

Light a pleasantly scented candle in the space you wish to cleanse and slightly swing the front door open (no worries, no cold coming in!).

Then vacuum all the surfaces and gather the dust and dirt into a pile shape by the front door.

Imagine collecting not only the visible dust and dirt, but also the metaphysical energies floating in the air around you.

Sweep the heavy old energy into a pile, and when you’re ready, carry it far out the door!

Now you have a cleared space in which to do all your tasks!

I also recommend setting a pot of boiling water over a small fire for meditation.

A pot of boiling water over a small fire

A pot of boiling water is a great way to fill your space with positive energy and abundance.

All you need is a few oranges, pieces of cinnamon, cloves, a pinch of sea salt and enough water to lightly cover the ingredients in the pot.

Slice the oranges (with the tops off) and place them in the pot of your choice, being careful not to overcrowd it.

Add the spices and water and bring to a simmer over the lowest heat.

 

stary gar na kuchence

 

Stir the pot counterclockwise to chase any negative energy out of your space and then clockwise to attract abundance, joy and warmth.

Allow this to simmer until the oranges soften and the water evaporates. Just be careful not to burn the pot!

Decorating the Yule log 

As mentioned earlier, decorating a Yule log is a great way to get into the Yule spirit. 

The best part of this ritual is that you can personalise it however you like! 

You can get a full pine tree or just a plain piece of wood, and use any decorations, natural or artificial, that suit you. 

 

Cinnamon sticks are great to add a wonderful scent to your home! 

Before Yule ends, you can even burn a piece of wood in the fireplace or bonfire, releasing all that magical energy into the universe, which will then come back to you three times over!

Just remember to stay safe when burning wood!

Light in Yule:

Candles have always been abundantly lit to welcome the sun and the energy of God.

In ancient beliefs, the God is said to be born of the Goddess just at Yule.

Now that she is growing up and gaining strength, she brings light and new spring growth.

It is said to light all the candles in the house and keep them burning throughout the darkest day.

People also burn Yule logs in the fireplace.

In Nordic tradition, a whole tree was brought home and then the largest end of the trunk was added to the fireplace and burned.

While it is not recommended to burn the whole Christmas tree in your home, if you have a fireplace, Yule night would be the perfect opportunity to light it up and snuggle up in front of it with a glass of mulled wine or cider.

A Yule Christmas spell for prosperity and love in the next decade:

You will need: a red, green, gold or white candle and a lighter.

Optional: green, red or gold glitter and oil of cinnamon, cedar, pine, knob myrrh or frankincense.

How to perform a Yule candle spell:

Recite a prayer that invokes the ever-present life energy – invite all spiritual guides, guardian angels and deities you resonate with, the energy of winter, the Goddess and God.

Take a candle and if you have oil and glitter, anoint the candle with oil and then cover it with glitter.

Optional: you can also carve something on the candle that is meaningful to you and resonates with the Yule energy using a knife, before applying the oil.

Light the candle.

Say the following incantation aloud:

As I sit in reflection on the longest winter night, 

I welcome with my candles the return of light. 

I enter the new year, reborn and renewed, 

Prosperity and love will guide me.

Keep the candle flame burning around the clock by lighting additional candles in your home to brighten each room with your Yule light. It’s a special time to celebrate with loved ones, spend time with those feeling safe, and reflect on goals achieved and wishes for the new year and decade.

If you are looking for new candles for your altar or for spells, you can click here to see the beautiful options available in the Tree of Wisdom shop HERE:

MANIFESTING CANDLES

And if you want to make sure that both the spell and the ritual itself are performed correctly and thus enhance the power of your intention and Yule spell, join our group Sabbath 

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

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