This is the “Long Night”. The longest night of the year, the time of the deep dark, that will pass with the rising of the sun, tomorrow morning.
It is a night that is pregnant with possibilities. The Goddess will give birth to, this night the Oak King, who will slay the Holly King in the spring.
Christians seem to think that this holiday was created by or for them, when in fact; Pagans were celebrating the Winter Solstice long before Christians were a twinkle in the Deity’s eye.
In Pagan cultures, we celebrate the birth of such deities as Bacchus, Mithras, Dionysus, and Sol. The Romans gave the name of Dies Natalis Solis Invictito (Day of the Unconquered Sun) to the holiday. With the rise of Christianity, Jesus was added to that list deities celebrated on December 25th.
Yule is actually what the Germanic (Heathens) call the Winter Solstice. Their celebrations include the burning of the Yule log, decorating trees, feasting and visiting with friends and family. The night before Yule, is c
alled Mordnacht, or “Mother’s Night” (Yule Eve), which is a celebration of the returning of fertility to the world.
Many Wiccans also call the holiday Yule, though their celebrations are a little lower key than those of the Asatrau (Heathens). Many will stay up and watch through the longest night, awaiting the birth of the new sun, signaling the beginning of the end of Winter and the journey toward Spring. Following the Asatrau traditions, there may be a tree and a Yule log.
Tradition is to have every member of the household sit on the Yule log and make a wish, and then to burn the Yule log all the way through the night, to ensure the wishes come true.
We feast, and sing. Give to the poor and to the needy, decorate and celebrate. We aren’t all that different, you see. We all have wishes for this season of joy. We are all awaiting the birth of something big.
May this season of joy, peace and love bring you and yours all the things that you need…
Blessed Yule, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza