Yule, or the Winter Solstice has been so mixed up with Christmas that sometimes it is hard to separate the two. In fact, the celebration of Christ's Birth was moved to coincide with the Winter Solstice Celebrations so that people would not feel they were missing out on their Mid-Winter festivities.
Falling on the longest night of the year, Yule celebrates the rebirth of the sun and humanities certain knowledge that no matter how dark and cold it might be, the sunny days and fertile fields will return. It is this energy of returning and rebirth that we can harness in our own personal Yule rituals to empower our life.
The dark of the longest night is the perfect time to sit down with pen and paper and set your intentions for the coming year. What would you like to bring to birth in your life? What would you like to leave behind? Write your intentions and then burn them in the flames of the Yule log. If you don't have a Yule log, burning them in a candle flame (red or white) would work just as well.
If you are lucky enough to have snow on the ground you could try your hand at some snow magic. Do you have a bad habit you have been trying to get rid of for ages? Make a snowball and empower it with that habit. Then, throw that ball as far away from you as you can, letting it take the bad habit with it.
A still snowy day around Yule is the perfect time to go for a walk in the woods. The deep still quiet of snow covered woods makes them the ideal place to hear the voice of the earth and the gods. When you let yourself be swept up in the majesty of the silence and the beauty of the snow falling it becomes so easy to hear that still small voice of guidance.
Yule is also one of the favorite times of year for Divination. As we sit in the magic of the longest night, we can capture that energy of the coming birth of the new year and use it to take a peek at what it might be bringing with it.
Salt divination or Halomancy was something widely done at Yule that has been pretty much lost to history now. What we do know is that salt was thrown in the air and the pattern it formed when it landed was then interpreted. Ridges pointed to possible problems, valleys could be delays and frustrations, a flat smooth layout meant that the coming year would be a good one.
Whether you try your hand at Halomancy, or simply enjoy the stillness of the night while setting your goals and intentions for the new year, drink in the magic of this special night and let it guide your focus to love and gratitude.