The energy of joy, reunion, and illumination is echoed and renewed in all spiritual traditions on the sacred day of Yule. Hope twinkles in the eyes of strangers passing on the streets, and warmth resides in the hearts of loved ones, wrapped in rich embraces. Our spirits draw inward and our bodies long for rest; we restore our Life Force, and honor the sacred stillness within. Across the different paths we walk, we are invariably led to light during these days that are otherwise dark.
Yuletide celebrations can be traced as far back as the late 1400s. The sacred day of Yule, or the Winter Solstice, is celebrated on December 21st, marking the longest night of the year. While our traditions have transformed through the generations, I find great comfort in remembering the history of our sacred practices. Our ancestors honored this passing with a festival spanning twelve nights, which began the night of Winter Solstice and lasted through the first of the calendar year.
Spirited dancing, music, gift giving, and great feasts were shared as an offering to call back the Sun from his slumber, and grace us with his warmth for another year. Gratitude was expressed not only for the blessings of abundance, but also for the lessons received through struggle and loss. Many traditions, like lighting a Yule Log, filling stockings, singing carols, and sharing mulled wine originated from these Yuletide celebrations. As I partake in these festive traditions, I sense the energy of our ancestors and my heart is filled with appreciation for history and lineage. Once again, my faith is renewed and I believe.
The whole world feels different during Yule. And that feeling is the magic of belief and anticipation – the knowing that something wonderful awaits us at sunrise. The truth is, something wonderful awaits you at every sunrise. Magic is trusting it will come, and joy comes from being present enough in the moment to appreciate it. So much of magic is the act of noticing.
At Yule we remember that we do nothing alone; we are the Oneness of all creation. For many, this awareness is aligned with Christ Consciousness at Christmas, the birth of Christ. Even if this is not a tradition you honor or recognize, bear in mind that all traditions are in fact your traditions. You are an old soul, wise traveler. At some point, your travels likely took you across the eastern deserts to Nazareth and Jerusalem. At some point, you walked that long road guided only by a northern star. Just as Hanukkah, and the hailing of the light, is also your tradition. Just as Yule, the birth of the Sun God, is also your tradition.
I say this because all of these traditions come from One Tradition, in which light returns after an extended period of intended darkness as a way of rebirthing you through the canal of time. Whatever you call this time, and however you name this light, it is the same. You are the same. We are the same.
This season, whether you celebrate this particular holiday or not, my wish for you, dear one, is that you notice and believe. As you believe, so you become. Be the spark of faith for others in your life. Tell everyone you see today that magic is real and see how much of that belief comes back to you in the form of blessings beyond your wildest dreams.
May your days of Yule be filled with the wisdom and stillness of the long night’s sky. I hope during this sacred time, you are also able to look back upon a year of many blessings and share the magic with your loved ones.
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