Hold a Family Yule Log Ceremony
“For people of nearly any religious background, the time of the winter solstice is a time when we gather with family and loved ones. For Pagans and Wiccans, it’s often celebrated as Yule, but there are literally dozens of ways you can enjoy the season. If your family enjoys ritual, you can welcome back the sun at Yule with this simple winter ceremony. The first thing you’ll need is a Yule Log. If you make it a week or two in advance, you can enjoy it as a centerpiece prior to burning it in the ceremony. You’ll also need a fire, so if you can do this ritual outside, that’s even better. As the Yule Log burns, all members of the family (and friends) should surround it, forming a circle.
- If you normally cast a circle, do so at this time. This first section is for the adults – if there is more than one grownup, they can take turns saying the lines, or say them together:
The Wheel has turned once more, and
the earth has gone to sleep.
The leaves are gone, the crops have returned to the ground.
On this darkest of nights, we celebrate the light.
Tomorrow, the sun will return,
its journey continuing as it always does.
Welcome back, warmth.
Welcome back, light.
Welcome back, life.
- The entire group now moves deosil – clockwise, or sunwise – around the fire. When each member has returned to his or her original position, it is time for the children to add their part. This section can be divided amongst the children, so that each gets a chance to speak.
Shadows go away, darkness is no more,
as the light of the sun comes back to us.
Warm the earth.
Warm the ground.
Warm the sky.
Warm our hearts.
Welcome back, sun.
- Finally, each member of the group should take a moment to tell the others one thing that they are thankful for about their family – things like “I am happy that Mom cooks us such wonderful food,” or “I’m proud of Alex because he helps people who need it.” When everyone has had a chance to speak, walk sunwise once more around the fire, and end the rite. If possible, save a bit of this year’s Yule log to add to the fire for next year’s ceremony.
Nothing says holiday celebration quite like getting together with the people you love. Learn about gifts, decorating, money-saving, and why it’s perfectly okay for Wiccans to have a big green tree full of lights!
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- Talking to Pagan Kids About Jesus and Christianity
- Ten Great Books for Yule
- Celebrating Yule with Kids
- I’m Pagan – Can I Still Have a Holiday Tree?
- How to Have a Low-stress Yule
- Keeping Your Weight Under Control at Yule
- Surviving the Holidays with Your Non-Pagan Family
- Are There Any Pagan Yule Carols?
- What’s Your Favorite Yuletide Song?
Wish Ritual for the New Year
Place a piece of holly bush on your altar for the Yule celebration, in keeping with Pagan tradition. After the celebration, before dismissing the Quarters and taking down the Circle, write down a wish or wishes on pieces of parchment paper and tie them to the holly bush branches on your altar. You can write down as few or many wishes as you desire. However try to keep it simple. Bury the holly bush limb with your wishes attached to it during the next full moon, giving thanks to the Lord and Lady, to assure that your wishes will be realized during the coming year.
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