Can you believe it’s Yule and 2023 is almost over? This year was a whirlwind for me, with lots of ups and downs, changes, new explorations, adventures, and so on.
And here it is Yule is upon us…
Like most families, we have our Holiday traditions that we practice this time of year. We start our holiday ventures with each of us creating a new tree ornament. I started this tradition over 25 years ago…when my older kids were young. I would gather some ideas and then we’d decide what we wanted to make. Some were made from paper others yarn, there was always glitter of course but the fun part was sitting together eating cookies, and creating.
Our Cholla Ornaments…
This year we are celebrating the Holidays in the desert so our ornaments were creations from Cholla cactus skeletons. They came out pretty cool huh?
This year’s Yule tree…
We had so much fun that we decided our Yule Tree was going to be a Cholla Skeleton as well.I know it’s not traditional…I miss having a real tree and a large one at that. I’m still diffusing my favorite Holiday tree oil scents, like Douglas Fir, and Siberian Fir, so it smells like the Holidays.
We hung our ornaments from this year and last year on it. Last year we spent the holidays on the beach in Carlsbad, CA so you guessed it they were seashell ornaments!
Another family tradition that started with our youngest is building a gingerbread house. Some years they have been big and elaborate, this year they kept it simple.
And…what would the Holidays be like without cookies and sweets? This year we made a variety of nobake cookies…as we are waiting for our new oven to arrive…
And then there’s the Wassail…making Wassail on Yule has been a 30+ year tradition for me. When I first walked the path of a witch, I brought in many Sabbat Holiday traditions. This was one of them…
It would not be Yule if I didn’t make our favorite drink this time of year! I usually make it in my crockpot but in December 2020 I made it in my instant pot…and it came out deeeelish. I love my Duo 7 in 1 pot!
“Wassail” comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase “waes hael”, which means “be whole” a wish for family and friends of good health and wholeness. The original traditional drink was a mix of apple cider, citrus, and spices, but later evolved to include eggs and alcohol.
Citrus are high in vitamin C, Allspice and Cloves have antiseptic qualities, Cinnamon improves circulation and Ginger strengthens the digestive system; all come in handy during these Winter months.
The way I learned to make it doesn’t include the eggs, and alcohol is optional. Also, I was taught the magickal properties of each ingredient as well as how each has a little magickal twist to it…Here’s my recipe if you want to try it!
- 1 gallon Apple Cider for protection and prosperity
- 1/2 gallon Cranberry Juice (optional) for abundance and gratitude
- 1 large Cinnamon stick, broken into 4 pieces one for each season (you can also use 4 small sticks) for strength and prosperity.
- 13 Allspice berries, one for each Full Moon of the year, for purification
- 1 Apple, sliced crosswise, to reveal the pentacles with each (the four elements and Spirit) for protection and prosperity.
- 1 Orange sliced for success.
- 8 Whole Cloves, one for each festival in the Wheel of the Year, for protection and abundance.
- 1/2” piece of Ginger, for love and prosperity
- Brown Sugar or Maple Syrup to taste, for sweetness in life, maple syrup is healing. (I use Swerve to stay in check with blood sugar)
I find it interesting that some of the basic ingredients are also found in dōTERRA’s On Guard (their protection blend). This is a wonderful oil to use during the seasonal threat months as it supports the immune system. Makes me think that our ancestors knew just what they were doing when they created this wonderful healing drink during the cold months 😉
We end Yule with…
Not only a family dinner but we also sit at the table and create our offering bundles. Something I started a few years back, inspired by one of my mentors Pixie Lighthouse. Whose also a wonderful author of many healing books.
These bundles are releasing bundles…we take a moment to ponder our year, then we create little bundles using the materials below, and write what we are releasing during this longest night of the year.
- Black cloth
- Slip of paper
We cut our cloth into a square, add a little bit of Tobacco, Sage, Lavender and Copal. Write our release(s) on the paper and place it in the middle. Then we bring up the edges and tie it up. We start a fire, some years in our fireplace, others outside, sometimes just burned them in a cauldron…whatever was available. I love to play the song Grandfather Fire by Brooke Medicine Eagle. As we each toss our bundles into the flames.
What Family Holiday Traditions do you celebrate this time of year?
Blessings to all of you during this season of incubation, introspection, and renewal.