Lots of people ask me what the difference is between Yule and Christmas.
The truth is, aside from the theological reasons for celebrating the Winter Solstice that distinguish us, the answer is, not much. As you may know, most Christmas traditions actually have European Pagan origins.
But there are little things I do to remind me that I am celebrating my holiday. One of the nicest ways to do this is to bless your Yule gifts before giving them away. This can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. The full moon before Yule is a nice time, but really any time will do.
I love wrapping and thinking of creative ways to make gifts beautifully presented, so I start there, by being mindful of the person to who will receive the gift while I am preparing it.
I love our home, and I am so grateful to have it, but one thing I regret is not insisting on a fireplace. What kind of witch doesn’t have a hearth in her home?! So I have had to discover some creative ways to bring the warmth of fire into our home during the Yule season. One of my favorites is the cauldron fire method.
If you’ve never tried this, it’s lovely to include in almost any ritual, but particularly for Yule and Beltane, when the fire has a special meaning. Just be careful! Anytime you’re dealing with flames and combustibles, it’s prudent to be extra cautious.
You’ll need some rubbing alcohol that is atleast 91%. Simply fill a firesafe bowl with salt. I always use the mortar part of my marble mortar and pedestal, which doubles nicely as a firesafe cauldron. Soak the salt in alcohol. It should have the consistency of wet sand. Be sure to light with a long fireplace match or lighter.
It will burn for about 5-10 minutes.
Toss some Yule incense in to create a lovely smoke blessing. I used this blend from Moody Moon’s, available here.
Use an incantation or Yule blessing you like, or simply make up a spontaneous series of positive thoughts. Take time to meditate on the flame and enjoy the warmth of the hope-fire.