Yule – Pagan-Wiccan Rite
Many Pagan religions include invocation and possession by their gods. Wicca, in particular, extends that possession to sexual acts, whether literal or metaphorical.” He goes on to say that by making sex sacred, “Wiccans in all countries set their own stamp on nature religion, uniting in their bodies the cosmic and the most personal energies of planetary life
Year of Wiccan rites:
Long Nights Moon (Dec.):
Welcome back the sun Yule:
- Like any Sabbat, this festival works well if paired up with a feast. Celebrate the sun’s return by preparing all kinds of winter foods — whip up a batch of cornbread, a pot ofbuttered rum, plum pudding, cranberry dressing, game stew, etc. Have the whole family eat together prior to the ritual. Clean up, and when you’re done, cover your table or altar with candles. Use as many as you like; they don’t have to match. In the center, place a sun candle** on a riser, so it’s above the rest. Don’t light any of the candles just yet.
- Turn off all the other lights, and face your altar. If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so now.
Face the candles, and say:
The wheel of the year has turned once more,
and the nights have grown longer and colder.
Tonight, the darkness begins to retreat,
and light begins its return once again.
As the wheel continues to spin,
the sun returns to us once more.
- Light the sun candle, and say:
Even in the darkest hours,
even in the longest nights,
the spark of life lingered on.
Laying dormant, waiting, ready to return
when the time was right.
The darkness will leave us now,
as the sun begins its journey home.
- Beginning with the candles closest to the sun candle, and working your way outward, light each of the other candles. As you light each one, say:
As the wheel turns, light returns. Repeat this until all the candles are lit and burning. Then say:
The light of the sun has returned to us,
bringing life and warmth with it.
The shadows will vanish, and life will continue.
We are blessed by the light of the sun.
- Take a moment to think about what the return of the sun means to you. The return of the light meant many things to different cultures. How does it affect you, and your loved ones? When you’re ready, go through the house and turn all the lights back on. If you have children, make it a game — they can yell out, “Welcome back, light!”
If you’re not too full from dinner, have some eggnog and cookies on standby, and take the time to bask in the light of your candles and eat some treats. When you’re done, extinguish the candles from the outside of the altar working towards the center, leaving the sun candle for last.
- ** A sun candle is simply a candle you’ve designated to represent the sun in ritual. It can be in a sunny color — gold or yellow — and if you like, you can insribe it with solar sigils.
- If you like, you can do this ritual on the morning of Yule. Cook a big breakfast with lots of eggs, and watch the sun rise. If you do this, you can eliminate all the candles except the sun candle. Allow the sun candle to burn all day before you extinguish it.
What You Need
Goddess ritual during yule:
- First, set up a Yule tree near the north side of your altar. Decorate it with lights and symbols of the season. Cover the altar with a winter-themed altar cloth if possible, and in the center, three white candles in individual candleholders. The oldest female present should take on the role of High Priestess (HPs) to lead the ceremony.
- Of the other women present, one represents the aspect of the Maiden, another the Mother, and a third the Crone. If you’re really into ceremony and symbolism, have the Maiden wear a white robe and stand in the east. The Mother can wear a red robe and stand to the south, while the Crone dresses in a black robe and veil, and takes her place to the west of the altar. Each holds one of the three white candles.
- If you normally cast a circle, do so now.
The HPs says:
It is the season of the Crone, the time of the winter goddess.
Tonight we celebrate the festival of the winter solstice,
the rebirth of the Sun, and the return of light to the Earth.
As the Wheel of the Year turns once more,
we honor the eternal cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth.
- The Maiden then takes her candle and holds it while the HPs lights it for her. She then turns to the Mother and lights the Mother’s candle. Finally, the Mother lights the candle held by the Crone. The High Priestess then says:
O Crone, the Wheel has turned once more.
It is time for the Maiden to claim what is now hers.
As you lie down for the winter, she is born once again.
- The Crone removes her veil and hands it to the Mother. The Mother then places it on the Maiden’s head. The Crone says:
The days will now get longer, now the Sun has returned.
My season has ended, yet the season of the Maiden begins.
Listen to the wisdom of those who have come before you,
and yet be wise enough to make your own way.
- The Maiden then says:
Thank you for the wisdom of your years,
and for seeing the season through to its end.
You have stepped aside that the new season may begin,
and for this we give you honor. The High Priestess once again takes over, and says:
All changes as new life is born,
and the dead fades away, back into the earth.
The Wheel of the Year turns once more,
ever changing, and yet always constant,
as the cycle continues once more.
O Goddess of Winter, cast your eyes upon us this night,
as the solstice approaches.
Grant us love, wisdom, strength, and peace,
and blessings upon the Earth.
- At this time, the High Priestess should invite anyone who wishes to make an offering to the Goddess to come do so — offerings can be placed on the altar, or if you’re outdoors, in a fire. The HPs concludes the rite by saying:
We make these offerings tonight,
to show our love to you, O Goddess.
Please accept our gifts, and know that
we are entering this new season with joy in our hearts.
- Everyone present should take a few moments to meditate upon the time of the season. Although winter is here, life lies dormant beneath the soil. What new things will you bring to fruition for yourself when the planting season returns? How will you change yourself, and maintain your spirit throughout the cold months? When everyone is ready, either end the rite, or continue on with additional rituals, such as Cakes and Ale or Drawing Down the Moon.