Yule Rituals

Yule, the winter solstice, is a time of great symbolism and power. It marks the return of the sun, when the days finally begin to get a little longer. It's also a time to celebrate with family and friends, and share the spirit of giving during the holidays. Here are some great Yule rituals that you can do to celebrate this winter Sabbat, either as part of a group or as a solitary.

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Image by Lana Isabella/Moment Open/Getty Images

The winter solstice is a time of reflection, during the darkest and longest night of the year. Why not take a moment to offer up a prayer on Yule? Try a different devotional each day, for the next twelve days, to give you food for thought during the holiday season - or simply incorporate the ones that resonate with you into your seasonal rituals! More »

Yule Altar
Patti Wigington

Before you hold your Yule ritual, you may want to set up an altar to celebrate the season. Yule is the time of year when Pagans around the world celebrate the Winter Solstice. Try some or even all of these ideas — obviously, space may be a limiting factor for some, but use what calls to you most. More »

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Yule celebrates the return of the sun after the long, dark nights. Image by Buena Vista Images/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The ancients knew that the winter solstice was the longest night of the year -- and that meant that the sun was beginning its long journey back towards earth. It was a time of celebration, and for rejoicing in the knowledge that soon, the warm days of spring would return, and the dormant earth would come back to life. On this one day, the sun stands still in the sky, and everyone on earth knows that change is coming. Perform this ritual to celebrate the return of the sun. More »

Yule is a good time to get rid of things you no longer use. Image by Kelly Hall/E+/Getty Images

About a month before Yule rolls in, start thinking about all the clutter you've accumulated over the past year. You're not obligated to keep things you don't like, don't need, or don't use, and the less physical clutter you have laying around, the easier it is to function on an emotional and spiritual level. After all, who can focus when they're constantly having to step over piles of unused junk? Do this ritual to help clear out your physical space in the weeks before Yule arrives. More »

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Yule has been celebrated through the ages by many cultures. Image by Rick Gottschalk/Stockbyte/Getty Images

A holiday celebration that began in Norway, on the night of the winter solstice it was common to hoist a giant log onto the hearth to celebrate the return of the sun each year. 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. This rite is one the whole family can do together. More »

Celebrate Yule any way you like - and if you want a tree, get one!. Image by Peopleimages/E+/Getty Images

If your family uses a holiday tree during the Yule season -- and many Pagan familiesdo -- you might want to consider a blessing ritual for the tree, both at the time you cut it down and again before you've decorated it. Although many families use fake holiday trees, a cut one from a tree farm is actually more environmentally friendly, so if you've never considered a live tree, maybe this is a good year to start a new tradition in your house. More »

Celebrate Yule with a goddess-focused ceremony. Image by Barry Madden Photography/Moment/Getty Images

Yule is the time of the Winter Solstice, and for many Pagans, it's a time to say goodbye to the old, and welcome the new. As the sun returns to the earth, life begins once more. This ritual can be performed by a solitary practitioner, either male or female. It's also easily adaptable to a small group of people. More »

Celebrate the change of seasons at Yule. Image by santosha/E+/Getty Images

As the sun returns to the earth, life begins once more -- it's a time to bid the Crone farewell, and invite the Maiden back into our lives. This ritual can be performed by a group of four or more -- clearly, it's designed for at least four females, but if you don't have that many, don't sweat it -- improvise, or allow one woman to speak all the roles. More »

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Has your group gathered up goods for a local food pantry?. Image by Steve Debenport/E+/Getty Images

 In many modern Pagan communities, an emphasis is placed on the idea of helping those in need. It’s not uncommon to attend a Pagan event in which guests are invited to donate clothing, canned goods, toiletries, books, and even pet care products. Donations are then presented to local aid groups, food pantries, libraries, and shelters. If you’re gathering up some sort of donations, good for you! Before you drop them off, why not invoke the elements to do a formal blessing of the donated items? This can be a great way to honor your deities and your Pagan community, as well as help others recognize what an important occasion it is. More »