Witch 101: Yule Celebration

Oh man, the semester caught up to me and I’ve been crazy the last few weeks.

But finals are over and Yule is right around the corner.

So, for baby witches, what is Yule?
Yule is the celebration of winter basically. It’s what Christmas is based off of, and one of the few holidays you can celebrate very inconspicuously, since most Christmas traditions coincide with Yule.

Yule is the celebration of the sun leaving and coming back. Many traditions stem from Yule, such as lighting a Yule log in the fireplace, having a tree inside, exchanging gifts, and having food with loved ones.

Many Yule decorations can be used interchangeably with Christmas decorations; Christmas trees, anyone? Not to mention lighting candles, or baked goods. Many spices associated with Christmas are ripped off (sorry,not sorry) from Yule, such as cinnamon, orange, and peppermint.

So how can you celebrate Yule, either loud and proud, or subdued and respectful of everyone else’s holidays (Kwanza, Hanukkah, Christmas…)?

For my loud and proud witches;

  1. Decorate your altar! There are so many nifty ideas on Pinterest for altar decor for this time of year.
  2. Have a party! That’s right. Invite your loved ones over, eat some food, share the joy.
  3. Have a fire! If a fire isn’t available, then light a candle. If fire of any kind is unavailable (i.e. dorm rooms), get some of those fake electric candles or play a video from Youtube.
  4. Leave some food out for the natural wildlife. Spread birdseed and treats for the local wildlife since the cold winter months make food scarce to find. But only do this in areas where it’s allowed; if your campus squirrels are overweight and you can get into trouble for leaving food out for them, then maybe pass on this idea.
  5. Give back to the community. Whether donating old clothes you no longer need, volunteering at a shelter of some kind, or donate money to a charity, give back some of the wealth you’ve experienced through the year to those who need a little extra help during this period. Make it a tradition; instead of buying gifts out the ass for everyone and their mother, band together as a group and make a mass donation to a charity.

For my closeted witches:

  1. Donate! This is an easy way to celebrate and stay closeted, because there’s no direct correlation between witchiness and charity. SO give back in some way, even if it’s just buying a less fortunate soul a cup of coffee and getting them out of the cold for an hour.
  2. Burn something! Of course safely, but if you’re a college witch in the closet, just play a Youtube video of fireplaces, or use those electric candles.
  3. Bake something! Bake some cookies, a pie, cakes, or a casserole! This is the time of year everyone and their mother is baking to some degree, so go ahead and bake as well. Then you can share the fruits of your labor at a party or whatever.
  4. Decorate! I know, this seems counter intuitive; ‘I’m in the closer, why am I going to decorate?’ Yule and Samhain/Halloween, are the two times of year where witches and nonwitches share a lot of commonalities. So you can totally decorate your room in the spirit of Yule and everyone will just assume ‘Oh Christmas decorations, neat!’. And you don’t every have to go all out; whether large scale house decor or just changing your phone background, you can totally decorate freely without fear of outing yourself.
  5. Meditate! I know, I know, we witches are constantly mediating. Like seriously. Meditating is the whole ‘have you turned it off and on again’ of the witchy world. We meditate for everything. But honestly, this time of year is one of the few where mediation feels different. Like waking up on a snowy morning, before dawn, and sitting and meditating on the beauty of the world before you. Just meditate on how the year has been for you and what you want in the coming year.

Yule is a good time of year to come out from the broomcloset and be close with all those around us who may not be a part of our covens or practice. This is the time of year to bake cookies, send letters to old friends, help our communities, and look to what the future holds for us.