Yule, being the darkest day of the dark half of the year, is traditionally celebrated with the element of fire – the lighting of the Yule log. However, having a four-month-old and an autistic six-year-old and the only safe place to light fires currently being in the garden at our house, I decided against it this year. There’s more than one way to light a Yule fire.
Instead, I created a Yule altar which evolved quite haphazardly, with my altarpiece find at a vintage sale, followed by three angel ornaments which didn’t fit with our tree colour scheme this year, followed by gathering together all my candles from around the house and two new festive tree shaped candles I came upon in the shops. Despite its coming into being quite randomly, it ended up cohesive and flowing as well as eclectic and I was pleased with it. The candles were lit on solstice night with a one-word wish for my friends, family and all on the earth who need it associated with each candle: peace, love, joy, hope and health among them.
For my own more specific wishes I performed a candle ritual I came upon in my reading. Each candle represented a wish which I recorded in my Book of Shadows, 12 in all. Before each candle I placed a festive sequin as an offering to the Sun God, though the offerings could have been anything sparkly, shiny or glittery. As I lit the candles I recited the following three times, though you could easily personalise the blessing or write your own: “I call on the Sun God born at Yule, to weave the magick that you do, for all the planets that you rule, please make all my wishes come true” – and ended, as always with “This or something better now manifests for the highest good of all, so mote it be.”
I will let readers know at a later date before next Yule whether or not this ritual worked, partially or wholly. Some of the wishes were pretty tall orders. The ritual is supposed to encourage the wishes to come true over the coming year. However, if you believe in lithomancy, it may well be that the candles themselves also gave me an indication as to timescales. It seemed odd that they were all the same make and size of votive candle, and yet some burned down very quickly and some took a long long time to become reasonably sized stumps that I could work with – some of the toughest and, sadly, most desired wishes. We shall see.
I extinguished the flames as the candles burned down to mere stumps. The next day, I melted down the wax and when it was cooled and pliable, rolled it into a ball. The ritual involved hanging it on the festive tree. I found that it was too heavy; however, I had pressed a ribbon into it before it set, and rested it on the tree stump at the bottom, nominally tying the ribbon around the very bottom branch. It will come off the tree when it’s taken down on January 6th and be buried in the garden.
~ Copyright Silverla StMichael December 2012 ~