Yule 2017

Yule has come up once again. Sorry there wasn't an earlier post for the holiday; but the technical issues that prevented posting have been resolved. The important thing now, though, is the celebration of the Yule holiday.

A Time for Celebrating

In earlier days, the passing of the Winter Solstice meant that you had made it through a good bit of the winter and that spring would be on the way. The days would get longer, and warmer. For people who had to plan ahead really well just to survive the winter, that was a big deal.

Most of us today aren't as likely to freeze or starve to death, though there are some out there. We will spend our time celebrating that we have made it through another year. That can be quite an accomplishment in itself. This is a good reason to celebrate with your loved ones.

I would mention again that there are those who may not be as likely to survive the cold. If you have the resources, you may consider helping charitable organizations that work with those who have no home or food. By doing so, you can help make the world a more wholesome place. You are not obligated to do so, but it is a noble thing to do.

What to Do

Asatruar typically celebrate for twelve nights. It used to be that the day ended when the sun went down. The new day started at that time, so the night belonged to the coming "day" rather than the one that just ended. If you follow that rule, Yule started the night of December 20 in the United States. This is because the astronomical Solstice took place at 10:28 AM Central Time, or 4:28 PM (16:28) Greenwich Mean Time.


Feasting is a big part of the celebration. Get your people together, eat, and have fun. It's okay if you get together with your non-Asatru friends and family. Most are having celebrations anyway and many of their traditions are just rip-offs of ours. They won't notice the difference.

When you feast, set aside a small amount of food that you can use to make an offering to the land spirits in your area. Typically, one or two people will take this food out later and make the offering by leaving the food in nature. This is a good task for children who are being taking on more responsibility in the religion, but with adult supervision. Note that this may violate local laws, so check to make sure aren't doing anything illegal.


This is also a good time hold a blot. Invite the Gods, the elves, and your ancestors to join the celebration. They will appreciate it.

If you do this, be sure to include the God Ul (also called Ullr), the God of Winter. As the God of Winter, He is also the God of things related to winter. He is the God of Hunting, and therefore archery. In the modern world, He is also the God of your shotgun and other hunting items, such as your deer stand. He is the God of Skiing and other winter sports. That means that He is the God of your snowmobile too!

Ul is called "The Shield God" because He brings the layer of snow that shields the ground from the harshness of winter. That snow melts in spring, providing the moisture that the waking soil needs to be productive. This is seen as His battle with the frost giants as He keeps them at bay. Definitely remember to include Ul in your festivities.


Our ancestors had a practice in which some of them would get drunk and make wild boasts about what they would accomplish in the coming year. The nature of the boasts was such that, if the task were accomplished, skalds (poets and musicians) would sing of it for years to come. Since Bragi is the God of Poetry, His name would be invoked in these oaths.

You may not want to promise to sail wild sees or fight off Huns in large numbers, it is a good time to consider your goals for the next year. You may also want to be sober before you make any oaths. Your New Year's Resolutions can be more mundane, and even if you don't decide on something, this is still a good time to think about it.

As for calling on Bragi, it is always a good idea to invite the God of Poetry and Music to a celebration. This is particularly true if Karaoke is involved.

Wrap Up

However you decide to celebrate Yule, please do so in a reasonably responsible manner. It would be good to have you around for the next Yule in thirteen-moons time. Try to be positive. Realize that you've made it this far and have the chance to do even more in the future.

Good Yule!