Getting Ready for Yule 2014

I hope you are all having fun getting ready for Yule. If can be stressful for non-Christians to put up with the constant bombardment of Christmas stuff, but knowing what Yule is all about makes it better. You can also take heart in the fact that Yule is not about a shopping feeding frenzy.

This Sunday, December 21, is Mother Night. It is the Winter Solstice and the start of Yule. Depending on your group, this may either be a night of feasting or it might be a simple fair in preparation for the belt-tightening of the Wolf Season (winter).

I usually follow the quieter path for Mother Night. During the day, I eat little, and what foods I do eat are simple. I'll eat something like oatmeal for breakfast and then skip lunch. For supper, I'll have an apple, a little cheese, a little sausage, and maybe some course-grain bread. During this time, I will contemplate the previous year and think a little about the passing of things into the womb of the Earth.

During the blot (husel for Saxons), we will honor Vidar, Ul, and Hulda. We give thanks for the blessings of the previous year and for the protections that Ul will provide for the coming cold times. We take time to remember the struggles of our ancestors and we give thanks that we are in a much better position technologically.

After all of that, the conversations stay low. There is soft music, often with a dulcimer or recorder. There's nothing particularly Heathen about those instruments, but they can be soft. If possible, the room is kept dim, lit only be fire. This is a solemn time of thanks and remembrance. The boisterous parts of the celebrations will be on the twelfth night of Yule. For now, you contemplate winter and the cycle of life and rebirth.

Fortunately, we belong to a vibrant, living religion. You can celebrate Yule any way you see fit. The important things are to remember that you are celebrating Yule and the passing of the old in preparation of the new. Also remember that you are celebrating at the same time of Heathens all over the world in a celebration that has been repeated every year as far back as there have been people.

Have a good Yule!