I want to start by wishing a blessed Yule/Winter Solstice to all of you out there. May each of you find health, wealth, and wisdom in the new year!
I would like to share what I will be doing tomorrow to celebrate. I will be conducting a ritual alongside my fiance (just the two of us, as usual) following the Solitary Druid Fellowship’s liturgy, with some adaptations for two participants. My practice is currently Norse, due to various occurrences in life and my (mostly) Scandinavian ancestry, so I will be honoring Mani, the Moon, Odin, as Yule Father, and Frigga, as Goddess of the Hearth.
Honoring a Hearth Goddess may not make much sense at first. In modern times, our hearths include our stoves, fireplaces, and furnaces. On the Longest Night, which just so happens to occur in the middle of the winter, we must rely on our “hearths” to keep us warm. Honoring Frigga on Yule is a way of acknowledging Her role as keeper of these hearths and ensures that no one will freeze. She will get milk, as will Odin and Mani.
My fiance and I are also planning on baking cookies (peanut butter with Hershey’s Kisses on top) and exchanging gifts. I am looking forward to this private moment (usually we exchange gifts with my parents around).
We’ll take advantage of the Yule/Christmas tree (my parents are Christian) in the room where we normally do ritual by turning on the lights that decorate it. This will make our ritual festive! Because of the limitations we have on our ritual space, we usually don’t have decorations. I think the tree will help the atmosphere of the ritual immensely.
We are also planning on doing something we’ve never done before for the Earth Mother during the rite. Normally, we say some words of praise and give Her an offering of flour (made to a bowl, then taken outside after the rite). This time, because the liturgy says to touch the ground to honor Her (if possible), we decided that we will take a bowl outside before the rite, gather some soil in it, then touch the soil in the bowl to honor the Earth Mother. After the rite, we will take the soil back outside. I really like this idea and can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before!
Again, may the Kindreds bless each of you abundantly this Yule, and may Sunna’s (the Sun) return bring new hope to the world.