Yule!

YULE is amazing!

It is a time to spend with friends family and live in harmony!

It is so easy to create an altar for Yule

Burn: Bayberry, Chamomile,frankincense, rosemary, sage.

Decorate: w/ Holly, Juniper, mistletoe, moss, oak, cedar, pine cones, evergreen blessed thistle.

Use things from outside to be the green cheep witch just because you didn’t buy something from a store does not mean it is not just as good! It comes from your heart as does all magic!

Also deck the halls is a pagan solstice song you and your coven can chant !

Here is a chant that is perfect for Yule!!

God Rest Ye Merry Pagan Folk

“Gods rest ye merry pagan folk
Let none of you dismay.
Remember that the Sun returns
Upon this Solstice Day
The growing dark is ended now
And spring is on its way

Oh tidings of comfort and Joy
Comfort and Joy
Oh tidings of comfort and Joy

The winter’s worst still lies ahead
Fierce Tempest Snow and Rain
Beneath the blanket on the ground
The Spark of life remains
The Sun’s warm rays caress the seeds
To raise Life’s song again

Oh tidings of comfort and Joy
Comfort and Joy
Oh tidings of comfort and Joy

Within the blessed apple lies
The promise of the Queen
For from this pentacle shall rise
The orchards fresh and green
The Earth shall blossom once again
The air be sweet and clean

Oh tidings of comfort and Joy
Comfort and Joy
Oh tidings of comfort and Joy”

The date varies from December 20 to December 23 depending on the year in the Gregorian calendar.  Yule is also known as the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere and the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere due to the seasonal differences.

Yule, (pronounced EWE-elle) is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, the sun’s “rebirth” was celebrated with much joy. On this night, our ancestors celebrated the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth. From this day forward, the days would become longer.

Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were “wassailed” with toasts of spiced cider.  Children were escorted from house to house with gifts of clove spiked apples and oranges which were laid in baskets of evergreen boughs and wheat stalks dusted with flour. The apples and oranges represented the sun.  The boughs were symbolic of immortality (evergreens were sacred to the Celts because they did not “die” thereby representing the eternal aspect of the Divine). The wheat stalks portrayed the harvest, and the flour was accomplishment of triumph, light, and life. Holly and ivy not only decorated the outside, but also the inside of homes, in hopes Nature Sprites would come and join the celebration. A sprig of Holly was kept near the door all year long as a constant invitation for good fortune to visit tthe residents. Mistletoe was also hung as decoration.  It represented the seed of the Divine, and at Midwinter, the Druids would travel deep into the forest to harvest it.

The ceremonial Yule log was the highlight of the Solstice festival. In accordance to tradition, the log must either have been harvested from the householder’s land, or given as a gift… it must never have been bought. Once dragged into the house and placed in the fireplace it was decorated in seasonal greenery, doused with cider or ale, and dusted with flour before set ablaze by a piece of last years log, (held onto for just this purpose). The log would burn throughout the night, then smolder for 12 days after before being ceremonially put out. Ash is the traditional wood of the Yule log. It is the sacred world tree of the Teutons, known as Yggdrasil. An herb of the Sun, Ash brings light into the hearth at the Solstice.

A different type of Yule log, and perhaps one more suitable for modern practitioners would be the type that is used as a base to hold three candles. Find a smaller branch of oak or pine, and flatten one side so it sets upright. Drill three holes in the top side to hold red, green, and white (season), green, gold, and black (the Sun God), or white, red, and black (the Great Goddess). Continue to decorate with greenery, red and gold bows, rosebuds, cloves, and dust with flour.

Many customs created around Yule are identified with Christmas today.  If you decorate your home with a Yule tree, holly or candles, you are following some of these old traditions.   The Yule log, (usually made from a piece of wood saved from the previous year) is burned in the fire to symbolize the Newborn Sun/Son.

Deities of Yule:  All Newborn Gods, Sun Gods, Mother Goddesses, and Triple Goddesses. The best known would be the Dagda, and Brighid, the daughter of the Dagda. Brighid taught the smiths the arts of fire tending and the secrets of metal work. Brighid’s flame, like the flame of the new light, pierces the darkness of the spirit and mind, while the Dagda’s cauldron assures that Nature will always provide for all the children.

Symbolism of Yule:
Rebirth of the Sun, The longest night of the year, The Winter Solstice, Introspect, Planning for the Future.

Symbols of Yule:
Yule log, or small Yule log with 3 candles, evergreen boughs or wreaths, holly, mistletoe hung in doorways, gold pillar candles, baskets of clove studded fruit, a simmering pot of wassail, poinsettias, christmas cactus.

Herbs of Yule:
Bayberry, blessed thistle, evergreen, frankincense holly, laurel, mistletoe, oak, pine, sage, yellow cedar.

Foods of Yule:
Cookies and caraway cakes soaked in cider, fruits, nuts, pork dishes, turkey, eggnog, ginger tea, spiced cider, wassail, or lamb’s wool (ale, sugar, nutmeg, roasted apples).

Incense of Yule:
Pine, cedar, bayberry, cinnamon.

Colors of Yule:
Red, green, gold, white, silver, yellow, orange.

Stones of Yule:
Rubies, bloodstones, garnets, emeralds, diamonds.

Activities of Yule:
Caroling, wassailing the trees, burning the Yule log, decorating the Yule tree, exchanging of presents, kissing under the mistletoe, honoring Kriss Kringle the Germanic Pagan God of Yule

Spellworkings of Yule:
Peace, harmony, love, and increased happiness.

Deities of Yule:
Goddesses-Brighid, Isis, Demeter, Gaea, Diana, The Great Mother. Gods-Apollo, Ra, Odin, Lugh, The Oak King, The Horned One, The Green Man, The Divine Child, Mabon.

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Yule Recipes everything from morning to night!

Yule Celebration Recipes 
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Morning Julegroed
4 cups milk
A couple of almonds, finely chopped
1 rounded teaspoon of butter/margarine
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup washed white rice
A pinch of cinnamon powder
1/2 cup thick cream

In a large saucepan, heat the milk until boiling. Add butter/margarine, then add the rice and turn down the heat. Cover with lid, and let rice simmer slowly for about one hour or until the milk is absorbed. Transfer to a non-metal bowl and fold in the cream and almonds. Serve in small bowls with sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top.

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Sun Up Egg Squares
1 pound pork sausage, cooked & drained
1 1/4 cups bisquick
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
12 eggs
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 cup milk
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon each; pepper, oregano

Layer the sausage, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and cheese in a well greased 13″x9″x2″ baking dish. Beat together the remaining ingredients in a non-metal bowl and pour over sausage mixture. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree oven until golden brown and set (about 30 minutes). Cut into 12 3-inch squares. Serves 12, can be halved.

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Shortest Day Ham Loaf
1 pound ground pork
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
1 pound ground ham
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk

Mix all ingredients above and shape into 2 individual loaves. In a saucepan combine:
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1/2 cup water

Bring sauce to a boil, pour over the loaves, place loaves in a 350 degree oven and bake for 1 hour, basting regularly. Makes 10-12 servings.

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Yuletide Slaw
4 cups red cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, corse ground
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup salad oil
2 tablespoons parsley
1 green bell pepper, chopped

Combine and toss the vegetables together. Mix salt, pepper, salad oil, lemon juice, sugar and parsley and pour over the vegetable mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour, Toss briskly before serving. Makes 8 servings.

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Festive Ham Balls
3 cups bisquick
2 teaspoons parsley flakes
10 1/2 cups smoked ham
2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2/3 teaspoon milk
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Lightly grease a 15 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ baking pan. Mix all above ingredients in a non-metal bowl. Shape mixture into 1″ balls. Place the balls about 2″ apart in the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees, or until brown. Remove from pan and serve immediately. Makes 16 servings.

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Brighter Day Cheese Ball
3 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon red hot pepper sauce
1 pkg. (8-oz) Neufchatel cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
3 green onions w/tops, finely chopped
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup minced parsley

Preheat the oven to 350. Spread out chopped pecans on a cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes or until toasted, tossing once. In a small non-metal bowl, mix the cream cheese, onions, mustard, red pepper sauce, and garlic with mixer at a medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in the cheddar cheese. Wrap in plastic wrap and shape into approx. 4″ ball, refrigerate for 15 minutes. After, on a sheet of waxed paper, toss the pecans and parsley. Unwrap the cheese ball and carefully roll it around in the mixture, covering it completely. Rewrap the cheese ball and place in refrigerator until time to serve. Serve with crackers or fresh vegetables. Makes 24 servings.

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Hot Spiced Wassail (non-alcoholic)
4 cups cranberry juice
6 cinnamon sticks
5 cups apple cider
1 orange, studded with whole cloves
1 cup water
1 apple, cored and sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar

Mix juice, cider, and water in large saucepan or crock pot. Add cinnamon sticks, clove studded orange, and apple slices. Simmer mixture for 4 hours. Serve hot. Makes 12 servings.

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Solstice Surprise Salad
1 large unpeeled cucumber
1 15 1/2 ounce can whole chestnuts
4 ounces cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons French dressing

Wash and dry cucumber. Cut into quarters, lengthwise, then thinly slice into a non-metal bowl. Grate cheddar cheese and add to cucumber. Break up the chestnuts into fairly large pieces and add. Toss well to mix, adding the French dressing. Chill for one hour before serving. Makes 6 servings.

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Roasted Lamb Feast For A (Sun) King
1-3 pound shank leg of lamb
2 teaspoons olive or canola oil
1/8 teaspoon each, salt and pepper
4 large sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed
8 cloves garlic
6 parsnips, cut into 1″ pieces
2 large sprigs fresh rosemary
1 lemon, sliced

With a sharp knife, trim all fat and cartilage from the lamb. Season with the salt and pepper. Make 1″ deep slits all over the leg of lamb. Use most of the garlic and all of the rosemary by pushing 1/2 garlic cloves and a few rosemary leaves into each slit. In a large roasting pan, combine oil with the sweet potatoes, the parsnips (turnips may be substituted), and the rest of the garlic. Move the vegetables to the side of the pan, and place the leg of lamb in the center. Move the vegetables around the lamb, surrounding it. Roast the lamb and vegetables for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Turn the vegetables occasionally so that they cook evenly. Remove from the oven, and with a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a serving dish. Keep warm. Place the lamb on a carving platter and cover with foil. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes. Slice the roasted lamb and serve with warm vegetables. Makes 6 servings.

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The Best For Last Bars
1/4 pound butter
10 ounce raspberry chocolate chips
12 ounce can evaporated milk
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
3 1/2 cups sugar
7 ounce jar marshmallow creme
1 heaping tablespoon of instant coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla

In heavy saucepan or double boiler melt the butter. Add evaporated milk, sugar, and coffee. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add raspberry chocolate chips and bittersweet chocolate. Stir the mixture until all ingredients are melted. Add the marshmallow creme and stir until well blended. Stir in the vanilla. Pour into a slightly greased 9″ x13″ pan. Refrigerate. Cut into bite-sized bars when cooled. Makes 12 servings