"May the Yule log burn, may the Year wheel turn.
May darkness spurn, may the sun return..."

Winter begins in the Northern Hemisphere on Dec 21, 2013 @ 12:11 PM EST.

In the northern latitudes, midwinter's day has been an important time for celebration throughout the ages. On this shortest day of the year, the sun is at its lowest and weakest, This is the turning point of the year. in Celtic beliefs it is know as Alban Arthuan

The winter solstice, observed on December 21, was the shortest day of the year. The name 'Arthuan' is derives from the Arthurian legend, as King Arthur was believed to have been born on the Winter Solstice in Castle Tintagel in Cornwall.

The Yule log comes from ancient beliefs as well. Celtic ceremonies would include large bonfires to welcome the return of the sun. Today the Yule log is typically provided by the household and not brought by visitors. Each member of the family makes a wish and the log is set on fire with a piece of last years Yule log. The log burns for twelve hours.

Let the Yule Log FLAMES burn high & bright !

* Holly *

Used on doors and windows in ancient times to prevent demons from entering abodes, holly also had a connotation of hospitality to pagans, who put its leaves and branches around their homes in winter to invite the fairies to come in out of the cold. Ancient Romans honored the sun god Saturn with holly during the festival of Saturnalia.

The story of the Oak King and the Holly King can be traced back to the ancient Celts. Two yearly battles take place between the Oak King and the Holly King. These occur at Midsummer and Midwinter.

At Midwinter, the Oak King goes to battle with his twin, the Holly King, for the favor of the Goddess. He slays the Holly King, who goes to rest in Caer Arianrhod until they do battle again at Midsummer. When Midsummer arrives, the Holly King goes to battle with the Oak King, for the favor of the Goddess. He slays the Oak King, who goes to rest in Caer Arianrhod until they do battle again at Midsummer. This is an perpetual cycle. The Oak King and Holly King are mortal enemies at Midsummer and Midwinter, but they are two sides of a whole. Neither could exist without the other.

* Easy Yule Incense *

Mix together:

1 part crushed Juniper berries

1 Part Balsam Fir needles

Burn on charcoals, perfect for Winter & Yule rituals

~ Barbara Morris 2011

* Altar Decorations *

Altar should be decorated with evergreen trees, Birch or Oak Yule log, holly, eight-spoked wheel, wreaths, Gold candles. Yellow flowers, Yarrow, Pin cones, Mistletoe, acorns, poinsettia, Pine boughs, Gold or Yellow candles.

* Herbs of Yule & Herbal Mini Spells *

Pine cones, Juniper berries, Bay leaves, Oranges, Cinnamon, Holly, Mistletoe, Birch branches, evergreens, Cranberries, Winter berries, Walnuts.

Angel Wings

Angel wings are winged shaped pods that are thin and light,
translucent petals of natural wonder.
Perfect for Angel magic, Faery magic and magic involving children.
Add 3 angel wings under a child's pillow to end nightmares.
Add angel wings to a childs Yule stocking,
and tell them to make a wish on each one for next year.
Use as an offering to St. Michael for thanks as your house guardian.
Use in an amulet for safe travel in the air.

Bay Leaves

Protection, money, purification, healing.
Write a wish on a "bay leaf" with "dragons blood ink"
for a powerful out come, burn in Yule fire.
Burn and scatter Bay leaves on the floor to purify area.
Wear nine Bay leaves in an amulet mixed with 3 Rosemary branches to ward off negativity.

Birch Cones

The Birch Tree AKA (Beth) belongs to the Celtic Tree month December 24th ~ January 20th
Birch is sacred to the Great Mother Goddess, representing new beginning, and the ridding ourselves of bad thoughts and influences.
Birch brings sensitivity, compassion, awareness, communication, and self- discipline to all that seek it honestly.
Toss Birch cones into a Yule fire and listen for the lesson of the first Moon of Beth.
Add a bowl of Birch cones on the Yule altar.

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?"

~ by Robert Burns

Mini Spells for Yule

Place nine Bay leaves & 5 Juniper berries underneath welcome mat along with 3 drops Solstice oil and all who cross will be blessed with luck for the entire Winter Solstice season.

Add 3 Bay leaves to your wallet and/or checkbook and rub in 3 drops Bay Berry oil it bring good finances.

Tie 3 Cinnamon Sticks & 9 Cedar tips with Green ribbon, keep next to register in business to attract customers.

Place three ''Angel Wings'', 3 Red Hawthorn berries, 9 Juniper berries & 3 drops Winter Magic oil, place in a green cloth. Bury under a Oak tree, spot in the garden (or a potted plant) to ensure an abundant crop next season; chanting;

''Great Oak king I ask of thee,
On wings of angels bring to me.
Fertility in my garden of love,
Lord & lady, stars above.''

When you return inside, place a pile of juniper berries into a fireproof vessel, add 3 Birch cones & 3 angels wings place 3 drops ''Solstice oil''onto a green candle rub into it & light it. Stare at the flame as you see your garden in full bloom, lush and green. Let the candle burn out by it's self (NEVER leave a candle burning unattended)

By Barbara Morris 2002
from Witches Formulary Yule Edition 2002

Cranberry Bread

2 cups flour (sifted)
1 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Cut in 1/4 cup butter until mixture is crumbly.
Add 1 beaten egg, 1 tsp grated orange peel and 3/4 cup organge juice and mix until mixture is evenly moist.
Fold in 1 and 1/2 cups dried cranberries per loaf.
Spoon into a greased 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan bake at 350' for 1 hour and 10 mins or until toothpick in center comes out clean.
Cool out of pan on a wire rack. keep stored in aluminum foil, unless you eat it all before it cools.

Yule Traditions

Burn a Yule log or build a small fire in your cauldron.
Decorate altar with natural winter gatherings like pinecones, Winter berries, Holly, Mistletoe Oak leaves, acorns, Cedar tips and boughs, Pine branches etc. Red & green candles as well.
Keep a Gold candle lit to rejoice in the rebirth of the Sun God.
Burn winter incense, such as: Pine, Juniper berries, Cedar, Balsam Fir.
Feast with coven, family, and friends and remember to leave an offering for the Gods. Place a bowl of Balsam Fir needles on altar sprinkle with Juniper berries & Angel wings to honor.

By Barbara Morris 2002
from Witches Formulary Yule Edition 2002

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Crab Apple Love Spell

During the autumn to winter season, and from the Waxing to Full moon,
on a Friday, Light a Red candle and begin...
Gather nine small stones and place them in a circle.
In the middle of the circle, place 2 Crab apples and 13 Red rose petals.
Next, place 2 small magnets directly in the middle of the circle.
Chant the following:

"Rose petals and apples
Magnets and stone
Draw my true love
So I am never alone
Power of the Moon
secret of the night
Draw from the universe
My perfect love that is right"

Allow the candle to burn down completely and gather up all your items and place in a red pouch.
Place this pouch under your pillow or mattress for 13 days and be open to LOVE

~ Barbara Morris

"Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a-wand'ring
So fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year."

~ The Wassail Song

"Here's to the bright New Year
And a fond farewell to the old;
Here's to the things that are yet to come
And to the memories that we hold."

Happy New Year !
~ Traditional New Year's Toast

Good Times Charm

The next time you pop a bottle of champagne to celebrate a special event or accomplishment, don't throw away the cork.

Cut a slit in the top and insert a coin. If you place it in your kitchen cupboard, it will bring luck to the entire household. The luck will last until the next bottle of champagne is opened. However, if you insert a coin minted in the year of your birth, carry the charm with you at all times. The luck will last the rest of your life.

~ by: Lynne Sturtevant

Yule Log Magic

The Yule log is a remnant of the bonfires that the European pagans would set ablaze at the time of winter solstice. These bonfires symbolized the return of the Sun. The Yule log can be made of any wood.

*Each releases its own kind of magic.

*Aspen: invokes understanding of the grand design.
*Birch: signifies new beginnings.
*Holly: inspires visions and reveals past lives.
*Oak: brings healing, strength, and wisdom.
*Pine: signifies prosperity and growth.
*Willow: invokes the Goddess to achieve desires.

On the night of Yule, carve a symbol of your hopes for the coming year into the log. Burn the log to release its power. Save a piece of this year's Yule log for kindling in next year's fire. You may also wish to decorate the log with greenery, flowers, ribbons and herbs for magical intent.

~ Complied by Barbara Morris

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