My Yule AltarBrian and I are going to the Winter Solstice/Yule celebration on December 21st at Circle Sanctuary. Although I practice as a Solitary, it will be nice to celebrate the Sabbat with others who share in my beliefs.
A log about 14"–18” long; pinecones; dried berries (such as cranberries); cuttings of mistletoe, holly, ivy and pine needles; feathers and cinnamon sticks; some festive ribbon (use paper or cloth ribbon, not synthetic or wire-lined types) or rafia; fruits and nuts; and a hot glue gun.
A picture from the internet - I'll replace it once my own Yule log is made. Isn't this one pretty?Most of these items can be gathered outside or found easily enough at craft stores or the supermarket. Just keep in mind you'll be burning the log on your Yule fire so you'll want to use as close to nature as you can. And remember, only pick up items found on the ground, rather than taking cuttings from live plants.
Begin by wrapping the log loosely with the ribbon or rafia. Leave enough space that you can insert your branches, cuttings and feathers under the ribbon or rafia. In our house, I'll be placing nine feathers on our Yule log – one for each member of the family (yes, I include the birds and dogs in that count). Once you’ve gotten your branches and cuttings in place, begin gluing on the pinecones, nuts, cinnamon sticks and berries. If you're adding fruit (such as apples) try piercing them first with a floral stick and then 'sticking' them in. Add as much or as little as you like.
Once you’ve decorated your Yule log, use it as a centerpiece for your holiday table. A Yule log looks lovely on a table surrounded by candles and holiday greenery. You could also use your Yule log as our ancestors did and burn it in your hearth or in a bonfire outside if you're lucky enough to have a space available for that purpose. Before burning your log, write down a wish on a piece of paper and insert it into the ribbon or rafia. It's your wish for the upcoming year and should be kept to yourself in hope that it comes true. While watching the Yule log burn, share in a cup of hot cocoa, discuss how thankful you are for the good things that have come your way this year and how you hope for abundance, good health, and happiness in the next.
Ultimately, while these two beings do battle all year long, they are two essential parts of a whole. Despite being enemies, without one, the other would no longer exist.