Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 1 of AishaOaktree's 21 day YULE Blog Party

Each day for the next 21 days, I will be sharing  either some legends, myths, devotions, my own thoughts perhaps a recipe or 2 on my blog for Aisha's YULE Blog Party at By The Broomstick.
Please visit the other blogs that are participating(above)

I am still a newb, learning. Therefore any legend, myth, devotion etc. will be coming from someplace I read it, and I will be giving credit to the right people.

ADDITIONALLY, I have a small gift tree that has a some ornaments on it, but it also has 21 little gift bags or envelopes that are numbered 1-21.  Each day I will pick a winner from the comments for that day.  These giveaways are priced from $1-$5, and there are a few are like booby prizes...I am doing this FOR FUN!!

*be a follower
*tell me something about that day's post that means something to you, or touches you etc.
*list your name
*pick a number from 1-21*  (*each day obviously there will be numbers listed as OUT, it will be your responsibility to pay attention to each day's posts, to see the number that is no longer available)

Picture of gift tree not ready, will add asap

Ok, now onto today's YULE post:

Getting Ready for Yule!
From Patti Wigington, your Guide to Paganism / Wicca

Celebrate Yule on December 21
© Getty Images
Day 1…History of YULE.
A Festival of Light:
Many cultures have winter festivals that are in fact celebrations of light. In addition to Christmas, there's Hanukkah with its brightly lit menorahs, Kwanzaa candles, and any number of other holidays. The Pagan holiday called Yule takes place on the day of the winter solstice, around December 21. On that day (or close to it), an amazing thing happens in the sky. The earth's axis tilts away from the sun in the Northern Hemisphere, and the sun reaches at its greatest distance from the equatorial plane. As a festival of the Sun, the most important part of any Yule celebration is light -- candles, bonfires, and more.
Origins of Yule:
In the Northern hemisphere, the winter solstice has been celebrated for millenia. The Norse peoples viewed it as a time for much feasting, merrymaking, and, if the Icelandic sagas are to be believed, a time of sacrifice as well. Traditional customs such as the Yule log, the decorated tree, and wassailing can all be traced back to Norse origins.
Celtic Celebrations of Winter:
The Celts of the British Isles celebrated midwinter as well. Although little is known about the specifics of what they did, many traditions persist. According to the writings of Pliny the Elder, this is the time of year in which Druid priests sacrificed a white bull and gathered mistletoe in celebration.
Roman Saturnalia:
Few cultures knew how to party like the Romans. Saturnalia was a festival of general merrymaking and debauchery held around the time of the winter solstice. This week-long party was held in honor of the god Saturn, and involved sacrifices, gift-giving, special privileges for slaves, and a lot of feasting. Although this holiday was partly about giving presents, more importantly, it was to honor an agricultural god.

More to come tomorrow :)


Jane said...

I like the idea of the Yule log. I love a good fire as soon as the Fall comes but this tradition brings a much more sacred meaning to the lighting of a roaring fire. There is just something about the power of a fire...

faerwillow said...

~good morning...i have been reading through backwards and you are full of some great information...this will truly be a month of learning some new over here!!! yule~winter soltice is a time to still in the quietness of the days and nourish our soul so when the time comes for spring we will be re~energized...ready to bloom once more...a celebration of light...i l♥ve this time of year with candles glowing and fires crackling giving warmth...its a moment i long for throughout the year...the comfort that only the winter season can bring...i wish you well and blessings be with you always~

Cynthia said...

Hi Susan,
I love your blog. I found you through the Yule Blog Party list. So much wonderful writing here to learn from, I can not seem to get enough of reading here. This is such a bright and beautiful time of year. I like the feeling of resting, taking pause, relish in what we have had and enjoyed, as well as study now and learn. Some of what I have been writing about for my blog for Yule are the memories of the past. Something dwelling within that still kindles and I just think this a good time to deal with that kind of stuff. So writing for Yule is very healing too. Wishing you brightest blessings for your Yule.

Wytch with Wings of a Dragon