Yule, also known as Midwinter or the Winter Solstice, is one of eight festivals on the Wiccan Wheel of the Year. In the northern hemisphere, the actual date can vary from December 20 to December 23 and brings the longest night of the year. From now until the Summer Solstice (around June 21) daylight hours will increase.
During our Yule ritual, the oak king, who brings with him the return of longer days, now vanquishes the ancient holly king. We can re-enact this battle symbolically, using a black candle for the holly king and a gold candle for the oak king. Set up your altar as usual, adding red, green, gold and black candles. Light all but the gold candle, complete your introductions, and close the circle. Call the four elements and raise energy as usual. When the spellwork begins, say:
The daylight hours were on the wane
But now they will increase again.
For the holly king is on the run (extinguish black candle)
The oak king’s reign has now begun. (light gold candle)
Neo-pagans are free to celebrate this festival close around or on the exact date. In 2011, Yule falls on December 23 in the northern hemisphere.
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