Old Traditions – Modern Times
Day 4: Prayer of Thankfulness
Yule should be a time of joy and happiness, but for many people it can be stressful. This is a season to take a moment and be thankful for the blessings you have, and to take a moment to remember those less fortunate.
I am grateful for that which I have.
I am not sorrowful for that which I do not.
I have more than others, less than some,
I am blessed with what is mine.
Day 5: Prayer for the Year to Change
"Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky. The flying cloud, the frosty light; The year is dying in the night; Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go, Ring out the false, ring in the true."
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Day 6: Celtic Blessing
May the light of the soul guide you. May the light of your soul bless the work that you do with the secret love and warmth in your heart. May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul. May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light and renewal to those who work with you ad to those who see and receive your work. May your work never weary you. May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration and excitement. May you be present in what you do. May you never become lost in bland absences. May the day never burden. May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams, possibilities and promises. May evening find you gracious and fulfilled. May you go into night blessed, sheltered and protected. May you soul calm, console and renew you.
Day 7: Nordic Yule Blessing
Yule is a time to set aside animosity between yourself and others. The Norsemen had a tradition that enemies who met under a bough of mistletoe were obligated to lay down their arms. Set aside your differences for a moment and rest in a space of peace for all.
Beneath the tree of light and life, a blessing at this season of Jul!
To all that sit at my hearth, today we are brothers and sisters, we are family, and I drink to your health!
Today is a day to offer hospitality to all that cross my threshold in the name of the season.
Day 8: Winter Prayer
From the reaches of the north,
A place of cold beauty,
Comes to us the first winter storm.
Wind whipping, flakes flying,
The snow has fallen upon the earth,
Keeping us close, keeping us together,
Wrapped up as everything
Sleeps beneath a blanket of white.
Day 9: Prayer to Honor the Old Gods
The Holly King is gone, and the Oak King reigns
Yule is the time of the old winter Gods!
Hail to Baldur! To Saturn! To Odin!
Hail to Ameratsu! To Demeter!Hail to Ra! To Horus!
Hail to Frigga, Minerva Sulis, and Cailleach Bheur!
It is their season, and high in the heavens,
May they grant us their blessings this winter day.
Day 10: Celtic Winter Blessing
The Celtic people knew the importance of the solstice. Although the Yule season marks the middle of winter, colder times were still to come. It was important to put aside staple foods for the coming months, because it would be many months before spring. Consider, what have placed in keeping for the winter, both material goods and spiritual.
The food is put away for the winter, the crops are set aside to feed us, the cattle are come down from their fields, and the sheep are in from the pasture.
The land is cold, the sea is stormy, the sky is gray.
The nights are dark, but we have our family, kin and clan around the heart,
Staying warm in the midst of darkness, our spirit and love a flame, a beacon burning brightly in the night.
Day 11: Blessing of the Darkness
In the middle of winter, it's hard to remember sometimes that light is coming back to earth. However, despite the gray, cloudy days, we know that soon, the sun will return. Keep this in mind during those dreary days when it seems winter will never end.
The sky puts on the darkening blue coat
Held for it by a row of ancient trees;
You watch: and the lands grow distant in your sight,
One journeying to heaven, one that falls;
And leave you,
Not at home in either one, not quite so still and dark as the
Not calling to eternity with the passion of what becomes
A star each night, and rises;
And leave you (inexpressibly to unravel)
Your life, with its immensity and fear,
So that, now bounded, now immeasurable,
It is alternately stone in you and star.
Rilke Maria Rainer
Day 12: Prayer for the New Year
Twelfth Night, New Year's Eve is the last of the twelve night celebrations and it is a time for merriment, reflections on the past year and oaths, personal agreements and resolutions. Twelfth Night is the time to look ahead and plan and pray for the New Year and the accomplishments you desire to make.
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
Wreath Making (Symbol of the Yule Tree) and Altar Ideas
Create a Ring or Wheel of Various Types of Evergreens
Here are some additional ideas and their symbolism:
Bayberry - good fortune and wealth
Evergreens - everlasting life, eternity, repels negativity
Holly - everlasting life, protects against negativity, renewed
direction in life
Ivy - immortality
Cedar, strength and healing
Mistletoe - fertility, healing, protection
Pine Cones, Nuts, or Seedpods - endurance, longevity
Cloves - repel negativity and hostility
Ginger - love, wealth, success, power
Myrrh - protection, purification
Nutmeg - clairvoyance
Rosemary - love, purification, protection, intellectualism
Saffron - healing, clairvoyance and purification
Valerian - harmony and love
Wintergreen - healing and protection
Laurel - victory
Blood-Red Berries - fertility and new life
Wishes with plant medicines wrapped within can be written in parchment and placed on the wreaths. An old Pagan tradition involves hanging these from holly branches. The herbs are placed inside of small sachet bags. Crystals can be wrapped in gold or silver colored wire or in net fabric.
Ancient altars and wreaths incorporated three goddess figures:
Loose hair female with a headband to represent maidenhood, a central figure holding a basket of fruit in her lap for fertility and a female with snakes may refer to an association with the souls of the dead or the underworld.
Include on the shrine decorations of fruits , plants and gemstones.
Bloodstone - victory, courage,
wealth, strength, healing
Cat's eye - beauty, protection, healing, wealth, luck
Crystal quartz- can substitute for all other crystals
Garnet - strength, healing, protection
Ruby- joy, banishes nightmares, power, protection, wealth
Topaz - love, wealth, healing and protection