Already the days are about to lengthen, we are back round to the Winter Solstice. This particular day was celebrated for thousands of years by our ancestors in the northern hemisphere. It was even crowned and celebrated as the original Christmas day until the 4th century AD.
The name Yule derives from the word yoole, which developed from the Old English term geo-l in the 8th Century AD. Yule was always known as twelve day holiday, beginning on Mothers Night (December 21st) and ending twelve days later (January 1st). Its the origin for the 12 days of Christmas.
For people on the spiritual path, in the northern and western traditions, this date portrays the enduring legend of the battle between oak king and holly king. These two mighty rulers fight for supremacy as the wheel of the year turns. The Winter Solstice sees the oak king conquer the holly king and oak reigns until Summer Solstice. In some european traditions, the oak king and the holly king are seen as dual aspects of the horned god. Each of these twin aspects rules for half the year, battles for the favour of the Goddess, and then retires to nurse his wounds for the next six months, until it's time for him to reign once more.
For other folk with a spiritual understanding Yule is the time when the Sun God Lugh is reborn in human form to rejoin his beloved wife Eriu. Eriu is described as a hag, who transformed into a beautiful Goddess by the marriage. She was known in Ireland as the sovereignty of Ireland.
21st December marks the day of the suns return, the earth rocks back on its axis thus altering the suns path. after that huge event the sun rises a bit further south again each day.
Yule time was always and still is recognised as a time of sharing, caring and feeling jolly and merry. Take part in the deeper tradition and wake up before dawn around the Solstice, go outdoors, back garden or the local park will do if deeper nature isn't accessible and greet the sunrise any way you wish. the wonderful Sun, re-born again flooding back into our lives, lengthening and warming our days.
The precise time for this years Solstice event is Friday 21st December 22.23 BST & 23:23 CET, there we have an opportunity to make use of this conspicuous time so give a little bit of effort to your spiritual heritage these days, the spirits and otherworld energies around will definitely shine for us. All the very best to all you great people on the path.
*Meaning of the word 'Solstice' : From the Latin term Solstitium, containing the Latin sol-sun & sistere-to make stand.