The Winter Solstice is a very sacred time for people of many different religions, traditions and beliefs. It is a time for reaching out in the spirit of love and appreciation for those we hold dear to us.
In days of old it was the time when people looked at the sun retreating further away in the sky and they instinctively knew that at the Winter Solstice it would begin it's journey back to the earth. To hasten and assure this process they lit bonfires on the hillsides to call it back from the heavens. In essence, all the celebrations at this time of the year center around calling back the sun/son to the earth.
Yule is a wonderful time to evaluate the progress you have made for the year that is being left behind you as well as thinking about the goals, dreams and visions you would like to put into effect for the year ahead.
In my tradition, my celebration involves a ritual of clearing negativity and bringing the light back into my life. I light candles for the elements of the earth, the God, the Goddess, and for Spirit which animates and brings life to all that is. I make a list of things I would like to banish from my life and another list of all the things I would like to bring into my life.
I also like to bring my favorite deck of Tarot cards and my Tarot journal into my magical circle and do a reading to see what the future year may hold in store for me.
I start by shuffling and laying out 13 cards in three rows of four cards each with the last card at the top of the spread. Each card represents a month for the year ahead starting with January.
As I turn over each card, I meditate of the meaning it has for me. I look carefully at the symbolism and feel what the card is telling me. I write my feelings and my observations in my Tarot journal as I go along. If I want any further information about what I am seeing, I turn over a few additional cards.
When I reach the 13th card at the top of the pile I read it as the outcome card for the year ahead. This card is the culmination of all the previous cards.
As we know, the future is never set in stone. All the cards are revealing it the potential future if things don't change. But, like Scrooge, no matter how bad the future may appear, we always have the option to change what we are seeing.
So, Blessed Yule, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a very wonderful holiday to all!