At the end of the year it is customary to look back fondly at the outgoing year, but this year I know I’m not alone in saying good riddance to 2020. So instead of jumping into fun Yule traditions and spells I’m going to spend some time discussing how to apply the messages and the myths regarding Yule to help us bring in 2021 in a more positive light.
It’s all about light anyway, isn’t it? The Celtic traditions tell us that Yule is one of two times in the year the Holly King and the Oak King fight for dominance over the wheel of the year and for the Goddess’ favors. For Wiccans the Holly King and Oak King are seen as two sides of the same God, he is merely just split, not unlike Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. One side, The Oak King, brings the light and the warmth of the sun. The other side is the Holly King, the God of the hunt and of darkness. While some believe the Oak King beats the Holly King at the Winter Solstice and then he in turn is beaten in the Summer Solstice, others believe these battles happen during the equinoxes as the idea of the Holly King being trumped by the Oak King on Yule feels odd and makes us wonder what exactly to do with all that mistletoe and holly. If their battle is during the equinoxes then each king is strongest during their corresponding Solstices and their power begins to wane shortly after. This is the way many choose to look at these battles and I am asking that this Yule you do the same.
Why? Well, no matter how we look at it Yule marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. While the days do begin to grow longer every day after the Solstice, it will be a while before we notice the increasing light. But whether the Holly King likes it or not, the Oak king is already influencing the seasons to go from winter to spring. And whether we feel the same magick of the season this year or not, the darkness that 2020 plunged us into is also coming to a close.
2020 has beaten us all down to some degree. Some of us got up right away and others are still in the process of doing so. If we apply the concept of the turning of the wheel and the changes of the season to the end of this dark year and the possibilities awaiting the new one, then we can say that 2021 will be a turn toward the light. The Holly King can’t reign forever and neither can the darkness of 2020. This Yule let us see the fight of the Oak King as our own fight for the light.
Keeping this in mind, I’m going to go over some Yule traditions that can help keep this mindset of allowing the light into the dark. If you have a fireplace, or outside chimenea, get a Yule log. Keep it some place prominent in your home until you are ready to burn it. Let the log burn away the darkness you are feeling and see the light it emits as possibilities of the light that will return to your life in the coming year. If you don’t have access to a fireplace then you can use candles. You might even bring a log, or random branch you find, into your home and decorate it with seasonal images. Place it on your altar and place candles near it that you will burn. In this way you capture the symbolism and magick of the Yule Log on a smaller scale. You can meditate by the fire and imagine that light coming into your life for 2021.
Bringing Holly and Mistletoe into your home is another great way to bring light and positivity into your Yule. Holly is a great protector and hanging it around the home will help to keep you safe from any harm. Mistletoe aids in removing aggression in your home so that peace can reign. If you are feeling low, it can help you with those warring feelings within yourself so that you can find some peace.
However you choose to celebrate Yule I wish you much peace, and may the fighting spirit of the Oak King help bring you light in 2021.
This post has been authored by Nori Negrón, WDA Head Witch and teacher. She's got two courses in our platform readily available for you! You can listen to her podcast WitchSpace on iTunes, Spotify, Podbean and more!
Brought to you by Maria Alviz Hernando, WDA Tarot Teacher, and Blog Coordinator.