Friday, December 16, 2011

Yule Ritual ideas (LBE and FD)

I've gathered these ritual ideas together from a couple of sources, which will be linked to at the bottom of this post rather than being put among all the rituals.

Simple Yule Ritual for Beginners
Materials Needed:
Dirt from the land you live on (to represent the Earth)
A candle (bright yellow to represent fire, and the sun)
Water (to represent, of course water. From your tap is fine)
Incense (to represent air. Any scent you feel is appropriate will do)
An evergreen branch (small or large will do)
A small offering to the Reborn God (incense, something handmade by you, a string of beads, ect)
And most important, a quiet ritual space where you will not be disturbed.
Additional materials, such as pinecones, antlers, flowers, ect can be added to the ritual space as desired. I usual have many things around me, that have special meaning to me, but this is meant to be a very simple ritual for the newcomer, so I will forgo adding more than needed.

Place the Earth element in the North, the Air in the East, the Fire in the South, and the Water in the West. Try to place them so that you can reach each of them easily from one position. This can be on a small table, a tree stump, or the ground. If you wish, cover the area with a cloth that you will only use for ritual to help put you in the right frame of mind for it. Light the Fire candle, and meditate on what Yule means to you. If you are still learning, and are not quite sure of what it does mean to you, read this- http://www.angelfire.com/ca5/witchcraftstudies/yule.html. This was written by Mike Nichols, and should help you understand the day even more.

After meditating, pick up the bowl of Dirt, and say (or think), “I am of this Earth, forever linked to the Gods.” Draw a pentacle in the dirt. Replace.

Next pick up the Incense, drawing a pentacle in front of your with it say, “This is the breath of the Gods, which gives me life.” Replace.

Picking up the candle, say, “This is the Flame that warms our heart, just as the love of the Goddess and the God warms our souls.” Replace.

Last, pick the bowl of Water up, and say, “And this the ever-changing waters and nourishes life, without which we would not be.” Replace.

Think on the God’s rebirth, and the lengthening days that follow the Winter Solstice. Say what is in your heart at this time to the Goddess and the God. If you are in a situation that you are not comfortable to speak aloud, then think those words.

Next, take the offering you are giving to the Gods up in your hands, hold it to the sky and say, “This is my gift to you, for you have given many gifts to me. This symbolizes my pledge to you.” Replace. Add why to this why you chose this offering.

Now for the closing of your ritual. Take up the Earth again, saying, “Thank you for watching over my rite.” Pour the dirt back onto the ground if outside, if not, wait till you are completely finished then do it. Say the thank you for each of the elements. Pour the water out onto the ground as well. Take your offering to a favorite tree or plant of yours, and either place it on the branches where it won’t be disturbed, or bury it near the roots. Place the incense under/over the offering, and leave it to burn itself out. Take the candle inside, and place in a window. Let it burn all the way out. (Make sure there aren’t any curtains or other flammable materials nearby that could catch fire. Be safe.) Spend the rest of the day aware of the significance of the day.

If you have any changes that you would like to make for yourself in this ritual, go ahead. Paganism is a living religion, always growing and expanding. To the new person, I would suggest keeping it as simple as possible. This is why you will not see the usual tools, such as the knife or a circle used here. It is not needed. They have their purposes.

Go with the Gods, Blessed Be.

***

Peace for Family Spell
This spell is primarily when you are wanting to restore peace within your family (immediate and/or extended); however, you can alter the words to focus on friends, co-workers, etc. should you wish.

Items you will need:
Family picture of all people included in the focus of your spell (if not all in one picture, separate pictures is fine.)
4 White Candles
2 Blue Candles
Altar or work space for setting up your spell
Incense (use an incense that has properties relating to peace – (see attachment to this spel for list of scents that have peace inducing properties)
Chamomile Tea or Relaxing Blend Tea of some sort

Set Up: Steps:
1. Set up your altar ahead of time.
2. Make yourself a STRONG cup of your relaxing blend tea (whatever works best for you.)
3. You may cast your circle if you wish, according to your path, and invoke your God/Goddess as you choose.
4. Light all 4 candles starting with the candle at the East going clockwise around. As you light each candle, think of the purest white and brightest white light permeating the candle and your space – think of each family member as you are lighting the candles. NOTE: The purpose of the 4 candles is Not indicative of the elements per se, but primarily to infuse your space with white pure light – light that is healing and as pure as possible – basically – we wanted your family pics to be encircled by white light (physically and spiritually)!
5. Light the Blue Candles – There are 2 blue candles for this purpose: Blue is also a healing color. Having a blue candle at the top left and the top right, both, enables you, the spellworker to visually be able to see it covering both sides of the family (both sides of the situation, both sides of the story, of the argument, etc. – this is a psychological method that bypasses our conscious minds and permeates our subconscious where magick is derived. As you light both blue candles, see a flame blue as blue can be infusing with white light into your space.
6. Light your incense. Sit and breathe deeply for a moment or two.
7. Prepare yourself mentally for the work that is to be done, relax, ground, center, shield and enter a trance (as deep as you are able to do.)
8. Hold your hands over the pictures.
9. Gather energy from the ground and envision it surrounding the pictures of your family. Pull energy through your Crown Chakra from the Universe and see the white light infusing with the healing energy from the ground, extending through your hands and into the pictures of your family members (focusing on this energy truly encompassing each family member.) See this white, blue and grounding light forming a rope-like bond between you and each member of the family. See each family member’s face relax and smile and be at ease.
10. Say this prayer 7 times or until you “feel” it is done.

“Great Goddess, Great God, I send you my plea to heal my family. Please mend the bonds between us this day. Bring back love, peace and joy for your children, I pray.” (when you are done saying this and the spell feels complete, end with ~~~ “An harm it none, this spell is done.”

Bring yourself out of the trance, ground yourself by whatever means you have become accustomed to, or you can simply focus on roots growing from your feet into the ground. Touch the carpet, or grass, or ground beneath you and in your mind, describe the texture. These are excellent grounding techniques.

You may leave the candles to burn (please do not leave unattended) and the spell will be complete. Or, you can extinguish the candles when you are done with your spell, and then light each day until the candles burn down, at which time the spell will be complete.

Discard the candle remains off your property or you can bury in the ground on your property or off.

*Peace Inducing Incense that can be used:
Acacia, Althea, Basil, Bay, Benzoin, Calamus, Catnip, Chamomile, Cherry Blossom, enia, Lavender, Lilac, Marjoram, Passion Flower, Pennyroyal, Poppy, Rose,, Rosewood, Varnerian, Verbena, Violet, Yellow Rose, Ylang Ylang

*List of Scents taken from Magical Oils by Moonlight by Maya Heath, Page 193.

***

Yule Celebration Ideas:
Start your celebration well before dawn, so you can be a part of the Sun's birthing process. Kick off the ritual with an apple juice toast to the Holly King, saying: "Winter day of longest night, Step aside now for the light. Thank you for the things you've brought. That only darkness could have wrought."

Then name all the gifts of darkness that you can think of - regeneration, peace, dreams, organization, quietude, and so on - before drinking the juice.

To ensure good luck and prosperity in the coming year, anoint a bayberry candle with vegetable oil and roll it in dried chamomile. Light the candle and allow it to burn down completely.

Make a Yule log from a piece of oak and decorate it with evergreens. Light it, saying: "Old King, we thank You for all You've done. For lessons learned, and victories won, We must, however, bid You adieu. For Your reign is finished - it's over and through. Come forth, Young King of newest light. Be born with ease; grow strong and bright, Gain strength and stature in the sky. Shed you warmth on us now from on high."

Be sure to save an unburned piece to start next year's log. Save some of the ashes, too. They make terrific boosters for every type of magick. End the ritual with an orange juice toast to the Sun, saying: "O Newborn Sun of love and light, Rise quickly now, rise high and bright Gain power in the sky above, We grant you our support and love."

After ritual, collect all the evergreen decorations you used there and put them away. You'll need them at Imbolc.

~from Dorothy Morrison's book The Craft

***

Yule Solitary Ritual
Preparations:
If it's physically feasible, fast and pray for three days beforehand. This allows you to enter the New Year's cycle purified in body and spirit. Also consider a ritual bath with cinnamon, mint and rose petals to improve psychic awareness.

Decorate the sacred space with gold and silver spheres to represent the returning sun, and wreaths to symbolize the turning Wheel. Have oak shavings ready as a base for your incense. Add any other personally meaningful herbs to this mixture and start burning it before the invocation to help prepare the sacred space. Finally, put your sun candle from earlier in the year at the southern point of the circle.

The Altar:
Cover the altar with a pale green cloth - the color of early sprouts, which represents continuance. Add red berries for life's blood; holly; ivy; and pine branches as a symbol of longevity. The pine also welcomes sylvan spirits to your circle.

Have a Yule log at the center point, placing there your God and Goddess candles. Always keep a part of the candles or the log itself for future years; this brings good luck, life, health and providence.

Cast the Circle:
Take up the Athamé and Cast the Circle starting in the West, the region where several cultures believe the afterlife resides, the direction of the Dying Sun.

take a moment to center yourself and begin to cast the Circle. Visualize a white light coming from the tip of the athamé and with arms straight out, turn the blade point out, slowly turning clockwise the light following you.

When you return to the West bring the athamé back to you and say: “As above, so below.”

As you say this, visualize the light going above you and below you forming a perfect sphere.

Invocations:
Light the Goddess candle in the Yule log, then move to the Northern point in your Circle. This is the quarter traditionally ascribed to the season of winter.

North: "Ancient Mother, I look for your opulence, but tonight naught but barren trees decorate the land. In this restful moment, let my spirit find healing."

East: "Ancient Brother, I listen for your winds, but tonight they are still. In this quiet darkness, help me find inspiration."

South: "Ancient Father, I look for your fires, but tonight the embers only begin to glow more brightly. May this gentle warmth temper my spirit."

West: "Ancient Sister, I seek your glistening tears, but tonight they are frozen. Beneath this cool blanket, let my emotions find stability."

Center: "Ancient Ones, I seek Your face, but tonight darkness surrounds. Help me find Your spark within to guide my path."

Meditation and Visualization:
Winter Solstice is an excellent time to undergo a vision quest to find your magical name, a totem animal, a mantra, or other empowering insights. This meditation is meant to accent that quest by opening your awareness to the power within and without all things.

Begin in a standing position. Center yourself and breathe deeply. Slowly take off your mundane clothes, likewise removing the "world" with each. Wrap a blanket around yourself for warmth, but remain naked for the meditation. You need no trappings to discover personal power.

Sit and close your eyes. Let any remaining tension drain away, then begin listening to the sound of silence. Smell the aromas of oak and herb. Feel the latent energy of everything around you and the magic you've placed there. Know it as your own.

Listen to your breath and your heartbeat. Sense the pulse and ebb within as the same energy without. Listen closely; does it whisper a message to you? Does it whisper a name? Do you hear the cry of an animal? Do you hear words that fill you with energy? Linger in this place between Earth and stars until you receive a message. Then return to normal levels of awareness, and write of this experience in your journal.

The Ritual:
Turn toward the northern part of your circle. Think of things that you want to banish, such as bad habits. Say: "I call to the darkness. Come embrace my __________ (fill in with your negative characteristics). Take them to yourself. I release them. As the sun climbs in the sky, take these things with you in retreat, never to return to me again."

Turn to the south of the circle, light the sun candle, and repeat this chant. Let it naturally grow to fill the entire space with positive vibrations: "Strong sun, returning sun; the light burns as the Wheel turns. Strong sun, returning sun; the shadows fade; my magic bade. Strong sun, returning sun; the shadows flee, the magic is free!"

Return to the altar now and light the God candle, using the Goddess candle as a fire source (symbolic of the womb). "Sun Father, Your journey has left you weary. May this light give you strength to reach toward the heavens again with warmth and brilliance."

After saying so, go through your home and light all its candles, lamps, flashlights, or decorative lights to represent the sun's return.

Closing the Circle:
West: "Spirit of the West, thank you for cleansing body, mind, and spirit. As you go from this place, likewise purify Earth."

South: "Spirit of the South, thank you for this warmth of body, mind and spirit. As you go from this place, likewise generate love on Earth."

East: "Spirit of the East, thank you for this stillness of body, mind and spirit. As you go from this place, likewise bring peace to Earth."

North: "Spirit of the North, thank you for healing me in body, mind, and spirit. As you go from this place, likewise heal Earth."

Center: "Ancient Ones, thank you for turning the Wheel that enlightens body, mind, and spirit. As you go from this place, likewise edify Earth."

Release the Circle:
Release the Circle in whatever manner is most familiar to you.

Post-Ritual Foods:
Go with your traditional holiday foods, which for me include many that have solar symbolism. Cookies are round like the sun, eggnog is golden and fertile, gingerbread is hot and spicy, and fruitcake bears red and orange highlights. As a side, try a little flaming brandy to warm you up!

~from Patricia Telesco's book, The Wiccan Book of Ceremonies and Rituals.

***

Yule Chant Solstice Blessing
Brightly burns the Yule log tonight
Magic dances in firelight
Hold my hand and join the song
Raise the Sun King bright and strong
Dark is giving way to light
As brightly burns the Yule log tonight!

***

Create a ritual of re-birth. Let it begin with all in darkness, and, throughout the ritual, light candles until you are surrounded by warmth and brightness. Move from the womb to the full light of a summer's day!

***

Sources:
http://www.angelfire.com/ca5/witchcraftstudies/yuleritual.html
http://www.wiccaspirit.net/vol4is5/page9.html
http://www.wicca.com/celtic/akasha/yulechildren.htm
http://daughtersofearthwisdom.org/sabbats/yule/articles/ideas.html

2 comments:

Intense Guy said...

Too bad your fireplace doesn't work - you could burn that Yule log.

A nice toasty fire would feel so nice it would be spiritual.

Toriz said...

*Nods in agreement with UIggy*