Yule Newsletter 21 December 2021
Well, it’s been a tough year but we have made it through 2021. As with this global pandemic, now to make it through the winter without the new variant spreading too much throughout the world would be fantastic and we would know that it is all good from here…but only time will tell!
As the days grow darker and colder, and we have had our first frost plus a slight dusting of snow, we are on our way to the shortest day. This is usually also heralded by the shops playing your favourite festive tunes sang by Michael Bubbles or Mariah Carey, and the windows lit up with coloured lights and sparkly trees. Maybe, Santa will make an appearance with his elves or team of reindeer or maybe the fairy godmother with sparkly wings will appear at a school near you. Regardless of your belief system, this time of year is all about family and spending quality time with them (if not cut short like last year) and also about the magick of Christmas. Kids may seem to grow up sooner these days, but this is the time we can put a little magick and mystery back into their lives and show them there is more to life than computer games and the latest I-phone. This is about family…the best Christmas Alan & I spent was with all our kids and some stupid games…nothing like a magnificent dinner, a couple glasses of bubbly and then out with the games…Charades and quizzes are favoured in our house and you are talking kids & grandkids divided into male v female or oldest v youngsters…oh yes, us oldies showed them how it should be done!! Making fun memories is what this time is all about, even more so coming out of a war with a virus…fun, magick and mystery just to lighten the load a little for a week or two! There is no routine at this time and Christmas is what you make it. One year, as the Radio mentioned the smell of the Roast beginning to fill the kitchen, I realised there was no smell of cooking…yep, had put the turkey in and had forgot to switch the oven on …a major disaster in some homes but ‘lunch will be late kids’ in ours!! Christmas is not about perfection, it is about family, being together and having a laugh…this is the lesson of the pandemic: enjoy the day, chat with those who are not able to join you, eat and drink the best you can afford, only spend what you can afford, if visiting, take to share and simply live your best life!
The magick of the Yuletide Pine tree…
The Scot’s pine is one of my favourite trees and I simply love the aroma of the essential oil. It is our only native Pine tree and is thought to be the first tree to establish after the ice age. The young tree is a conical shape like other pines, but then the lower branches die off to leave a bare red trunk and the growth further up flattens out to give it its distinctive shape. They can grow up to 40 metres tall in lowlands but much taller on the mountains, and at one time, this fine tree covered most of Scotland till it began to get cleared for agriculture in the Neolithic period. It also allows for light so that life still goes on under a canopy of the Scots pine trees. It is traditional to bring greenery into the home at Yule and the Pine is the favourite tree to decorate as it heralds guidance at the beginning of the year. Its colours of red and green became the colours of Yule as the Scot’s Pine stood out in a bleak, grey northern winter. Its hardiness and vitality ensured the promise of life in even the harshest weather… and even in those darkest of days, it gave the promise of the Sun’s return, new life and regeneration …after all, cut down a Scot’s Pine tree and it may look dead, but new stems of growth will appear from its much-alive roots!
At Yule, we decorate the Pine tree – something we inherited from our Viking roots as a way of honouring the spirit of the tree and to help encourage growth to return with the Spring.
After Yule, the days begin their journey once more to the longest day and the Pine encourages us to break new ground and overcome problems, whilst the aroma of the Pine fumigates the air, refreshes the mind, stimulates the circulation, clears the house of stagnant energy and helps overcome bad luck, illness and depression. Boughs of pine would be hung over the bed of sick or weak people to ward off illness, and hung in the home to draw energy, vitality & strength (or I simply use the oil in warm water to clean my floors and woodwork – works just the same!).
Decorating our home with Nature’s finest…
Obviously, the main thing is home greenery such as the tree, mistletoe, holly and ivy, as they simply bring the very essence of Nature into the home, reminding us that the Earth is alive and plentiful, even at the darkest part of the year. When decorating your tree or home, we are looking forward, as the tree points to our future. Encourage hope and luck by filling your tree with symbolic positivity to bring a year of plenty for you and your family: tree lights, tinsel and baubles all represent the Sun at its darkest and weakest, and lighting the home helps attract a year of warmth, light and plenty for the household. Think carefully when decorating your tree – silver baubles are the moon, red, orange and gold ones are the Sun. Pine cones, cinnamon sticks, orange slices and nuts all make great tree decorations for luck and abundance, coins and chocolate bring luxury & wealth to your home and the Goddess or Star on the top of the tree oversees your festivities from on high. Think wisely how you decorate your home and it can help attract a year of luck, abundance and positivity and after Covid, we need all the help we can get!
Talking of Mistletoe…
Sacred to the Druids, mistletoe is hung over the front door at Yule to help protect the home from any misfortune and also hung over the bedhead for fertility, restful sleep and good dreams. This year’s mistletoe will be arriving and on sale by 15th. Keep the herb cool until Yule, spraying with a fine mist of slightly warm water daily. Then at dusk on 21st, light your yule candle (or candles in the yule log beautifully surrounded by holly, ivy and pine), pass the mistletoe through the flames quickly, and hang inside the front door. Remove the old bunch (carefully, as no doubt will collapse as soon as you move it) & burn if you have had a rough year or recycle if it wasn’t all bad!
Pagan Sachet for Yule…
It is customary at Yule to hang the Mistletoe, but this year we definitely need something extra. An old Yule recipe was prepared and wrapped in either green or red cloth and given as gifts at this time using 12 herbs for the 12 festive days. Using my own version of Juniper berries, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, rosemary, cinnamon, mistletoe, rice, orange flowers, lavender, lemongrass and Wishing Grains, all mixed together for love, luck, prosperity, harmony, and happiness. I have done this previously but think this year, we should prepare lots as we all need every bit of help we can muster to get life back on track. These pouches are something you can do too for friends and family. Simply light incense and candles on your altar and mix the blend of herbs and spices in a bowl with your fingers saying “Luck and prosperity, happiness and harmony” as you mix the blend together. Spoon it into green or red pouches and give as gifts to friends and family who need a little luck, love or abundance in their lives. They can then add wishes on paper, roll into scrolls and slide in before hanging. We all need a little more hope this year!
The Yule stones of transformation…Alexandrite and Moldavite…
It is a funny old world, but I purchased just a little of the rare natural raw Alexandrite some 10+ years ago and, because it was so expensive and just a little pack of them, put them somewhere safe so I didn’t lose them, and yes, there they stayed, having fell behind my old work bag, and waited until the aftermath of a global pandemic to resurface alongside the purchase of what may be the final Moldavite I will ever set my hands on! So why now?
‘Emerald by day, Ruby by night’
Alexandrite was named after the Russian Czar Alexander 2nd and was very popular with the Russian Aristocracy as it showed their imperial colours! It is an odd stone but immediately spottable as it is a blue/green in daylight but a red/purple in artificial light. It is a stone of faith, hope, love, success and transformation which attracts good fortune and prosperity…what’s not to like, rare and expensive as it is!!
The meteor stone from the Moldau Valley…
A meteor crashed to Earth some 15million years ago in Czechoslovakia and the melted material created from this crash was what we now know as Moldavite, from the Valley itself. It has to come from the Moldau Valley in the now Czech Republic to be Moldavite…no new find in the USA, or creations from China will be this transformative stone, so accept nothing less! This green ‘powerhouse’ is an amazing crystal, but don’t get some just because someone you know has some…do not purchase until you are ready for what it has in store for you!! Each person’s lesson will be different. It can make you feel hot, dizzy or even panicky when you first get it (known as the Moldavite Flush) so this is why you must introduce your two energies very, very slowly and allow both to get used to each other. Once you have got to know your new bestie, it will allow a greater understanding of where your life is going, what needs to be done and opens up the Universal world of infinite possibilities and helps you to tap into them! I have loved the stuff for years, once I found ‘my piece’ and hope this little pairing of ‘green mightiness’ might just give you the transformation you need to head on into 2022 with a new vigour for life and change…come on, you can do it!!
Annually, the festive four are made as usual. What I love about my yuletide oils is the variety of changing smells each year. Because the orange oil that year smells sweeter than last or the frankincense smells fresher, I never know which will be my favourite (last year was Yuletide Celebrations) so wonder what will be yours?
Childhood memories, made with mum’s kitchen in mind with orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, tangerine & clove
Winter wonderland is the smell of a market’s festive greenery with Scot’s pine, cedarwood, Cypress & nutmeg
Christmas Welcome is made to welcome visitors into your home with tangerine, geranium, cinnamon & sweet orange
Yuletide celebrations is my magickal festive blend of Pine, tangerine, cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh & clove
Festive Shop closure
Christmas falls beautifully on a weekend this year, so we will be open Mon – Sat 10.30 till 5.00,
then close up 4pm Xmas Eve,
re-open as usual 28th – 30th Dec from 11 till 4,
close for Hogmanay & New Year,
then re-open hopefully back to normal on Tue 4thJan, unless anything changes …so keep a check on our FB and website pages.
Full Moon: Sun 19 Dec @ 04.36 hrs New Moon: Sun 2 Jan @ 18.34 hrs
Full Moon: Mon 17 Jan @ 23.49 hrs New Moon: Tue 1 Feb @ 05.47 hrs
May your Yule be Cool and Happy 2022. Bright blessings & enjoy your festive fun from
Chris (alias the Green Witch)