Yule comes from the Norse “iul” and the Anglo-Saxon “hweol”, both meaning “wheel”. It celebrates the completion of another cycle in the Wheel of the Year. The dark half of the year is at an end and we gather together to honour the light’s return.
The Yuletide season begins on the eve of the Winter Solstice, and continues into the New Year. As the sun makes its way back to Earth, and the days become noticeably longer, we experience a sense of rebirth and renewal. Hope is awakened once again, and we celebrate, by gathering with family and friends, and by sharing our joy in this season of giving.
One of the traditional symbols of the season is the Yule Wreath. The circular wreath, having no beginning and no ending, is symbolic of the eternal cycle of life-death-rebirth. Yule wreaths are usually made from evergreen boughs, whose branches remain green throughout the Winter months. They are symbols of immortality and the victory over darkness and challenge.
Yule Wreath Tarot Spread
Yule is an ideal time for introspection, divination and magickal workings, and planning for the future. The Yule Wreath tarot spread follows the twelve-spoked Wheel of the Year, each day marked as one of the twelve days of Yule. The thirteenth card, at the center, represents the coming year. The spread is adapted from June Kaminski’s Sacred Days of Yule Tarot Spread. http://rajunasrefuge.com/yule.html
Beginning on Yule Eve, draw one card from your tarot deck and lay it on the appropriate spoke of the wheel. Reflect on its meaning and make a note of its position in the spread. Once you have completed your Wreath spread, reflect on the overall meaning of the cards, as a whole, and write down your thoughts. Notice any trends that are likely to arise in the coming year.
- December 20th – Yule Eve, the longest night of the year and so an ideal time for dreaming. This card sets the intention for the messages we may receive in our dreams this night.
- December 21st – At Yule we celebrate Light’s return, and this card shows us how to connect with our own inner light.
- December 22nd – This card represents the obstacles we must overcome in order to turn our dreams into reality.
- December 23rd –This card teaches us how to nurture our faith and trust in the Universe.
- December 24th – This card represents harmony within the family and connection with the Ancestors.
- December 25th – This card represents our connection with Spirit.
- December 26th – This card represents wealth and prosperity.
- December 27th – This card teaches us how to deal with stressful situations.
- December 28th – This card shows us our strengths and our skills.
- December 29th – This card teaches us how to cultivate trust in our abilities.
- December 30th – This card shows us how to reconnect with our Inner Child.
- December 31st – This card shows us how to release the old and let in the new.
- January 1st – New Beginnings. This card shows us where to focus our energies and intentions in 2018.
The Dark Moon in Sagittarius connects us to our sense of adventure. We become the explorer, seeking out the hidden wonders of our inner landscape.
This close to Winter Solstice, it truly is the darkest time of the year. With no Moonlight to guide the way on our journey, we may feel lost and utterly alone.
But if we dare to put our trust in the darkness and travel unknown pathways, we will discover something very precious. There is gold in the shadow, gold which needs to be mined and brought to the surface. Robert Johnson and Murray Stein refer to this as the Golden Shadow.
There is only one thing many of us fear more than the dark, and that is our own light, our personal power. The light becomes an aspect of shadow precisely because we have so much resistance to it.
The Golden Shadow is related to our higher calling, yet, we may often resist this calling, we deny it, we run from it, we fear it. To honour our life’s purpose is to hold ourselves accountable and to take responsibility for how we act in the world. We do this by embracing the Golden Shadow, by living the life we are meant to be living.
Ritual to Mine the Shadows for Gold
Sit quietly with pen and paper. Think about the bright parts of yourself that you have been keeping hidden in the Shadows.
If you aren’t sure how to start, think about the people, real or fictional, whom you admire and look up to as role models.
Write down the traits that attract you, the characteristics which resonate with you. You feel strongly because you recognize those traits, they are the flecks of gold hiding in your Shadow. Dig them up and show those beautiful golden nuggets to the world.
Dark Moon Blessings,