We did it Sinners! We made through yet another year of struggles and uncertainty. With a new season and year ahead, we can take this Winter Solstice to relax and unwind. Either solitary witch or gather with your fellow pagans, here are some of our favorite modern takes on Yule traditions.

Our ancestors depended on the passage of times and seasons. And the best way to measure the seasons was by observing the Sun and the Earth’s orbit around it. The winter solstice is the time of the year when the Sun is reborn, announcing a new season.

https://nationaltoday.com/yule/

Blessing Ball

Similar to a Jar Spell, clear balls can be filled with magical herbs and crystals for setting magical intentions. Rather than keeping a sealed jar the use clear ornaments to display on your holiday tree, hang indoors all year, or outdoors on a nearby tree as an offering to your fairy friends. The possibilities are endless and the craft aspect makes for family fun.

Get step-by-step DIY instructions on our Pinterest board Sin Dee NYC: A #Bruja ‘s B.O.S.


Wassailing & Hullabaloo

No it’s not a Dr. Seuss book, but it could lead to as much silliness during your Yule celebration!

Historically, wassailing took many different forms, depending on local tradition. Revelers typically visited local orchards and fruit trees, sang songs, made a hullabaloo (often by banging pots and pans) and were rewarded by the orchard’s grateful owner with some form of warm, spiced alcoholic beverage from a communal wassail bowl or cup. Sometimes a topping of apple, known as ‘lamb’s wool’, would be added.

The intention was to ward off bad spirits from the orchards whilst also pleasing the spirits of the fruit trees, all in order to ensure a bountiful crop of fruit in the year ahead.

Ritual and revelry, the story of wassailing | nationaltrust.org.uk

Add some spice to your solstice gathering with a batch of your very own Wassail. Just warn the neighbors before you start a hullabaloo!

Get step-by-step DIY instructions on our Pinterest board Sin Dee NYC: A #Bruja ‘s B.O.S.


Pomander

Derving from the French term for Perfume Ball, oranges spiked with cloves are a staple in households during the winter. Historically the Pomander has roots in pagan magic, making for a perfect Yuletide activity.

Get the DIY instructions on our Guide to Yule on Pinterest

Although pomanders have been used for ages in religious practices and were sometimes made as religious keepsakes, the form we are most familiar with today, specifically, has its roots in witchcraft. A clove-covered orange, tied with a gold or red ribbon and sometimes anointed with oils, was originally a charm used by witches for recovery, protection, and good luck spells.

medium.com | The Magical History of Pomanders

When your spikey perfume balls seem to have run its course, you can offer them up to the woods, use in your compost to bless your upcoming harvest, or add to some leftover Wassail before they go bad.


Yule Log

A few years ago, a friend was assigned to bring a Yule log to our Winter Solstice celebration. To our delight his quick thinking lead to killing two birds with one stone and the tradition of the Yule Cake. Dessert and Witchcraft in one!

Head to your neighborhood Baskin Robbins to order your Yule Log ahead of time and don’t forget to grab a pack birthday candles. As tradition goes:

The candles and lights associated with Christmas, meant to symbolize guiding beacons for the Christ child, may have evolved from the Yule log, which was lit to entice the Sun to return as part of the jól (Yule) festival in Scandinavia.

Interestingly, the Yule log was originally an entire tree! Families would bring the trunk of the Yule tree inside and stick the big end of it into the fireplace. The Yule log would feed the fire through the 12 Days of Christmas (from Christmas Day through the evening of the 5th of January—known as Twelfth Night). The ashes of Yule logs were said to be very good for plants. 

almanac.com | The Story Behind Yule and the Yule Log

self-Care

Witches love incorporating a good self-care routine into rituals on Sabbats. After the feast and fun, wind down with a nice warm bath soaked in holiday herbs. Grab a nice warm cup of cocoa and light a green, red, or gold candle while you reflect on the past year. However you relax, adding a little self-care ritual is a great way to end your winter solstice celebration.

Get more tips and modern twists on Yule traditions on our Pinterest board Sin Dee NYC: A #Bruja ‘s B.O.S.

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Alt model, Event planner, Marketing pro, and Owner of sindeenyc.com.
Born and raised in NYC, Sin Dee is a full-time marketing professional and experienced event coordinator/promoter, who spends free time on her personal project Sin Dee NYC.
She also considers herself a Mental Health Warrior & 420 Advocate.
Favorite topics: Punk/Ska/Metal/Reggae/Jazz, Horror movies, WWE/Lucha/MMA.
Hobbies: Kickboxing, Flamework/Glass blowing, and jumping in a mosh pit!

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