from 12/01 newsletter - not archived
Yule Traditions & Links
Many Pagans are creating and recreating their own Yule Traditions these days. Some of the questions that surround this holiday are these:
* What part of the Christmas Tradition harks back to the Old Ways?
* How do we find out about these traditions?
* How do we reclaim and/or modify these traditions so that they are right for ourselves and our families?
* What is the spiritual, social and nature based meanings behind all of these?
* What new traditions do we wish to establish and how do we do that?
For those of you who are interested, here are some books and some websites that might help you celebrate Yule in your own special and meaningful way:
On the Pagan Bookshelf we have:
“The Winter Solstice: The Sacred Traditions of Christmas” by John Matthews.
"When Santa Was A Shaman: The Ancient Origins of Santa Claus and theChristmas Tree" by Tony Van Renterghem
"Yule: A Celebration of Light and Warmth" by Dorothy Morriso.
"The Solstice Evergreen: The History, Folklore and Origins of the ChristmasTree" by Sheryl Ann Karas.
"Celebrate the Solstice: Honoring the Earth's Seasonal Rhythms throughFestival and Ceremony" by Richard Heinberg.
These websites offer valuable information on the Winter Holidays:
Archaeoastronomy – The Stars and Ancient Cultures
The study of the astronomical practices, celestial lore, mythologies, religions and world-views of all ancient cultures is called archaeoastronomy. This is a good web page on the subject from the Department of Archaeoastronomy at the University of Maryland.
Astronomy and the Winter Solstice:
Circle Sanctuary’s Yule Page:
This includes Yule information and ideas for celebrating the season.
Crafting a Perfect Holiday – Making your own Yule gifts:
Pagan Yule Carols:
The Winter Solstice – From the Learning Network
(this is a great site for Parents and Teachers, in particular)
The Winter Solstice: The Unconquered Sun
Winter Solstice and Christmas
This site talks about the changes that the early Christian Church made to this holiday. It’s a good, very basic overview for those who are interested.
You Call It Christmas – We Call it Yule – From The Witches Voice:
This is one of the best articles I’ve found on the subject of Pagans and Yule.
Places to Go:
One of the best kept secrets in Silicon Valley involves the solstice. I saw this in the Metro paper and I give it to you folks who live in “The Valley of Heart’s Delight” as a Yule Gift:
Solstice: At Sunrise:
A very small cluster of people gather at El Paso de Los Sueños/Gateway to Dreams, the pyramidal sculpture by artist Gene Flores on the corner of Mathilda Avenue and El Camino. They have brought offerings for a Winter Solstice ceremony -- small items representing hopes and wishes for the coming seasons. At dawn the sun rises directly between the two bronze wedges strategically placed for the effect to be realized with minimum aperture on this date, maximum on summer solstice. For one brief moment, centuries of science fade away as watchers in the city that high-tech built experience one of the first mysteries to spark human imagination: the changing seasons. Corner of Mathilda Avenue and El Camino Real, Sunnyvale”
Finally, for you Thrifty Pagans: Costco has the best prices for pine wreaths and garlands.