As Yule approaches, Pagan people’s religious focus goes from death to life. Yule is a festive celebration of light, the sun, rebirth and nature, and the decorations on your altar should capture that merriment with rich colors, scents, evergreens and lots of lights. Even if you have not collected any Wiccan ritual tools yet, you can still have a beautiful and meaningful Yule altar with objects and decorations that are easy to find at this time of year.
Set up your Yule altar facing north, the direction that aligns with the season of winter. Drape it with an altar cloth, scarf, sheet or piece of scrap fabric in one of the primary seasonal colors: green, red or gold.
Set a cauldron or some other festive bowl or vessel on the center of the altar. Place a pillar candle into it that is gold, red, yellow or orange--any solar color. The cauldron, or any such vessel, is a symbol of the Goddess’ womb. The candle is a symbol of the Sun God being reborn at Yule. If you like, make solar symbols on the candle with paint or glitter to make it special and set it apart from the rest. Rub the candle with cinnamon oil. Leave it unlit until you begin your ritual observance, or until sunset on the eve of the solstice.
Place evergreens on the altar. This can be branches cut from a tree or found at a Christmas tree lot, a small potted evergreen, or imitation evergreen garland pinned around the side of the altar in a scalloped design.
Hang a string of Christmas lights above the altar. Hang additional evergreens or ornaments if you wish to make your altar the focal place in the room.
Add additional candles and any Wiccan tools that you may have to your altar in an arrangement that pleases you. Place on the altar a bowl of citrus fruit, which with their bright orange and yellow colors represent the sun. Other things associated with the season are nuts, pine cones, acorns, holly, bayberry, or mistletoe, and you can also scatter these on the altar or place them in pretty bowls. To represent the winter snow, use clear quartz crystals or icicle ornaments.
Place symbols of forest animals on the altar, as this is the season for nature’s rebirth. Stags are especially meaningful as they are symbols of the Wiccan God. Snow birds, squirrels, and any other furry woodland creatures are also appropriate. Remember that your altar should be meaningful to you, so any other items that represent the season to you will be a nice addition.
Items you will need
- Altar cloth of green, red or gold
- Red, orange, yellow or gold pillar candle
- Evergreen branches
- Additional candles
- String of Christmas lights
- Forest animal figurines
- Cinnamon essential oil
- Crystals or icicle decorations
- Wiccan tools (optional)
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