Today is Yule, the Winter Solstice, shortest day and longest night of the year. I just finished lighting our Yule candle, which will stay lit until sunrise while we keep vigil through the darkness. Tonight, we will feast and make merry, drumming up happiness and joy to banish the darkness and sadness that surrounds us. We celebrate life and love, friends and family, and come the dawn we will welcome the rise of the newborn sun with open arms, symbol of life, death, and rebirth, all in one. For tonight is darkness’ last stand for the year. Tomorrow the light will reclaim its power to push back the shadows, and daylight and joy will come back into our lives one minute at a time.
There are always rituals planned for Yule, formal circles with friends. This year, our church elected to cancel our planned ritual in order to combine circles with Chris’ circle for a candlelight ritual in honer of her and Isaac. An ice storm has interfered with our plans to join them today. Both my regular church location and the one we were heading to today are more than an hour away, today’s location being down some smaller back roads. Yule is probably the one Sabbat we have missed the most often since joining Crossroads. It’s just too far for us to drive the bus in bad weather, especially when we have to leave the main roads and highways.
So instead I have made our own altar to go along with our Yule candle, calling in the elements and consecrating the area for the night. Our vigil will be our ritual, as we celebrate light and laugh in the face of darkness, death, and despair. For even the darkest hours must come to an end as the wheel of life turns, and we must remember that all souls will one day be reborn, even those who seem to have been taken before their due time. Our home will be open tonight to all who dare to brave the weather to join our celebrations, and food and drink will be offered to all.
A Blessed Solstice and Merry Yuletide to all this December night. Merry meet, merry part, and merry shall we meet again, living and dead. So mote it be.