The Cottage Nov-Dec./Yule 2001

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YULE RITUAL for a small gathering
Galen Starwalker

A circle may be marked on the floor, surrounding those who will participate in the ceremony. An altar is to be set up a little north of the center of the circle. The altar should have an image of the God and Goddess with an incense burner placed in front of the images.

Two white altar candles, dishes of salt and water, goblet of wine or fruit juice, cauldron with a special candle to symbolize fire and light, a little bell (if you have one) the athames and a small dish of the cakes or cookies for the Cakes and Wine ceremony.

When everyone is ready the participants should assemble in the circle area.

Purify and cast the Circle but do not light the candle in the Cauldron.

Designated Priest:

"Let it be known that the Circle is about to be cast, let none be here but of their own free will."

The Priestess then says:

"This is the night of the solstice, the night that the darkness is triumphant over light, and yet on the morrow, the dark begins to give way and the light will return. The spirit of nature is suspended, all living things wait the transformation of the Dark King into the Infant Light. We watch for the coming of dawn, when the Great Mother will again give birth to the Divine Child, The Sun God who is the bringer of the life of Spring and the promise of Summer. We call the Sun from the womb of night. Blessed Be."

All: "Blessed be."

The Priest then calls the quarters; making the sign of the invoking pentagram in each direction.

Facing East, saying:

"Lords of the Watchtowers of the East, we summon, awaken and call you up to guard the circle and protect us in our rite. Come to us now on the cold winter wind and breathe into us the spirit of the pure joy of life. So mote it be!"

All: "So mote it be!"

Facing South, saying:

"Lords of the Watchtowers of the South, we summon, awaken and call you up to guard the circle and protect us in our rite. Come forth from the fires that warm this winter's night. Kindle within us the warmth of spiritual awakening. So mote it be!"

All: "So mote it be!"

Facing West, saying:

"Lords of the Watchtowers of the West, we summon, awaken and call you up to guard the circle and protect us in our rite. Come forth from the frozen streams, from the driven snow. Bring us the water of life to wash away our fears and resentments that we may find peace of mind. So mote it be!"

All: "So mote it be!"

Facing North, saying:

"Lords of the Watchtowers of the North, we summon, awaken and call you up to guard the circle and protect us in our rite. Come forth from the fertile bosom of our Blessed Mother Earth, and nourish us so that our faith may grow in strength. So mote it be!"

All: "So mote it be!"

The priest then takes the wand, and starting at the north, draws it along the entire circle clockwise back to the north point, saying:

"The circle is sealed, and all herein Are totally and completely apart From the outside world, That we may glorify the Lady whom we adore. Blessed Be!"

All repeat: "Blessed Be!"

The priest now holds the wand out in salute towards the north for a moment and then hands it to the priestess, who also holds it out in salute. She motions to the group to repeat the following lines after her:

"As above, so below ...
As the universe, so the soul.
As without, so within.
Blessed and gracious one,
On this day do we consecrate to you
Our bodies,
Our minds,
And our spirits.
Blessed Be!"

"To die and be reborn,
The Wheel is turning,
What must you lose to the night?"
All: "Fear."


"Fear is lost to the night.
Fear is lost to the night.
To die and be reborn,
The Wheel is turning,
What must you lose to the night?"

"The light was born,
And the light has died."

"Everything passes,
All fades away."
The High Priest places a pinch of salt on each member's tongue,and says:

"My body is salt,
Taste the breath of death."

"You are entering a space of perfect freedom."

As everyone visualizes their hopes for their new life to come with the coming of the Sun the Priestess gives each a drop of honey on their tongues, one by one, saying:

"Taste the sweetness of life."


We are awake in the night!
We turn the Wheel, to bring the light!
We call the sun from the womb of night!"
The Priestess says:

"He sets his face to the West, but in the East arises!"


"Queen of the sun!
Queen of the Moon!
Queen of the horns!
Queen of the fires!
Bring to us the Child of Promise!"

"It is the Great Mother
Who gives birth to Him,
It is the Lord of Life,
Who is born again!
Darkness and tears
Are set aside,
When the sun comes up again!"

"Golden sun,
Of hill and field,
Light the earth!
Light the skies!
Light the waters!
Light the fires!"
All: "Io! Evohe! Io! Evohe!"

The High Priest lights the cauldron candle, and all begin chanting:

"I who have died am alive again today,
The Sun is born again!
This is the birth of life and love and wings,
We are born again, we shall live again!
The Sun Child, the Winterborn King!"

"The Dark God has passed the Gate,
He has been reborn through the Mother,
With Him we are each reborn!"
"The tide has turned!
The light will come again!
In a new dawn, in a new day,
The sun is rising!
Io! Evohe! Blessed Be!"

The Priestess now faces the altar, takes the goblet of wine in both hands, raising it offering it to the Lady and the Lord saying:

"We give thanks to the Gods for that which sustains us."

The Priest, also facing the altar, takes the plate of cakes, raising it and offering it to the Lady and the Lord, saying:

"We give thanks to the Gods for that which sustains us."

All: "So be it. May we ever be aware of all that we owe to the Gods."

The Priestess holding the goblet with both hands faces the Priest.

The Priest, holds his athame between his two palms, point down,

faces her. He slowly lowers the point of the athame into the wine,


"In like fashion may male join with female,"


"For the happiness of both, and let the fruits of the union promote life,"


"Let all be fruitful and let peace, happiness and good will be spread throughout all lands."

The Priest then raises the athame, replacing it upon the altar.

The Priestess holds the goblet for the Priest to sip the wine, and the Priest holds it for the Priestess, replacing it upon the altar.

The Priest then takes up the plate of cakes, holds them before him,

turning to the Priestess. She touches each of them with the point

of her athame, saying:

"This food is the blessing of the Gods to our bodies,"


"Let us partake of it freely, and as we share, let us remember always to see to it that what we have we share with those who have nothing."

The Priestess takes a cake and eats it, offering one to the Priest who also takes and eats a cake.

The Priest then takes the goblet and offers the wine to each of the Coveners in turn as the Priestess offers them each a cake.

Priestess: "As we enjoy these gifts of the Gods, let us remember, without Them, we would have nothing,"

Priest: "Eat and drink. Be happy. Share and give thanks. So Mote It Be."

All: "So Mote It Be."

Now is the time for discussion and teaching. Wine and light refreshments may be served. When the meeting has ended, all will stand and silently meditate for a moment.

Priest facing East, making the sign of the banishing pentagram, says:

"Lords of the watchtowers of the East, return now to the brisk Winter winds which are brimming with the excitement of the year's climax. Take with you our blessings and thanks. Hail and farewell!"

All: "Hail and farewell!"

Facing South, making the sign of the banishing pentagram, says:

"Lords of the Watchtowers of the South, return now to the fires of the Winter Hearth. Take with you our blessings and thanks. Hail and farewell!"

All: "Hail and farewell!"

Facing West, making the sign of the banishing pentagram, says:

"Lords of the Watchtowers of the West, return now to the frozen streams and snow fields. Take with you our blessings and thanks. Hail and farewell!"

All; "Hail and farewell!"

Facing North, making the sign of the banishing pentagram, says:

"Lords of the Watchtowers of the North, return now to the Earth where seeds nestle awaiting the warmth of Spring. Take with you our blessings and thanks. Hail and farewell!"

All: "Hail and farewell!"

Priest: Raises his athame in salute, says:

"We came together in perfect love and perfect trust, in love and friendship, let us part in the same way. Let us spread the love we have known here outward to all; sharing with those we meet on our separate ways."

Priestess: Raises her athame in salute saying, as all coveners raise their athames in salute also:

"Lord and Lady, we give you our thanks for sharing this time together in our rite. We give you thanks for watching over us, for guarding us and for guiding us in all things. Love is the Law, Love is the Bond, Merry did we meet, merry do we part; and merry will we meet again."

The priestess will then take the wand and tap each candle to put it out, starting at the north and going clockwise around the circle, while saying:

"Our rite draws to its end.
O lovely and gracious Goddess,
Be with each of us as we depart.
The circle is open but not broken!
So Mote it be"

"So Mote it be!
Merry Meet, Merry Part,
May the Love of The Lord and The Lady,
Be always in your heart."

Adapted from the published works of Raymond Buckland, "Complete Book of Witchcraft;" Janet and Stewart Ferrar, "A Witches Bible Compleat;" Starhawk, "The Spiral Dance," Michael Fix, "Harvest Home Ritual" (posted on a BBS somewhere), and my teacher and mentor, Durwydd MacTara.



Tools needed:
A Green Altar Cloth
A Cauldron w/Lid or Cover Plate
Holly Sprig Wreath
Mistletoe Sprig Wreath
12 Low Vibration Stones (flat oval river rock work well)
1 Black Votive Candle
1 Green 12" Taper Candle
1 White 12" Taper Candle
1 Gold (12hr) Pillar Candle
Pine Incense
Bowl of Water w/ Pine Sprig in it
Plate of Sand
You are welcome to add any personal items of your choice

This ritual showed be performed right after sunset. About an hour before, sweep area moving in a deosil manner. Yule symbols such as Poinsettias, Pine Cones, and even a decorated Yule Log nearby (if too big for altar) adds to the ambiance.
Place the proper candles and symbols at the four cardinal directions. Place the gold God pillar candle at right top of altar. Place the white Goddess taper candle at the top left. Place your Pentacle (or a plate with a Pentagram drawn on it) in the center of the altar. Place your Cauldron to the right of the altar, with the black votive candle, Holly sprig wreath around it , inside.
Cover cauldron with lid or cover plate. Place the green taper candle and mistletoe wreath where they will be behind you at the beginning of the ritual. Outline your circle perimeter with 11 of the low vibration stones (save 12th to close circle when you enter. Place the rest of your tools and props according to personal preference.
Take a shower or bath for purity. Sit quietly for a period to ground and center. When ready put on some soothing music associated with the Sabbat and your ritual. Enter the standing stone circle and close with 12th stone. Cast circle by envisioning flames of Yule colors red, green, and gold coming up between the stones. When all become a continuous line, step up to the altar.

"From the darkness is born the light,
From void, fulfillment emergesThe darkest night of the year's at the threshold,Open now the door, and honor the darkness."

Take the lid/plate off the cauldron and light the black votive candle inside. Step back from the cauldron and give silent honor to the Holly King, the ruler of the dark half of the year. Call quarters, start by lighting yellow candle in the East:

" Powers of Air, step forth from the darkness,
Enter my circle , as dark gives 'way to light.
Bring along with you the essence of pine trees,
Remind me of Springtime as I face Solstice Night."

Light the pine incense and place on Pentacle/Center Plate. Light the red candle in the South:

"Powers of Fire, step forth from the darkness,
Enter my circle, as dark gives 'way to light,
Bring along with you the first glint of tomorrow,
Remind me of Summer as I face Solstice Night."

Pick up the Athame and brandish it in the flame of the candle to reflect the light. Place on the Pentacle/Center Plate. Light the blue candle in the West:

"Powers of Water, step forth from the darkness,
Enter my circle, as dark gives 'way to light,
Bring along with you bittersweet memories
Remind me of Autumn as I face Solstice Night."

Pick up the bowl of water, sprinkle water with pine sprig in Pentacle/Center Plate. Light brown candle in the North:

"Powers of Earth, step forth from the darkness,
Enter my circle, as dark gives 'way to light,
Bring along with you the land that now slumbers,
Remind me of Winter and this cold Solstice Night."

Pick up the plate of sand, sprinkle sand in a line around the other symbols. Step back from the alter for a moment and contemplate the seasons of the past year, and how their lessons have brought you to where you are today. When ready, begin again:

"Dark my surroundings, and cold be this night
But Thy labor, Blessed Mother has reborn the Sacred Light
The Child Divine, The most honored Sun. Shall return with the sunrise again, Two will be One."

Remove the Holly wreath from around the black votive candle. With your right hand, present it to the four elements in a deosil manner. Finally, in a clockwise motion, place it behind you, to signify the death, "passing", of the Holly King.
Turn back to the altar. Then with your left hand, reach behind you, and in a clockwise motion bring forward the Mistletoe wreath and the green candle. Present them to the elements, slide the wreath over the green candle and place the candle in its holder in the cauldron. Light the green candle with the black votive candle:

"Hark! Behold the Rebirth of the King of the Woodlands!
Behold the Oak King, strong and vital he rises!"

Snuff the black votive candle and with your right hand, place it behind you in a clockwise motion. Turn back to the cauldron, close your eyes, and silently honor the Oak King.

Begin again:
"Awake now Thy Mother, Thy Lover, Thy Lady -
Awake now Thy Goddess of Life, Death, Rebirth."
Take the green candle out of the cauldron and light the white Goddess candle on the altar. Replace the green candle in the cauldron. Take the white Goddess candle with both hands and hold out at arm's length over the cauldron:

"Awaken, my Lady, look upon Thyne Divine Child,
His rebirth while You slumbered was subtle and silent.
The Stag King, the Green Man, Lord of Fertility,
He awaits thy wakening gentle and benevolent"

Place the white Goddess candle back in its holder at the left top of altar. Step back and assume the Goddess position.
In a bold voice:
"All hail the Oak King, His rebirth; a promise
All hail the Divine Child, Giver of Life
All hail the Blessed Sun, reborn to the Mother
For he retakes His throne at the end of Solstice Night!"

Now is the time for meditation and any spellworkings. Spellworkings associated with Yule include those for peace, harmony, love, and happiness. Next celebrate with the Cakes and Ale (Fruitcake* and Spiced Cider *) ceremony, saving some for the wee Folkes, outside. Thank the Goddess and snuff Her candle. Thank and release the elements:

"Carry sweet tidings, 'round the world and beyond,
I charge thee as messengers Earth, Water, Fire, and Air
Let all rejoice loudly in the Oak King's return
Teach all that you meet, with the glad tidings you bear."

Snuff each Quarter candle in a widdershins manner. Step back and face the cauldron and the green candle still burning bright.

"Before my circle, tonight, I close blessings I ask for this house and my kin tomorrow at daybreak, when I arise
A special flame I will carry, withinAnd a gold candle upon my altar I'll light adding my will to the Sun King's intent
To climb aloft in the vaulted skies and for strength back to me; three times, strength I've sent."

Snuff the green candle. Take the Mistletoe wreath and place it on the other symbols on the Pentacle/Center Plate. Release the circle. Clean up, leaving the gold God pillar candle in center front to light upon rising in the morning. You are done.-

Ritual credits to Akasha Ap Emrys