Heathens of Yore were #SkyWatchers, building great monuments to chart haven and earth. Far from ‘barbaric’, our pre-Christian ancestors had extensive technical ingenuity and organization, clearly seen in the construction of Megaliths. The significance of which supports the idea of collaborative and supportive communities and cultural identity. The standing stones were:
-Permanent homes for the dead,
-Sites of socio-ritual interactions,
-Complex knowledge of geometrical and astronomical knowledge, that corresponds with seasonal changes,
-Commune with the Otherworlds,
-Mystical and significant symbols – such as ploughs, axes, and cups; representative of the three-levels of society,
-Boats as symbols of passage between Otherworldly realms,
-Color to signify the mystical relationship between the living and their ancestors, and
–A message to their children – us – to Re-Remember the #OldWays.
The Solstices and Equinoxes are celestial events, and today, their dates are easily determined. The terrestrial markers are best seen in moon phases, but are likewise used to divide the year into eight seasons. Granted, this rendering is considered modern, but with the greater-eye of history, it is an easy and logical conclusion to arrive at.
This year, Yule – also, Cron Huel, the ‘Dark Wheel’ – fell on Wednesday, December 21st, at 5:44 Eastern Standard Time (EST). This commenses both a twelve-day celebration, and a season. The Season of Yule lasts until February, when the Season of Disting / Imbolg begins. Disting is a terrestrial marker, and its date is not fixed, but determined as the mid-point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. This is why these dates are considered Between Times – for they fall between celestial phenomena. (Visit last year’s Second Night here ..)
So it is, on this Second Night of Yule, that I would like to explain my understanding of Yule, as I have come to know it via the information taught me as a child, and discovered in my lifelong research and practice of the Old European folkways. For me, this is the Tide of Law / Thew, it is the Womb of Every Holt and the Tomb of Every Hope. Yule is the Black Sun and the Red Earth, and is indeed, Earth Over Fire.
Wild Huntsmen roam the Earth during this tide – both fell and fehu beasts. As such, and in accord to numerous Old European customs:
–Lussi Rune drawn upon the hearth, so the Wild Hunt passes over safely (picture above),
-Garnet is worn as a protective amulet,
-Pine resin is burnt in the home to drive out ill-wihts,
-Red threads are tied to animal tails to ward them from injury,
-Rowan bundles are bound with red and green thread and dipped in water, used to sprinkle the hearth and its kin with blessings,
-A Forn Threifa Galdr I learned from my grandmother, and used in blessing:
Speed be to woe
Sickness to wood,
Flesh to stone
-And my favorite: White Tricals drawn in chaulk atop every doorway to protect all who dwell there from harm (picture below).
One can do all of these, one or two of these, or none. I have gathered them from Old European customs used from the Baltics to Germany, from Scandinavia to Ireland, and which remain with us today to re-awaken within us the Old Ways we often bemoan that we lack.