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~ yuletide is a time of hope and giving, a magickal season rich with symbolism; as nature declines and regenerates, we decorate with evergreen wreaths and trees, adorned with icicle lights and holly berries in celebration to the cycles of darkness and light, symbolic of birth, death and re-birth ~

in fact, many cultures and pagans celebrate the winter solstice with a common spiritual theme — the birth of a god by a goddess; these gods are commonly associated with the sun, or with death and re-birth

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while yule is celebrated as the returning of the light and/or the sun god, the goddess shows her life-in-death aspect in this season — she is the leprous-white lady and the queen of winter, yet this is also the time that she gives birth to the god, who will re-fertilise her and bring light and warmth back to the earth

yule ritual and celebrations are indeed myriad, but most include common themes, such as the cycles of light and darkness, honouring nature and the gods, and embracing the spirit of giving — listed below are many ways in which the winter solstice and its spirit can be celebrated this season

– decorate the alter and home with evergreen boughs, poinsettias, holly and/or mistletoe
– burn red, white and green candles to symbolise the bloodshed of birth, the innocence of new life, and growth processes
– make ornaments to hang from the yule tree, such strings of dried rosebuds, popcorn or cranberries, tied cinnamon sticks, bags of fragrant spices, or quartz crystals wrapped with shiny wire
 make a wreath out of evergreen boughs, holly berries and other decorations and symbols of the season
– meditate in the darkness, or with the light of a golden candle to symbolise the sun
– welcome the birth of the sun by lighting candles and allowing them to burn throughout the night
– additionally, decorate a special golden candle keep it lit throughout the night to symbolise the re-birth of the sun
– sing yuletide carols
– make and exchange yuletide gifts with family, friends and neighbours
– re-enact or tell the battle and story between the oak and holly kings
– make decorative wild-bird treats, such as rolling pinecones in peanut butter and bird seed, or honeyed-popcorn balls, and hang upon the trees outside
– donate funds and items to environmental organizations
– volunteer at a soup kitchen or donate to food-banks

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