December is named for the Roman goddess Decima, one of the three fates. The word “yule” comes from the Old Norse jol, which means midwinter and is celebrated on the shortest day of the year, December 21. The old tradition was to have a vigil at a bonfire to make sure the sun did indeed rise again.
This primeval custom evolved to become a storytelling evening and while it may well be too cold to sit outside in snow and sleet, congregating around a blazing hearthfire, dining, and talking deep into the night are still important for your community truly to know one another, impart wisdom, and speak of hopes and dreams. Greet the new sun with stronger connections and a shared vision for the coming solar year.
WINTER-IS-COMING ROOT ROAST
We live in a time when some of the very foods the early Yule celebrants feasted upon are having a renaissance—bone broths, root vegetables, and stone fruits. These are simple to prepare and share with the clan.
The following root veggies are magnificent when roasted with rosemary for 40 minutes at 450ºF/230ºC/gas mark 8 with a drizzling of olive oil and salt: 2 pounds (1kg) mix-and match medium-sized yams, potatoes, garlic, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, carrots, and beets. In the rare chance of leftovers, these can become the basis for a heart-warming soup or stew.
Coming Full Circle
“This path is not only about looking inward, but also about becoming attuned to the world around you—every leaf, stone, blade, flower, and seed; the highest calling of any pagan is to achieve harmony with the cycles of the natural world.”
For more traditional rituals and celebrations, check out The Book of Kitchen Witchery by Cerridwen Greenleaf.