Celebrate Yuletide with Mulled Wine
Yule (Jól) occurs during Winter Nights (Vetrnætr), which is a Norse pagan holiday. Yule is celebrated anywhere between December 19th and January 1st, with the main day of feast being the 21st or the winter solstice.Yule symbolizes death, hunting, and life after death. Many Wiccans and Celtic pagans know Yule as a sabbat, celebrating Cernunnos, a horned god dying and bringing winter, or leading the hunt. Norse heathens, myself included, may also recognize Yule as a time of the Wild Hunt, that the allfather god Odin leads.
At this time, heathens may leave outdoor sacrifices for Odin and his fellow deities or phantom hunters to spare them. Protection and invisibility may also be asked for alongside shutting the windows, locking the doors, and avoid going outside at night. The Wild Hunt embodies the dark, morbid cold of Scandinavian midwinter, and no one wants to be caught by the ghostly fanfare. While the Wild Hunt rages on outside the hall or home, many pagans and witches burn a Yule log and spend time with their craft around the hearth.
I like to construct seasonal altars with deities like Odin, Skaði the goddess of , and Beira (Callieach). Winter Nights also inspire me to amp up the kitchen witchcraft with herbs I associate with this time of year. Often I’ll make a magical midwinter floor wash for protection and banishment with water, pine essential oil, rosemary essential oil, cedarwood essential oil, and juniper essential oil.
I recommend that to cleanse, accept the transformations in life and prepare your home before ceremony. I also want to share a delicious drink I like to partake in both in a blót or just to cozy up during this time of year. I hope Yule share how you bring on the season too (in the comments below!).
Yule Gölgi (a traditional Scandinavian mulled wine)
1 liter of blackcurrant juice
1 orange (peel and sliced)
3 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise
1 tsp. fresh ground ginger
Pinch of ground cardamom
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of allspice
Sugar or honey (to taste)
Add raisins and blanched almonds to garnish (opt.)
*For alcoholic version: replace blackcurrant juice with 1 bottle of red wine and 2-3 shots of brandy, whiskey, or rum.
Jenna is poet, candle hoarder, psychic empath, and witch from suburban Philadelphia. She is a daughter of many paths including Norse heathenism, Celtic paganism, Hellenismos, espiritismo and brujería, and Southern rootwork. She is born of sea and storm, and is passionate about using witchcraft and words to balance light and dark, beautiful and ugly. She tweets @northernbruja and can be found at jennavelez.weebly.com.