Flashback 2008 – Winter Solstice

Yule

At Yule, the Oak King who rules during the waxing year conquers the Holly King in order to reign until Midsummer, when the two meet again. It is believed that the Holly King has evolved into the modern day Santa Claus, wearing red, with holly in his hat. His eight deer represent the Pagan sabbats, as animals as regarded scared by the Celtic gods. Although the Oak King and the Holly King are opposing forces at Litha and Yule, they com[lement each other. In ancient times, the Sun’s return after a long period of scarcity and darkness affirmed survival and resilience in the winter season.

A few days before Yule, decorate your home with oranges studded with cloves to release a warm, yuletide aroma. It’s time to feast, exchange gifts, and thank the Goddess for the return of abundance and light. At your Yule gathering, cozy up up to your favorite people and enjoy some delicious mulled red wine infused with cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. Serve warm in chalices, with a sprinkling of nutmeg, to toast the rebirth of the Oak King. When you take a sip from the chalice, hold hands with your guests and shout, “Wassail” – the old English word for “your health”

Copyright Emely Flak – Llewellyn Witches’ Datebook 2008 Pg 129

Flashback 2008 – Summer Solstice

When the Sun is at its peak in the sky at our Summer Solstice, Earth is as close as possible to the Sun. Litha is the ancient Germanic name for summer and the time to celebrate its warmth. This important time in the solar year is when the Oak King, God of Light, hands over the reign to the Holly King, God of Darkness, who rules from this point forward for the other half of the year.

At this time when light will begin to wane, decorate your altar and house with sunflowers. Place honey on your altar to represent life’s sweetness. Light the same gold candle for a short time for four to five nights over this period. On the last evening, after the candle is safely snuffed, wrap what is left of it in a yellow ribbon or gold colored cloth and keep it somewhere safe for protection and good fortune until next Litha.

Make a sunflower solstice cake decorated with yellow icing and sunflower seeds to share with your friends over a glass of mead. Enjoy your time outdoors, allowing the Sun to warm your body as you relax, walk, or read. Bid farewell to the Sun god for a few months and be assured he will return.

Copyright Emely Flak – Llewellyn Witches’ Datebook 2008 Pg 79