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 21st. 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 hearth fire, 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. 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.
Saffron Serenity Spell
This evening ritual is a wonderful way to end the day. Light a yellow candle for mental clarity, and anoint it with calming and uplifting bergamot oil. Place a yellow rose in a vase to the left of the candle. To the right, place a bowl containing at least two citrine or quartz crystals.
Saffron water is made by boiling a single teaspoon of saffron from your cupboard in 2 quarts (2 liters) of distilled water. Let cool to room temperature and pour into the bowl of crystals. Put your hands together as in prayer and dip your hands in the bowl. Touch your third eye in the center of your forehead, anointing yourself with the saffron water. Now, speak aloud:
Goddess great, fill me with your presence
This night, I am whole and at peace.
Breathing in, breathing out,
I feel your safe embrace.
And so it is.
This extract is from Kitchen Witchery by Cerridwen Greenleaf. To get more great blog posts like this one – direct to your inbox – be sure to sign up to our mailing list here.