Yule recognises the death of the Sun's cycle, the shortest day of the year. In the Anglo Saxon calendar Yule is a period in the calendar, undefined as far as we know. However, my Gewessi interpretation is this...
At the sunset of the day before Yule wreaths are hung on peoples doors to mark its passing. This death releases the chaos of the Wild Hunt to take reckless souls with him. This year's Yule's eve was calm, the one before the Wild Hunt stormed their way over the land. Down here in Sussex I believe it's led by Freyr, 'The Lord', also known as Ing or Scyld. This year it is proving to be a long and very wild hunt. The Xmas street decorations are thrumming, everything static is shaking with the wind. The rain beat relentlessly against the glass making one and all grateful for a warm home and hearth, that the wailing sounds of the emergency services are for others and not them.
24th December it is ModrasNacht, Mother's night or Xmas Eve to the Christians. Time to honour Frij or Frigga with good food, mulled cider or wine and final preparations for the rebirth of the Solar King, the Bright One whose death we celebrated 3 days earlier. She is his mother and it is right to honour her.
Then there is the Xmas, x being the rune gebo that is the rune of giving, the exchange of gifts and friendship, with the traditional feast that accompanies such exchanges. Just like the feast in Beowulf where gifts are given in exchange for loyalty, to Gewessi folk this feast is just as important as for the Xtians who appropriated it around the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. After 3 days it is noticeable that the days are not getting shorter, the circle has turned, the sun is reborn.
The time in between Xmas and the Gewessi 12th night, New Years Eve, is the chaotic dream time. To plan the year ahead, dreaming of success in the goals and tasks that the individual chooses. This is an important time, it should not just be spent feasting, socialising or just watching TV / gaming / indulging (although these downtime activities also have value). Dreaming realisable goals takes creative time for that 1% inspiration then a lot of planning for the 99% perspiration.
For me, this year, replacing the battered old shed at the end of our garden with an outdoor room for gaming, training and crafting with occasional spare room use is the goal. Designing and building it myself, with help from my teenage sons is the dream. Finances dictate that to deliver my goal I must realise my dream. This is the root of need, or necessity, the energy driving us on.
Finally the Gewessi 12th night, New Years Eve, arrives and with it the celebration where people can finish the night with a traditional
Toast, Boast and an Oath.
The toast is traditional or personal, the boast is to recognise the goals you achieved in the year past and the boast is for the goals you will aim for in the next year.
So use this Yule dream time, when the last year's work is done and next year's work is not begun to let the Awen, the Wod, the furious inspiration flow and I wish
A blessed Yule to all.