Our Yule ritual went rather well. I wish the wind didn’t so much or the temperatures drop so low, otherwise we’d have a fire in the fire pit. I meant to have everyone make banishing bags from black cloth and they’d be burned, but we opted, instead, to use this idea by CharmingPixieFlora (video) where the bag would not only mark what we wished to banish, but also what we needed to replace it.
Potluck– Because of gathering so late in the day, we opted to feast first. Some argue that you eat after ritual, but I feel that has more to do with magick working, meditations, or spell work. In celebrations, the focus should be on the celebrating itself.
The food was great. My husband made a Chicken and Dumpling casserole, while others brought salad, a veggie tray, and desserts. There’s something so delightfully magical about potlucks, where folks bring in various dishes to share as a group.
Ritual– Our group is not at all formal, and we discuss beforehand what we hope to accomplish with the ritual. Members share a document online where we add what we’re bringing to potluck, but also marking what they wish to do in the ritual itself. Some suggestions included some healing, a thumb’s up for the banishing bag craft, and also a ‘joy and sorrow’ sharing ritual.
Joys and Sorrows- I first encountered this practice in the local Unitarian Universalist Church, where members shared a joy and/or sorrow in their lives. This helped build community, strengthen bonds, and enables members to alert others if help was needed. We use the practice for the same reasons.
All you do is light tea lights. One for each joy or sorrow. You can light as many as you need. All of the candles can sit on a plate at the center of circle or the main part of the altar. They are blown out at the end of ritual.
Since I forgot to get the sparkling juice or mead, we ended up using V8 Splash for the ‘ale’ in the cakes and ale. The cake was Rum cake, which was awesome. We then went outside to ‘pop’ the banishment bags, sprinkling seeds on the ground, and making offering of the cakes and ale to the gods amid the wind and cold.
I wish for everyone to have a safe and happy holiday season.