Yule Ritual

From The Wayside: Ivy's Book of Shadows and Crafts, an original document © 2001. For private use only. This ritual is not to be included in any other collections without permission, and has been put online with a minimum of formatting for easy printing for individuals and small groups. Original craft ideas and symbols have in some cases been incorporated. E-mail SwankiVY2@aol.com for suggestions, changes, or questions.

To prepare the self:

Bathe as usual and anoint with oil of an appropriate scent for the season. Wear fire-safe clothes in colors of red, green, white, silver, or gold, or a combination. Wear magickal jewelry and flowers or a hair wreath made of plants of the season.

To prepare the circle:

Sweep. ¤ Lay out cord. ¤ Position altar with red, green, or seasonal-themed cloth. ¤ Position God and Goddess candles. ¤ Position other God and Goddess representations. ¤ Add Earth bowl and salt at north. ¤ Add incense burner and incense at east. ¤ Add candleholder and red, green, white, silver, gold, or seasonal candle at south. ¤ Add goblet and water at west. ¤ Put pentacle at north. ¤ Put wand at east. ¤ Put athame at south. ¤ Put chalice at west. ¤ Add bolline to south. ¤ Add matches to south. ¤ Add match holder to north. ¤ Add wet napkins to west. ¤ Add bell to west. ¤ Add libation bowl to north. ¤ Add any decorations for the season. ¤ Place the cauldron on the altar. ¤ Place a yellow or gold candle in a candleholder and put it in the cauldron. ¤ Place a white candle to the left of the cauldron, a red candle behind the cauldron, and a black candle to the right of the cauldron. ¤ Place Yule Log behind the cauldron at the back of the altar, between the God and Goddess candles. ¤ Have materials for wish tree and last year’s pot and wish ashes from Samhain ready at the left of the altar, and dragon’s blood oil or other catalystic oil. ¤ Have materials to make charms for love, fertility, wealth, and abundance. ¤ Put an apple and some cinnamon and rosemary on a plate on the right of the altar. ¤ Have yarn ready for finger-knitting. ¤ Complete with feasting foods of the season.

Begin ritual:

Cast the circle. Sit inside and focus, and invoke the God and Goddess.

Meditation (to seasonal music if desired):

Today begins the season of Yule. Today, the Goddess gives birth to Her son, and gives birth to the new year as well. Tonight is the longest night of the year. Six months have passed since the God was in His prime. Tonight as He is born again, the darkness will again wane. Today, I come to honor the Mother of All, and to honor the Child of Light.1

Note: Some prefer to see the God in two aspects rather than one continuous one: The Oak King and the Holly King. The Oak King is the king of the waxing year and the Holly King is the king of the waning year. At Yule, the Oak King takes over, as the days grow longer. The Holly King “dies” and sleeps in the Goddess’s womb until Midsummer (Litha). You can change your meditation and ritual to fit this if you prefer to view the year this way.

Opening Honor:

Honor the Goddess and acknowledge the Triple Goddess. Light the white candle to the left of the cauldron, and honor the Maiden aspect, who is synonymous with fresh starts and new beginnings. Reflect on the influence of women in your life who are in their Maiden aspect. Light the red candle behind the cauldron, and honor the Mother aspect, who is synonymous with enduring love and strength. Reflect on the influence of women in your life who are in their Mother aspect. Light the black candle to the right of the cauldron, and honor the Crone aspect, who is synonymous with wisdom and magick. Reflect on the influence of women in your life who are in their Crone aspect. Honor the aspects together and admire their different aspects appearing all throughout your life. Thank the Goddess in your own way, or read a tribute to Her, such as “The Charge of the Goddess.”2 Reflect afterwards on the fact that you are one with the Goddess and just as the God is born today from the cauldron of the Goddess and returns to Her womb in death every year, so are we born and so do we die. Acknowledge your acceptance of this by pulling or cutting a hair from your head and putting it in the cauldron with the unlit yellow or gold candle. Light the yellow or gold candle to symbolize the birth of the Sun King. Now sprinkle rosemary into the cauldron for a peaceful sleep since labor is difficult work. Congratulate the Goddess with a toast to Her; drink wine or dark juice. Now honor the newborn Sun King and meditate upon his arrival. Recognize His three aspects and concentrate on the youngest, the child. Read a tribute to His greatness, such as “The Charge of the God.” Honor the birth with a toast of Wassail or light juice. Greet Him with the lighting of the Yule Log, reflecting on the waxing year and the man He will be to his now-tired Mother.

Yule Activities:3

Wish Tree can be constructed now. Disassemble old tree and bury ashes from Samhain under the base of a new tree, with dragon’s blood oil anointing a new walnut or seed to wrap the craft wire around, for the new shoot of a tree. Ponder what your wishes might be come Imbolc.

Charm sachets can be made now. They can be given later or hung in the home for the purposes described.

You can put a little baby bundle into the arms of your corn dolly now if you wish, and change her appearance to reflect seasonal changes.

Ritual Core:

To honor the God for His return to the world, offer Him some of each element of the pentagram. Take salt from the bowl and sprinkle it into the cauldron, wishing for His influence in the “soil” of your life. Take ashes from the incense holder and sprinkle into the cauldron, wishing for His laughter to become your breath. Take wax dripped by the fire candle and put it into the cauldron, wishing for His passion to infuse your life. Take water from the cup and put it into the cauldron, wishing for His purity to be carried in your blood. Take cinnamon and sprinkle it into the cauldron, using it as a symbol of your own spirit that you are offering, and ask to be infused with peace and happiness. Send your spirit to mesh with the cinnamon as it falls. Ask that these gifts help draw Him into the world and encourage him to take root in it again, to become part of it.

BANISH THE SAMHAIN SEASON AND INVOKE THE YULE SEASON with banishing and invoking pentagrams. Ring the bell and say “it is done” or “so mote it be.”


Greet the new year with a wassail toast and pour a libation. Dust the libation with cinnamon, and celebrate the reunion of the God and the Goddess with a feast.4 Begin the feast by cutting the apple, separating the stem from the bottom, to see the five seeds inside arranged in a pentagram. Eat one bite from both sides, acknowledging your acceptance of both sides of life: Light and dark, male and female, life and death. Put the remainder of the apple in the libation bowl.5 Now begin the feast. Make sure to share everything you’ve eaten with the libation bowl.

Finger-knit and tie your rope to the previous years’ ever-growing rope. Meditate on the meaning of this weaving to symbolize the journey. Think about previous Yules you might have celebrated, and what has transpired in your life since you finger-knitted for Samhain.


Thank the God and Goddess for coming and put out their candles with a pinch or a snuffer, and thank all elementals, then earth and close the circle. Put anything that was given in the cauldron into the libation bowl also, with the exception of the candle and its holder. When the circle is broken, the first thing you should do is go outside and bury the contents of the libation bowl, then commence cleaning up. Document anything important in your Book of Shadows. Change any decorations around your house that you have to reflect the new season.

Alternatives and Additions:

If you wish, you may leave goodies out for the little people, animals, or whatever you choose. You may dedicate this food to them before the ritual’s core.

This Sabbat is conducive to magickal workings having to do with harmonious futures, peace, tolerance, respect, love, and unity. If magick is to be done, do it right before the feast.

If dancing, singing, or any other personal or individual merriment is scheduled, it can be done either after the feast and the core of the ritual, OR it can be done after the circle is broken.


1--Groups can alternate speaking lines of this as a chant, and use “we” instead of “I.”
2--“The Charge of the Goddess” can be read by a High Priestess or alternated between lines for every member of the coven, or read only by those in their Mother phase.
3--With groups, it may be preferable to do these activities outside circle, or in such a way that the High Priest and Priestess lead and allow everyone else to contribute in a small way, so that it does not take up the entire ritual.
4--After greeting the new year, if you are not alone, now is a good time to share Yule gifts.
5--Working partners should each take a bite of the apple and then switch; in coven situations, just pass each piece around to make sure everyone gets a bite.

Read about Yule
Read about the Sabbats
See Yule recipes
Read about Sabbat crafts
Back to Ivy's Pentacles