AD LIB. Department. Wheel of the Year. Pagan holiday Yule.

A series of pagan holidays “Yule”.

Winter solstice. 20-23 of December.

This moment starts a period of time when the element of Fire begins falling asleep. On the longest night of the year, one more turning point takes place. It sums up the results of all that has been done. Yule is the final of the battle and the result of it – who is the winner?

Fire falling asleep – is the period of relaxation and rest for all those who were going through the test of loyalty and endurance, who kept the line shoulder to shoulder with the gods and heroes of the past, with their brothers from different worlds, united by the common power – the power of love for their Mother. The end of this battle is announced by the horn of Odin (Wotan) – leader of the Wild Hunt.

Seeing or hearing the Hunt during “Yule” days is a sign of serious future destiny changes. But what direction will these changes take – towards good or bad  – is only determined by the result of the inner battle Ragnarök which is a test of endurance. Only truly courageous people survive when the Hunt passes by. Powerless and weak-willed, the ones who betrayed themselves and their power, without having even tried to engage in a fight, those get destroyed by the Hunt immediately. The right to punish the betrayers and praise the heroes is a sacred right of the gods on the night of Yule. The riders rush through the sky in a massive cavalcade and black dogs bark and breathlessly announce its arrival. Not only Odin and the gods of his pantheon participate in this race. Now you can see everyone who was betrayed by those whom they trusted. The gods who rewarded the people with honors and knowledge, who gave them protection and power, those gods now call for justice.  They call the ones who not only were unable to preserve and multiply their gifts but also willingly gave them away to the invaders. The Ancients come to take back their own and on this day no-one can take this right away from them.

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According to tradition, Yule lasts for 13 nights. It is a sacral time period and during this period there is nothing ordinary. Long-lasting tension magically disappears, hostility and rejection of reality vanish. But the will that is compressed like a spring, gets suddenly released and is pushed forward and upwards by the force of counter-action as far as compression allows. This “leap” of one’s consciousness determines the power of his spirit. The bigger the “leap”, the more rights for the one who stood the test. A sudden moment when the Fire dies down is the moment when the mind flies to join the cavalcade of the Ancients. Going back into their worlds, the gods give out the last piece of knowledge: if the god was killed it doesn’t mean he is dead. Everything can be changed, you can reverse things. There will be another battle and the final can be different. The important thing is to live this year properly.

Fire fell asleep and the next 13 nights are the time of the full rein of the goddesses of destiny, the ones that determine the personal wyrd of every person. The Norns, the Moirai, the Parcae, Mokosh, The Two Spinners – there are many names for the Great Spinners who start their spindle on this night. They weave the canvas of destiny up to the start of Imbolk but it is on Yule days that they lay the outline of the future reality where every string is the time meant for everyone’s wyrd. Someone will become the main ornament on the canvas of the future reality, and someone’s string will be cut off without his permission if the Wild Hunt marks this person as unworthy of power and time.

People are afraid of Yule and they anticipate its arrival. If you survive this dark night, then the following days you can begin to breathe with relief. If the Hunt is over and it didn’t punish you, it means there is still a chance to fix your mistakes, rewrite your Wyrd and pay off your debt. Light and Darkness are in peace again but now Light will advance and Darkness will recede.

On the night of Yule people would gather and make a Fire trying somehow feel protected. In the new time of the new god, the elders would strictly prohibit the young to leave the house; it was not allowed to be alone, so you didn’t end up on the way of the Wild Hunt. All these beliefs appeared in the Christian epoch when the knowledge of the old times was completely erased from the minds of the people.  All that was left was fear and a burning sense of guilt but no memory left – what is there to feel guilty for?

Pagan worldview of our ancestors didn’t let them sit on this night behind the strong walls just like chickens in the roost pressed against each other. They went outside and in the meadow, in front of the idols of the gods, the magicians had already started a guiding fire in honor of the god Znich – the god of knowledge, the spark of the incessant Fire that lives inside of everyone.  In this time of “absence of power”, when all the elements are at their lowest point, magicians would turn people´s attention inwards, to see if Kupala spark was still alive.

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On the Solstice night, they honored the god Koliada – the spark of Kupala fire. According to the legend, he appears every time he needs to save the children of Svarog from spiritual degeneration. A long time ago, he did exactly the following: when he came into this world he gathered 60 wise men around himself. He taught them ancient knowledge, he taught them how to think and understand the essence of things. He is the bearer of the original spark that can start the Fire.

Koliada was often portrayed with a sword in his hand with the blade´s point down. All the gods who, according to the legends, were born on Winter Solstice, bear this symbol as well as the gods who educate the people. Prometheus is a notable representative of these gods – he took the spark of the Fire of the Gods to the defeated, disgraced, and cowardly humans in a cane stalk.

This small spark is not enough for doing, but it is enough for understanding. Until the element of Air is awakened  – the Air that can start this internal fire with the flow of knowledge – one needs to find within himself that one and only source of power that will constantly nourish the spark. It is a chance to revive the spirit, it is a chance to start everything from the beginning and the small spark of the soul will sooner or later guide one towards the big Fire or his god and towards his power. It will be that fiery bridge that god Ovsen builds in the soul of each descendant of the Ancients – it is the way of coming back for Kupala, the son of Semargl.

Extract from Menshikova K.E “Health through the power of the Elements”

1 Imbolc 2 Ostara 3 Beltane 4 Litha (Kupala) 5 Lammas 6 Mabon 7 Samhain 8 Yule