Find out more about the first Sabbat of the year.

Activities and Ideas
Wassailing Songs
Simple Fire Spell


Yule Lore

The winter solstice takes place when the Sun enters the Sign of Capricorn, and Saturn, the ruler of Capricorn, was also supposed to be the ruler of the far off Golden age of the past when the world was happy and fruitful. At this time of the year, the Romans decked their houses with boughs of evergreen trees and bushes. People gave each other presents, and all normal business was suspended and social distinctions were forgotten. Servants and slaves were given a feast by their masters who waited the tables.

Yule Log
The Pagan Saxons celebrated the feast of Yule with plenty of ale and blazing fires, of which our Yule log is the last relic. The Yule log is actually an indoor equivalent of the outdoor bonfire of Midwinter Eve. It is said that the Yule log must never be bought but should be received as a gift, found or taken from you own property. Often the log to be burned at midwinter was chosen early in the year and set aside. It is also said that the number of sparks struck off the burning log indicated the number of lambs and kids would be born in the coming year.

The type of wood used to make Yule logs varied from region to region. Oak logs were popular in the north of England, birch in Scotland and ash in Cornwall and Devon. Ash is the only wood that burns freely when green and the world-tree, Yggdrasil, in the Nordic tradition was an ash-tree. It is important that the Yule log be the biggest and greenest log available since the Christmas festivities will last only as long as the Yule log burns. Once the log is out and the ashes are cold they are often gathered for luck and protection or to
fertilize the land.

In some parts of the Scottish highlands, the head of the household finds a withered stump and carves it into the likeness of an old woman, the Cailleach Nollaich or Christmas Old Wife, a sinister being representing the evils of winter and death. She’s the goddess of winter, the hag of night, the old one who brings death. Burning her drives away the winter and protects the occupants of the household from death.

There is also an old custom of saving a piece of the Yule log, ‘for luck’ to kindle the next year’s blaze as evidenced in this poem by Herrick’s titled “Hesperides:”
Come bring with a noise
My merry, merry boys
The Christmas log to the firing
With the last year’s brand.
Light the new block,
And for good success in his spending
On your psalteries play:
That sweet luck may
Come while the log is a-teendling.

Yule or Christmas Tree
Continuity of Life, Protection, Prosperity are all symbolic of the evergreen and associated with Green Goddesses & Gods; Hertha; Cybele, Attis, Dionysius (Pine); Woodland Spirits traditions: Roman, Celtic, Teutonic, Christian.

The tradition decorating with evergreen trees and boughs, however, originates from the ancient pagan cultures. Many cultures saw the evergreen, one of few plants to remain green even in winter, as a symbol of life even during the season of death. To decorate with the trees and branches of the evergreen was a way of celebrating this eternal life.
In her book, The Solstice Evergreen, Sheryl Ann Karas says that the earliest record of an evergreen being decorated comes from Riga in Latvia in 1519, when a group of local merchants carried an evergreen bedecked with flowers to the marketplace, where they danced around it and then burned it.

Modern Christmas trees were introduced to the court of Queen Victoria by her husband, Prince Albert, as a custom from his native Germany.

Angels on top of the tree
In some regions of Germany, people placed witches instead of angels at the tops of their Christmas trees, perhaps in recognition of the Crone, the old-woman face of the Goddess who presides over this part of the year.

The custom of placing a light at the top of the Christmas tree is another symbol of the rebirth of the sun. Catholics later changed this image to that of the angel heralding the Christ Child’s birth.

Gingerbread men
In ancient times it is said that Germanic tribes would sacrifice their prisoners to the god of victory (Wodan or Odin in Norse) by hanging them upside down from trees for nine days, as Wodan was hung from the Tree of Life in order to obtain the wisdom of the runes. After the wars ended, they replaced actual men with gingerbread men, as way of asking for help from Wodan in making it through the dark winter.

Another legend tells how St. Nicolas begged some grain from a ship passing through Myra during a famine. He kept some and baked the rest as bread, in his own image. St. Nicholas has his own special cookie: the Speculatius, a gingerbread figure of a bishop. The name means “image,” referring to the mirror image of St Nicholas which has been pressed into a wooden mold and then turned out on a sheet to bake in the oven (like other traditional Christmas cookies made in molds: springerle and cavalucci).

Holly King/Oak King
We celebrate the light overcoming the dark, as two are brothers, rivals or the flip sides of the same coin. The Oak King rules from midwinter until midsummer, and the Holly King rules from midsummer until midwinter. Every year at Yule, the Oak King cuts off the Holly King’s head and rules for six months until midsummer, when the Holly King kills the Oak King and the cycle begins again. You can see the vestiges of the myth in the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Janet and Stewart Farrar devote a whole chapter to these two in their book The Witches’ God.

Another version of the Oak/Holly King theme is the ritual hunting and killing of a Wren. The Wren, little King of the Waning Year, is killed by the Robin Redbreast, King of the Waxing Year. The Robin finds the Wren hiding in an Ivy bush (or as in some parts of Ireland – a holly bush).

In the Christianized version of the story Saint George in shining armor, comes to do battle with the dark faced ‘Turkish Knight’. Saint George is the Sun, slaying the powers of darkness. However, the victor immediately proclaims that he has slain his brother. Dark and Light, winter and summer are complementary to each other. So on comes the mysterious ‘Doctor’ with his magical bottle who revives the slain man. There is much rejoicing and all ends well.

Candles, Lights and Torches
The feast of Saturnalia (which honored the god Saturn) was long established by the Romans before they invaded Britain, and was celebrated from December 12-17. It was a time when masters waited on servants at mealtime, and gifts of light were given, particularly candles and it is felt that this may have been in honor of a solar deity for the upcoming solstice.

Pagans also lit candles at the stroke of midnight on the solstice, to symbolize the rebirth of the god, the mystery of a light being reborn in the midst of darkness.

The Christmas candle, a large candle of red or some other bright color decorated with holly or other evergreens, was at one time a popular custom throughout Great Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia. One person, usually the eldest or the head of the household, is designated as the lightbringer. She lights the candle for the first time on Christmas Eve before the festive supper and during each of the remaining evenings of the Twelve Days of Christmas. To extinguish the candle, she snuffs it with tongs rather than blowing it out, since that would blow the luck away. The candle sheds a blessing on the household and so is protected from accidental quenching.

Lamps burning all night at Midwinter, survive in Ireland and elsewhere, as the single candle burning in the window at Christmas Eve, lit by the youngest in the house – a symbol of mircocosmic welcome to the Marcosm.

Juno Lucina, Mother of Lights, was a goddess of childbirth whose festival was celebrated with torchlights and bonfires in Rome in early December. As midwife of the miraculous Sun Child born at Winter Solstice, it was said she brought children to light. Later converted to Christianity as St. Lucy, she found a home in Sweden, where Yuletide celebrations today still include the procession of the Lussibruden (Lucy Bride), led by a young girl wearing a crown of candles.

New Year
The Roman celebrated their festival of Saturnalia — a twelve-day festival that marked the ending of one year and the beginning of another.

The Norse also saw this as the traditional new year or beginning because it marked the time of the sun’s return. Twelve days after Christmas was the traditional day to celebrate the new year for those peoples.

Holly was hung in honor of the Holly King in pagan traditions and still is today in may pagan homes. It symbolizes the old Solar Year; Waning Sun; Protection, Good Luck and was particularly prized to decorate doors, windows and fireplaces because of its prickliness — to either ward off or snag and capture evil spirits before they could enter and harm a household.

Romans were quite fond of holly during their Solstice celebration, known as the Saturnalia. Gifts of holly were exchanged during this time, as holly was believed to ward off lightning and evil spirits. Holly was also seen as a symbol of the feminine aspect, the red berries signifying the blood of the female. Ivy was seen to represent the masculine, and the ancient custom of decorating the doorway with the two plants intertwined was a symbolic union of the two halves of divinity.

Once called Allheal this sacred plant symbolizes peace, prosperity, healing, wellness, fertility, rest, and protection. Celts believed this parasitic plant held the soul of the host tree.

It was at Alban Arthan (actually 5 days after the new moon following the winter solstice) that the Chief Druid cut the mistletoe from the sacred Oak with a golden sickle. The branches had to be caught before they touched the ground. Celts believed this parasitic plant held the soul of the host tree. The priest then divided the branches into many sprigs and distributed them to the people, who hung them over doorways as protection against thunder, lightning and other evils. The folklore, and the magical powers of this plant, blossomed over the centuries A sprig placed in a baby’s cradle would protect the child from faeries. Giving a sprig to the first cow calving after New Year would protect the entire herd.

Norse peoples also saw the plant as sacred. Warriors who met under the plant would not fight, but maintained a truce until the next day. Other European cultures viewed mistletoe as an aphrodisiac, explaining the custom of ‘kissing under the mistletoe’. Mistletoe was not just for kissing under, but also for conceiving under, as well. And its magickal power was felt to make it a wonderful fertility amulet.

The Norse god Balder was the best loved of all the gods. His mother was Frigga, goddess of love and beauty. She loved her son so much that she wanted to make sure no harm would come to him. So she went through the world, securing promises from everything that sprang from the four elements–fire, water, air, and earth–that they would not harm her beloved Balder.

Leave it to Loki, a sly, evil spirit, to find the loophole. The loophole was mistletoe. He made an arrow from its wood. To make the prank even nastier, he took the arrow to Hoder, Balder’s brother, who was blind. Guiding Holder’s hand, Loki directed the arrow at Balder’s heart, and he fell dead. Frigga’s tears became the mistletoe’s white berries. In the version of the story with a happy ending, Balder is restored to life, and Frigga is so grateful that she reverses the reputation of the offending plant–making it a symbol of love and promising to bestow a kiss upon anyone who passes under it.

It is interesting to note that Mistletoe is usually banned from churches at Christmas, because of its Pagan association. However, Stukeley, an eighteenth-century writer, noted that on Christmas Eve, they carried Mistletoe to the High Altar in the church and proclaimed a universal liberty and pardon to all sorts of criminals and wrongdoers.

Christmas Breads and Ham
Feasting on boar, whether caught or raised, almost held the feeling of communion. In Sweden and Denmark, there’s a custom of baking a loaf of bread in the shape of a boar, called the… Yule Boar! It’s made from the last sheaf of grain (also called corn) harvested. It presides over the celebration, and is often kept until spring, when it is ground and added to the fodder for the plowing animals. Sometimes it is split, half is eaten at New Year’s, and the rest kept until spring when it gets the above treatment.

Caroling is thought to come from the traditions associated with wassailing. It also may be from traditions where Children were escorted from house to house with gifts of clove spiked apples and oranges which were laid in baskets of evergreen boughs and wheat stalks dusted with flour. The apples and oranges represented the sun, the boughs were symbolic of immortality, the wheat stalks portrayed the harvest, and the flour was accomplishment of triumph, light, and life.

Wassailing and Apples
Apples were considered in ancient times to be the very important crop, not just for the food they provided but more importantly for the cider that was obtained by squeezing the juices from the apples.

In fact, many rituals developed around blessing the orchards at Yuletide. Called “saining,” these rites blessed fruit trees and livestock so that they might bring abundant food in the seasons ahead.

The actual tradition of wassailing derives its name from the Anglo-Saxon term ‘waes hael’ (be whole or hale). The term wassail in Old English means “your health.” The traditional bowl or cup full of mulled wine originates in the fourteenth century; the leader of a gathering would take up a bowl and cry out “Wassail!” and toast the others; the cup would then be passed on to the next person, with a kiss, until all in the room had drunk from it.

On the eve of Twelfth Day in Normandy, lit torches were carried with wild abandon through the fields and orchards, waving them into the branches and knocked against the trees to drive off vermin and burn away lichens and moss; fertility was guaranteed!

Saule is the beloved Baltic Sun Goddess, about whom thousands of folksongs (the dainas) were sung. In some stories, Saule is a red apple setting in the west; in others, she sleeps in an apple tree. When she is sad, she sits in her apple garden weeping tears of amber, the sun-stone. At Winter Solstice, Kaleda, Saule is reborn as her daughter the morning-star.

Presents have been a common theme of Solstice and Yule celebrations for thousands of years. People gave gifts in a time when community survival was the driving impulse, rather than consumerism. You shared food and other creature comforts to ensure that your neighbors and loves ones–your tribe–would to survive the brutal months to come.

The Saturnalia in Rome was celebrated as the beginning of the New Year, and the revelers gave presents to symbolize the good luck, prosperity, and happiness that they wished for the recipient during the coming year.

Christian tradition ties the giving of gifts to the Magi, which visited the Christ child shortly after his birth, bringing gifts to the future Savior.

Santa Claus, Father Christmas, St. Nicholas, Kris Kringle Pere Noel
Santa Claus is many things: jolly Jupiter, a smiling Saturn, and the Old God on his way to rebirth. Norse and Germanic peoples have for centuries told stories of the Yule Elf, who brings presents on the Solstice to those who leave offerings of porridge. Odin, the Norse god, is also often identified with the character of Santa. One of his titles was Jolnir, “Lord of the Yule”, and the resemblance to the white-bearded Santa is quite striking. In the guise of St. Nicholas he is a pagan deity who was absorbed into the Christian tradition.

It is uncertain where the idea of reindeer towing a sleigh truly came from but there’s the Julbock or Julbukk, or Yule goat, from Sweden and Norway, who had his beginnings as carrier for the god Thor. Now he carries the Yule elf when he makes his rounds to deliver presents and receive his offering of porridge.

New Year’s Resolutions
The tradition of the New Year’s resolution is possibly a tradition based on that of the Norse peoples who swore a Yule oath. Their kindred did this on Twelfth Night (aka New Years Eve).

Yule Activity Ideas

  • Grains and seeds, and the feeding of creatures have been associated with Yuletide holidays for hundred of years in Europe. To continue this tradition why not feed our feathered friends as a family project? See who comes to visit your little sanctuary and identify them with a field guide.
  • Hang popcorn balls made with honey on trees for wild birds or string a popcorn chain and drape it around the trees.
  • Make a wreath out of pine boughs that the family collects on a family outing. Put the wreath in a visible location, such as on the front door, on an inside wall, or in the center of the dining table. When summer solstice arrives it may be burned in the bonfire.
  • Make an “Advent” calendar
  • Make a Yule log. Drill three holes in it to hold three candles of white, red, and black. (Don’t let the candles burn down *into* the wood!) Or go to our craft section where we give even more ideas for the Yule log including types of woods, herbs and flowers to decorate with all their correspondences. For more ideas see the craft section below.
  • Bake Sugar Sun Cookies
  • Make your very own Yule cards to send to friends and family
  • Go out and find a special log to decorate and light on Yule night
  • Keep a candle lit throughout the night to encourage the Sun to keep it company. Make sure the candle is in a safe place where it can’t accidentally set your home ablaze.
  • Create a ritual of re-birth. Let it begin with all in darkness, and, throughout the ritual, light candles until you are surrounded by warmth and brightness. Move from the womb to the full light of a summer’s day!
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen, and make a commitment to be there at other times throughout the year; there are those less fortunate than you… share what you can with them.
  • Donate to food-banks. Be an anonymous giver.

Yule Correspondencs

Incense: bayberry, pine, cedar, rosemary, juniper, frankincense, sandalwood, myrrh.

Tools: bells

Stones/Gems: Blue zircon, turquoise, serpentine, jacinth, peridot.

Colors: Red, Green, White, Silver, Gold

Symbols & Decorations: Yule log, mistletoe (for protection throughout the year, best burned at Samhain the following year), wreaths, fire, garlands of dried flowers, popcorn, cinnamon sticks etc., apples, oranges, Yule tree. Holly, ivy, wheel, fir or pine bows.

Foods: nuts, apples, oranges, caraway nuts, mulled wine, mulled cider, roast turkey, goose or ham, popcorn, roasts (especially pork)

Deities: Athena, Attis, Dionysus, Fates, Frey , Freyja, Hathor, Hecate, Ixchel, Kris Kringle (as the Pagan God of Yule), Lucina, Minerva, Neith, Norns, Odin, Osiris, Woden, and the Horned God

Nature Spirits: snow faeries, storm faeries, winter tree faeries.

Herbs and Flowers: holly, mistletoe, rosemary, oak, spruce and pine cones, ivy, fir, pine and spruce boughs, poinsettia, “Christmas” flowering cactus

Animals: reindeer, the stag, mouse, deer, horse, bear

Yule Recipes

12 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 quarts milk, scalded
1 cup dark rum
2 Tablespoons vanilla
1 teaspoon nutmeg, plus extra for sprinkling
1 cup heavy/whipping cream

In heavy 4-quart saucepan with wire whisk, beat eggs, sugar and salt until blended. Gradually stir in 1 quart milk and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon well, about 25 minutes, but do not boil, or it will curdle. (Mixture should be about 160 degrees F) Pour custard into large bowl, stir in rum, vanilla, nutmeg and remaining milk. Cover and chill, at least 3 hours. whisk, gently fold whipped cream into custard. Pour eggnog into chilled 5 quart bowl, sprinkle with nutmeg. Makes about 16 cups (32 servings.) Keep this eggnog in a container you can shake because the cream and custard may separate. If this happens just shake it up again and enjoy.

4 cups apple cider
1 jar crabapples (undrained) 16oz
2 cups golden sherry
4 lemon slices
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Place cider into sauce pan, bringing to a boil and then add other ingredients. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Serve immediately

Yule Cocktail
Muddle in a serving glass:
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon whole, cranberries
5 mint leaves
Small scoop ice
Add to the sugar, cranberry, and mint:
2 ounces gin
3 ounces tonic
2 ounces cranberry juice
Top with ice

Optional Garnish:
Twist orange zest

Popcorn Balls
2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 quarts popped popcorn
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Butter the sides of a large saucepan. In the sauce pan combine the sugar, water, salt, corn syrup and vinegar. Cook over medium heat to the hard ball stage 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Stir in the vanilla and slowly pour the hot mixture over the popped popcorn, stirring just to mix well. Butter hands lightly and shape into balls. Mixture will be hot so be careful. Place balls on waxed paper to cool.

Praline Nuts
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 Tbsps. margarine
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
2 cups whole pecans, walnuts, cashews or other nuts-you may mix nuts if you
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup very cold water (to test “hard-ball” stage)
1 tsp. oil (for cookie sheets)

In a large saucepan, combine above ingredients except water. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon over a medium-low flame. Mixture should be at a low boil. Stir bottom and sides continuously. Cook for about 4 minutes until a drop of the mixture forms a “hard-ball” drop when placed in a cup of cold water, or mixture reaches 260 degrees F. Remove from stove and beat briskly for 2 minutes until mixture cools, thickens, and becomes creamy. On large pieces of waxed paper, aluminum foil, or oiled cookie sheets, drop 2 or 3 nuts with a tablespoon of mixture for each praline. When all of mixture has been poured, let cool thoroughly. Store in airtight containers.

Roast Chestnuts
1 pound chestnuts
1/4 cup butter
salt to taste
1 pinch ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Cut a 1/2 inch crisscross on the flat side of each nut. Be sure to cut through the shell to prevent the nut from exploding. Place the nuts in a shallow baking pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool and peel off the shell. Place nuts in a skillet with butter and sauté over high heat until the butter is melted and the chestnuts are well coated. Place skillet in oven and roast until they are golden on top. Sprinkle with salt and cinnamon.

Sun Shine Sugar Cookies with Orange Frosting
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine milk with vinegar to make sour milk. Let stand for 5 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugars, shortening, eggs, and vanilla. Add flour, soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Stir in sour milk and mix well. NOTE: Dough will be very sticky and hard to handle so be sure to refrigerate either several hours or overnight. Roll on well floured board to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters to desired shapes-a sun shape or large
round circles are best to signify the sun with large cutters working best. Bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly brown on bottom. Frost with frosting and decorate.

3 egg whites
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 Tablespoon of orange rind
1 Tablespoon of Orange Juice

Beat egg whites in clean, large bowl with mixer at high speed until very foamy. Gradually add sugar, rind, orange juice and extract. Beat at high speed until thickened. Spread over cooled cookies or put in a pastry bag with a piping tip attached and pipe onto cookies.

Yule Log!
1 pre-made chocolate jelly roll cake
Filling and frosting:
1 (16-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cocoa powder, for dusting

Forest Mushrooms:
10 miniature marshmallows
10 chocolate kiss candies, unwrapped
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Special Equipment: 10 toothpicks

Lay cake on a clean work surface. Mix the whipped topping and vanilla extract together until combined. Spread white frosting over the top of the cake to coat completely. Roll up the cake, jelly-roll style, and then cover the outside of the cake with the frosting. Drag a fork along the length of the cake to form a bark design. Dust with cocoa powder and refrigerate.

For the forest mushrooms, insert 1 toothpick through each marshmallow and then into the flat side of the chocolate kiss to form “mushroom.” Group chocolate mushrooms along cake by inserting toothpicks into surface of cake, at intervals to resemble growths of forest mushrooms. Dust chocolate kiss candies with confectioners’ sugar. Slice and serve.

Yule Wassailing Songs

Apple Tree Wassail

This is part of an old English ritual to renew the fertility of the family apple tree. Dance around the tree in a circle, raising energy by singing the carol. After the verse, peak the power into the tree by shouting the blessing at the end. The ritual also includes watering the tree with a wassail libation.

Old apple tree we’ll wassail thee
And hoping thou wilt bear.
The Lord does know where we shall be
To be merry another year.
To blow well and to bear well,
And so merry let us be.
Let ev’ry man drink up his cup
-Here’s health to the old apple tree!
Capfuls! Hatfuls! Baskets full!
Bushels full! Barrels full! Barn floors full!
And a little heap under the stairs!

Gower Wassail

A wassail, a wassail, throughout all this town,
Our cup it is white and our ale it is brown.
Our wassail is made of the good ale and true,
Some nutmeg and ginger, it’s the best we can brew.

Fol the dol, fol the dol de dol,
Fol the dol de dol, fol the dol de dee.
Fol the dol de dol, fol the dol de dee.
Fol the der- o, fol the daddy,
Sing tu re lye do.

We know by the moon that we are not too soon,
And we know by the sun that we are not done.
We know by the stars that we are not too far
And we know by the ground that we are within sound.

Our wassail is made of an elderberry bough
And so, my good neighbor, we’ll drink unto thou.
Besides all of that, you’ll have apples in store,
Pray let us come in, for it’s cold by the door.

We hope that your apple trees prosper and bear
So we may have cider when we call next year.
And where you’ve one barrel we hope you’ll have ten
So we can have cider when we call again.

Here’s our wassail boys, roving weary and cold,
Drop a bit of small silver into our old bowl.
And if we’re alive for another New Year
Perhaps we may come and see who do live here.

Wassail, Wassail, All Over the Town

Wassail, wassail, all over the town!
Our toast it is white, and our ale it is brown.
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree.
With the wassailing bowl we’ll drink to thee.

So here is to Cherry and to his right cheek,
Pray God send our master a good piece of beef.
And a good piece of beef that may we all see,
With the wassailing bowl we’ll drink to thee.

And here is to Dobbin and to his right eye,
Pray God send our master a good Christmas pie.
And a good Christmas pie that may we all see,
With the wassailing bowl we’ll drink to thee.

So here is to Broad May and to her broad horn,
Pray God send our master a good crop of corn.
And a good crop of corn that may we all see,
With the wassailing bowl we’ll drink to thee.

And here is to Fillpail and to her left ear,
Pray God send our master a happy New Year.
And a happy New Year as e’er he did see,
With the wassailing bowl we’ll drink to thee.

And here is to Colly and to her long tail,
Pray God send our master he never may fail.
A bowl of strong beer; I pray you draw near,
And our jolly wassail it’s then you shall hear.

Come, butler, come fill us a bowl of the best,
Then we hope that your soul in heaven may rest.
But if you do draw us a bowl of the small,
Then down shall go butler, bowl and all.

Then here’s to the maid in the lily white smock
Who tripped to the door and pulled back the lock.
Who tripped to the door and pulled back the pin
For to let these jolly wassailers in.

A Traditional Wassail Song


Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green,
Here we come a-wandering so fairly to be seen.
Now is wintertime and strangers travel far and near,
And we wish you, send you a happy New Year.
Bud and blossom, bud and blossom, bud and bloom and bear,
So we may have plenty of cider all next year.
Baskets full and barrels full, and bushels, bags and bowls,
And the cider running out of every gutter hole.


Down here in the muddy lane there sits an old gray fox,
A-starving and a-shivering, and licking his old chops.
Brings us up a table and set it if you please,
And give us hungry wassailers a bit of bread and cheese.


I have a little purse and it’s made of leather skin,
A little silver sixpence, it would line it well within.
Now is wintertime and strangers travel far and near,
And we wish you, send you a happy New Year.

Yule Simple Fire Spell

On the darkest night of the year, gather together three dried leaves of holly and pulverize them into powder. On a clean, four-inch by four-inch piece of paper, write a single word in red ink that represents what quality you would like to be born within yourself along with the newborn Yule Sun. Sprinkle the holly powder into the center of the paper. Twist the whole thing closed with the holly powder inside. Light the wick of a red candle, and from this flame, light the holly-filled paper on fire. As it burns, see your wish fulfilled. The spell is done.