Just in time for the solstice, here is another of Lily Wight’s wonderful “Wheel of the Year” posts, with beautiful illustrations and commentary on the Celtic and Nordic stories surrounding this ancient holiday. Enjoy her post and enjoy the return of light!
There are four Solar Quarter Days (two equinoxes and two solstices) on The Wheel of The Year calendar. Yule or The Winter Solstice is celebrated during a twelve day period from December into January.
Yule commemorates the demise and rebirth of the sun’s powers because The Wheel continues to turn and daylight hours begin to lengthen again beyond The Shortest Day.
The name “Yule” is thought to derive from the Old Norse ” jólnar” – a collective term for the gods or “Yule Ones”. Jólfaðr (Yule Father – interchangeable with All-Father) is one of many names attributed to Odin. In Old Norse poetry names and terms for Odin are frequently synonymous with celebration and feasting. Odin The Gift-Giver is undoubtedly the origin of our Santa Claus.
The Midwinter period between the last harvest (Samhain)…
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