Yule is the ancient name for the Winter Solstice, the longest night and shortest day of the year.
In northern climates, this is the darkest and coldest time of the year.
The sun seems to be weak, even dying, and we fear winter will last forever.
But just as soon as the Solstice passes, the days begin to grow longer again.
The Solstice is a turning point in the wheel of the year, when the sun symbolically dies and is reborn.
Darkness is not something bad or something to fear.
We know that without darkness, nothing could live or grow. Without night, we would have no day.
Light and darkness must always be in balance.
At Solstice, the balance has tipped as far toward the dark as it can go.
And we are so ready for the light to come back.
This time of year has been sacred long before the birth of Jesus.
In fact, no one truly knows when exactly Jesus was born, but because people were so used to celebrating at this season, the early Church chose it for one of their most important holidays.
The Light in Religion
During this season, people of many different religions try to strengthen the light.
Pagans and Christians bring an evergreen tree inside and decorate it with twinkling lights to remind us that life goes on even in the depths of winter.
Jewish people light candles for eight nights, adding one more each night to the Chanukah Menorah.
And African American people celebrate Kwanzaa, lighting candles for seven nights to symbolize the qualities of unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.
Another tradition is staying up all night in anticipation for the birth of the sun, a new year.
In the early morning, many climb up on a hill to watch for the dawn, to drum and dance and welcome the reborn sun who brings back the light and the promise of summer.
The sun rises and we are reborn with the year.
Within each of us, whatever our age, the miracle child we were at birth emerges anew.
The secret we learn from the Solstice is that just when everything looks darkest, the light is sure to be reborn.
Did you find any value in this article? Should I write more about the seasons, nature, and our oneness with what surrounds us?
Happy Holidays! Sending love and blessings to all of my family and friends this winter season ♡