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Celebrating Yule


 “Try to wash your front doors, blow cinnamon over your threshold, refresh your salt lines, and set your new intentions (Christy Cupp via Facebook). Christmas, like most Christian traditions and holidays, was adapted from Paganism. Yule is a winter holiday celebrated by Pagans that is centered around the winter solstice. Yule begins on the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, and ends on New Year’s Day. It is a time to recognize a rebirth and the renewal of the year while celebrating existence and the return of the sun. 

Holly, mistletoe, and evergreens are the most common symbols for the winter season and are used in many religions. For Pagans, they symbolize the hardiness and strength of life during winter. Some Yule traditions include the burning of the Yule log. While today it is a more secular form of celebration, for Pagans and Christians, it symbolizes the overcoming of sin. While not technically Pagan, my family celebrates with pomander, a French tradition that was thought to provide immunity. Pomander is oranges with whole cloves stuck in them, which can be placed in the pattern of runes or sigils to provide protection or place prosperity, peace,  guidance, abundance, and happiness in your household. Oranges are seen as sun offerings,  which is important during the solstice because it recognizes the return of the sun. 

Another way to celebrate is to simmer cranberries and winter spices, such as cinnamon sticks and nutmeg in a pot. You can let it simmer all day, and it will make your house smell amazing and you can use the water to clean since most of the ingredients are antiseptic. “Blowing cinnamon over your threshold” can also promote abundance and prosperity. Making gingerbread cookies or a Yule log cake is also a great way to celebrate Yule. You can absolutely decorate a tree for Yule, like my family does. You can make “Yule balls,” which are glass ornaments with spells in them for prosperity and peace, and a “cord of the nine knots”, which is also called a witches’ ladder. You can make your cord with three, nine, or thirteen knots and put it in the ornament, which helps solidify your intentions. Once you have everything in your ornament, you close it and seal it with wax. The color wax you use can mean different things,  but white is universal. 

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About the Contributor
Hannah Cupp
Hannah Cupp, Co-Editor
My name is Hannah Cupp. I’m sixteen and I am a junior this year. My dream is to either write for the New Yorker or teach high school English. This is my second semester of journalism and I plan to take two more next year. The newspaper means a lot to me, not only as a journalist but as a student. I think it is beyond important for students to be informed about things going on in the world. I am a huge believer in freedom of the press, as it gives everyone a voice.

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