Yule is the first Sabbat of the Wiccan Year (New Year being Samhain/Halloween) and is the Winter Solstice. The Solstice is the shortest day and the longest night and sits opposite Litha – Midsummer in the wheel of the turning year.
The Solstice will fall on Tuesday 22nd December this year in the Northern Hemisphere. It represents the rebirth of the sun and from this point forward the hours of daylight will slowly increase. The Solstice is a masculine Sabbat and for many cultures represented the birth of the male ‘God’ aspect such as Mithras, Horus, Dionysus, Adonis, Herne and of course Jesus.
The Goddess is honoured as symbolising the Earth and having given birth to the God. Again, observed in nature in the barrenness of the winter months as she regains her strength.
Ultimately this Sabbat is one of renewed hope. Just as it seems the wall of dark that wraps each day has become unbearable the sun begins to gain its strength again and we can be sure that before too long fresh green shoots will be pushing their fingers up through the earth. So for now, light your candles, stoke your fires, and enjoy this time of celebration and recuperation.