After Samhain I piled wood about four feet high for the Yule fire. Elm logs on the outside and split oak inside the log frame of the pile. I covered the woodpile and waited for Yule.
It started snowing here at Sweetwood Temenos on December 1st. By Yule there was 16inches of snow on the ground. The only way back to the circle was to hike back. A couple of brave souls were planning on attending Yule here at Sweetwood Temenos. We were going to celebrate the season of Yule with ritual, water sharing and a pot luck feast. I made wassail for the Yule feast and toasting.
However on the Yule the weather was threatening and those brave souls who were planning on coming to celebrate canceled. I was determined to go up to Sweetwood Temenos and celebrate Yule.
I drove up, parked on the township road at the entrance and hiked back with the wassail, an apple and a goblet. The storm was coming and it began to lightly snow. Down to the circle all quiet and gray I went. Deep snow covered the whole circle and I set about the task of clearing the snow from the covered Yule firewood.
With a little lamp oil and some paper the Yule fire started. I set up the altar with a goblet filled with wassail and an offering of a sliced apple. The fire roared as the fog drifted in. The woods were silent, no caw of crows or sounds of scampering squirrels, only the solitary human in a stone circle covered with white stirred.
I stood before the Altar and invoked the Goddess and God of Yule and their names echoed through the woods and rolled down into the valley. I poured a libation of wassail to them.
Then I spoke my heart about the trouble in the world and what needed to happen to create peace. I poured a libation of wassail to world peace.
I then spoke of Sweetwood, its land, and all the life therein. I wish Sweetwood well and gave thanks for being its steward. I poured a libation to Sweetwood and gave a great shout.
I prayed then for the health and well being for the people of Sweetwood, my family and my friends and lovers. I offered another libation of wassail and so mote it be.
I sat before the fire eating a slice of apple and drinking Wassail. I thought about my past, about the future and returned to the moment. A deep peace settled over me as I stayed with the moment and looked into the fire. Time stood still yet moved by. Too soon it was getting dark.
I went to the altar, kissed it and thanked the God and Goddess for this Yule and pour the last of the wassail as a libation to this celebration. I walked back up through the woods to the field. As I went I would look back at the silent roaring fire, brilliantly burning in a circle of white, illuminating the gathering dark. Like the returning light I wanted the memory of the fire to remind me during the days of winter of the promise that spring too would return.
I returned home in the darkness of the first night of winter. I felt connected to nature and my ancestors, at peace and soulful. This was my 2007 Yule.