A whirl of activity; cleansing my home and myself, purging the shit and the clutter from my closets and my spirit. Yule morning and afternoon was a labor of love and a time to honor the feelings and energies that I needed to release. To prepare to burn away that darkness that has been looming heavy and overbearing, to let the light back in.
Dancing and singing while I worked to prepare a feast for the husband, the best friend and I to share after sunset. The house filled with the scent of chocolate cake, rosemary, vinegars and sweet incense.
The main altar was tidied and flipped in honor of the seasonal shift, to farewell the Holly King and welcome the King of Oak. The corn goddess was offered up to the land and fresh holly brought in from the bushes outside to adorn the space. Candles for the dueling brothers, the fledgling sun and hope set out to be lit as darkness descended.
When the sun said goodbye and the longest night began, candles were lit throughout the house, the fire in the hearth lit and the boys and I sat down to a table set with colorful linens and a Christmas cracker on each plate. Popping the crackers open, we laughed as we donned our lofty paper crowns and dug into the food; marinated steaks, slow roasted herb potatoes, honeyed carrots and champagne. We told jokes and made merry until our bellies were full and our plates empty.
Having eaten our fill, we moved to the warm comfort of the living room for more champagne, Christmas movies and our annual gift exchange. More laughter and stories as we greedily ripped through paper to get to the wonders inside; paintings, mosaics, sculpture, sketchpads and games, many lovingly handmade.
We made wishes on the Yule log before adding it to the fire, the sparks whisking our desires up to the heavens. My ritual was short, personal and filled with fire. The King is dead, long live the king! After a much needed night of mirth, warmth and joy I retired to bed before all of the candles had burned out.
This morning I rose unaided to greet the renewed sun, unusual for me as I am in no way a morning person. As I stood in the frosty grass, wind whipped my hair, gazing adoringly at the baby sun growing brighter behind the trees, I felt lighter and more free than I have in so long I've lost count. The tingling of rebirth and change danced in my heart and I couldn't help but smile.