I hope everyone has been enjoying their Yuletide season! We just returned from a lovely visit with family. It is always difficult for me to keep up with rituals when I return home, but I did my best to be mindful of the days.
The Sixth Day of Yule
This day was dedicated to the house spirits which was apt because we prepared to leave home. I did my best to tidy up a little and made offerings to the house spirits and prayed that they protect everything while we were away. Upon returning, we gave another offering in thanks for that protection.
The Seventh Day of Yule
My family celebrates Christmas. Some are Christian and attend mass, while others are agnostic or atheist and embrace it as a secular holiday. Observing the Twelve Days of Yule has helped me better reintegrate the day into my own practices. As so many have already said, gift giving is an ancient winter custom and, when you have family who celebrate Christmas, it’s difficult to avoid doing it ont he 25th of December! This was a day to honor the spirits of generosity and abundance. For me, that would include the modern amalgamation that is Santa and An Dagda of the Tuatha dé Danann. While I did not get to make an offering until returning home, the spirits of generosity were very much present. We received many lovely gifts and I had fun giving my family some handmade items such as this table runner I quilted for my mother.
The Eighth Day of Yule
A time to honor the spirits of snow and ice! Driving home from our visit, lake effect snow started to hit our region. Big fluffy flakes have been falling upon the land, covering the crusty layer of ice from earlier in the week. The North Country hasn’t fully thawed out. The ice still clings to buildings and trees. Many of the later are still bent over and, in some cases, broken. I looked out the car window and thought about An Cailleach and all of her power. The snow and ice is all at once beautiful and destructive. These weather conditions are good reminders for the many seemingly opposite qualities of magic, myth, and nature.
I had hoped to go for a walk in the snow today, but scheduling, slippery ice, and baby care made that difficult. We poured offerings for An Cailleach inside and spoke words of praise.