The Ninth Day of Yule was dedicated to the evergreen trees. We remember the trees outdoors, home to other beings and shelter from the cold. They are a source of food for many such as the white tailed deer. Many people still use the white pine for tea as well which is a great source of vitamin c in the winter. Plenty of people chop down live trees and bring them in to decorate. Sara Lawless shared her wonderful tradition of giving her tree, which she calls a sacrificial tree, offerings. She then uses it as fuel and in her various herbal and craft creations. I can definitely get behind that! The folks at Muin Mound Grove don’t cut down a whole tree. Rather, they give offerings then take off the top of one of the larger trees. They do this very carefully so as to not permanently damage it. This is also a sacrificial tree because, after the Winter Solstice, it is hoisted up their Maypole for Bealtaine, and then cut and given to the Samhain bonfire. It’s a beautiful tradition that is tied directly to their land. Weretoad, Bee, and I bring in our little potted dwarf spruce. It’s wind damaged on one side, and the ornaments don’t hang on it like they would a larger tree… So it may look rather pathetic to some! It’s become a tradition in our home, though, and it works well considering we only have so much space. We love it and enjoy decking it out with a handful of meaningful ornaments. This year we added some new decorations that were gifted to us by loved ones, including several grovies! On the Ninth Day of Yule, we spoke words of thanks and praise and put our gratitude and love into a cup of water. We gave the water to the tree and drew our omen for September.
Observing the Twelve Days of Yule continues to be a positive practice. It’s helped me get back into a regular routine and has made devotionals a family affair. My husband has joined me each night and held the baby. They’ve both helped with divination, and Weretoad is even learning the words. It means so much to me!