Finishing Up the 12 Days of Yule

Although well into the New Year, I wanted to take a moment and conclude writing about my experience with Three Crane Grove’s Yule Along.

My family spent some time honoring our Goddess of the hearth, Brighid, and the Shining Ones. I became a little mixed up at the end.  Three Cranes said they had miscounted or something, and I, in Typical Ditzy Druid fashion, didn’t notice.  I also think the business of the holidays in general threw me off and we somehow missed the day associated with the boar and warriors.  Funnily enough, with regards to my twelve card divination for the new year, it was framed by the boar.  I drew the boar for January and December!  I generally interpret this card as associated with the warrior, a hunt, challenges, possible danger, and even leadership.  This year I intend to refer to the results of the readings at the end of each month and reflect on how close they were.  I should also check going into each month to be on the lookout for the blessings or challenges in store…

New Year’s Eve was spent cleaning the home as best as we could to ensure that we could bring as much cleanliness as possible into 2014.  No easy task with a little one to look after!  While I’m proud of what we accomplished, I’m also proud of myself for just embracing the reality of the situation.  Having a baby who is just starting to crawl will not lend itself to the spotless home of my fantasies.  And really, being a creative person, I doubt I’ll ever have a spotless home.  By coming to terms with that, I let a nagging stress go.  There’s nothing wrong with aiming for cleanliness but to overshoot moderation and delve into a realm of constant self-critique is not healthy.  Goodbye nagging stress, hello acceptance*!

We also had a couple grovies over to ring in the New Year.  A military family, they were away from loved ones and that saddened them.  We welcomed them into our home for a super casual hang out.  One of them, Holda**, is from Germany and wanted to share some of her German New Year’s traditions with us.  We watched a black and white comedy sketch called “Dinner for One” which, apparently, plays non-stop in Germany at that time of year.  She also introduced us to molybdomancy which involves heating lead, pouring it into a container of water, and interpreting the resulting shapes as signs for the New Year.  This method of divination was new to me, and I really enjoyed experiencing it!

We melted the lead in a spoon held over the candle flame. Photo by Weretoad, 2013.
We poured the molten lead into a pot of water then removed it. We used a flashlight to see what shapes we saw and used them to predict 2014. We thought this looked like a ship. Photo by Weretoad, 2013.

The next day, Weretoad and I spent some time putting away our Winter Solstice decorations.  We put the evergreens outside and then I purified the home with some juniper incense.

Overall, observing the 12 Days of Yule was a very rewarding experience.  While not a traditionally Celtic thing to do, it helped me engage with the season in a new and meaningful way that extended beyond and blended nicely with the significance of the Winter Solstice.  It also helped to bridge my celebration with my Christian family’s Christmas by setting aside a day to celebrate the spirit of generosity on the 25th of December.  My husband participated in the rituals and that was really special to me.  I would like to do it again in 2014 but pay better attention to the number of days.

* Dear husband, no you may not use this to get out of helping me clean before we have guests! 😉

** Her Pagan pseudonym.

Published by M. A. Phillips

An author and Druid living in Northern NY.

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