Winter Solstice

A friend of mine recently asked me, “So what’s a witchy Christmas like?”

To begin with, while we do celebrate Christmas in my family, many witches do not instead preferring to celebrate the Winter Solstice known as Yule. In my family we do both holidays, though Yule is a little more somber an occasion.

In years past we decorated a Yule log and burned it in the fireplace, which was warm and dramatic, especially when we lived in cold climates. The last time we had a fireplace was when I lived in San Francisco and that was the last real Yule log we burned to mark the Solstice. We also had a lovely feast. There is one thing about witches – we love to feast! We set up the entire year for at least eight of them after all! (meaning the eight sabbats.)

Since being back in Florida for the past seven years, no one in the family has had a fireplace, so we have had to improvise with candles and logs drilled to fit them. It makes a lovely centerpiece or altar decoration but otherwise it doesn’t have exactly the same impact as burning a traditional Yule log.

My mother said this year we should just get a Yule log from Swiss Colony that we could eat! Unfortunately Yule seems to be taking a back seat to our Christmas holiday plans this year as the family will be together for the first time in many years.

I thought perhaps we were in need of a new tradition something different and seperate from the traitional decorations and festivities.

My new tradition is a Faerie Tree.

I’ve always been a lover of the Fae and have praticed Faerie Magick for years. Since so many earth-based traditions are incorporated into Christmas anyway, I thought perhaps this year on the Winter Solstice we could honor our fae friends.

At first (like most things I do) the tree began simply. I would use a small 2 foot tree and decorate it with Amy Brown’s Fairy Diva’s. I adore these beautiful creations and have been a fan and supporter of Amy’s since the first time I laid eyes on one.

I purchased a small tree and had about half a dozen Fairy Divas to decorate it. Enter the Mother Witch. She said the tree looked a little sad. A little “Charlie Brown Christmas”. I added some tiny lights and gold star garland. My mother said I needed to fill in the tree with more Fairy Divas.
I ordered six more. Now the tree looked like it was going to topple over.
New tree. This one twice as tall, pre-lit and expensive.
Now there were not enough Fairy Divas. I decorated the new tree with extra garland and the new Fairy Diva’s. The front looked great. The back – well, it was empty. You guessed it. More Fairy Diva’s.
This went on actually for some time until the proper balance of Fae to Tree was acheived. My mother approved and finally the tree was complete. We lit it last night and it was like the Fae themselves agreed – it twinkled with magick and glowed the way no faerie tree ever has. Please visit my site to see the photos!

I’m happy to have a new tradition and a new way to celebrate and honor magick on this Solstice. I’d love to hear how you plan to mark Yule too. Remember it is December 21st, precisely 7:22 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. This is also the first day of Winter.