You have heard of yule-time and relate it to christmas. in fact yule is the time of the winter solstice which in the northern hemisphere is in december, just before christmas. the yule celebrates the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new. it is a time when old baggage can be ritually destroyed through the alchemy of fire. symbolically one could for instance burn an object that symbolised the emotional poison ingested in the past. it is a time for renewal and a time to move on.
the southern hemisphere is not only different to the northern in the timing of the shortest day but the symbologies are shifted as well. in western culture the sun is a male enterty and the moon is female. in some austraian indigenous cultures this is the opposite. the sun is female, rising in the morning and adorning herself with ocher, spilling it on nearby clouds. she sets in the evening and discards the ocher making the sunset red. the moon on the other hand is a male, bringing the unwanted and unexpected.
which ever way you look at it, the shortest day is a time of celebration, for the new cycle that is beginning and the fresh start that is offered. we adopt ritual to enhance and enforce these manifestations of renewal. it is a time of sharing, hence gifts at christmas time in the northern hemisphere. some people celebrate ‘xmas in july’ as an anti christmas kind of thing but really the australian yule is 21st june. (varies)
winter solstice sees the world below close to the surface and the sun at its weakest, it is a time when these forces can join as one without destroying each other. when opposites can envelop oneness.
be part of the renewal process, don’t take your garbage into the new cycle (please, the planet can’t take any more). celebrate your renewal by being part of the winter solstice celebrations. make something to burn or fire in the bon-fire kiln weather it symbolises for you the past or the future, and join in the fun with food and music.
Work has started on the site for this years solstice firing event “Let’s Clay With Fire III”. An in situ work this time around, in the form of a water feature gully sculptural solstice dish.
Check out this drone footage of the site.
Yule – June 21st Winter Solstice 9.09am
Traditional Date June 21st
Yule marks the winter Solstice and is the shortest day and the longest night of the year. As a fire festival a popular custom at this time is the burning of the Yule logs. The Yule log must traditionally be the root of a hardwood tree, and in Australia mallee roots are ideal for this purpose, as are Tasmanian oaks and all types of Eucalyptus.
The ancient and globally celebrated rites attending the Winter Solstice symbolise the innate creative powers of nature that lie just below the surface at this time of year. This festival of inner renewal intimates potential and suggests we often sow the seeds of our life well before we see the outcome. The Winter Solstice offers a wonderful opportunity to come together with friends or spend time alone and take a moment to refocus; to put dreams into place for spring; to contemplate the seeds we plant within our heart and the blessed Earth; to reflect on and be grateful for all that has come to pass. While winter has a profound effect on the world outside, the inner human journey similarly quietens and slows as the energy of the season supports introspection.