A very merry Yule indeed,” I thought as I stood outside my home. The snow was coming down thick, crystal ice clinging to my eyelashes. I blinked it away and gazed up at the roof. Twinkling lights lit up the edges of the house and there were a few poinsettias next to the door. Atop the pointed front of the house, a wooden pentacle laced with gold and silver ribbon adorned the siding. I loved the way our house looked at this time of year. It was the day before the Solstice. I felt good knowing everyone had off of work tomorrow. No one worked on Yule.
As I turned my gaze to our neighbors home, images of the season could be seen along the block. Lady Greendragon’s front yard was littered with those plastic light-up figures. I noticed elves, gnomes, and all sorts of Fey folk dancing around what looked to be a light up Goddess cradling a small horned babe. From the tree in her yard hung silver and gold lights, as well as mistletoe.
“God help the soul who gets stuck under the tree the Lady Vivian Greendragon,” I muttered and shook my head. Just then she emerged from her door. Her green velvet cloak swooped around her, clasped with a gleaming silver pentacle, and she held 3 or 4 packages wrapped in bright red shiny paper underneath her arm.
“Merry meet and merry part my dear,” she called to me in her raspy elderly voice. “I’m just off to my grandaughter’s for Yule dinner! If I don’t see you, have a very lovely Solstice!”
“You too, Lady Greendragon” I called, and with that she got into her dark purple ’69 Volkswagen and putted down the road.
I had some gifts to buy myself, so I headed down the block towards the main stretch of town. No doubt it would be bustling with those grabbing last minute Yuletide cheer.
I passed another neighbor, the High Priest Edwin Bloodserpent. I was unsure which coven he led. “Good evening my dear,” he said under his breath, as he hurried along. He held a broom in his left hand and a briefcase in his right. “Ritual, or a meeting?” I wondered to myself and I continued on.
I entered the local WalMart. I’d been procrastinating buying gifts. Money had been tight, but a prosperity spell I’d done earlier in the week had sent me a Yule bonus check at work.
I scanned the cards, looking for any that struck me as purchase worthy. The first had a beautiful painting of the Goddess, cradling a baby, with a vision of a ghostly horned man poised over her shoulder. “The ghost of the God,” I mused. Another had the sun rising over a mountain. The text read, “The sun is reborn, the light returns” on the front in gold letters. The third had a simple golden pentacle, and underneath it, a cauldron, the symbol of rebirth. Smoke spiraled up out of the cauldron all around the pentacle, and wrapped around the top of the cauldron were red and green ribbons adorned with suns.
Local witches buzzed around the Yule cards like bees on honey, plucking the cards out, reading them and replacing them. Everyone had a hurried energy about them. Their cloaks dripped wet slush on the ground. Though busy to get back to their families for Yule, everyone had a friendly and neighborly attitude. “Blessed Yule,” and “Have a wonderful Solstice” and “Enjoy your Yule Log” greetings came from every corner of the store.
I moved out of the card aisle and into the aisle of Yule yard decorations, I noticed a few. The first was a figure that had a long white beard, a jolly rosy face, and holly leaves and berries strewn all through his hair. He held in his arms a little babe, the God (and I guess himself…) reborn. On the opposite side of the aisle, a beautiful moon goddess stood, with a crown of stars, holding her arms up in the goddess position. She has a long silver gown glistening with twinkling lights. There was a spiral on her belly, symbolizing rebirth, in particular the rebirth of the God. Next to her was a light up Holly King and Oak King in mid battle, plugged into an electrical socket. The Holly King’s arm came down and retreated in a mechanical fashion, as he slayed the figure of the Oak King. “Kind of cheesy,” I thought, but these images made me smile.
As I moved along to the gift section, I found those pre-assembled “good for anyone” template gifts. I noticed one particularly pretty Tarot gift deck that included a book of layouts, adorned with a green ribbon. Next to that, a small gold box read “Paint your own runes” and showed a sampling of mottled wooden blank runes through the top of the plastic box. There were altar tools lined up: beautiful Yule themed besoms, athames, bells, cauldrons, staffs, wands and chalices. There were oils, incense, candles, pre-made spell kits, and so much more. I knew I could find exaclty what I was looking for.
I wondered what people of other faiths thought about our figures, our decorations, our cards, our symbols being the main focus of the holiday. I imagine Christians might be feel slighted, knowing they can’t find a simple nativity scene in WalMart. There wasn’t an image of their baby Jesus or their mother Mary anywhere in sight. And how about Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, or any other faiths? They might not have a similar equivalent to Yule, but man, we Wiccans really make a big scene for the Solstice in all the stores.