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Yule

History, Lore & Celebration
Anna Franklin

Lear Books, 2010

The Eight Festivals Series

When we live in warm houses and can buy food from the supermarket all year round, we forget what the changing seasons meant in the past. As darkness and cold increase, plants shrivel and survival becomes harder. Every day, the sun seems to grow weaker as if it were dying, rising lower and lower in the sky each day. For our ancestors, the winter solstice was a dangerous time when darkness and chaos threatened to overwelm the world.

And yet, in the moment of greatest gloom, the sun is reborn. With it light, life and hope are rekindled. The Wheel of the Year, which has been briefly stilled, spins on. It is impossible to separate the traditions of the winter solstice from Christmas as all of the myths, symbols and customs of Christmas are Pagan in origin. But while Christians see time as linear and believe that the birth of the Divine Child came but once two thousand years ago, Pagans view time as cyclical and know that the Child of Light, and with him the world, is reborn and renewed every year.

In Yule, Anna Franklin investigates the origins, customs and traditions of the festival, and shares insights for celebrating it with rituals, feasts, herb craft and much more.

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