Wondering how to set up a Wiccan yule altar? My altar changes with the seasons and the holiday. Below, I’ll walk you through how I came up with my arrangement. Feel free to tweak this to suit your own needs.
But first, some background. Yule began as a pagan holiday, celebrating the winter solstice. In fact, the church incorporated a lot of elements, such as decorating with greenery and spending time with family and friends.
Winter Solstice or Yule, occurs somewhere between December 20th-22nd every year. It is the shortest day of the year, meaning the darkest. No wonder pagans huddled indoors with their loved ones to get through the chilly nights.
In my mind, “Christmas” is a pagan holiday, because it borrows so heavily from Yule. Therefore, I don’t have a problem following those traditions. For more information on Yule, check out this video.
My altar is in my living room, on a table I reserve for witchcraft and celebrating sabbats. It’s important to set aside an area for spell work and to keep it clean and maintained. As you can see, I incorporated silver, gold, some representations of nature, along with light (candles), and scents.
My tree is a little worse for the wear, because my cat, Moon, loves to hop up on the table and “un-decorate” it every night. There are links below to similar items in case you are curious.
Every morning, I fill the essential oil diffuser, light the candles, turn on my tree and spend a few quiet moments at my table with a cup of coffee, meditating, and communing with my chosen goddess, Artemis.
Elements of my Yule Altar
I burn a holiday candle every single day. I love using homey scents like cinnamon or pine, which have a holiday feel. Try to find candles with essential oils in them, instead of artificial fragrances.
Rosemary is associated with purification, blessings, and cleansing. If you’d like to do a ritual cleansing of your home before the holiday season, check out my post on it. I love using rosemary essential oil because it smells amazing, too. Rosemary also looks remarkably like pine needles, so it fits in with the scene.
I like using a tray, so I can display several elements together. This also helps with portability if I’m doing a spell, in case I need to do part of a ritual outside. I prefer natural wood to the stained variety.
Silver and gold. My tree has silver ornaments and a tree skirt, my essential oil diffuser is silver, and I have a silver basket as well. Silver represents the cold, winter, and the divine feminine, along with the moon. Gold (in my case, a crown) represents the sun, warmth, and light. Yule is the darkest day of the year, and considered the “re-birth” of the sun. From here on out, the days will get longer and longer until fall, when the cycle starts all over again.
How are you planning to set up your altar? Tell me in the comments below.