Yule is another name for the winter solstice which occurs on December 21st or 22nd every year. It’s the darkest day of the year (fewest hours of sunlight), so it’s only natural our ancestors decided to brighten their drab days by giving gifts and bringing a little bit of Mother Natures’ magic indoors to brighten the space. I’m going to give you a few Yule altar ideas by showing my own this year.
You might have noticed that the Wheel of the Year has a lot of correlations with the Christian calendar of holidays. This is not an accident. The early church wanted to bring pagans into the fold by mirroring their celebrations. So, Christmas falls near Yule, and has a lot of the same traditions (gift-giving, tree decorating, etc.). Easter falls near Ostara, which is about re-birth. Hence, all the bunnies and eggs.
So, many of the things we associate with Christmas, work for Yule. For example, the colors red and green. Herbs would include all of those yummy baking spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger. You can use botanicals like pine, cedar, pine cones, poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly.
Here’s a more complete list of Yule correspondences. But don’t get too caught up in what’s “supposed” to be on your Yule altar. Go with what feels right to you.
My Yule Altar
This year I went with a more natural theme. I used pine cones, holly berries, and birds on my tree. And I decided to go with the color red. In the past, I’ve used silver and gold, but I wanted something a bit more rustic. As per usual, I went to the Dollar Tree for decorations since they are economical. One thing I did, that really made a difference, is using some of their floral picks to fill out my artificial tree. That way it looks more realistic.
And I found some cinnamon-scented potpourri to lay out in my tray, which is filled with pine cones, dried berries, and other natural items like seed pods.
Since I’ve been working with Athena, I’ve really been attracted to owls, one of her symbols. You’ll notice the big fluffy owl in the center of my tree, which I just love. He’s so cute.
Want to check out my other altars?
Here’s another Yule one. Be sure to look at my Mabon altar, my Samhain altar, and my Lammas Altar. If you’ve never set up a sacred space of your own, you might want to look at how to set up your altar.
What does your Yule altar look like? Tell me, or, better yet, show me in the comments! I’d love to see it. I’m always looking for Yule altar ideas.