Reflections on Yule

Yule is a turning point in the year. In a way, this is true of every festival in the Pagan wheel of the year, but it is said that the word Yule means a turning point.

There are many facets of Yule. There is the anarchic element of mumming, Saturnalia, the bean king, boy bishops, the lord of misrule, the inversion of the usual order of things. This aspect seems to be inspired by the concept of turning, and of liminality: being on the threshold, being neither one thing nor the other.

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Anarchic Yule

Yule is a distinct festival, often overshadowed by its younger sibling, Christmas. If you’re a Pagan or have Pagan leanings, the chances are that everything you love about Christmas is actually because it’s a Yule thing. If you love the tree, the holly, the greenery being brought into the house, the feasting, and the reciprocity of thoughtful gift giving (as opposed to obligatory gift giving dictated by social norms), then you love Yule. Yule is not “Christmas with the serial numbers filed off”, and Christmas isn’t “Yule with added Baby Jesus”, Yule is far more exciting and wild and numinous than that.

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Trans Day of Remembrance 2022

So many brief candles,
So many deaths to mourn,
So many names upon our lips,
Each year a litany of names.

Their unique and perfect beauty
Crafted once by time and circumstance
Snuffed out too soon
Calling out for justice.

Write their names among the stars
Write their names on the wind
Etch the loss into the stones
Until the world changes.