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Thread: 12 Nights of Yule

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    12 Nights of Yule

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    Yule (Ærre-Giuli, Hrutmanudhr , Jól, Jul, Yuletide, December)

    If you’ve ever heard the Christmas Carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” modern heathens opt to celebrate this as the Twelve Days of Yule, with the last day culminating on 12th Night. Since ancient calendars followed a different method of time, the solstice celebrations as well as later ‘Christmasy’ style observances can vary from place to place as to when they occur. Today, most Pagans and heathens celebrate the yuletide as running from approximately December 20 – December 31 (but there are variations).
    We do know that the celebration of Yule wasn’t always twelve days long. In the Norse text Heimskringla: The Saga of Hakon the Good talks about it once lasting for three days, or as long as the ale lasted. The night it began was known as the slaughter night, where animals would be ritually slain. Their meat later used to feed the community, as well as the Gods. It was King Hakon of Norway, who as a Christian passed a law that the Christian Christmas Day (which was already a weird bastardization of the Christian story of the Nativity and Saturnalia/Mithraic customs) and the Pagan yuletide celebrations were to henceforth be celebrated at the same time. While this only specifically impacted Norway (and its territories), it illustrates an intentional combining of the holy-days into one celebration.
    In Gulathingslog 7 we see that Yule was celebrated ‘for a fertile and peaceful season’ we also see in the Saga of Hakon the Good that Odin was hailed as a bringer of victory, Njord and Freyr were also hailed for peace and fertility. Grimm’s Teutonic Mythology speaks of how Frau Holle’s annual wagon toured the countryside during the yuletide season for blessings of a fertile year ahead. Deities associated with winter like the winter hunters Ullr and Skadhi are also sometimes hailed. Since this is the day of darkest night, Nott (Goddess of Night) as well as silver-gleaming Mani (God of the Moon) may be honored. Some will also honor Dagr (God of Day) and Sunna (Goddess of the Sun) as she will only grow in prominence in the months ahead.
    Many modern scholars believe that a Mid-Winter or Winter Solstice celebration has been an important part of indigenous European traditions and culture since at least 2400 BC by one name or another. Although we do not know exactly, there is much discussion among Historians and Archeologists about when the name Yule truly came to be a mainstay name. We do know that this time of the year has been commonly recognized as Yule since before 1000 AD at the latest. The Name Yule is thought, by many scholars, to be an expression of the name Odin representing the eternal wheel and sometimes the sun.
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    http://nordicwiccan.blogspot.com/201...s-of-yule.html
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    Excellent information which I will need to make use of for next Yule.

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