Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Yule Altar 2018

Yule Altar 2018

Happy Yule, ya' filthy pagans! A couple nights ago I put together my Yule altar using some items found around my home. When possible, I prefer living decorations over fake ones. Just feels more witchy to me. For this altar, I chose a skull, antler, pyrite, white candles, a bell, and some fir and berry garland mixed with Christmas lights to celebrate the season. Furthermore, I chose white, green, red, and gold tones to pull the altar together and represent the season.

Yule Altar 2018

1. White Candles with candlesticks- The white candles represent the  Sun who is reborn at Yule. White also represents purity and protection, warding off negativity and evil and ensuring a safe winter. As Yule is the longest night of the year, candles, Yule logs, and other lights are commonly lit for protection against evil spirits that may wish harm on the inhabitants of the house. (Where did I get it: Dollar Tree; Cost: $1 for 2 candles, candlesticks $1 each)

Yule Altar 2018

2. Evergreen Branches and Berries- The evergreen branches were cut from one of the few evergreen trees in my yard to represent the Holly King, everlasting life, and protection. Boughs of evergreen were commonly hung above doorways and placed on altars to prevent evil from entering the home, especially on the longest night of the year. The red holly berries also are a tribute to the Holly King, but also to represent blood, as the Holly King begins to die after the solstice and the Oak King is reborn. The ever-present cycle of birth and death is represented by the evergreen branches being intertwined together.  (Where did I get it: Branches Found & Berries purchased; Cost: $5)

Yule Altar 2018

3. Golden Bell- A common practice this time of year is the ringing in the new day after the solstice, thus ushering the Sun back to life. The golden bell symbolizes this tradition to "ring in" the "New Year." (Where did I get it: From September's House of Rituals Subscription Box; Cost: Estimated $2) 

Yule Altar 2018

4. Antler- The antler circling the coyote/dog skull represents regrowth/rebirth, as deer routinely shed their antlers each year to replace them with new ones, as well as the Wild Hunt, which occurs during the solstice. Furthermore, deer are spirit messengers who are able to walk between worlds the world freely, thus the antler represents the spirits of the season and communication with them. After the solstice, the days begin to lengthen and the Earth is reborn, just as the deer regrow their antlers each year.  (Where did I get it: Found; Cost: $0) 

5. Coyote/Dog Skulls- I love decorating with skulls, and Yule is no exception. This particular skull is of a coyote or dog, representing cunning and resilience, traits needed to survive long, dark winter nights when food scarce and temperatures drop below freezing.  (Where did I get it: Found; Cost: $0) 

Yule Altar 2018

6. Pyrite- Being gold, a common color associated with Yule, pyrite represents wealth, stamina, and health. Furthermore, pyrite is a crystal of the Sun and fire, representing the rebirth of the Sun after the longest night of the year. As winter continues, pyrite ensures those within will survive the season and have continued prosperity during the new year. (Where did I get it: Purchased or Subscription Box (?); Cost: $2) 

Yule Altar 2018

7. Wooden Acorns- While the Holly King is at his most powerful on Yule, this strength begins to wane and make way for the Oak King to reign once more. I placed two wooden acorns on either side of my altar to represent the return of the Oak King in the upcoming months, as well as to symbolize strength and protection to make it through the cold nights ahead. (Where did I get it: Gifted; $0)

Yule Altar 2018

TOTAL COST: ~$12

Like my other altars, most of the items I use are found or purchased for around $1, although if the items must be purchased by you, then the cost will be higher. I hope you find this sort of break down helpful, especially those of you looking to create Instagram perfect altars on a budget!

How did you celebrate Yule this year?

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