The Wizards Table
Divination & Character Analysis
The altar is adorned with evergreens such as pine, rosemary, bay, juniper, and cedar, and the same can be laid to mark the Circle. Dried leaves can also be placed on the altar. The cauldron, resting on the altar on a heatproof surface (or placed before it if too large), should be filled with ignitable spirit (alcohol), or a red candle can be placed within it. At outdoor rites, lay a fire within the cauldron to be lit during ritual.
Stand before the cauldron and gaze within it. Say these or similar words:
"I sorrow not,
Ignite the cauldron (or candle), using long matches or a taper.
"I light this fire in Your honour,
Circle the altar and cauldron slowly, clockwise, watching the flames. Say the following chant for some time:
"The wheel turns; the power burns."
Meditate upon the Sun, on the hidden energies lying dormant in winter, not only in the Earth but also within ourselves. Think of birth not as the start of life but as its continuance. Welcome the return of the God. After a time cease and stand once again before the altar and flaming caldron. Say:
"Great God of the Sun,
One traditional Yuletide practice is the creation of a Yule tree. This can be a living, potted tree, which can later be planted in the ground, or a cut one. The choice is yours.
Appropriate Pagan decorations are fun to make, from strings of dried rosebuds and cinnamon sticks (or popcorn and cranberries) for garlands, to bags of fragrant spices which are hung from boughs. Quartz crystals can be wrapped with shiny wire and suspended from sturdy branches to resemble icicles. Apples, oranges, and lemons hanging from boughs are strikingly beautiful, natural decorations, and were customary in ancient times.
Many enjoy the custom of lighting the Yule log. This is a graphic representation of the rebirth of the God within the sacred fire of the Mother Goddess. If you choose to burn one, select a proper log (traditionally of oak or pine). Carve or chalk a figure of the Sun (such as a rayed disc) or the God (a horned circle or a figure of a man) upon it, with the Boline, and set it alight in the fireplace at dusk on Yule. As the log burns, visualize the Sun shining within it and think of the coming warmer days.
As to food, nuts, fruits such as apples and pears, cakes of caraway soaked in cider, and (for non-vegetarians) pork is traditional fare. Wassail, lambs wool, hibiscus or ginger tea, and fine drinks for the Simple Feast or Yule Meals.