Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

The Yule Tree

O Christmas Tree © Rachel Cochrane

Pagans sing, are you listenin’,
Altar’s set, candles glisten,

It’s a Magickal night, we’re having tonight,

Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland.

Blades held high, censer smoking,
God and Goddess, we’re invoking,

Through Elements Five, we celebrate life,

Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland.

In a Circle we can light a Yule Fire,
And await the rising of the Sun,

It’s the Great Wheel turning for the new year,

Loaded with abundance and great fun.

Queen of Heaven, is in Her place,
Triple Goddess, now the Crone Face,

Above and Below, She’s the Goddess we know,

Dancing in a Wiccan Wonderland.

In the pre-Christian era, all trees and, indeed, all living things were considered sacred. Our Pagan ancestors did not cut down evergreen trees to bring into their homes for decoration. That would have been a frivolous taking of its life, and disrespectful of its living spirit.

But during the Roman celebration of the feast of Saturnalia, which occurs at the Winter Solstice time, houses were decorated with clippings of evergreens like laurel and juniper. They also decorated living trees with bits of metal and replicas of Bacchus.

These customs were still practiced by the early Christians. But Tertullian (circa 160 – 230), an early Christian leader and a prolific writer, complained that too many Christians had copied the Pagan practice of adorning their houses with lamps and with wreaths of laurel at Christmas time.

One of the most blessed of trees for the Celtic and Germanic tribes was the oak. Of course, their love and allegiance to Nature was the source of tremendous conflict when the new religion began to overspread these regions. Legend has it that, in order to stop their rites of worship and sacrifice, the early missionary to the Germanic tribes, St. Boniface, chopped down the sacred Donar Oak, near Geismar in 725 C.E.

He is said to have replaced the oak with a fir tree, and adorned it in tribute to the new-born Christ child. Ironically, since the evergreen tree had already been ascribed magical powers of fertility and eternal life by our Pagan ancestors, the fir and its cousins were simply adopted into the Winter Solstice/Christ feast day customs.

Not surprisingly, Christmas trees have continued to be a controversial topic among those sects of fundamentalist Christianity that long to be “pure.” Tomorrow, I’ll share some more lore about the Yule practices that have to do with magical trees.

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