So in recognition of Yule (this happens to be my second favorite Sabbat), I would like to post a little something about sacred Yule plants and herbs. In fact, I have a jar of Mistletoe sitting on my newly decorated altar right now. So I just want to give a brief description of each of these plants and why they are important for this holiday.
Yule usually falls between December 20th and December 22nd in the Northern Hemisphere. It's considered a minor Sabbat and is also the Winter Solstice, the shortest day in the year. It symbolizes the rebirth of the God and also the defeat of the Holly King by the Oak King.
1. Evergreens - Fir, Juniper, Cedar, Pine, these are all from the evergreen family. Typically the Yule tree or as people of the Christian faith like to call them Christmas trees are constructed from the evergreens. They symbolize protection, prosperity, and renewal.
2. Holly - Holly is generally a positive, healing wood. It is also a very protective wood and is used in the construction of many wands. It represents the Holly King which can be equated to Santa Claus in the Christian tradition.
3. Ivy - This plant can be used to bind family and romantic relationships together. It is also used in protection, as a barrier between you and a toxic situation, and can be used to improve relationships.
4. Mistletoe - This is a plant of peace and is used to end discord and strife. Everyone knows about hanging a sprig of Mistletoe over the doorway to get a kiss. The kiss represented peace.
5. Birch - This is a very versatile wood. It is often used as a Yule log along with Oak and is used to craft besoms. It is the first tree in the Celtic year and symbolizes rebirth.
6. Oak - Also used for the Yule log, it represents the Oak King. They symbolize power and endurance and I believe are one of the most majestic trees there are.
7. Yew - This tree is associated with immortality and longevity. It tells us this is a time of change and is associated with the Crone aspect of the Goddess.