The submitted question covered in this blog:
"What does Yule mean to you?"
This question is appriciated, thank you for submitting it. I also appriciate the sharing and my own learning of different traditions within the submission, as can vary between each.
In my traditions, Yule starts with the winter solstice. The time of the winter solstice as observed in nature, is a period of descent and rest, going within the saftey of shelter, within ourselves and taking in all that we have been through. Like nature, and the world around me in the northeastern hemisphere, this is a time of hibernation and is necessary for the tired bodies and burdened minds of creatures - including ourselves!
That natural instinct to go inwards as nearly all creatures are doing is strong and shared amongst most mammals. The weather gets cold and hard, and while everyone stays indoors, and seperated from eachother, it can feel isolating and lonely.
There are so many distractions: alcohol; lights; shopping; overworking; over spending; comfort food; finances; movies and games; etc. todays busy society of rush-and-go mentality keeps us avoiding our natural instinct to surrender ourselves, mind and body, to the darkness.
Solstice draws my inner self towards an annual time of peace and reflection, embracing the darkness and forgiving, accepting and loving and embracing letting go of the past year, and all that has happened within that year.
It becomes a time of gatherings and get-together, coming together to help eachother through the difficult weather and darkness to share warmth, food and shelter when needed.
Personally, many types of gatherings, parties, festivals, rituals and traditions have formed at the time and are centered around this reflection, support and appriciation for one another in my life, such as my immediate family, for the week that follows. The yuletide.
Yule, for me, lasts the week from Winter Solstice to New Years. It starts at the darkest three days of the year symbolised by the Yule log tradition. It then continues with joy merrily until the first signs of the light returning, and starting anew, on New Years. This is a great time of great reflection and shadow work for me. On New Years, I read a letter that I wrote myself last year, and then write myself a letter that will be read and responded to next year at the same time of year. Each year, I write to myself, and read my letter to myself, and respond with my thoughts for the last and coming year for myself.
With the coming light, comes more energy, hope, and vitalization of our mind and body into the light.
Above is a quick description of one way that I acknowledge the Solstice and Yule. There are so many other ways as well in which this time is year is celebrated. Do what feels right and what speaks to you.
Thank you for reading about my own perspective. If there are any questions or would like to share feedback please feel free to do so at AskaGreyWitch.com
Many bright blessings!
This more recent blog entry includes a video of a fun chat about friends about some Solstice and Yule traditions: https://www.askagreywitch.com/post/winter-solstice-chat