Yule, or Winter Solstice, is a high holy day that predates Christmas by thousands of years. It’s one I’ve recognized and celebrated in addition to (and more often instead of) Christmas since 2000. As I revisit the lore and mythology of Yule this year, I see a bigger picture that is very relevant for our times: an elegant dance of balance between the masculine principle and the feminine principle.
My own priestess lineage outlines the God and Goddess story, which illustrates the circle of death and rebirth intertwined with the wheel of the year. It also illustrates the ongoing dance between the sacred feminine and the divine masculine. Here’s the story as I learned it as a young priestess initiate:
At the Winter Solstice, the Sun God (the light returning) is born of the Goddess. It’s likely this helped fuel the Christian mythos of the son of God being born at this time. The Sun God grows and is a small boy at the time of Imbolc (February 2nd). He continues to mature through the Spring Equinox, and by Beltane (May 1), he is in his prime. He mates with the Goddess at this time of the rising sap and riotous blossoming in nature, and then reaches his peak of power at the Summer Solstice (strongest light). From there, he begins his decline through the harvest festivals of Lammas (Aug 1, Autumnal Equinox, and Samhain (Halloween) as the Goddess gestates her pregnancy. During the harvest time, symbolic sacrifices might be made to return his energy to fertilize the earth (ie, burning a straw man, or effigy). During his decline, the Goddess rises in her power as ruler of the dark time of the year, the feminine, the womb, and the time of hibernation. And that takes us back to Winter Solstice when the Sun God is born of the Goddess once again.
There is such a beautiful balance of power and support in this exchange. The Goddess as Mother nurtures the God into maturity and watches him shine as he grows and gains power. At his prime, they bring their energies together as Lovers and create new life. As he makes his natural decline, she shines in her power through the harvest season. He gives himself in death to the health and fertility of the land and the fields. And once again at Yule, she gives him birth and nurtures him through the winter.
How can we bring this example of the dance of the masculine and feminine into our lives and relationships? That is a pretty complex question. There is such an imbalance of power in the world right now, and there has been for a good long time. However, something is shifting as women come forward to claim their sexual sovereignty, as they have been doing for the past several decades. It’s filtered up from the counterculture of the 1960’s all the way into the mainstream as women step forward and courageously name their aggressors.
Ultimately, we must find this dance of balance within ourselves. We each have all of these energies within us, no matter what our gender – masculine, feminine, perpetrator, victim, and enabler – along with all the other aspects of ourselves that are both conscious and unconscious. Yule is a wonderful time to reflect on the more hidden aspects as we enter the darkest time of the year and emerge into the newborn light.
With bright blessings for your holy day season, Amrita
What would you like to “bring to light” this Yule? Please share in the comments below.
Check out The Sacred Feminine Mystery School 2018 events, including Sacred Feminine Conversations, a Free Global Sisterhood Gathering on January 6th!