Tag archive: Yule

yule sunrise1

House Diary: Yule

[Cover Photo: An early winter sunrise bathes the landscape in pinks and purples]

Yule is the Norse term for the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, a time of hope as we draw the old year to a close and begin anew.  Although most pagans have adopted this name for the holiday, humanity has celebrated this return of the light for millennia, under different appellations in cultures across the globe.  The Romans brought in live oak and other evergreen plants, gave gifts, lit candles and celebrated the festivals of Mithras, God of Light, or Sol Invictus, the Unconquered Sun.  In Celtic lands where winters were colder, huge bonfires were the order of the day, sympathetic magic to encourage the sun’s return.  The Yule log tradition stems from the bringing indoors of a large section of tree trunk, estimated to be enough to burn for a full twelve days, a period of annual feasting as the old year died and was reborn into the new.  Stone markers, from monoliths to the extravagant display of Stonehenge, were created to mark the exact moment of the light’s return.

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santa mask1

2020 Holiday Asteroids: A Gift-Giving Guide

2020’s holiday season promises to be one of the weirdest on record, with coronavirus pandemic concerns dimming the lights and dampening spirits across the globe.  A Zoom Christmas isn’t what most of us anticipated as we cleared the wrapping debris from the last Yule debauch, but perhaps COVID isolation is the universe’s way of telling us we’ve overextended ourselves, socially, fiscally and commercially.  Time to focus on those nearest and dearest, and what’s right in front of our noses.

Santa may be masked this year, but he’s still expected to make his annual rounds.  He could use some help, however, so AAA is stepping into the breach with holiday gift-giving suggestions, employing asteroid Santa as our guide for the best options for each Sign.  (And check out the links at the end of this article for prior articles on Christmas-themed asteroids and how they show in the charts of classic Yuletide shows, songs and entertainers.)

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2019 holidays cover

2019 Holiday Asteroids

You know Dasher and Dancer, and Prancer and Vixen, but do you recall that there are asteroids named Rudolf, Santa and Yule? Though none of these were designated for the holiday they have come to represent, they function very well as markers of its importance in the lives of those who have made Christmas a central focus of their biographies.

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YC cover

Here We Come a-Carol-ing

It’s that most wonderful time of the year! Well, it’s the loudest, anyway. Christian, Muslim, Jew or Pagan, it’s virtually impossible to avoid Christmas Carols in America during any given December. Classic yuletide tunes drift from every store’s PA system; street corner musicians put their jazzy spin on holiday favorites; radio stations devote all their programming hours to seasonal music; church, school and community choirs belt out a litany of sacred and secular harmonies; TV ads for everything from cars to candies are scored to jolly jingles. It’s the interminable symphonic backdrop of the Christmas Crush, that frenzied, hectic, crazy-making post-Thanksgiving mad dash to pick the presents, wrap them, string the lights, deck the halls, trim the tree, bake the cookies, buy the festive foods and (e)mail the festive cards.

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HA cover

2018 Holiday Asteroids

You know Dasher and Dancer, and Prancer and Vixen, but do you recall that there are asteroids named Rudolf, Santa and Yule? Though none of these were designated for the holiday they have come to represent, they function very well as markers of its importance in the lives of those who have made Christmas a central focus of their biographies.

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