Pray to the Moon when She is round,
Luck with you will then abound,
What you seek for shall be found
On the sea or solid ground.

Monday, January 16, 2012

For the Files: Yule 2011 Recap

When I began this blog last July, one of the primary functions for it was to serve as a "virtual scrapbook" for myself & my family. Like my brain, it wanders far off course & back again. Circuitousness aside, it is still doing a better job than the actual scrapbook I bought for a "family BOS" (or whatever) which sits lovely & unused on a shelf in my back hallway.

Bûche de Noël, my annual Yule specialty.

Documentation of Yule/Winter Solstice 2011 fell by the wayside thanks to (among other things), Las Vegas, seizures & urological screenings. Now that the dust has settled (sort of), I am making good on my commitment to documenting our family's Yule celebration, modest as it was this past year.

A Yule-ish sunrise.
Of all the so-called Pagan "High Days," Yule is the one for which I have always been most consistent in recognizing & also the one for which I have built up the most tradition. In a life many Moons past (read: nearly 20 years ago) my best friend & I would hold an overnight vigil -- awaiting the return of the Sun, which we greeted with much joy (& relief!) in a sleep-deprived delirium. Just as the Sun fell the eve before, we would light our vigil candles -- our insurace in case we happened to pass out. We would spend the earlier part of the night wandering the dark, snowy, New England forest searching for & felling a tree (she would do the deed because she is a ninja & I couldn't bear it). Then, we whiled away the hours stringing popcorn & cranberries & hanging all my earrings on the little tree because I didn't have any real ornaments. As the night grew long & the early morning started to tap our sanity & willpower, we would pop Evil Dead into the VCR & watch it, hoping to remain lucid just a few hours longer...

How families change things! Nowadays, Hubby & I prepare a feast for a collection of guests which fluctuates each year, depending upon timing, circumstance, etc. This year was hampered by our impending trip to Las Vegas so we narrowed the guest list down to my parents & kept it simple. Simplicity meant we did not make our usual Roasted Capon... (sigh). Instead, the menu (still delicious) consisted of:

  1. Ghetto-fabulous Rosemary Chicken & Brie en Croûte
  2. Creamy Bolete, Celery & Wild Rice Soup
  3. Maple Roasted Carrots
  4. Blanched Asparagus
  5. Bûche de Noël (a recipe perfected over many, many years)

Of course, our Yule Vigil Candle was lit by the Little Lad at the setting of the Sun. This year we used the candle Hubby poured especially for Yule last year (good thing we made it big -- this whole Las Vegas thing nixed any chance of candlemaking this time around). We threw our Yule log -- saved from year-before-last-year's tree onto the fire (into the woodstove) & tossed our very special homemade Yule Incense (blended with the assistance of our Little Lad) on the charcoal. Blessings left & right, how divine.

Even prettier in real life.
My parents arrived for dinner, a toast was shared & mealtime enjoyed by all. (Though I noticed that my dad waited to see if we all died first before eating his wild mushroom soup.) Normally, we have a procession out to the pair of Black Locust trees in front of our house. There we all tie a Wishing Ribbon to each tree: one ribbon is a personal wish, the other, a wish for the Greater Good. Unfortunately, we had some wicked winds stewing about that night, so we opted to save the ribbons for the Sunrise. We called it an early but lovely evening. My parents took their little gifts of homemade & foraged Alaskan goodies home with them, along with their ribbons, to be tied to their Hawthorn tree in their own yard.

Our experience at Sunrise was sublime. Lucky me, I have already written that part of the story which can be found here: A Solstice Blessing, Horned One Style.

Boletus edulis, B. mirabilis, Leccinum scabrum & L. testaceoscabrum soaking in chardonnay.


Aine said...

love this post about how you are building your family traditions! So cool, how the elk showed up at just the right time. No accident there!


Moma Fauna said...

You know, He always does that showing-up-at-the-right-time thing. Clever He is. No, downright masterful.

The traditions have developed as a matter of course. This year we really did have to omit quite a few, but flexibility is of the essence -- it helps us assess what is most valuable & it allows us to adapt, change, add new elements to our rites & remove those which bear little meaning or purpose. Being limited this year was a lesson rather than a burden. I liked that.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...