Yule Sabbat & Esbat Ritual

Yule Sabbat and Esbat Ritual  1999

Blessing tools for special purposes (BOS, etc)

Full Moon water (lemon and orange slices)
Frankincense and myrrh incense
Red candle
Small cauldron with water
Purple feather


Stairs and porch decorated with candles and oil lamps lined up to front door

Ritual Bath:

In Grandmother’s upstairs bathroom.  Already is set up beautifully (stained glass window, angel decals, flower arrangements) so only added white candle, incense (frankincense and myrrh), water, earth and a willow branch wand for a small altar.  Also added music-Ritual by Gabrielle Roth and the Mirrors

Meditation Corner:

In purple room upstairs.  Set up two seater couch in corner with tv tray for altar.  Altar has lace table cloth, white candle, earth, water, incense (frankincense and myrrh), small wand, and crystal ball in center.  On one side of seater, set small rose hook rug with Shekinah Mountainwater’s Woman’s Runes (made by me in a class with Shekinah Mountainwater at the first Pagan gathering I went to, The Wiccan Fairie Camp, in the redwoods of CA) and the book Araidne’s Thread by Shekinah Mountainwater.  Hecate’s Wheel hung above altar.  Piled boxes behind two seater to block off from rest of room.  Music-Trance by Gabriel Roth and the Mirrors


Held in my brother’s old bedroom (which has wood floor, black walls, white ceiling with a fan with lights).  Decorated with traditional Christmas garlands (silver, red and green, silver and green, stars, pearls).  Black, tall candlabra in southeast with white candles, tinsel, and white, gold, green, and red ribbons.  In the North is the picture “She Who Waits At The Crossroads (Hecate)” by Nybor. On the floor is a bare “tree” with tinsel and rocks from The Garden of the Gods in Colorado, and a Quarter candle.  In the East is the Quarter candle on the floor and a “white dove flying” –a small imitation bird stuck in the wall- wings spread.  In the South is a picture by Michael Woods of a fog and rock filled terrain on a Full Moon with one of the rocks being struck by lightening, and the Quarter candle on the floor.  In the West is a picture of a woman in a beautiful white gown “dancing” under water.  On the floor is the Quarter candle and a black ceramic sea shell filled with ocean beach stones and sea glass.  In the center of the room is a small table with a small purple tissue “table cloth” (which only covers the surface of the table) and a purple mesh over it (this is for the tools to be blessed) with the Quarter candle beneath it.  Two cauldrons with Earth on either side of table.  In the southwest is Cakes and Ale food items.  Pillows and folded blankets placed around the room for people to sit on.  Altar has white cloth on it to represent snow.  All Ritual items to be used are set upon it.  Music- Luna by Gabrielle Roth and the Mirrors

Circle Casting:

(with athame, starting in the North going deosil/clockwise)

Over the Earth that supports us
Through the Air that fills us
With the Fire that motivates us
Next to the Water that sustains us
This Circle is made

Entering Circle:

(with incense, frankincense and myrrh)

Do you wish to enter the Circle?
Then enter and be cleansed

(pass incense in front, behind, then draw pentacle above each)

Calling Quarters:

(starting in the North going deosil/clockwise)

Hail in the North, Earth (East, Air/South, Fire/West, Water/Center, Spirit)
We that share this planet with you ask that you join us in this our Winter Solstice and Esbat Ritual

(light each candle for each Quarter)

Calling Goddess/God:

Mother/Father of All, we who are your children ask you to join us in this our Yule Sabbat and Full Moon Ritual

(light silver/gold candles on altar)

Altar Blessing:

(with wand)

In the many names of the Goddess and God we cleanse this Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit that it may be pure for Ritual

(draw pentacle over salt, incense, red candle, water and feather on the altar)

May what we do be in perfect love, perfect trust and purity of purpose

(light red, pink and white candles on altar)

History and Background:

Yule, 2:44 am, solar festival, shortest day/longest night.  Also called Alban Arthan, Feill Fionnain, Lucina, Time of the Goddess of the Cold Darkness, Winter Solstice, Saturnalia, Kucios and Kaledos.  Time when the waxing sun overcomes the waning sun.  When the Holly King (representing the death aspect of the God) is overcome by the Oak King (who embodies the rebirth of the God). A time of renewal/rebirth.
Full Moon, 12:31 pm, called Cold Moon, Oak Moon, Wolf Moon, Moon of Long Nights, Long Night’s Moon, Big Winter Moon, Moon of Popping Trees.
Month, Ruis-Elder, restores healing and protection of family or community in a real physical and or emotional sense.  Attends the needs we have for community; heals isolation and terror of change by re-establishing the sense of belonging to the Universe.  Protects center in times of flux when nothing seems fixed.

(info from the 1999 Lunar Calendar from Luna Press and my Book Of Shadows)

Special History:

This year’s December 22 winter solstice coincides with a full moon, a combination that happens only every three decades or so.  But that’s not the only celestial oddity for the day: the moon also reaches perigee, it’s closest point to earth.  So the solstice, which brings together the year’s lowest sun and longest night, comes at the same time as the closest moon-and a full moon.  The last time the full moon, lunar perigee, and winter solstice fell on the same day was in 1866.  Even then the moon merely reached is closet approach of the month.  On December 22 the moon will be at its nearest point of the year.  The day of Earth’s maximal tilt (when the axis is directed most fully away from the sun) will also combine with a very close sun, which reaches it’s nearest point to Earth 12 days later.  The confluence of all these forces at the very least will brew up huge proxigean tides, also called “closest of the close moon” tides.  They will extend a few, but crucial, inches farther than normal, ranging from reaching-the-boardwalk highs to lows that uncover rarely exposed marine life.  Add a low-pressure storm at sea to the day, and coastal damage will be unusually likely.  Oceans act like the mercury in a barometer, rising in response to reduced air pressure.  Accompanying onshore winds, lift the waters much farther.  A little meteorological nudge could push strong tides over the edge. Even earthquakes occur more often during strong tides, although it’s a weak effect.  The cosmic culprits responsible for all this drama-the moon and sun-occupy opposite ends of the sky on December 21 and 22.  A full moon will rise just as the sun goes down at its leftmost position of year along the horizon.  This exceptionally plump moon will seem 14 percent wider than it appeared when it was at apogee, it’s farthest point from Earth, on December 8.  Long ago and early on in the experience of using calendars, year’s end always coincided with the winter solstice.  That changed during the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, beginning in the sixteenth century.  What seems to have been lost was a much more appropriate time, from a celestial point of view, to celebrate the passing of 1,000 years – on December 22, when the sun, moon and Earth perform a genuinely once-in-a-millennium dance.

(info from an email forwarded to me by Denise-can’t remember original author)

Personal Blessing:

(with Full Moon water with slices of lemon and orange)

Going deosil/clockwise, each person will anoint their forehead saying:
May I be blessed with a mond as open as the Full Moon and as bright as the Sun
Anoint their lips saying:
May I be blessed with a tongue as powerful as the Full Moon and as commanding as the Sun
Anoint their heart saying:
May I be blessed with a heart as clear as the Full Moon and as fiery as the Sun

Tools Blessing:

1)    Earth-salt
2)    Air-incense
3)    Fire-red candle
4)    Water-cauldron
5)    Spirit-feather
6)    Goddess/Full Moon, God/Sun-Full Moon water with lemon and orange slices
One element at a time, going deosil/clockwise, each person will bless the tools saying:
1)    I bless these sacred tools with Earth that they be a solid foundation for my magick
2)    I bless these sacred tools with Air that they may be an embodiment of truth
3)    I bless these sacred tools with Fire that they may be a light of passion for my beliefs
4)    I bless these sacred tools with Water that they may be a balancer for my soul
5)    I bless these sacred tools with Spirit that they may be a source of creativity
6)    I ask for the blessings of Mother Moon and Father Sun upon these sacred tools that they may be keepers of the power and the wisdom of my Craft

Healing Meditation:

Close your eyes
Deep breath in through your nose
Out through your mouth

See the starfield of eternity before you
The suns begin to turn
Ever circling
Pulling you through
To the time when traveling required galloping horses upon dirt roads
Feel the dust swirling about you
Pushing you through

To the time when many nations inhabited this continent
And they dance when the buffalo come
Their dancing moves you through

To the time when the world was filled with human absence
And giants caused the hot jungles to tremble when they moved

The heat waves push you through
To the time when time did not exist
And all that did exist
Was nothing

A small light before you blinks into life
It grows and moves toward you
It is blinding white with all colors
And has the heat of a billion as of yet unseen suns

The darkness is on fire

Light races toward you
Pushing you back

As it over takes you
Reach out and take hold of it
Feel it sear into your soul
Hold it as you are dragged forward

Through the darkness
Through the hot jungles
Through the dancing
Through the swirling dust

Back to the present
Where this light of creation lays in the palm of your hand
Pulsing with its heat

Raise it up to your lips
Let the energy know
To whom or to what
It should go


Pull your hand back
And with this whispered kiss
Send the light on its way


Let your hand float down and rest in your lap
Feel yourself breathing
In through the nose
Out through the mouth

(two cauldrons with Earth set out one either side of tools table for grounding, if needed)

Cakes And Ale:

Poem to be read during cakes and ale-

Moon Maze

Lady Moon,
Her cool light warming,
Brightening the angles and curves of my life-
That lovely puzzle of odd-shaped pieces:

Winter night filled with ocean baritone;
Snapdragons lanky in browning stalks
Topped still with the fluted pastels of summer;
Frogs singing in the left-over puddles;
Begonias, fluorescent pink,
Thriving in the crisp air;
Humming birds diving and purring
In the overgrown bottle brush;
Calalilly uncurling white and queenly
Over wet green broadsword leaves;
A cluster of six young buck,
Tawny sleek,
Browsing in a winter meadow,
Locking horns in sibling teasing
Then grazing off under the bull pines
Where mushrooms nudge through the nettles,
Succulent, delicious, dangerous;

And on the front step,
Four pots of strawberries,
Flowering and ripening in season surprise:
Sweet and juicy
Like love refreshened:
A heart-song surprisingly remembered
When the melody seemed lost
With the last Full Moon
In the distant mountains.

-Lourdes Thuesen

(poem from the 1999 Lunar Calendar by Lunar Press)

Thanking Goddess/God:

(before altar)

Mother/Father of All, we who are your children thank you for joining us in this our Yule Sabbat and Full Moon Ritual

(snuff silver/gold candles on altar)

Dismissing Quarters:

(starting in the North, going widdershins/counterclockwise)

Hail in the North/West/South/East/Center, Earth/Water/Fire/Air/Spirit, we that share this planet with you thank you for joining us in this our Winter Solstice Sabbat and Esbat Ritual

(snuff each candle for each Quarter)
Dismantling Circle:

(with athame, starting in the North, going widdershins/counterclockwise)

Over the Earth that supports us
Next to the Water that sustains us
With the Fire that motivates us
Through the Air that fills us
This Circle is open yet unbroken


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