Falling near December 21st in the Northern Hemisphre, Yule celebrates the longest night of the year and the return of the sun.
Your Yule altar is a sanctuary in an otherwise chaotic time of year—a space to center, ground, and work your Winter Solstice Magick. Each practitioner has their own way of setting up an altar—none of them wrong. What follows is some general direction. But do what feels right for you and your practice.
Consider adding reds, greens, blues, and whites to your altar.
Green and red are not only reminiscent of the flora that grow during the Yule season, they symbolize the cycle of the year. Green represents new growth and nods to hopeful new beginnings. Red speaks to sexuality and the cycle of birth, death and rebirth.
White and blue represent snow and ice of the season. The colors provide protection, purification, and peace.
Yule symbolism typically falls into three categories: winter, end of the year, and seasonal berries and greens. Any symbol nodding to these themes is fitting of a Yule altar.
Traditional berries are white mistletoe and red holly. Pine also goes to seed during the winter. Evergreen boughs—such as juniper, fir, and cedar—represent life and renewal. A sprig of holly can imbue good luck and safety. Hang it in your altar space or soak the leaves overnight to make holly water.
Since Yule honors the return of the sun, consider adding some solar flare (forgive the pun) to your altar as tribute. Sun symbols can be incorporated on your altar cloth, as yellow candles, and even gold, reflective objects. Some practitioners inscribe a large pillar candle with a sun symbol as an altar centerpiece.
Adding bells to your altar can help ward off negative energies. Snowflakes are also excellent Yule symbols.
However you choose to connect to the divine, a Yule altar can be a fun and beautiful way to honor a season of reflection and growth and to help you look forward to the new beginnings ahead.