Tonight Odin rides.
He leads his huntsmen as they pursue lost souls. Our dead visit from Helheim, and other entities roam. I honor them all. The deeds of or ancestors are toasted and strangers are welcomed. Gifts are given, poetry recited, plays enacted, fires burn, dreams tell of the future and carols are sung(Wassailing).
Freyr and Gerd(or Freyja) join in union on this shortest day. Their union bringing fertility to the land. Freyr is a god of the Vanir tribe, god of fertility, peace, and self defense. Gerdr is a Jotun, a tribe of primal forces. A boar, sacred to Freyr was sacrificed in his honor. Over this boar oaths were sworn. It’s blood was sprinkled on participants in blessing. Now we may eat a Yule ham.
The Yule log is lit with a piece belonging to last years log. The piece left at the ent of this year will protect the home. The log is often replaced with a log-shaped cake or a log with candles burning on it.
Homes are decorated with lights and yule trees are erected.
Mistletoe is hung to symbolize peace, holly brings protection, Pine, Fir, ceder, and juniper also protects the home, brings prosperity, and renewal. Holly is another protector and bringer of luck. Ivy is loyalty and a reminder to persevere. Birch represents renewal, oak reminds of victory over the cold, yew brings longevity,