The ancient season of Yule was a time of both reflection and celebration, a time to connect in a relational way with one's own inner wisdom and with the people that surrounded them. Many different cultures from the Nordic Vikings to the Celtic Druids, Egyptians to the Hopi ritualized this sacred time to promote spiritual unity and attunement. It was believed that the veil between this world and the next was thin at this time, and the ancestors were invited to partake in the celebrations. The Nordics believed this was the time that Thor would ride his chariot in the night skies, pulled by two Reindeer, named Donner and Blitzen.
Yule originated from the Norse "iul" or the Anglo-Saxon "hweol", both meaning "wheel" or "wheel of life". For that reason, this spread is done around a twelve-spoked wheel which also symbolizes the Birth of the Sun on the Winter Solstice, the beginning of yuletide. In ancient Britain the Druids used to celebrate the winter solstice with the Festival of Nolagh at Stonehenge and Avebury. During the passage of this twelve day period, many other festive days have been added to reflect the spiritual progression of humanity through the ages.
Sacred Days of Yule Interpretation
This spread will help you to learn to apply the tarot to enjoy and enrich your passage through the twelve festive days from December 20th to 31st. The meaning of each card in the spread reflects the energy of the festivity associated with each of the twelve days.
1. Mother Night of Dreams: - Dec 20th This card reminds us to look for a particular message in our dreams tonight. The ancients believed that our dreams on this night foretold some of the important events in the coming year.
2. Yule - Winter Solstice: - Dec 21st This card shows us how best to connect to the Light within and without - it symbolizes the Birth of the Sun.
3. The Time of Beth: - Dec 22nd This card points to the inner blocks and resistance that is holding us back from following our dreams.
4. Hopi Time of Renewal Dec 23rd This card indicates the best way for us to seek purification and renewal, and to build tolerance for others.
5. Feast of Mothers, Christmas Eve: - Dec 24th This card shows how we can connect with the spirits of our ancestors for communion and to ask for wisdom and guidance. It is also a time for Christians to reflect on the birth of Christ.
6. Festival of Life, Christmas: - Dec 25th This card shows us how to connect directly with Spirit.
7. Yuletide, Kwanzaa: - Dec 26th This card shows us how to express nurturance, to attend to our families and to express the protective energy within us towards others.
8. Birth of Freyja: - Dec 27th This card points to issues of love, luck, artistic and creative expression and female wisdom.
9. Feast of Alcyone: - Dec 28th This card gives us a personal inner message - one that speaks directly to our heart and spirit.
10. Day of Nymphs - Dec 29th This card encourages us to connect to our playful side, our inner child and how best to cultivate this aspect of ourselves.
11. Day of Rest: - Dec 30th This card shows us how to walk our path in a relaxed and confident way....with the ability to deal with stressful situations in a philosophical, detached way.
12. New Year's Eve, Hogmanay - Dec 31st This card shows us how to release the old and let in the new. This relates to both our external lives and our inner being.
This spread is unique from other spreads - it is done one card at a time, over the course of twelve days. Each card is meant to be drawn and reflected upon as a separate entity, with a special unique message for the particular sacred day.
1. First, print out a copy of the Yule Wheel.
2 Select a quiet consistent time of day to draw each card over the twelve days if you can. Considering the busyness of the season, this could be a challenge.
3. Each day, draw one card from your tarot deck and lay it on the appropriate spoke of the wheel. Reflect on each card and glean the message it has for you, according to the meanings given above.
4. By New Year's Eve your wheel will be full with the drawn twelve cards. Reflect on the overall meaning of these twelve cards as a whole and write down your impressions of the message being given for the coming year.