Now is the time of year that we turn our attention to the up and coming Yule season.
Yule,is known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year. Much celebration was to be had as the ancestors awaited the rebirth of the Oak King.Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were “wassailed” with toasts of spiced cider. Children were escorted from house to house with gifts of clove spiked apples and oranges which were laid in baskets of evergreen boughs,and of course the Yule log was burnt.
Now days most celebrate in a tamer way ,so today my crafty friends I’m going to show you how to make Yule smudge wands and my version of a Yule log that any uban witch with a fireplace ,wood stove or hibachi can burn…….. As some of you know we here went through quite a bit of wind last week,the upshot of that was Ive been the crazy woman stopping and asking the guys cutting up debris for some of that lovely Cedar,Cypress (the list goes on).So I found my living room full of beautiful berried Cedar , some lovely Fir and I have just harvested Rosemary.I always make these things this time of year ,some for me ,some for gifts and some for sale. So this year Im sharing the “how to” of the process for those who want to make their own. As always keep in mind the rule of intent ladies .Every craft a witch lays her hands to is a spell ,so with each layer of evergreen and every wrap of my twine I add depth and complexity to the recipie that forms my spell.
First I cut some of each in 12-14 inch lengths
next I laid down the Fir in a rough fan ,on that I placed some Rosemary ,then some Cedar ,then a few more stems of Rosemary.
It will look like this……
Gather the stems together and tie about 4 inchs up from the bottom ,pull it as tight as possible when doing so
Working downward wrap your twine (or ribbon) tightly round the stems to form your handle ,when you have reached the bottom tug it as tight as possible and tie with a slip knot to secure what you’ve done ,do not however cut your twine .With your garden snips cut the stems even .Now it should be looking like this.
Okay here comes the fun part lol.Fold the fir (the outer layer) around the bundle and hold ,take your twine and spiral upward to within an inch or two of the top.Wrap the top three times round and spiral back down to the bottom and tie it off. Remember to keep your twine tight thats a must ! When done you’ll have this.
Pretty ugly huh ! lol .Well lets pretty it up.Take your snips and evenly round off the top above your twine .Next lay your sissors (an old pair girls )flat against your smudge stick and trim the the stick of all the little sticky-outies.Yep you heard me its just like trimming a shaggy bush ! Now its shaping up,and if a no frill smudge is all you want its done and will look like this.
At this point you can decorate your smudge anyway you want,mine I wrap with copper and bedeck them with stones.these smudges will take almost a full year to dry enough to be burnt as a smudge stick,while waiting for them to cure they can be used as a besom , to cleanse energies and such.
My Urban Yule log is made the same way ,the only differences are you use more of each evergreen ,you want it fat and lumpy its a log!
You cut the stems a little longer ,the length is up to you and should be determined by where are you burning it and what are you burning it in .You dont trim it as close and each log has a small quartz or citrine crystal in the center ,I have decorated this one with dried Orange peel.Unlike the smudge wands the logs can be burnt for Yule and will produce a wonderful ,aromatic smudgy aroma that will wrap you and your home in wonderful Yuletide energy.
The following is a list of all that I’ve used and their magical properties
sissors ,an old pair your going to abuse them 🙂
a pair of garden clippers
twine ,Jute or ribbon (your choice)
Twig and leaf and berries
Magical Uses Cedar smoke purifies the home. Use it in smudge sticks, incense and sweat lodges. The scent is said to
enhance psychic powers.
Purification, Health and Healing, Luck, Good Fortune, Happiness, Banishing, Releasing, Exorcism, Money and Riches, Justice,
Protection, Harmony, Peace.
Leaf, twigs, stems
Rosemary when burned, emits powerful cleansing and purifying vibrations, and so is smoldered to rid a place of negativity,
especially prior to performing magic. It is one of the oldest incenses. Burn for protection, exorcism, purification,
healing, to cause sleep, To restore or maintain youth, to bring love and to increase intellectual powers.
Rosemary may be substituted for any other herb, in any spell or mixture. It is generally used as a substitute for
Leaf, twigs, stems
Also known as Birth Tree. A Druid sacred tree. This was the original Christmas tree from central Europe, chosen for its long
lasting, aromatic needles.
The needles are burned to bless and protect the mother and baby. Burn for Happiness, Harmony, Peace,
Inspiration, and Wisdom.
Use Peels in incense for love, good fortune, divination, balance, healing, harmony, peace, money and riches,
Psychic awareness, Luck.