Is there a more quintessential symbol of Christmastime than an evergreen tree with a garland strung around it? The Christmas tree has a rich history that stems from pagan cultures all around the world. Whether indoor or out, nothing turns an evergreen into a Christmas tree better than a garland. With endless possibilities for materials to string on your garland, it is the perfect winter activity to turn into a witchcraft spell.
The Pagan Roots of the Christmas Tree
The evergreen tree has been a symbol of Yule in many countries around the world, but when they were brought to the US by German settlers, the Puritans made it illegal because of the pagan influence behind the symbolism of the evergreen tree. In the late 1800s, Christmas was made a federal holiday and the idea of the Christmas tree became accepted and grew in popularity. Now it’s hard to imagine Christmastime without the tree!
Evergreens are symbolic of the sun’s return which is the main theme of Yule. The greenery in the cold and dead winters remind us that the earth will turn green and warm once again. Traditionally, it is considered disrespectful to the spirit of the Christmas tree to take it and the decorations down before the twelfth night of Yule, which is January 5th. Evergreen trees carry the energy of rebirth and hope. In magick and witchcraft, evergreen needles are protective and carry purifying properties.
Why Garlands For Yule?
Do you remember your mother or your grandmother stringing popcorn to wrap around the tree? They probably learned it from generations before them, too. Traditions passed down through generations can make for powerful spells with the right intention in mind. Since the Winter Solstice is the darkest day of the year, Yule — the sabbat celebrated on this day — would be the equivalent to the New Moon on the Wheel of the Year. This is a wonderful time for manifestations spells and for any area of your life in which you desire renewal or a fresh start.
Stringing garlands of popcorn and cranberries dates back to the mid-1800s. Consider making a garland for an outdoor evergreen tree. Garlands can double as food for the birds when finding food under the frozen, snow-covered ground is difficult.
Create Your Yule Spell Garland
Besides being a better option for the creatures and nature, making garlands out of natural materials imbues it with the magick of each item you choose. These can include things like popcorn, cranberries, pinecones, greenery, dehydrated orange slices, cinnamon sticks, dried fruit, cereal, and more! You can even drill a small hole into cut rounds of wood and decorate them with runes or sigils that correspond to your intention and use color magic with ribbons or string. Incorporate knot magic into this Yule spell as a way to fasten your items to the string.
What you’ll need:
- String, yarn, or twine
- A needle
- Natural materials that correspond with your intention
1. Close your eyes, visualizing what it will look like to have the intention of this Yule spell happen. Once your intention is strongly formed in your mind, you can start crafting!
2. Gather your materials according to your set intention. Make sure your string will be long enough for whatever you will be stringing it around and your needle the right size to fit the type of string you chose. Examples of matching material to intention includes:
- Cinnamon Sticks: protection and prosperity
- Cranberries: love and healing
- Oranges: hope and positivity
- Pinecone: fertility and longevity
- Popcorn: luck and abundance
If you are using ribbons that color correspond to your intention, tie them around the string with a knot to represent securing your intentions to your Yule spell garland.
3. Begin to string your items through the needle and onto the string! Depending on the length of your string, this could take a while, which makes for a great opportunity to strengthen your visualization or even come up with a chant to repeat as you build your Yule spell garland.
4. Once the garland has been filled with your beautiful items, string it around your Yule tree or hang it on a tree outside for the birds to enjoy!
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