The Lesser Sabbat of the winter solstice (namely Yule, Geul, Giuli, Meán Geimhridh, Lá an Dreoilín, Modranicht, Alban Arthan, ...) in the northern hemisphere of the earth (my location) falls after sunset on the evening of December 21. This date is the seventh of Grael in the witches' calendar and the fifth of Tevet in the Jewish calendar; both dates fall within the month of the Elder Moon in the Celtic tree calendar.
On Yule and its connection to the magic circle of the witch, Mike Nichols writes:
"Ultimately, of course, the holiday is rooted deeply in the cycle of the year. It is the Winter Solstice that is being celebrated, seed-time of the year, the longest night and shortest day. It is the birthday of the new Sun King, the Son of God -- by whatever name you choose to call him. On this darkest of nights, the Goddess becomes the Great Mother and once again gives birth. And it makes perfect poetic sense that on the longest night of the winter, 'the dark night of our souls', there springs the new spark of hope, the Sacred Fire, the Light of the World, the Coel Coeth." At the Winter Solstice, the Circle is not yet a Circle; it is a Point. Specifically, it is the point at which spiritual energy manifests itself into the physical world. It is the divine spark, the sacred seed, the single cell, the incarnation, the universe in a mustard seed. In some ways, the Point is more inclusive than the Circle, since the Circle always implies a boundary, and a separation of that which is outside from that which is inside. The Point, however, can symbolize the All. At the Winter Solstice, we bless and purify this tiny dust-mote of Being, this Birth of the Circle, which is also All That Is. The Circle Is A Point.
Thus, Yule is the perfect sabbat in which to ground and from which to cast a magic circle in and with sacred time. Blessed be our circles this Yuletide, every one, with the amazing sacred power and joy of Yule -
- the Hebrew word for the redemption of humankind's collective consciousness is called Geulah (גאולה). The Germanic and Northern European words for Yule - Geul and Giuli - would be spelled in Hebrew גאול and גאולי. The Hebrew shoresh (three letter root) of all these words is גול (gule, yule) meaning rejoice! and express joy!
Have a blessed and deeply joyful Yuletide season! So mote it be! אמן
Related entry - The Seed
Related video - The One Light Of Chanukah (This evening we light the third/three Chanukah candle(s). The Hebrew letter gimel - ג - has a gematria of three and is the single letter root of the root word גול as discussed above.)