The sun was setting over the hills, casting warm yellows and pinks across the early evening sky. The snow that had fallen lightly throughout the day shone like a lake of diamonds The trees down by the creek had caps of white, knit by the delicate snowflakes of winter.
The high priestess stood in the doorway of her cottage, Herne and Sebastian taking their positions on either side of her feet. She waved happily as the coven members cars pulled down her drive. As each disembarked from their cars, she could feel the energies rising all around. This Yule ritual was going to be truly a magical experience.
Everyone was dressed in their finest robes, and in their arms they carried scrumptious foods and beautifully wrapped surprises. The high priestess welcomed them into her home, Sebastian and Herne alighted onto the back of the couch to watch the festivities.
As everyone got settled inside the cottage, the foods laid out on the buffet, a light snow began to fall outside. The woodland setting was quiet save for the sound of a distant owl hooting in the trees, and the crunch of snow from some deer walking in the fields.
Everyone inside grabbed plates, helping themselves to the fabulous feast set before them. The colorful foods smelled rich with nuts, berries, pumpkin, goose and more!! Colors and smells mingled on the table, creating a display that wasn’t only a feast for the stomach, but the senses as well.
This diverse family ate and talked about their own family traditions, past Yule memories, and day to day happenings. Conversations about upcoming community events and any new coven projects were peppered in here and there.
As the final vestiges of light sunk fully below the hills, and gave way to a brilliant full moon, anticipation was heavy in the air. The coven members made their ways outside to the stone circle garden just down from the house. A sanctuary and a place of magic, it was made with stones gathered from down by the creek.
Joining hands, young and old, they circled around the stone alter set up in the middle. The high priestess took her place in the center, calling to one of the elder male members to join her. Tonight he would represent the God and she the Goddess.
As the Yule rites began, a hawk called out from somewhere above in the night sky. The full moon, in all her wondrous glory, shone like a spotlight down on the worshippers below.
They gathered here on this night to honor the God and Goddess, and the rise of the Sun again from it’s sleep. They came to celebrate the turning of the Wheel.
Soon the ritual drew to a close, the circle open but never broken. The members made their way back to the small and cozy cottage to warm up and enjoy each others’ company. Once inside steaming mugs of apple cider or mead were passed around, as a raucous game of charades started. Presents were passed around and almost as quickly as they were handed out, the floor was covered in a colorful confetti of wrapping paper.
If you had walked by that night, you would have seen smoke curling lazily from the chimney, a warm glow from the windows and the love of a family inside.