Llewellyn’s Little Book of Yule
by Jason Mankey
Jason Mankey has been obsessed with the magical season of Yuletide since he was a young boy. In a small, easy-to-read book, he presents winter’s festive holidays – including Hanukkah, the winter solstice, Yule, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve and Twelfth Night – all which he celebrates, all of which he loves. He admits in the introduction that he has been told it looks like “Christmas threw up all over” his house, but that he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Although Yule is often used as a synonym for Christmas, they are different. Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of the Christ Child while Pagans celebrate Yule on the winter solstice which occurs a few days earlier and has been celebrated since before written records. The Yuletide season with its goodwill and celebrations, Mankey states, stretches from Thanksgiving to Three Kings’ Day. By writing the book he wanted readers to come to cherish the diversity of these early winter holidays that are full of merriment, generosity and hope.
There are history and customs from around the world, along with many activities, crafts, recipes, spells and bits of trivia fill the pages with one joyous celebration after another.
Readers will learn about lesser-known mummery, Saturnalia, and Misrule, along with more common traditions. There are instructions for a Befana house sweeping, honoring the fae, making magical ornaments, lucky foods to eat on New Year’s Day, wassail blessings, and chestnut divination.
I was surprised to find much of the content was not about Yule. Those looking to expand their holidays and celebrate in new ways will find what they are searching for in these pages.
About Author Jason Mankey:
Jason Mankey read his first book on Witchcraft in the seventh grade, and at age 22 dedicated his life to the Craft. Today, he is a third-degree Gardnerian High Priest and helps run two Witchcraft covens in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife. Jason is a popular speaker and has been recognized by his peers as an authority on the Horned God, Wiccan history, and occult influences in rock and roll and heavy metal music. He is the channel manager at Patheos Pagan, the world’s most-read pagan blogging site, and writes there at “Raise the Horns,” as well as at “Witches and Pagans” magazine. This is his fifth book.
About the Author:
All my life I have known magic was real. As a child, I played with the fae, established relationships with trees and “just knew things.” In my maiden years I discovered witchcraft and dabbled in the black-candles-and-cemeteries-at-midnight-on-a-fullmoon magick just enough to realize I did not understand its power. I went on to explore many practices including Zen, astrology, color therapy, native traditions, tarot, herbs, candle magic, gems, and, as I moved into my mother years, Buddhism, the Kabbalah and Reiki. The first man I dated after my divorce was a witch who reintroduced me to the Craft, this time by way of the Goddess. For 11 years I was in a coven, but with retirement, I have returned to an eclectic solitary practice. When accepting the mantle of crone, I pledged to serve and teach. This is what I do from my skoolie – a 30-year-old school bus converted into a tiny house on wheels that I am driving around the country, following 72-degree weather, emerging myself into nature, and sharing magic with those I meet. Find me at thewitchonwheels.com, Facebook and Instagram.