Earlier tonight I was sitting outside thinking about what the Winter Solstice meant to my ancient Pagan ancestors. Those people to whom the long dark winter often brought death to weak and the old. Those people who hunted their meat with spears, and with bows and arrows. Those people whose very lives depended on the success of those hunts. Those people who worshiped a Horned God not because he was the Devil, but because nearly all they hunted for meat had horns. He was the God of the Hunt. The Horned God of the Hunt. The God they prayed to, honored, so that the hunt would be successful, and their family, their tribe, would survive. So yes, red and white are colors of Yule. The white of snow, the red of blood staining it. Blood from the hunt, that would give life to the people.
And fires, oh they lit fires, to keep from freezing, and to help welcome the Sun back so that once more Spring would come, and the people would again know plenty. The lit Winter Solstice bonfires, and drank, and made Merry in the midst of cold darkness to call the sun back. To help the light be reborn. Sometimes, in the form of a child, who grow to become a God.
And they decorated the evergreen trees. Sometimes outside, with blood offerings meant to honor the animals that had been killed in the hunt, and that would be killed in the hunt, so that the people would live. And they decorated their homes with greenery, to remind themselves that even the midst of darkness and death, there is light and life.
All this went through my mind as I sat outside thinking about those ancient Pagan ancestors of mine, and of yours. Oh now don't let your head explode there my little pretty. We ALL have ancient Pagan ancestors. It's just some of us, still follow their ways. Then I came inside, and while scrolling through my FB feed found a video about the real origins of Yule. And I welcomed the Winter Solstice listening to an old radio program that so perfectly matched what I had been thinking, feeling, it just blew me away. And I wept a little because I was so glad haven't forgotten the old ways. So very glad I still honor those ways, and those ancient ancestors.