Dec 21st – The 2nd Day of Yule
Winter Solstice, Sunna and Mani
The second day of Yule is celebrating Winter Solstice! It is also the day we greet Sunna on her long rise and say good night to Mani as his nightly travels start to wane. Today we must get our Yule Log and decorate the log, and/or bake a Yule Log cake. It does not matter what the weather is doing, it’s now Winter!
Winter solstice generally falls on or near the 21st of Dec. On this night practitioners celebrate both the longest night of the year and the return of the sun and the lengthening of the days to come. The winter solstice, also called the hiemal solstice or hibernal solstice, occurs when either of Earth’s poles reaches its maximum tilt away from the Sun.
The Winter Solstice is a time of death and rebirth when Nature’s powers and our own souls are renewed. It marks the moment in time when the Old Sun dies (at dusk on the 21st of December) and when the Sun of the New Year is born (at dawn on the 22nd of December), framing the longest night of the year.
SUNNA & MANI
The story of Sunna and Mani is one of the siblings born of the gods to mortals. Sister Sunna and brother Mani become the Sun and Moon, riding chariots across the sky. Mani forever chasing his sister, Sunna. The pups of Fenrir and his mate end up chasing the chariots when the passing of the Sun makes the day too hot to play, and the passing of the Moon makes the night impossible to hunt. The wolves cause the siblings to speed up and slow down as the chase continues forever, creating our length of days and nights.
Read the Story of Sunna & Mani HERE
Honoring Sunna & Mani
Wake up before the sunrise and greet Sunna on her rise in the morning. Lighting her a candle or lighting up a fire pit to offer her strength and aid her ascent. The Sun appreciates the offerings of thanks for rising again each new day. These offerings may include cider, mead, Gold schlager, apple juice, oranges, and/or flowers.
As night falls this evening, greet Mani on his passing across the sky. Leave him offerings of jasmine, lotus, almonds, white rose, myrrh, sandalwood, white sage, white Lavendar, mugwort, artemisia, garlic, orris root, white poppy, and wormwood. Make Mani a tea steeped with jasmine, sage, and Lavendar.
This is the day to find a nice piece of wood to serve as the Yule log. Traditionally, the log is made of Oak, although you can use other wood. It should be decorated with flowers, pine, auspicious herbs, carvings of sun wheels, etc. If you plan to burn this log, as is tradition, don’t add anything that’s toxic or will make unpleasant smells. After dinner is the right time to burn the Yule log. The Yule log will add to the Sun’s fire and strengthen it, hastening her return. The Yule fire is perfect for magic use, write down something that needs to be strengthened this coming year and burn the paper with some herbs that have luck and abundance properties. Save the ashes from the Yule log as they will be used on the 12th night of Yule, and yules to come.
Yule Log Cake
In more modern times, households don’t all have fireplaces and/or access to firepits as commonly as it was in the past. It’s not as easy to find a way to craft and burn a yule log, so modern practitioners developed a new Yule Log! Yule logs are made with Swiss roll cake and buttercream, with decorations such as holly, leaves, mushrooms. The first flavors were probably chocolate or mocha. There are special log-shaped pans, or the rolled cake technic.
Here’s a good Yule Log Cake recipe: Easy Chocolate Yule Log Cake | Bûche de Noël Recipe (lifeloveandsugar.com)