Both Yule and Secular Christmas are very happy times for me, and we'll get to the latter shortly. For those who don't know, Yule is a Pagan celebration and depending on who you ask it can mean several different things. Common elements, and what I celebrate have to do with rebirth, returning to the starting point, the promise of coming light, and storing your harvest for the winter. As such, I created this rad Yule tarot spread for you all! Don't worry if you can't read my writing. I'll go through it all underneath.
The Spread is four cards, and you can use any layout you want but this one really shouldn't require anything fancy. Before I share spreads, I go through them several times to make sure it works out and the flow is right, and I had the best readings when I just did the four cards in a straight line. The four cards laid out should be read in order of how you read them, with the placements meaning:
1) What should my Yule focus be? By this we mean how should you focus and direct your energy on this day. For those of us who do ritual, what should that ritual be about? For those who just meditate and think a lot of things through throughout the day, what should you be thinking about?
2) What parts of me need to be reborn? In other words, which parts of ourselves should be transforming and changing or looked at totally differently this season?
3) What should I do to plan and store for my future? (Pretty straightforward)
4) How can I use the energy and lessons of this Yule to increase my happiness moving forward?
Below is a sample reading. Please note that while I do occasionally share public readings, this one is just a sample. Do not take it as a reading meant for you, me, or anyone else. It was done with my Tarot of the Silicon Dawn by Egypt Urnash.
Here we see the four cards laid out in a straight-ish line. We have the Chariot, the Five of Swords, the Queen of Pentacles, and the Two of Swords. As a reader the first thing I do is look at everything all together. What are my big messages this Yule? In this sample, we have Two Swords and the Chariot, all of which have elements of pain or moving on from it. Perseverance is a concurrent thread, or lack of it as the case may be. I'll note which colors or symbols stand out to me and if I think that means anything. Then I make note (mental or otherwise) of those things and look at the placements and cards individually.
1) What should my Yule focus be? With the Chariot here most likely my spiritual energy is best spent pursuing and going deeper with ongoing spiritual work, and based on the interpretation in this deck, connecting with my body and putting the various pieces of my life into something streamlined.
2) What parts of me need to be reborn? With the 5 of Swords, the parts I'm looking at rebirthing or transforming are the parts of me that are getting trapped by past pain or current fears. So I'd spend some time journaling and thinking about what that rebirth looks like. Do I need to reassess how I process pain? How I use fear? Or do I just need to let the parts of me that have been hurt grow back or rejuvenate?
3) What should I do to plan and store for my future? The Queen of Pentacles likes things nice and lush, but is in a stable place in her life and can enjoy herself. She works very hard and knows she deserves the rewards that come with that. The cards are likely telling me to invest in nicer things so I don't have to replace them as often, and to keep growing my businesses and allowing them to flourish. Likewise, investing in my own companies would be a good idea here. Enjoying myself and sharing with others is also key this holiday season, as holding on to every penny and investing it all will not make me feel confident financially, which will not allow me to grow.
4) How can I use the energy and lessons of this Yule to increase my happiness moving forward? Two of Swords--take all of these lessons in, and clear my mind. This card has trouble seeing what's in front of it and is frequently called on when one needs to make big decisions. So my best course of action is to clear my mind, take the rest of the advice of the cards, and then take that leap of faith. In this deck, that is particularly true if that leap of faith requires letting things go or moving beyond them, which ties in nicely with our other cards. The Chariot wants me to push forward and the 5 of Swords wanted those pain filled parts of me to be reborn.
Hope you enjoy it! I love Yule as a time to celebrate the faithfulness of light, and the more disciplined, determined dieties I worship. Sun dieties especially come to me now, guiding me even when we can't see them. Yule is the same time as Winter Solstice every year, which makes it December 21st this year, but I designed this spread with the idea that you'd use it to prepare for the day. It's also a good end of year spread, but I'll be doing a specific end of year spread a little later this month too.
Another thing I love that people are surprised by is secular Christmas. I grew up in a Christian household and community and still hold many of Christ's teachings close to my chest. ("Love your neighbor as yourself, and love me as I have loved you" is still one of the most beautiful things I have ever read.) Christmas doesn't mean what it used to mean to me as my faith has evolved, but it still represents a time to celebrate hope, love, and time with family. The pressure of buying so many gifts gets really overwhelming for me sometimes, but I genuinely love the practice. I also love receiving gifts and anyone who says they don't is lying! However, Christmas absolutely has its pitfalls. It is SO commercialized, there is SO much pressure to be ON all the time, and so many people are basically forced to spend time with so many people who may not love and support them the rest of the year the way they claim to now. Last year me and my roommate decided to reject those parts, but we are in a place of privilege to have been able to do so. For the rest of us, this is my favorite "dealing with the holidays" spread I have ever found. Seriously, it's SO good. Do it as much as you need to as many times as you get stressed this holiday season. It will help.
In the meantime, Blessed Be!