Yulie and the Origin of Yule


by Mike Devlin
Jester Image

Yule is named for the little-known Celtic goddess Yulie, who is in charge of gifts, alcohol, fertility, and cold nights. As a Celtic goddess, of course her worshippers were peaceful Wiccans, accepting of everyone including homosexuals. Also, since the Celts created the religion that was utilized the world over, she corresponds to the Roman Yulinius, the Greek Yulinex, and the Norse Yulo, as well as the Native American Yu.

The origin of the holiday Yule dates back to prehistoric times. Yulie and the other gods and goddesses would visit the earth once per year in their spacecraft on the Winter Solstice, and a large log would be set ablaze to guide the spacecraft to the villages. This is the origin of the traditional Yule log. Often the pumpkins left over from Samhain would be dried enough by this time to be used as kindling for the Yule log. The villagers would stand around the Yule log chanting "An it harm none, do what you will," until the spacecraft arrived. The spacecraft had spiny landing gear with small round globes on them, and the plant mistletoe, representing the landing gear, would be hung up as a symbol of the wishes of the faithful that Yulie would visit them with gifts. Often trees would be knocked down by the landing of the space ship. It was considered very beneficial to take one of these trees, decorate it and place it around your home to demonstrate your love of Yulie (obviously, as these were a very environmentally-conscious people, they would never dream of cutting down trees. That would be as bad as eating meat!).

The visits were time of even more love and peace than usual, as the gods and goddesses would exchange gifts with the mortals, using a complex system that was the basis for the modern "Chinese auction." Songs would be sung such as "Away in a Spacecraft," (later to become "Away in a Manger," as we will see), the "12 Days of Yulie," and the "Little Drummer Boy" (who originally banged out counterpoint to the chanting of "An it harm none, do what you will.")

Once she had landed, Yulie would take the role of high priestess in the Winter Solstice rituals. The actual ritual has been passed down from generation to generation, and is now available in any Llewellyn book, with the appropriate cultural alterations.

Yulie one year became enamored of a mortal, and gave birth to Yesus, a story which greatly affected a group of Jews. Unfortunately, the story became garbled over time, and the spaceship became a beacon star which marked the place of Yesus’s birth. Great wise ancient tolerant pagans who practiced Wicca hastened to the site, with gifts for the baby Yesus.

Unfortunately, as Christianity became more and more confused about Yesus’s nature, they turned on the peaceful Yulie worshippers, and forced them to worship their own mean version of Yesus. Yulie was demoted to a minor supporting character, supposedly simply being a virgin, sometimes depicted on a donkey. The ancient Wiccans (being a peace-loving people who accepted everyone) had no way to fight back, and either became Christians or went underground, keeping their secrets until Gerald Gardner arrived on the scene. Yulie’s role as a bringer of gifts was transferred to a older fat man with a beard, because of the patriarchal nature of the new religion, and the spacecraft was called a sleigh, which, although it still flew, had no life support systems to maintain life in space.

Copyright © 2001 Mike Devlin
Used with permission.

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