Oh Fir, oh Fir, I like you how much I like you!
How beautiful in New Year’s day, you are bringing gifts on your brunches..
Most of us have seen a natural or artificial fir decorated with lights and colourful ornaments in order to celebrate Christmas or the New Year. And this tradition is older and more world-wided than Christianity.
In many countries a, specific or not, kind of tree was decorated in order to honour nature, the spirits or the Gods, and gifts were placed on its base as offerings, while in most cases wishes were hanged on its branches, for them to come true.
In most cases this is a practise to celebrate the beginning of the year or a special or sacred day or period. The ancient Greeks would do so near the Winter Solstice to honour Zeus or the Sun God, and later Romans will adopt the custom to honour Janus, the God that actually gave his name to January. Of course it is not only this period of the year that this custom takes place. In Japan the Tanabata festivities use the same practise to honour the meeting of two divine lovers (or two stars if you want), and this happens during summer, and in some northern European countries it was a custom to celebrate Beltane and the resurrection not of the Sun but of the Nature.
In some cases that trees are not very common, the custom takes place without even them as for example it happens for the celebration of the New Year in Tibet.
In any case, if you intend to use a tree, use a green tree or a sacred one at least.
Now, let us decode this custom. In magical terms what is practiced in all these cases around the world and during all eras is the creation of simple wind talismans.
The trees are symbols of the spirits or Deities to be honoured or even just the mediums to ascent our wishes from the material world to the spiritual or divine one.
The gifts offered at their roots are symbols of our thanks-giving to the ones from whom we expect to fulfil our wishes, and the decorations are the actual talismans carrying our wishes. The simplest way to make such talismans are the following.
Write on a piece of paper or cloth your wish and hang it. Use natural clothes such as cotton and wool. Make a knot talisman for your wish and hang it. Or if you are skilful make some ceramic balls or plates and write your wishes on them and then hang them. Other than those use your imagination and creativity. By expressing yourself and your own believes you will honour better your Gods.
The key factor is that the talisman should be able to decay due to rain, wind, and Sun light, for as it decays the wish is carried to the world in order to be fulfilled. So, do not use metal or glass or plastic if you want your wish to be fulfilled during this lifetime.
It is true that in some cases it is the ink to be used that is considered to carry the wish and in those cases the ink is the one that should be able to vanish and not the actual talisman. But this is a practise more common in water based talismans.
Now leave the talismans on the tree until they will be sufficiently destroyed if you use a tree in your yard, or just leave them there and go, if you use a tree in the woods.
While offering your gifts give your thanks to the tree (and the Deities) and while hanging your talismans say a prayer for the fulfilment of your wishes and let the gift offering tree to make them true.
Although you can do something like this any time of the year, the power of Yule in making your wish come true is extraordinary and even one really inexperienced in magic can make it happens.
So, have fun, have a blessed Yule, and an even more blessed New Year!