Yule, also called Winter Solstice, is a time of new beginnings, transformation, restoration, and rebirth. Your Yule altar should reflect this with items and colors representing this theme.
How you set up your Yule altar comes down to what feels right to you. You should only incorporate items that feel right to you and arrange them based on your intuition.
Below, we dive into the items, herbs, foliage, colors, and crystals that correspond with Yule. Incorporate what you’d like and skip what you don’t. You can’t make a Yule altar the wrong way.
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Colors for Yule Altars
Red, green, white, gold, and silver are the colors associated with Yule.
Red represents fire and vitality. It is seen in plants like holly berries and poinsettias which do well during the cool, long winter season.
Green stands for abundance and new beginnings.
White corresponds with silence, calm, and cleansing. It aligns with the Yule themes of new beginnings and restoration.
Gold is tied to richness and prosperity.
Silver aligns with clarity which links up with the Yule themes of transformation.
You can incorporate these colors throughout your Yule altar with a colored altar cloth, candles, and other altar items.
Yule Altar Items
Common Yule altar items include candles, orange slices, bells, and winter nuts.
The sun is heavily tied to Yule as this is a time to welcome back in the sun as we go from the longest night of the year to heading toward warmer days. Candles are a good representation of the sun. You can use candles that are orange or yellow, or you can go with the traditional Yule colors like greens and reds.
Orange slices are another altar item that represents the sun. You can cut and dry these yourself. We like to harvest the oranges from our tree and cut and dry them as it adds a personal touch having come from the land on our property.
You can also sprinkle these with cinnamon, dry them, punch holes in them, and use twine to hang them on your Yule tree.
Pearls correspond with protection and represent the moon. You can include these throughout your Yule altar, interspersed with crystals and even winter nuts.
Animal skulls are often incorporated into yule altars as a representation of spirits roaming Earth during this time in combination with the Wild Hunt. This has heavy folklore ties and is said to act as a protection against the Wild Hunt and all that entails.
Different animals are also tied to different meanings. You may want to source an animal skull that aligns with meanings that would be beneficial for the longer nights during Yule.
Bells are used for protection and to drive away evil spirits. While it’s common to include bells on your door during Yule, you can also add one to your Yule altar.
Frankincense, Myrrh, and Pine Incense
If you enjoy burning incense, you’ll want to reach for frankincense, myrrh, or pine for your Yule altar. Frankly, we’re pine people in my household and so we try to keep a stock of pine incense on hand. It makes a space feel so cozy and clean. Smells like Yule!
Represent the Four Elements
It is common to honor the elements in any altar. If you would like to highlight the four elements then you should include a chalice, pentacle, athame, and candle to represent water, earth, air, and fire respectively. You can of course use other items to represent the elements. We talk more about this in our guide on how to build an altar.
Herbs and Foliage for Yule
Herbs and foliage that correspond with Yule are evergreens, cinnamon, cloves, and mistletoe. You can also incorporate winter nuts throughout your Yule altar. Winter nuts include almonds, chestnuts, hazelnuts, and walnuts.
Crystals for Yule Altars
Crystals commonly used in Yule altars are bloodstone, garnet, black obsidian, citrine, clear quartz, and selenite. Incorporate your favorite crystals throughout your Yule altar. There are many more than the ones we’ve listed that make for good Yule altar crystals. Do a bit of research to learn about the meaning and correspondences of each crystal and build your own set of Yule altar crystals.