As we enter the season of Yule, pine becomes a critical element in our home décor as a powerful symbol of the season. This is no coincidence. Pine is essential to the Magick of Yule as it endures the cold harsh winter and warms our hearths with pleasant smelling fires.
In my version of The Silver Pine Cones, the value of pine is highlighted as an essential resource for warming the home and sustaining life. Over the centuries pine has been well thought of as a plant of health and prosperity.
Pine is an evergreen which a unique species of tree and shrubbery that remain green all year long. This longevity symbolizes the endurance of the heart and mind through the cold winter, both literally and figuratively. Pine also produce pine cones which house edible seeds/nuts that are a good source of energy and nutrition.
Our strong association with pine and the Winter Solstice could possibly be traced back to the Oldest of the Gods, Saturn, the father of time (Cronus/Chronos) the reaper holding a scythe, and the sower holding a sack of seeds.*
Saturn’s celebration, Saturnalia, is held during the time leading up to the Winter Solstice, around December 17th to the 23rd. The popularity of Saturnalia continued even as the Roman Empire moved toward the Christian tenet. Many ancient customs have influenced our modern seasonal celebrations surrounding Christmas and the New Year. One of Saturn’s prominent symbols is that of the pine tree, which endures as an essential symbol of the season.
When all other trees are bare in the coldest darkest season of the year, it is the pine that remains green. Pine trees have long been used for shelter and warmth. Pine is imbued protective energy and sustaining qualities for this reason. In the Netherlands, archaeologists found that cave people made beds of pine for safety and warmth.
Pine has also traditionally been used in housing food stores, protecting and preserving valuable food sources throughout the long cold winters. So even as it seems the practical need for pine is somewhat diminished, it is only natural that we continue to look to pine to comfort, prosperity, and beauty our homes.
As we look deeper into the properties of Pine we realize its value and meaning. Pine plays a particular role in the home during the long cold winter months.
|When In Season:||Year Round
|Medicinal Properties:||Anti-inflammatory (used in a bath)
|Festivals, Observances, and Ritual:||Pine is noted to embody the elements of prosperity, protection, and cleansing which makes this plant a very welcomed necessity in Yule & Winter celebrations.
|Culinary Use:||Pine nuts are used in many dishes and sauces like Pesto
|Home and Ritual Décor:||Pine is one of the most prominent natural elements used in Yule decorating. From long garlands to wreaths, and whole trees. Pine cones are also an essential decorating element.
Yuletide Pine for Your Altar & Home
Placing pine on your altar will provide your workings with lovely fragrance and protective energy. Pine cones in particular, are believed to ward off evil and other negative energies.
To protect your home from illness and negative energies create a wreath of pine and hang it on your front door. You may also do this for all of your windows and doors for added measure.
Decorating a pine tree during Yule is said to ensure the return of the light and surround your home with positive energy. The cone-like shape of the tree resembles the cone of power which allows energy to be drawn in and directed more clearly. In knowing this, the colors you use to decorate your tree and pine hangings are also important.
Red symbolizes many aspects including warmth, passion, and action. Gold resembles prosperity and the return of the sun. So use your colors wisely when you set up and decorate your Yule tree.
Pine plays a specific role in Magickal fires for cooking and spell work. Pine burns hot and dry which is essential for many Magickal workings.
Burning pine needles and cones in your hearth is known to protect and warm your home.
Burn pine incense to purify your home and use it in divination practices.
This also brings me to mention the tradition of a Yule Log, which is also traditionally made of pine.
As you can see, pine plays a significant role in the Magick of Yule. It is a symbol of the many things we seek to infuse our lives with while remaining a beautiful and fragrant element in holiday décor.
I hope you enjoyed this post. I welcome your comments.
© The Magick Kitchen, 2014