For the entire Pagan community Christmas should be one of the most sacred times of the year, but the lack of any formal written liturgy has consigned the festival to a minor observance in the Pagan calendar. Have a Cool Yule demonstrates that history proves the festival to be a wholly Pagan event, worthy of being acknowledged as one of the Great Festivals along with Beltaine and Samhain. With all the different strands of Pagan custom brought to the hearth-fire of the Mid-Winter Festival, we all have something to celebrate in time-honoured fashion, whether our ancestors are Briton, Celt, Norse or Anglo-Saxon.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
REVIEW: Yule. The Winter Solstice. The longest night of the year. The winter chill is still on the crisp cold air, as we huddle near the fireplace and listen to the crackling of the flames. We decorate our Yule log, bake cookies, and enjoy time with family. Yule is the time that marks the return of longer days and shorter nights.
In Melusine Draco’s book, Have a Cool Yule, she not only gives us some background and history on this long-celebrated holiday, she also provides ideas, games and other things in her How-To Survive (and enjoy) the Mid-Winter Festival. Personally, I love learning about the origins of things and especially holidays, traditions and sayings. In her book, she does not disappoint and had a healthy dose of history and backstory behind the season.
In chapter two, she jumps into the 32 Days of Yuletide. Starting on the 17th of December, the author gives the background for the day and a suggestion ‘On the Spiritual Front’ of how you can honor that day. I loved the ideas in the book and plan to utilize these next year as part of my celebrations.
The next few chapters cover how to celebrate with family and guests of various backgrounds and traditions as well as some solitary rituals. There is also a great section for you foodies out there that make your mouth water! During the cold months, what better time to spend time with friends, family, and food!
Have a Cool Yule is a quick read filled with great tips, fun facts, and rituals that everyone needs to have on their shelves. I know for me, I have some amazing new ideas for the winter solstice celebrations to add to my family traditions.
~review by Amber Barnes
Author: Melusine Draco
Moon Books, Nov. 24, 2017
pp. 82, $10.95 ~ Amber Barnes, Facing North
As per usual and in great style, Melusine Draco presents a wealth of information about this historically proven pagan festival. Whichever way the reader chooses to celebrate... whether it’s a traditional family Christmas or a traditional Yule in the company of pagan friends or as a solitary - there is something for everyone. From a complete festival calendar with some simple rites and symbolism, to carol lyrics, recipes, gift ideas and feasting to the ‘art of using up’ and festive games; everything Yuletide is covered. And with generous doses of light-hearted good cheer and a sprinkling of dark humour, the author strikes a balance that is both useful, informative and entertaining. A charming little book. ~ Sheena Cundy, Witch Lit author
This certainly makes a cool yule for me! So much information, such fun too. It puts a whole new slant on our perhaps limited ideas of yuletide. And love the cover with the triumphant hare mounted on a dog… turns all preconceptions upside-down. Do read, you’ll enjoy. ~ Elen Sentier
Have a Cool Yule is a lovely guide on how to truly enjoy the festive season in the depths of winter, whether you call it Christmas, the Winter Solstice, Yule or any other name. In the pages of this book you will find time-honoured traditions, recipes and sensible advice on how to avoid the worst of the commercialism and make the occasion what you want it to be. ~ Lucya Starza