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Pagan Yuletide Greenery

greeneryby Selena Fox


  • from Evergreen "Yule" Trees - Pines, Fir, Spruce, others
  • from other Trees - Holly, Oak, Birch, Silver Fir, Yew, Juniper, Cedar, Fruit trees, others
  • from Herbs - Mistletoe, Ivy, Bayberry, Bay, Rosemary, Sage, others
  • from other Plants - Poinsettia, others


  • living
  • cut & kept fresh
  • cut & dried
  • representational


  • Used for Winter Solstice time celebrations since antiquity -- Roman, Teutonic, English, Egyptian, others
  • Use continued as part of Christmas traditions, but banned some eras & places due to their Pagan associations
  • Part of spiritual & secular December holiday celebrations in contemporary America & elsewhere

Sacred Uses:

  • Wreath - symbolizing the wheel of the year; placed on doorways, walls, altars, other places
    Rituals of selection, creation, placement, removal, burning at Imbolc, Summer Solstice, or other times
  • Yule Tree - symbolizing eternal life force & World Tree; decorated with lights, sun symbols, other symbols
    Rituals of growing, selection, honoring tree spirit, placement, decoration, removal, offering or burning
  • Sprigs, Boughs, & Garlands - symbolizing the continuity of life; used to adorn homes, altars, other places
    Rituals of cutting, arranging, removal, burning or mulching
  • Mistletoe Amulet - symbolizing peace, friendship, affection; hung above door ways to protect home
    Rituals of harvest, placement, home blessing, kissing under it for peace making, fun, good luck
  • Mistletoe is often an ingredient in multi-herbal kissing ball used in similar ways
  • Yule Log Adornment - with Holly to symbolize old year passing & with other greens for continuity of life
    Rituals of selection & placement on the Log, burning with the Log to welcome new solar year, good luck
  • Greenery Circle Making - symbolizing the Circle of Life & Yule season; outline ritual circle with greens
    Rituals of harvest, placement, later removal & use in sacred fires
  • Evergreen Sprig Wand - symbolizing the Yuletide season, renewal, well-being
    Rituals of harvest, uses for circle casting, purification, healing, energy directing, home blessing
  • Sacred Fires - dried greenery symbolizing the season & specified intention such as release or attraction
    Rituals of fire starting, fire feeding, magic making
  • Crowns - of Holly leaves symbolizing Holly King, Holly Boy, & Goddess; of Oak Leaves for the Oak King, of Ivy for Goddess, God, Ivy Girl; of a mixture of greens symbolizing Yuletide
    Rituals of creating, crowning, invoking, offering, aspecting, thanksgiving, celebration
  • Gifts - of living plants, herb teas, greens scented candles, motifs decorating cards, foods, music, art
    Rituals of creating, selection, gifting, thanksgiving, friendship renewal & love
  • Greenery Meditation - using actual or visualized greenery symbolizing renewal of the Yuletide season
    Rituals of healing, guidance, seasonal celebration

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