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Evergreen: A Year of Yule Tree Crafts and Rituals... Getting Started

Happy 12th Night! Tomorrow is a traditional day for Yule-ish decorations to be tucked away for another day--and it's time to prepare your Yule evergreen for a year of wonder as we craft ritual items from its trunk, branches and balsam...


(CLICK HERE to print out a coloring page of the image above!)

Cut all the branches from the TRUNK, leaving it bare and with as few nubs as possible. The naked trunk will do its first stint as a Beltane Maypole. Clip the slender balsam laden TWIGS from the BRANCHES. Keep these twigs as full as possible and leave the balsam on as it will help to preserve the needles and their scent for a longer time; they can be removed as needed.

















The challenge with storing the parts of the Yule tree until it is ready to use is to keep them from turning into compost. It is important to keep all wood and balsam free of mold and moisture. The ideal storage area is a cool dry place such as a garage or shed where the materials will be protected from the elements. If this is not possible, store the branches, balsam and trunk outside under a tarp. Spread out the pieces as much as possible to avoid overlapping, and check and turn them periodically so that one surface is not always in contact with the ground. Balsam and shorter twigs can be stored indefinitely in airtight bags in the freezer. If you didn't put up a cut, live tree, it's probably easy to find one--keep an eye out for folks putting their trees out for recycling or trash collection. One tree will yield enough material that can be shared.

Make something with your Yule tree material RIGHT NOW: Propel the the energy of this past Yule into the coming year with some kindling bundles for your sabbat fires. Form 8 bundles of twigs, small branches and balsam and bind them with colored string: White for Imbolc, Green for the Spring Equinox, Red and White for Beltane, Pink for the Summer Solstice, Golden Yellow for Lughnasad, Orange for the Autumnal Equinox, Black for Samhain and Green and Red for Yule (or use colors that are unique to your tradition). You can also make these for new and full moon circle fires, binding the bundles with black string for new moons and white string for full moons.

Up Next... Infusing Imbolc with the Magic of the Yule Tree

Artwork by Robin Ator (, photos by Mari Zaman. Please visit our blogs: Katharine Clark ( and Natalie Zaman (

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Natalie Zaman is the author of Color and Conjure and Magical Destinations of the Northeast. A regular contributor to various Llewellyn annual publications, she also writes the recurring feature “Wandering Witch” for Witches & Pagans Magazine. When not on the road, she’s busy tending her magical back-garden. Or shopping.


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