Llewellyn's Little Book of Yule shares everything you need to make your Yuletide memorable and enchanting. From wassail blessings to the spirits of the solstice, this book delves into the lore of familiar traditions as well as observances that may be brand new to you, making it an invaluable resource for bringing meaning and magic to your holiday season. Filled with dozens of magical tips, recipes, crafts, and spells, Llewellyn's Little Book of Yule shares everything you need to make your Yuletide memorable and enchanting1.
Jason Mankey read his first book on Witchcraft in the seventh grade, and at age 22 dedicated his life to the Craft. Jason Mankey is a third-degree Gardnerian High Priest and helps run two Witchcraft covens in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Ari. He is a popular speaker at Pagan and Witchcraft events across North America and Great Britain and has been recognized by his peers as an authority on the Horned God, Wiccan history, and occult influences in rock and roll and heavy metal music1.
You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter @panmankey. He is the channel manager at Patheos Pagan, the world’s most-read pagan blogging site and is the author of several books, including The Witch’s Book of Spellcraft, The Horned God of the Witches, and Transformative Witchcraft. This is his fifth book1.
Jason Mankey has been obsessed with the magical season of Yuletide since he was a young boy. In a small, easy-to-read book, he presents winter’s festive holidays – including Hanukkah, the winter solstice, Yule, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve and Twelfth Night – all which he celebrates, all of which he loves. He admits in the introduction that he has been told it looks like “Christmas threw up all over” his house, but that he wouldn’t have it any other way2.
Although Yule is often used as a synonym for Christmas, they are different. Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of the Christ Child while Pagans celebrate Yule on the winter solstice which occurs a few days earlier and has been celebrated since before written records. The Yuletide season with its goodwill and celebrations, Mankey states, stretches from Thanksgiving to Three Kings’ Day. By writing the book he wanted readers to come to cherish the diversity of these early winter holidays that are full of merriment, generosity and hope2.
There are history and customs from around the world, along with many activities, crafts, recipes, spells and bits of trivia fill the pages with one joyous celebration after another. Readers will learn about lesser-known mummery, Saturnalia, and Misrule, along with more common traditions. There are instructions for a Befana house sweeping, honoring the fae, making magical ornaments, lucky foods to eat on New Year’s Day, wassail blessings, and chestnut divination. I was surprised to find much of the content was not about Yule. Those looking to expand their holidays and celebrate in new ways will find what they are searching for in these pages2.
The book gives you the history from the earliest pagans up to when Christianity overtook the season with Christmas. It even goes over holidays during the Yule season that you might want to celebrate based on your beliefs and culture and put on a calendar which is also an activity in the book to make3.
There are so many recipes included in this book such as how to make Saturnalia wine, Wassail, marzipan, and a Yule log. Along with this are important activities and traditions for the season such as chalking the door for Three Kings, traditional German candle divination for New Year Eve, making a mistletoe sachet and the meaning and history behind it, making magical ornaments to decorate for the season, making a necklace to honor the spirit of Krampus, Befana house sweeping for the New Year, and many more3!
The only downside to this book is it is heavy on Christian influenced practices in the Yule season and is more modern in its approach. I would have liked to have seen a more pagan viewpoint stripped of the Christian influences but unfortunately Christianity has taken over many olden practices and done a pretty good job at doing so3.
Jason revels in that stuff and consistently amazes me with his due diligence in that regard. This book is no exception and do not let the word "Little" mislead you. Llewellyn's Little Book of Yule is a powerhouse of information about my second favorite all-time holiday (I'm a Witch, so the favorite is not hard to guess). Jason's newest release has a strong presentation of history, crafts, recipes, rituals, and personal anecdotes3.
Most impressively is that he covers a wide range of cultural expressions of the Yuletide season and treats each one with equal measures of childlike wonder underscored with the respectful authenticity that can come only from an experienced and diligent researcher. Jason sets the tone for this enchanting book with a tale from his own childhood that established his love of the season and this energy permeates every word. If you want to deepen your knowledge of cultural and magical expression regarding this meaningful time of year, this love letter Jason Mankey wrote to the holiday is your sure-fire ticket3.
This entertaining and well-written treatise on Yuletide will appeal to adventurous readers who wish to learn more about the roots of Neo-pagan and Christian celebrations. The author is clearly knowledgeable and shares his expertise in thoughtful, sometimes humorous prose. At times, the narrative feels a bit pedantic, but Mankey always brings us back to the merry and bright aspects of the season. I especially appreciated how he expanded the season to include late November through mid-January and shared fascinating bits of information tied to every aspect of the celebration season - food, clothing, home decor, and spirituality included3.
Filled with dozens of magical tips, recipes, crafts, and spells, Llewellyn's Little Book of Yule shares everything you need to make your Yuletide memorable and enchanting.
- Llewellyn's Little Book of Yule (Llewellyn's Little Books, 14). December 15, 2022. https://www.amazon.com/Llewellyns-Little-Book-Yule-Books/dp/0738763071
- Book Review – Llewellyn's Little Book of Yule by Jason Mankey. PaganPages.org. December 01, 2020. https://paganpages.org/emagazine/2020/12/01/book-review-llewellyns-little-book-of-yule-by-jason-mankey/
- Llewellyn's Little Book of Yule. NetGalley. September 08, 2020. https://www.netgalley.com/book/192875/reviews