|Photo from Celtic Queens|
The Goddess gives birth to a son, the God, at Yule (circa December 21). This is in no way an adaptation of Christianity. The Winter Solstice has long been viewed as a time of divine births. Mithras was said to have been born at this time. The Christians simply adopted it for their [original emphasis] use in 273 C.E. (Common Era).
Yule is a time of the greatest darkness and is the shortest day of the year. Earlier peoples noticed such phenomena and supplicated the forces of nature to lengthen the days and shorten the nights. Wiccans sometimes celebrate Yule just before the dawn, then watch the Sun rise as a fitting finale to their efforts.
Since the God is also the Sun, this marks the point of the year when the Sun is reborn as well. Thus, the Wicca light fires or candles to welcome the Sun’s returning light. The Goddess, slumbering through the winter of Her labor, rests after Her delivery.
Yule is the remnant of early rituals celebrated to hurry the end of winter and the bounty of spring, when food was once again readily available. To contemporary Wiccans it is a reminder that the ultimate product of death is rebirth, a comforting thought in these days of unrest.
- from “Wicca: A guide for the solitary practitioner” by Scott Cunningham