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Affairs of the Pagan Heart

December 1st, 2017

Protecting Your Heart at Yule and New Year’s Eve

Ah, the holidays. It’s crazy and stressful and prime time for something to happen. What is that something? Your weirdo Aunt Betty goes on and on about how she can’t wait to teach you how to play Bridge, but falls asleep after dinner. Grandpa John wants to tell you stories about how he lost his big toe in the war, again, and at the dinner table. Your stepmum makes a lovely turkey and still asks you every time if you want some “as a special treat”, even though you’ve been vegetarian for over 10 years. Your little sister just found out that you’re pagan and has tried to blackmail you or she’ll tell everyone at dinner, but you’re not ready to tell your family. And you suspect that guy you’ve been dating – who your mother insisted comes over for Christmas Eve dinner with the family – will ask you to marry him while you’re out for New Year’s Eve together, but you’re not feeling the same about him as you think he is about you, and you cringe every time he is alone with your father, in fear that he’s asking your dad for your hand in marriage.

Something in that first paragraph rang true for a few of you. Maybe the names are different, or it’s a slightly different scenario, but you know what I’m talking about. So what can you do about it?

Well, for starters, don’t eat the turkey if you’ve vegetarian, even if your stepmum looks disappointed. Enjoy the sides or bring something suitable just for you. That’s the easy one on the list.

Stories from grandpa are important. We should honour those who fought for our freedom, and listen to their stories, even if they are graphic and misplaced while everyone is eating. But pagans are no stranger to war. Do a Google search for “pagans and war” and you’ll find everything from stories about Charlemagne converting pagans by sword, to Julian, Rome’s last pagan emperor, who went to war with the Christians, to the Morrighan, the Goddess of War, who soldiers don’t want to see while in battle, to modern pagans in the military. War happens, and we can do our part to remember history so that it doesn’t repeat itself. Your grandpa is giving you crumbs of knowledge every time he tells his stories. Honour that with thanks and acknowledgement.

Aunt Betty will just fall asleep from the tryptophan in the turkey and wine, and don’t worry about your little sister. She’s seeking attention and you’ve always known how to deal with her. And don’t worry about that boyfriend who you fear might propose to you on New Year’s Eve. I mean, make sure he knows you’re not ready, but if it happens and you ruin the countdown by saying no while he’s down on one knee, well, that’s a heartbreak that he’ll have to live with into 2018, which is better than saying yes when you don’t mean it just to save face.

What you do need to worry about is how to protect your heart during all of this. Yule and New Year’s Eve can do a number on us. There are energies at work from so many people and societal expectations that you’ll need to shield, cleanse, and protect.

Start with imagining a white light is surrounding you. This shield is your force field against anything that might be coming your way, but it’s also trapping in your unwanted stress and anxiety about the season – and that’s okay, because you’ll deal with it in a moment once you block any other stressors and energies.

Next you can cleanse your surroundings and yourself. Many pagans burn a sage smudge stick to banish negative energy from an area, something pagans picked up from indigenous peoples long ago. Incense works too. Get into all of the corners of your room or home. Then sit comfortably and work on cleansing that trapped stress and anxiety. In your mind, see yourself pushing it out away from you. Take deep cleansing breaths. Breathe in the energy of the divine through your nose, and exhale that stress out through your mouth.

And finally, to protect yourself, light a white candle and focus on the light within you. You are your source of power and strength. You will get through this. Call upon Venus to help you understand the love you have for yourself first. Consider calling upon Isis to help you keep existing relationships sacred. If you have native roots, call upon the White Buffalo Calf Woman to aide you in creating peace and a safe space for community. And Janus and Juno can help to protect your physical space, home, or land.

Allow these practices and deities to guide you and protect your heart, and you’ll get through Yule and New Year’s Eve with a little more ease and be ready for what 2018 brings your way. 

***

About the Author:

Rev. Rachel U Young is a pagan based in Toronto, Canada. She is a licensed Wedding Officiant and under the name NamasteFreund she makes handfasting cords and other ceremonial accessories. She is also the Chair of Toronto Pagan Pride Day.

Dream Magick and Healing at Yule

Yule Candle

 

My thoughts on Yule are comforting, family together and sharing what we have, eating together and exchanging gifts. The Winter Solstice is a powerful doorway into magick and we can connect to this energy through dreams. Here’s an idea for a gift of dream healing. Make a home-made card for your dearest friend and offer her a dream healing as a gift for Yule. In the days leading up to the Solstice dress a green candle in Yuletide scents such cinnamon, cloves, orange and pine. You can also put a few drops on the card so when she opens it the smell of Yule will bless her! Before bed light the candle and spend a few minutes connecting with your friend. Don’t forget to blow the candle out before you sleep!

We all dream, although some cannot remember their dreams when they awake from the hidden land. During dreams everyone astral travels, sees the future, gets messages from spirit and travels to other places in the dreaming. Shamans and Witches learn to remember their dreams and interpret them. They use lucid dreaming as a method of spirit work and healing. They contact their ancestors and guides during dream to help themselves, family and community.

Dream magick takes practice and time, but since we spend eight hours a day sleeping there is plenty of time to work on it! Tonight I light a candle and do a meditation for Sylvana* to ask for healing and guidance from her guides and mine. I finish the meditation and extinguish the flame, falling asleep quickly to the sound of the soft snoring of my little dogs curled up with me under the warm blankets. The room is completely dark and the light from the full moon does not penetrate the thick curtains, although the moon energy affects my dreaming and my sleep.

I dream that I am walking through a field in the country. I’m wearing an old fashioned dress and carrying a basket. At my feet is wild grass and many weeds but I am looking for something. Out of the corner of my eye I catch a movement and turn to see a plant glowing. I carefully take some of the leaves while singing a soft crooning song to the plant that seems to make it sleepy. Suddenly my basket is half full of herbs and I’m at the edge of the field in the shadow of a forest. Out of the forest a darkness is moving towards me and I’m afraid! I am rooted to the spot and I can’t run. The darkness moves closer and I see something writhing in the dim shadow. Awareness comes to me! I’m dreaming! I am asleep! I can wake up now! But I can’t wake up and I can’t run in the dream. The monster is coming!

A ringing noise sounds, like a singing bowl being struck softly. Where is that sound coming from? It is coming from my basket of herbs and looking down I see that the leaves are glowing with green light. Without really thinking I snatch a handful of the herbs and throw them into the darkness. As they fly through the air they seem to catch fire, spinning and dancing like crazy fireflies! I hear a scream and then the shadow is gone and sunlight pours down onto the trees. I wake up from the dream with the feeling of fresh leaves in my hands and between my fingers.

The next morning I sit in the garden listening to the birdsong and wondering about the meaning of Sylvanna’s dream. I was wearing old fashioned clothes and collecting healing herbs so I think that this was a message from the ancestors. I’m trying to think what kind of plant it was that I was gathering. It seems familiar! Sylvanna is dealing with depression so I think that the darkness and the monster were her illness. Has she received a healing from this dream? I woke with the feeling of the herbs in my hands so I think that I have brought them back with me for her.

I finish my tea and go for a walk around the garden. There are wild parts and cultivated parts, hidden plants that come and go. I know it well but it is always changing, like a dream! At the back near the blueberries I see the plant from my dream. It has bright yellow flowers glowing brightly in the morning sun; a St.John’s Wort! This is a plant that is connected to the sun and protection. It is also the herbal remedy for depression! Now I understand my dream. First of all I fought the illness for Sylvanna using the magick of the herb. Because I brought it back with me, she is meant to connect with the plant in some way for her depression. I know it is proven to help mild depression or the blues, but not deep suicidal despair.

I call Sylvanna and she says that she woke feeling hope! This is a very good sign. I ask her if she has ever tried St.John’s Wort and she says that she has heard about it but cannot take it with the medication she is already on. I suggest a dream pillow with St.John’s Wort, camomile flowers and lavender to help her sleep well and to connect her sleeping self with the energy and magick of the herb. During the day I create the dream pillow for her and energize it with the healing of the Sacred Earth and the Ancestors.

A few days later she tells me that she is feeling much better and that she has turned a corner. Now she really believes that her terrible depression and darkness is finally lifting. She feels hopeful that soon she will be able to come home to the land of happiness and the land of normal!

Dream magick can be done by everyone because it is natural to dream. Let us walk in the dreamtime together and meet the spirits and guides who are ready to help us.

(*Name changed and the story is a composite of more than one person.)

Yuletide Sobriety

Who doesn’t party during the holidays? Scrooge? The Grinch?

But when you’re in recovery, holiday parties – whether they are office parties at work, family parties around a table groaning with food and drink or coven Yule rituals with “cakes and ale” – are a challenge, to say the least. What do you do? How do you navigate these chilly, choppy waters?

I’ll be honest with you – I’ve relapsed over the holidays more than once.

It’s so easy to see everyone else – those so-called “normal” people – with drinks in their hands – laughing, happy – and want what they seemingly have. Yeah! Just one drink. How simple that sounds.

Don’t go there.

If you’re like me, it’s never “just one drink” and it’s never that simple. It’s always a night of drunken manic craziness and a morning of migraine suicidal depression. Even if I’m just mildly hungover, I’m so tired I can’t do a thing.

And then, of course, I have to start all over all again.

I don’t work anymore so office parties are a thing of the past but I still have family. Luckily for me, about half of my family are now in some phase of recovery, so there’s lots of sober support there. I don’t have to go to any party that I don’t want to anymore – that’s a perk of being old and ornery.

But – if it’s a case where I have to go to a holiday party, here is the list of ideas I’ve compiled to help me get through the ordeal. Some I’ve heard at meetings, some I’ve read in books, and some I’ve gotten off of various websites. They were on a list in my diary.

  1. Arrive late and leave early. Say you have somewhere else to go, if people ask you why you’re leaving. You’re not lying. You’re going home, right?

  2. Bring a sober friend with you.

  3. Bring a bottle of ginger ale or coke or something else non-alcoholic to drink. Ginger ale mixed with cranberry juice is a fabulous holiday drink.

  4. Remember HALT – Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. Don’t let yourself get out of balance in any of these areas.

  5. Remember TAMERS – Talk about recovery, Act on recovery, Meditate & minimize stress, Exercise & eat well, Relax, Sleep

  6. Be careful what you eat – lots of cookies, especially, have alcohol in them – my mother makes a killer fruit cake FILLED with booze! One piece and you’ll be wicked buzzed! So be careful!

  7. Go to meetings! Especially if you’re out of town – meetings are different in every city, so it’s always cool to check out that aspect of AA. And everyone loves the out-of-towner.

  8. Get outdoors. No matter what the weather is doing, it’s always good to get outside and walk off whatever emotions you are feeling. Believe me, you are going to feel better! And it’ll work off all those cookies you’re eating!

So please – Have the Happiest Yule Ever and a safe and sober New Year! Brightest Blessings!

Images found on Pinterest with the exception of the picture of the Niagara River Rapids photo © polly macdavid

***

About the Author:

 

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

 

#2 Yule

Last time I wrote a personal essay about how I feel about the holidays. I promised an educated, informative article this time.

Oh stop laughing!

I’ll write a little about Yule and a bit about Winter Solstice.

Modern Christmas is a mix of these two ancient celebrations as well as what happened to honor the god Mithras.

The reasons the Winter Holiday was celebrated differ a bit from why we celebrate today, but not completely.

For example. “The Light of the World” , seen by many Christians today as their god is celebrated.

In days past, lengthening days were celebrated. THE light of the world!

I don’t know about you, but when days get shorter in Fall time, I just want to curl up in a ball and hibernate until April. My body does not react well to cold either. Those two things combined make me miserable. For me, the Winter Solstice, celebrating the fact that the amount of daylight is about to increase is a very big deal. It’s still going to get colder for a bit, but I know I am halfway through winter and it is a huge relief to make it that far.

Like ten percent or more Americans, I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. I really think this is because we just don’t slow down in Winter time like our ancestors did. We insist we will drive the speed limit in blizzard conditions. We will not cut back on extracurricular activities under any circumstances. We refuse to sleep more even if we feel like we need to. And many have zero tolerance for people who do slow down when Winter comes. I jealously watch my cats sleep sixteen hours a day all winter while I trudge through snow, sleet, freezing rain, and what is seemingly eternal darkness. Sometimes, I wake them up on purpose on my way out the door and laugh maniacally even though I know they slip right off to sleep, calling me all forms of obscene names in their feline language.

I drive 10 MPH in heavy snow, sleet, or icy conditions, myself. I sleep as much as I possibly can, and I tell a lot of people in November that I will see them next June!

I look forward to Winter Solstice and say a hearty “Welcome Back Longer Days!”

Before the days of central heating, electric lights, and automobiles in nearly every household, I can only imagine folks in days long gone felt the “winter blues” and “cabin fever” more than we do today.

And when we get upper respiratory infections, pneumonia, flu, and stomach flu as well as the plethora of viral diseases we all invariably seem to catch come wintertime, we have medications our ancestors did not have. We get paid time off from our jobs. We have doctors offices and hospitals. In some villages and hollers ancient Pagans lived in- there may have been only one village healer. And contrary to what a lot of modern Pagans will tell you, mixing an herbal tincture is not quite as powerful as modern pharmaceuticals for some illnesses. If they were, nobody would ever have stopped plucking plants from their own backyards and started taking healing things in pill and syrup form.

The life expectancy was lower, and accidents based on inclement weather caused more deaths in winter than a summertime shower or a soft spring rain would.

Samhain time, people did a lot of prayers and sacrifices to try and ensure everybody got through wintertime alright. By the time Solstice rolls around, winter has been felt strongly for a while, and the lengthening of days is an indication Spring is on the way.

YAY!!!!!!

This is a simple explanation of why those ancient people attached such significance to it all. Something so important takes on religious significance.

How they celebrated and had ritual is an entirely different thing.

How Winter Solstice was first celebrated is unknown to us. We know things people did like light bonfires, and adorn homes with evergreens in later times. Things we still do to this day. To me, this is all relatively new, and I am more interested in what little we do know about structures that still survive although they stopped being used thousands of years ago when I am researching pre Christian Pagan practices. To me, it is these places that hold the most information for us if we want to know about the OLD Old Ways.

Newgrange has a point that lines up with the sunrise and the famous Stonehenge has a point that lines up with sunset of the Solstice. Many of us believe these points were not accidents, but were used as calendars of the seasons. While we keep the dates of our modern Pagan celebrations set on days each year for convenience, if ancient people tracked the seasons based on when the light of the sun or moon struck some stone, it would not be on the exact same day annually. The calenders we use did not even exist at the time the sites were used. But human beings who farmed and had livestock still used the same seasons we use to dictate what is grown and harvested at the time it is. These structures helped track everything to the point they have been considered calendars. They probably were.

Newgrange in particular is in Ireland, near the River Boyne, and was built is approximately 3200 BC. The site was believed to have been a burial site, as human cremains as well as uncremated human remains have been found inside. On the day of the Midwinter sunrise, the light illuminates passageways. It is believed that some of the decorative stones outside of the mound were placed there hundreds of years after burials ceased. The spirals adorning the interior and exterior stones are believed to represent the sun. There were later additions to the site separate from the mound itself, indicating that although it was initially built in Neolithic times, it was used in the Iron Age as well. It has been suggested the mound was used in solar worship to “catch” the sun at Winter Solstice Sunrise, thus ensuring the sun stuck around, and the days would lengthen. This ensured Spring and Summer would indeed happen again.

It never ceases to amaze me that a monument that is older than the Pyramids STILL works. On Winter Solstice, that light still floods the chamber, illuminating the same way it always has.

While it appears the ancient Irish “caught” the light, another group of people our modern celebrations would not happen without are the ancient Heathens, and they celebrated this time of year differently.

To clarify, I separate Heathens, children of Germanic and Scandinavian old gods from Pagans, children of mostly Celtic and pre Celtic British or Greek or Roman gods. Why? Because I have heard so many modern Heathens tell me they feel this is respectful. With the Northmen invading the British Isles, of course there was quite the melting pot of culture, art, and religion. However, the Northerners ancient and modern practices are extremely different than those of the ancient and modern Pagans.

So time to discuss the Heathens. I focus on Yule and one practice in particular. The Wild Hunt. Aside from feasting, sacrifice to the gods, and toasting, it is said the days coincided with the frightening procession of Odin and his hunting party. To witness this was not a good thing. Like to the believers in the British Isles, wary of by being carried off at Samhain by the Sidhe, seeing the Wild Hunt may mean you got carried off. If you did not get carried off, it may portend your death. If it did not portend your death, it may portend a war or other terrible tragedy.

From a practical standpoint, it makes perfect sense they worried about that at this time of year. From January to April was typically time for greater worry of starvation and flu and freezing to death. Sacrifice to the god who might carry you off may convince him to leave you be. Some believed seeing the Wild Hunt was how you were let know you’d be carried off or bad times were to come. Some said you merely heard Odin’s hounds bark. Imagine it being Winter Solstice time and hearing dogs barking from afar and not seeing them and being terrified you’d be claimed.

Fast forward to modern times, and we have a different old man with white beard who will bring rewards if we are good, and punishments if we are bad- Santa Claus. A combination of Christian myth and Odin, he now accepts sacrifices of good deeds done through the year, as opposed to blood offerings expected in days past.

Someplace along the line, old man Yule was separated into the generous Santa/St. Nick and the terrifying Krampus who would whip you. Christianization, of course embraced the the concept of a good god who took care of his followers versus a bad demon king seeking to lead harm the children of god. This pair of godforms replaced the old gods who behaved much more like human beings and both blessed and slaughtered their devotees. Together they processed through the streets in elaborate pageantry after Chrsitianization. For some reason, though, the evil Krampus could bless your house and children as well as whip them for being bad. Perhaps the procession of St, Nick with old Krampus was a modern adaption of the Wild Hunt. It is said Krampus may carry bad kids off, after all.

The fact it is forbidden for children to see Santa Claus get out of his sleigh that flew through the sky whilst leaving gifts is probably left over from the fact nobody WANTED to see or hear Odin and his Wild Hunt. Remember also, Santa had eight reindeer, and Odin’s horse, Slepnir had eight legs.

The parallels to support my belief Odin IS Santa Claus modernized are too numerous to bother you with.

More on celebrating.

Many modern Pagans and Heathens have Sabbat or a gathering or 12 days of celebration that begin on the 21 of December.

For my suggestions, I’ll write a ritual honoring my Father god, Odin, and a separate one in observance of the strengthening sun.

Before you decide to do this ritual, make sure Odin is actually one of your gods. A lot of Pagans and Heathens and groups of them take turns honoring gods they otherwise do not communicate with. Odin, in particular will not recognize people who he does not consider his children. He was a tribal war god. Tribe is family, people who married into the family and were adopted, and honored friends. Contrary to what some may believe, Odin is not the ancestor of every person who has some form or German or Scandinavian blood. He does not care about skin color and DNA is not how he chooses you. Loki was of the Giants, entirely different from the Aesir, and they became brothers despite it. You have to know he is one of your gods. I am sure he would not turn down gifts or sacrifice. But to be a devotee of this particular god means you have to be comfortable with who he was, not who pop culture makes him out to be.

He was the devotional god of an unstoppable legendary group of warriors called Berserkers. Every life they took in battle was a sacrifice for Odin. They were not the only ones who practiced this. He is known as not only the one who gave poetry to humanity, but various forms of his name mean things like “furious”, and ”violent”. He is gathering as many warriors in his hall of the slain for a final battle he knows he will loose. Many warriors wanted to die just so they could fight in that battle. His valkyries pick the souls of the dead off the battlefield and take them to a hall for brawling and drinking where they battle, are killed every day, and are reborn to get up and do it all over again.

This is not a god who is going to be content with a bouquet of flowers every so often. While few of his modern devotees ever march onto a battlefield, he still requires human life. Your life. To be a devotee of his means your life is his. This is not to be entered into lightly and it is not glorious fun.

From personal experience, I have found him to be unsatisfied with paltry offerings as well. A lot of modern folks will sacrifice rabbits to Odin. After I helped with one such rite, the Alfather asked me what I expected him to do with rabbits! He did not like it.

Some claim Pagan gods will take any sacrifice they can get, because they prefer something, anything, to nothing at all. I have not found this to be true. The gods do not need crumbs and scraps. While they understand that times, and culture has drastically changed, they make it entirely clear what their expectations are and if you cannot live up to those expectations, it is wise not to try and substitute. They will not fade away into oblivion if people do not remember them. They do not need us to survive in the way some imagine. If a god horrifies you, that is not the god for you.

Having said that, some of you may think I belong to some weird serial killer cult. Not so. The life I give to Odin is mine. I just understand that he is not a god of compassion that sends positive energy when you are feeling sad and he does not heal every ailment you have. He hung himself from a tree with much pain to find the Runes and he gave his own eye to gain more wisdom. He expects his devotees to do the same.

While feeding with blood like in times past in great temples is not going to happen, many are not aware of how much Odin loves wine. As a matter of fact, some say that is all he “eats”. If you know your history, you know the “wine” used in many of the places Odin was honored was mead. A lot of mead is very expensive, and unlike coffee or tea, it takes a lot of time, money, and space to brew your own. Oliver is a popular brand that has a modern less expensive mead you can use in ritual although I have found Odin to like a good full bodied red wine like Malbec or Merlot also.

If this has not convinced you to head for the hills or that I am just as mean as anything, read on. But pay very very close attention to what I say because this ritual is very very difficult.

Because it is so simple.

Most people want more pageantry for a high day. A lot of people will want long ritual to Odin and reading of Eddas including separate parts for all participants so everybody is included.

If that works for your group, I say do it. But you don’t have to if you prefer something simpler.

In the old days, priests slaughtered animals, and blessed the temple walls, images of gods, and the people with the blood. The meat was then cooked and there was feasting for days, three or even twelve days. There was merriment, eating, and lots of drinking. Toasts were made to the hosts, rulers, the gods, and the people. Everybody brought something. Everybody had a good time.

Butchering meat and blood ritual is practically extinct except in some individual groups. Most people reading this article are not going to sacrifice a live pig or a cow and are not going to sprinkle blood on other people.

That leaves the food, drink, and, fellowship.

Simply said, have a potluck. Have everybody bring something delicious.

Have mead and or red wine and or beer and iced tea and whatnot.

Light bonfires if you can, and light candles if you cannot.

Before the feast begins, have everybody circle round together and have each person have their own drink.

Have the host or officiant thank everybody for coming, and in their own words toast the attendees. One by one, attendees can toast each other and the host.

That is round one.

Round two, everybody toasts the ancestors and people who they love and could not attend.

Round three, everybody refills their cups if needs be and raises their glasses all together and with a mighty shout all together cry “ODIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and drink to the bottom of their cups.

A decided amount of drink, wine or mead will then be poured out into the ground for Odin.

Then feast and be merry. I have found Odin to enjoy seeing his children enjoy time with one another. The spirit of this time of year is the Allfather for me, and he expresses his love for us through us loving one another. We warm each others hearts when the weather is frigid. We are light for one another when it is dark. In this way, we are Odin to one another, and we are the spirit of the high day. In this way he lives through us.

That’s it. I find the Allfather will make the sun come back regardless of what humanity observes in liturgy and I focus more on celebration and spending time with loved ones than literary readings or long rituals.

If you are not a child of Odin, and you prefer Winter Solstice, you can simply light a fire and face the sun. Getting outside even if it is cold is crucial. To feel the sun upon your face and draw it is as some would draw in the moon when it is full and to know in your heart the days will get longer is the number one observance I always had for this. If you are like me, you like to pour wine, beer, or mead into the ground. The sun will come to the earth and soak all that good stuff up. If you want to, say a few words welcoming the sun back, but you don’t have to. This can be done alone or with a group and everybody can take turns saying something they see fit and pouring their own libation into the earth, feeding the sun to give it strength. Potluck and have fun.

Realistically, unless you live with everybody, some friends and family will not have a chance to visit often with you until Spring time. Winter prevents a lot of folks from getting out as much although many try to battle the weather and defy it. Before more hard heavy cold and deeper snows of January and February buries you, this is a great time for gathering with loved ones.

Glad Yule or Blessed Solstice.

May your gods smile upon you and may you not freeze your buns off!

Blessed Be!

It’s that time of the year again, when everyone is running themselves ragged trying to find the “perfect” gift for each person on their list. This list is to, hopefully, help you out finding that gift for the Witches and Pagans in your life.

1. Shortbread Molds for the baker in your life that honors the Goddess:

http://goddesstimeline.com/product/cakes-for-the-queen-of-heaven/

gifts1

While you are at the website, check out their Goddess 3-D statues and the Goddess Timeline posters, which are stunning.

 

2. 2017 Datebooks

Most of us are familiar with Llewellyn’s annual treasury of datebooks – The Witches’ Datebook and Calendar, The Spell-A-Day Almanac, the Sabbats Almanac and The Witches’ Companion. There is also the MoonDiary

http://moondiary.com.au/northernhemisphere/ They also carry Moon

Charts, cards, bookmarks and DVDs.

If you love beautiful artwork, check out the “Women of Myth & Magic”

datebook and calendar (available on Amazon).

gifts2

3. Tools for divination & Healing

While some may wish to choose their own divination tools, there are also

those that like to have many different ones from which to choose. There

are Tarot Decks, Rune Sets, Pendulums, Crystal Balls. You can also look

at crystals and herbs for healing and other intentions. While most of

these can be found on the larger websites, like Amazon, I would suggest

looking into smaller shops local to your home, or looking into Etsy, which

has many pagan-run shoppes. Some of my favorite Etsy shoppes are:

Circle Magica

gifts3

https://www.etsy.com/shop/CircleMagica?ref=pr_faveshops

Motherhouse of the Goddess

gifts4

https://www.etsy.com/shop/MHGoddessShop?ref=pr_faveshops

Brigid’s Grove

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https://www.etsy.com/shop/BrigidsGrove?ref=pr_faveshops

Spiral Sun herbals

gifts6

https://www.etsy.com/shop/SpiralSunherbals?ref=l2-shopheader-name

I tend to buy my crystals in person, however, this is one of my favorites:

http://www.pelhamgrayson.com

4. Yoga & Meditation

Meditative Mandala Stones

mandalastones1

http://paganpages.org/content/2016/12/book-review-meditative-mandala-stones-by-maria-mercedes-trujillo-arango/

Please see my review this issue of Pagan Pages.  

Spirit Voyage Music – This is mostly Kundalini based, but they have wonderful books, music and clothes. http://www.spiritvoyage.com

Hugger Mugger – Clothes, mats, bolsters, clothes – 

gifts7

http://www.huggermugger.com

5. Miscellany

Cafe Press – If you have not gone to this website, you absolutely must.

If you are looking for it, they have it. Cups, T-shirts, cards, bumperstickers,

Tote bags, plaques. This link should take you directly to the “Gifts for

Witches” section –

http://www.cafepress.com/+witches+gifts

Some online catalogues

Pyramid Collection – Clothes, jewelry – https://www.pyramidcollection.com

Sacred Source – Beautiful collection of Pagan Statues, some jewelry, wall hangings –

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(Pictured: Cerridwen)

http://www.sacredsource.com 

Raven & Crone – Ritual Supplies, Crystals

ravenandcrone-logo

https://www.ravenandcrone.com

The Magickal Cat – Ritual Supplies, Music, Candles – Very comprehensive inventory –

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http://www.themagickalcat.com

Llewellyn’s – While they carry Tarot, CDs and the like, they are most

known for their large array of books in almost all subjects Pagan.

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https://www.llewellyn.com Check out their Holiday Guide!

Enchantments – The oldest occult store in New York City

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http://enchantmentsincnyc.com

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Never underestimate the joy of candles. Witches and Pagans, I have found, never have enough candles, so feel free to go and stock up on candles in different colors for individual workings that are color specific. 

cauldron

If you wish to go with a tried and true cliche’, there is always a cast iron cauldron. This would be a beautiful gift. There are plenty to be found online. Look at them carefully for quality; they come in a range of sizes and price.

There are many other things out there for you to choose from. Only you know the Witch or Pagan in your life well enough to find them that “perfect” gift. My hope is that this list will get you started on your Yule search!

Wishing you a blessed Yule and Holiday Season!

)O(

(image from: http://startliving-now.blogspot.ca )

 

At Yule the world returns to its birth, recalling the awakening of our primeval ancestors as children beside their Mother, the World Tree, in the place of origin in the deep forest, now long lost. The Mother nurtured her children, and reached up to the world of the Sky Gods, through the portal of the Pole-star.

This is why the Yule tree is still decorated on top with a star. From that world beyond Polaris the beneficent creative energies of the Sky Gods descended through the Mother to her children.

The trees round about the place of origin were radiant with many-colored fruits, each potent with a different gift for the children, and we hang multi-colored globes to simulate them at Yule.

As the Sun revives in mid-winter, so his (or her) memory stirs, recalling the first condition of mankind, and pouring out on all blessings for the New Year to come.

Thus, Yule is a celebration of the birth of Nature and of humanity and all life, and a promise of universal renewal, and the lights at Yule reawaken the solar memories.

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