Monthly Columns

Celebrating The Old Ways in New Times

Celebrating The Old Ways in New Times for January 2020

 

Bright Blessings and Happy January!

 

By the time you read this, I trust all your holiday celebrations are over, and you are trying to remember to write “2020” instead of “2019” on everything!

If you are like me, January is a welcome break from the hubub that started late Fall and lasted until New Years!

So, let me say again HAPPY JANUARY.

One thing I like a break from is listening to people complain about how something or another holiday related offends them.

Now don’t get me wrong, we all complain about something or another, and sometimes, we just need to vent, to blow off steam! But complaining about the holidays? It’s old.

Since we are between Sabbats, I am going to write about certain “offensive” things, and why they are actually not offensive at all. Hopefully, you will get a good laugh. That’s very magical!

 

Who Decides What is Offensive Anyways?

First off, I should warn you. I am not in any way politically correct, and I offend a lot of people without even trying. I admit, sometimes I get a kick out of watching people fall to pieces over something I do that is in no way about them. I will be minding my own business, and all the sudden somebody is throwing a fit because they think my shorts are too short, or something like that. Poor them.

As somebody who writes and paints, I have a lot of respect for the arts in general, and I have never believed in censoring art whether it be performance art, or visual arts. If I don’t like something, and believe me, there is plenty I don’t like, I just do what I consider the adult thing, and I look away. If I don’t like a song, I don’t listen to it. If I don’t like a movie, I don’t watch it.

You get the picture.

I make the mistake of assuming everybody else out there is like me, and does the same. I am reminded on a daily basis how many people just can’t do that.

 

I’m SO Special!

I did not grow up in a culture that respected people’s rights to choose what to enjoy. Many in my family were all for censorship whether it was about what your language was, what your clothes looked like, who you dated, or what your religion was, etc. So, firsthand, I know how confining it can be when people have control over what other people say, think, and do. That may be why I am so against it. While I’m not going to go out of my way to antagonize anybody, I’m also not going to walk on eggshells when somebody assumes they are so special, that everybody has to cater to them and change to suit them.

Nobody is that special, but a lot of people feel entitled to being treated as if they are. Like many out there, I just don’t care if somebody is offended and wants the world to change so they feel less offended.

Unfortunately, we live in a culture that has become like the home I grew up in. Everybody has an opinion about what is offensive, and it is politically correct to fight tooth and claw to demand people stop doing whatever whoever is complaining feels is offensive.

My Priest just told somebody that basically everything offends somebody or another, and “there’s a point when it becomes nonsense.” That’s the most simple way to say it, however, let’s think of something.

 

Who?

Who gets to decide what is offensive enough to mandate change is demanded? Breastfeeding mothers are fighting for their right to feed their kids because some people find this offensive if done in public. I grew up watching schools be denied the ability to have books like The Color Purple on the curriculum because some people found the contents offensive. There was a time when Elvis Presley was considered too risqué for people to watch him dance.

Who has the right to tell somebody else that a song, a dance, a book, or a film is unacceptable because it is SO offensive, and nobody ought to enjoy them?

Nobody.

Nobody has that right, but people manage to throw enough of a fit to earn themselves the power to censor and ban something other people love.

That to me is beyond offensive, and many of us will continue to fight it.

So what things tend to offend people around the Holidays?

 

That’s SO Offensive!!!!

  1. Saying Happy Holidays- The “War on Xmas” avengers hate if somebody does not say Merry Christmas. It offends them that somebody besides them ought to be told to enjoy THEIR Holidays. I was taught at one of my very first jobs to say Happy Holidays because people who celebrate things like Hanukkah and Yule buy merch, and they don’t celebrate Christmas. And respectful acknowledgment of diversity has some people having a conniption, and that’s just too bad. On the flip side of that, you get people that lose their minds if they hear somebody say “Merry Xmas”. I don’t say either first, and just repeat back to people whichever they say to me. I figure if somebody takes the time to wish me well, they mean it, and I reciprocate in the way they understand. It’s not difficult for me.

 

  1. Music- In 2018, people lost their minds over “Baby, it’s Cold Outside”, because they wrongly believed the woman was trying to say no to sex, and the man was about to rape her. Not so. You have to look at the culture. The song was about a woman who said she needed to get going before people started gossiping about her, calling her a tramp basically, but she really wanted to stay and do as she pleased. He guy was basically saying “Forget THOSE people!” But back then, that was very difficult for a woman to do. I find the fact society shamed a woman for what she wanted to do more offensive than anything. We’ve fought to have the right to have sex or not as we see fit, and this song is a testament to how far we have come- as well as how much is left to do. 2019’s outcry was over a British tune called “Fairytale of New York”. This song came out in 1987, and has been voted one of the top favorites ever since. Well, some people, think the language is offensive, and for years, the band was ordered to change lyrics, or not be allowed to sing the song. Now some are saying it shouldn’t even be listened to at all. We will listen to whatever we please, thanks.

 

  1. Gifts- Oh my goodness, gracious! The things people say about how offended and upset they become over what gifts people give them, who does not give them gifts, who did not spend enough, who spent TOO much, and whatnot. I have seen grown adults pitch fits because they believed their elderly parents gave a sibling a better gift. First off, almost every single individual I have heard complaint from is not in need of anything at all. So a learned sense of entitlement when growing up could be the culprit of this behavior. But still, appreciation might not have been taught, but by the time you are an adult, you should have learned it on your own. Nobody has to buy anything for anybody.

 

  1. Parties- I used to dread holiday parties at work. But if you don’t participate- everybody gets mad. There is no opt out. Families and friends can behave the same way. They find it offensive if you don’t want to partake. For many of us, THEIR holiday is not ours to begin with, but they quite often don’t understand. On one hand, people want to include you, but if you prefer not to be included, you are wrong. Yeah parties need to be optional. That is all.

 

  1. Cups- Every year, all hell breaks loose because some people get mad at places like McDonalds or Starbucks because they find the holiday coffee cups offensive. Starbucks in highly inclusive, so their cups say something about the holidays, and people who disapprove of this, and have no respect for the fact OTHER people have holidays different than theirs go out of their way to complain. LOUDLY. A great comedian, Daveo, who I follow on Facebook decided to write a hilarious song that is SURE to offend people mad about Starbucks cups even more. I LOVE this song, and am thrilled to share it with you!

 

 

I have no suggested working for this month. Just keep warm, enjoy the quiet now that the holidays and all the obligations from them are done and over with, and I will see you back here in February.

 

Blessed Be!

 

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About the Author:

Saoirse is a practicing witch, and initiated Wiccan of an Eclectic Tradition.

A recovered Catholic, she was raised to believe in heaven and hell, that there is only one god, and only one way to believe. As she approached her late 20’s, little things started to show her this was all wrong. She was most inspired by the saying “God is too big to fit into one religion” and after a heated exchange with the then associate pastor of the last Xtian church she attended, she finally realized she was in no way Xtian, and decided to move on to see where she could find her spiritual home.

Her homecoming to her Path was after many years of being called to The Old Ways and the Goddess, and happened in Phoenix, Arizona. She really did rise from her own ashes!

Upon returning to Ohio, she thought Chaos Magic was the answer, and soon discovered it was actually Wicca. She was blessed with a marvelous mentor, Lord Shadow, and started a Magical Discussion Group at local Metaphysical Shop Fly By Night. The group was later dubbed A Gathering of Paths. For a few years, this group met, discussed, did rituals, fellowship, and volunteering together, and even marched as a Pagan group with members of other groups at the local gay Pride Parade for eight years.

All the while, she continued studying with her mentor, and is still studying for Third Degree, making it to Second Degree thus far.

She is a gifted tarot reader, spellworker, teacher, and was even a resident Witch at a Westerville place dubbed The Parlor for a time.

Aside from her magical practice, she is a crocheter, beader, painter, and a good cook. She has been a clown and children’s entertainer, a Nursing Home Activities Professional, a Cavern Tour Guide, a Retail Cashier, and a reader in local shops. Her college degree is a BA in English Writing. She tried her hand at both singing and playing bagpipes, and…well…let’s just say her gifts lie elsewhere! She loves gardening, reading, antiques, time with friends and soul kin, and lots and lots of glorious color bedecking her small home!

On the encouragement of a loved one several years back, she searched for a publication to write for, and is right at home at PaganPagesOrg.

She is currently residing in Central Ohio with her husband, and furbabies.

Saoirse can be contacted at [email protected].