Take a few minutes to listen to some mood music.
A personal favorite of mine from the last century.
With the later half of this month being planned with representative blogs about Judeo - Christian information and subject matter.. I wanted to do a nice yet useful blog for my pagan friends of various faiths...and a little help with ideas about how to make this time of year express the pagan spirit and yet not alienate you from your non-pagan comrades and families. The spirit of Yultide and the coming Winter Solstice should be of shared harmony and rebirth for the coming year. I hope these little article are helpful to the readers.
Also friend of the 800 Days Eden Sky asked everyone to pass along this message for the Winter Solstice
Eden Sky MESSAGE HERE: http://galacticculture.wor
dpress.com/ - please SPREAD! The Solstice on December 21, 2010 (exact @ 3:38PM, PST) brings a powerful alignment of a Full Moon and Total Lunar *Eclipse! It is ESSENTIAL we create gatherings for Peace and sincere attunement on this auspicious occasion; attuning direct to the living Earth-Force and to the Celestial vibrations.
Much love to the Agents of Calm Eden
Making Rituals into Parties or Activies that Are in the Spirit of the Winter Season is Easy
Planning a modern Pagan ritual within the context of Yuletide and Christmas celebrations is not hard. All celebrations of the seasonal festivities are basic observance of the change from winter to fall, for Pagan Yuletide cheers or Christmas rites. It is sharing the season with loved ones. Any group of people, can magic of the holidays, no matter what their religious beliefs. It is easy by making the rituals into parties or festivities centering around doing an activity on the high holidays.
The activities need not be any more elaborate than is reasonable and cost effective. Remembering that being Pagan celebrating Yuletide is not so far removed from the Christmas rituals. All rituals involve eating, drinking, sharing stories, teaching, giving or exchanging of gifts. This is true amongst Pagans, Christians, Jews or Gentiles alike.
The first thing you may want to do is look for the activities and events that are happening in your local area, these days that is a relatively easy task. There are two great websites for this task.
Once you have some general information about local activities that are happening, here are some simple to plan ways to spend your holidays in the Pagan tradition of our choice.
Have a pagan camp out or cook off with pagans, friends, and family.
Everyone likes to eat and combined with the outdoors, no one can turn down a fun gathering. Pagans are no different than other people in the world today. We all look forward to social gatherings, good friends, a home cooked meal, and it also allows for a bit of pow wow time around a roaring fire.
Attend a local class, discussion group or workshop as a group.
Every major city has local Pagan and New Age shops that offer educational events to promote their business and community. Choose something you have always wanted to try and do it as a group. Maybe yoga, reiki, candle making, a women or men's study seminar. Go for coffee afterwords.
Go to a public Full moon ritual at a local Pagan or New Age church.
This year with the full moon falling early in the Winter season, it is a great time to attend a local full moon ritual at one of your local community Pagan centers. These are very public friendly and also allow for your non-pagan friends or children to learn about your beliefs in a friendly atmosphere. It also usually involves some fun singing and dancing activities.
Plan a private Winter Solstice and Yuletide gathering at your home.
Just as Christians plan private celebrations at home for Christmas, the best way to spend Yuletide for Pagan families is by having a Winter Solstice ritual at home. It can be a simple or elaborate as your imagination, and can be done both indoors or in the backyard. Invite neighbors and friends for an after ritual party, which incorporates gift exchanges and a seasonal feast.
Support local pagans by attending a psychic fair or pagan pride festival.
This is the time of year that the local Pagan communities offer sponsored networking fairs. This is a great chance to meet new people with common interests, plus is a safe neutral environment to bring a non-pagan friend or children. Tarot readings, meditation, healing arts, and the usual bazaars of jewelry making and fashions are always available to window shop and purchase.
Plant a living tree for the Earth that is good for Yuletide and Christmas.
Last thing to mention here is trying to think green with the spirit of the season. Nothing is more traditional and modern for a Pagan family than to honor the Mother Earth by planing a living tree this year. It is symbolic of many Pagan values, also it is something that can continue to be part of your yearly rituals as it continues to grow annually.
No matter what your individual beliefs, being a Pagan is a natural as any other religion or spiritual tradition.
In fact being Pagan in America today is as patriotic and progressive as any other religion. Make the most of the Yuletide season and maybe find ways to incorporate the spirit of Christmas and Hanukkah in ritual that is your life.
Let the this Winter season be a cheerful beginning of the year ahead.
Let your circle be open and never broken. Love is the will, love is the law.
Let the Magic of the Season Become a Tradition of the Heart
Do you have a friend who is pagan, or are you a pagan and would like to share Yuletide and the Christmas spirit with gifts that express your traditions with others during the holiday season? It is very easy to come up with ideas for gifts for both pagan and friends who do not share your beliefs. The seasonal holidays are for everyone to enjoy, but your pagan flair can show itself in a special and magical way during Yuletide and Christmas with some thoughtful gifts.
Some of these ideas are meant specifically for the pagan you know and share interests with. Some are for your more traditionally minded friends, whom you would like to share your personal world with better, yet not be pushing your beliefs upon. All of them are simple enough, that with a little forethought they can be made in time for Christmas and Yuletide. Letting them bring something special to the the gift giving rituals of the next month.
Remember it is the thought behind everything about a gift that makes it magical. One or more of these is sure to warm the hearts of your loved ones as you ring in the Yuletide cheer this Winter.
The first three are for your non-pagan friends, although everybody will probably want them once they get a peek at how nice they are. Because all are hand made and add a touch of magic to the home.
1. Make homemade scented candle sets. Your town has a local honey and bee keeping company, or a distribution for such products locally. In mine there is honey manufacturers, and on site they have a show where you can buy fresh bees wax sheets, wicks, and it is a very simple process to make candles. You just hand roll them like making dough, and scent them with light essential oils by hand. They are always a hit.
2. Make homemade bath salts with basic seas salts and essential oils in any variety of scents.All materials that can be bought a local health food stores or herbals. You also can find similar types of ingredients in retail shops, but possibly at a greater expense. The sachets can be made with materials found at any local fabric store. Ribbon is color full and nice for tying them off.
3. Make homemade dream catchers. All you need to make a dream catcher is yarn, and some basic circular pieces of wood or metal. Your local hobby stores or craft outlets will have all the supplies in stock regularly. Ask the staff, they probably know all about it. You can incorporate beads, jewels, feathers, or any number of ornamental decorative accessorizes to make each dream catcher unique.
For the friends who are beginnings or newly seeking their way as a pagan. These gifts are things that any beginner of the magical arts will appreciate. Even if it ends up not being their thing next year.
4. Books are a big part of any religious or pagan persons life. Pagans are notorious readers. A generous gift certificate for your local Borders or Barnes and Noble bookstore or even Amazon.com is sure to please, often it is nice for them to purchase books of interest privately, especially if they beliefs are practiced in a solitary form. So do not about what your Pagan will buy, just know that a gift certificate for books will always be used.
5. A more serious pagan is likely to be keeping a journal or book of shadows about their pagan rituals, planning events, or dream work. A blank journal or diary book will suffice, but most new age stores or brick and mortar bookshops will have larger size books that will last and become an actual volume of their personal spiritual workings.
6. Another great gift for the aspiring pagan practitioner is a stock up kit of house hold cleansing and ritual supplies. This can be simply put together with any simple basket, which you fill with sage, incense, charcoal, and any of the like that might be used for rituals or household smudging and cleansing of the space. Big boxes of wooden matches are always a welcome and cheap filler as part of this gift. Use your imagination and go wild.
These last four are more for someone who you know is dedicated to their personal growth and their spiritual path, and now maybe would enjoy more grounded and serious experiences. Each is very personal and will be the kind of thoughtful gesture that shows respect and want for them to gain positive things from the gift even after the holidays are over with.
7. Get them an appointment with a professional massage therapist. Who wouldn't like a massage? Male or female, body conscious or body proud, it doesn't matter. Try to find one that offers an options of techniques and styles that they specialize in, making it better for any individual. The Pagan friend receiving it will appreciate the opportunity to relax amidst the candles, incense, and soft meditative music.
8. Take them for a tarot reading or to a psychic workshop for a one on one session. If they have never had an chance to experience an individualized energy balancing, reiki, or even a standard reading...they will likely benefit from the chance to do so. As a magical practitioner, it is a part of learning to be on the receiving end of the spiritual working of their path. Also it can be fun. Just make sure you go to someone they feel comfortable with.
9. Take your friend for a weekend outing to do a full moon or winter solstice ritual in nature. Most of us are blissfully unaware of how trapped into our city lives we really are. Getting outdoors in the real world with trees, stars, and quiet air for even one night can do wonders for the health and psyche. It can be just the two of you, or make it a group outing. The magic will be running wild in the freedom this gift can bring to the holiday.
10. Help them plant a living Yuletide tree. As part of their reverence for Mother Earth, most Pagans at least try to cultivate a green thumb. Tree worship is paramount in Pagan ritual, particularly during festivals. The Christmas tree is an evergreen symbolizing eternal life and is worshiped by Pagans. Having a living holiday tree to decorate and tend through the year is very Pagan, and very good for the environment.
You've determined that the Pagan in your life is still interested in celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and some late-December gift-giving holiday - you call it Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah, but he or she will refer to it as Yule or the Winter Solstice from now on. These same principles can be applied all year round as well.
Believe it or not, just because this person you've known for years has adopted a new religion doesn't mean he or she has fundamentally changed that much. If you have always given him or her a certain kind of gift, being Pagan means you can now expand the meaning and thoughtfulness being your gift giving. Pagan Yuletide and Christmas gifts are as magical as you make them.
" The mirror sees the man as beautiful, the mirror loves the man, another mirror sees the man as frightful and hates him; and it is always the same being who produces the impressions..."
- from 'Justine' by the Marquis de Sade