So this is Christmas…

Such a quiet day. There is a hushed stillness over the land. I imagine in homes all across the country children have woken to find Santa has arrived. There is excitement and giddy and the fumbling of parents for coffee and tea.In a way, I suppose today marks the end of my solitary experiment. Did I enjoy it? I did. It was nice to have a season free of stress and obligations to traditions I don't much care for. Would I do it again? I don't think so.While I needed this season of hush, I … [Read more...]

Merrily Roar Out Our Harvest Home!

I love all the different names our holidays have, and how they are celebrated in different traditions. The Wild Hunt has a nice feature up this morning with a fantastic picture of the Long Man of Wilmington.Supposedly the name Mabon is a recent thing, attributed to Aidan Kelly in the 70's, and it's reference to an obscure character in Arthurian legend has always struck me as odd. What I've really been digging is more traditionally English names for our holidays, rather then the Gaelic ones … [Read more...]

Wyrd Designs – King Radbod and the Importance of the Ancestors

This week on August 9th many Heathens who are members of the Asatru Alliance, or who opt to use their calendar, set aside time to celebrate the life and memory of the Frisian King Radbod (680-719 CE), who is a hero to many living Heathens and Pagans today.Christian missionaries came close to baptizing King Radbod, but before carrying through with the ceremony and conversion he asked a question, "Where are my dead ancestors at present?" Wolfram the Christian missionary answered, "In Hell, … [Read more...]

A Very Merry Mithras: Holiday Controversy

As we are all sleeping in and filling our fists with mugs of java a little holiday controversy to browse as our grey matter rearranges itself is in order.Jason Pitzl-Waters (author of The Wild Hunt) made the case that secular Christmas celebration are just people doin' what comes natural: So all those non-Christians celebrating "Christmas" are simply doing what comes naturally, and the insistence by some Christian pundits and activists that December and its merriment somehow belongs only to … [Read more...]

Bridging the Holiday Divide

I celebrate the Solstice. My family celebrates Christmas. My friends celebrate everything else you could name. I got no problem with the religious aspects of it all, my quandary was always more practical - how do I celebrate the holidays with them, respecting their traditions while honoring mine? Keeping the social 'rules' of Christian Christmas, Jewish Hanukkah, Pagan Yule or Winter Nights, Atheist Giftmas, etc straight can be challenging. What are the traditions? What is done when? … [Read more...]

Bad Manners (A Holiday Rant)

There are a lot of things I could write about today. Black Friday. Buy Nothing Day. The 13 Things I LOVE About Pagans post I'm working on. Instead, this cornbred fed and Southern bred Witch would like to say a few words about bad manners.For Thanksgiving I was a guest in a relative's home. We were sharing holiday hospitality duties, yet still I was a guest in her home. I did my best to do my part and be helpful and respectful. Even when it meant holding my tongue. You see, another guest was my … [Read more...]

Wyrd Designs – The Holy Tides – Winter Nights

Just as our pagan cousins celebrate the eight major sabbats or holidays that comprise the Wheel of the Year, for those of us in the Northern Tradition we too have somewhat similar key celebrations that we call holy tides. Some of these celebrations, like the one now upon us known as Winter Nights, are more special than others and these are known as high holy tides.Some practitioners of the Northern Tradition are celebrating Winter Nights around now, the time of the autumnal equinox so it is … [Read more...]