Our household is a Pagan household. We have magical books openly displayed on our bookshelves. There are statues of goddesses and gods everywhere. We’ve collected pagan artwork over the years, and our tools of the Craft are never more than an arm’s reach away. As the seasons change, as the moon and the sun dance through the sky, as our lives unfold each day, we have spells and blessings and rituals to mark them all. But not everyone in our family, of blood or choice, is Pagan. At this time of year, we find ourselves at Christmas parties and dinners with all sorts of friends. Occasionally, one of us is asked to say a few words as we sit for a meal or a cork is popped and a toast offered.
Food Blessing For A Feast
I love this blessing. It works for “mixed” gatherings whenever you’ve got folks of different stripes sitting down together. The original version is from “A Pagan Book Of Prayer” by Ceisiwr Serith. I’ve adapted it for my needs, but the spirit of the original is still there.
I call to the holy ones with open hands and an open heart.
Come and sit with us.
Mighty ones and shining ones, worthy of praise.
Come and feast with us at this table and be welcomed here.
Christmas and gatherings can be fraught with enough familial peril, without having to navigate multiple religions and beliefs. I’ve always held that a blessing like this gives folk the opportunity to fill in the blanks of who they think the holy and mighty ones are.
Well What Do You Celebrate At Christmas?
How I answer this question really depends on who I’m with and how much eggnog I’ve had. I have a few ex in-laws that would get a veritable dissertation about the inappropriateness and assumptions just in even phrasing the question that way! But you know, I’ve softened a bit over the years, and just assume that folk are just being curious. I usually talk about the Winter Solstice and what it means to me.
The Winter Solstice marks the longest night, and a prolonged season with less light each day. The shortened days leading up to the Winter Solstice offer us a chance to reflect on the caliginous twilight, both as a physical reality of the planet we live with and as a metaphor for our own lives. As the sun rises on Solstice morning, we gain back a little more daylight and the promise of warmer, brighter days. The Solstice represents a time of hope and renewal.Returning to A Pagan Book of Prayer, I find this blessing so beautiful. It encapsulates what this time of year means to me. This is in the original form, listed under Prayers For Yule.
This is the long night.
This is the dark night.
This is the cold night.
This is the night of last hope.
This is the night of the little spark.
This is the night of turning from darkness.
This is the night of turning toward the light.
This is the night of wonder.
The long night is here.
Come to us, you spirits.
Together let us fill the long night with light.
Calling all beings to warm themselves at our fires.
That Christmas Spell For Troublesome Relatives
Okay, I just have to throw this in because it seems there’s always one relative that’s going to cause drama. It could be Drunk Uncle or Creepy Brother in law. There may be a Pious Pam or Holier Than Thou Henry in your family. Protection spells and Happy House charms are good magic to do and this spell can be done ever so subltey. Your mileage may vary on spells and how and when you do them. I’m a big fan of this kind of work.
This is an adaptation of a Mirror Box spell. If you are crafty enough, you can make this look like an ornament on your Yule tree!
Get six mirror tiles (any size you like). Glue five of them together, four sides and the bottom. Place a piece of paper with the name of your troublesome relative on it or use a photograph. If you want herbs or oils or any other bits and pieces to make your magic stronger, go ahead and toss those in too. And as you seal the mirror box with the last tile, say “May this person be seen for who they truly are.”
Nice, right! If the person is all love and light, then they’ll be seen for that. If not, well…
Wishing you and yours deliciously long nights, a merry solstice, and days in the light.