Between Two Worlds: Winter Solstice, Yule…and Christmas?

Between Two Worlds: Winter Solstice, Yule…and Christmas? December 14, 2018

Winter Solstice for me is a time of re-birth. It means re-birth in a different way this year since I had my gender reassignment surgery May 15th on the New Moon. Re-birth has more meaning for me now. I guess I didn’t think of it as being important before. What didn’t serve me before had to go. To accept the new. In my case it was my male physical parts. With what had given me a lot of gender dysphoria gone, I am able to concentrate on living my life authentically. Body, Soul and Spirit.

Image from Max Pixel, CC 1.0 License.

Winter Solstice doesn’t mean I like winter, I don’t.  At least in my physical self. Cold, ice, and snow, I leave that to other people who enjoy skiing, skating, hockey and all the winter things I don’t care for. (Except for snowshoeing, which I like, for that I tolerate the snow.) But Winter Solstice also means that spring will be back in three months. I’ll be looking forward to that when Hekate and Demeter escort Persephone back to the Middle World. Beltane will be just around the corner after that. More hiking, camping and then it will be just a matter of time until PSG!

My spiritual side loves this time of year. More time for me to reflect on what has worked spiritually on my journey. And what changes I need to improve on how I live my life, physically and spiritually. One of the changes I’m working on is taking a one year and one day course from Keeping Her Keys, An Introduction to Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft that started on the New Moon in November. One of Hekate’s Keys is the Key of Wisdom, so that I may live a life of truth. I will live with more purpose, in practicing my magick, my craft, and my life, authentically.

Except for when I’ve been to Yule events in my pagan community, I’ve always celebrated Yule by myself. All that changed September 29th this year when my sister Shirley moved in with me. She had accepted the fact that I was pagan before she moved here. I have my beliefs, she has her’s. She believes in Jesus and likes Christmas. I don’t. Pretty simple, well, mostly.

She mails out Christmas cards, I don’t. I don’t send cards to anyone. I like to greet my friends at Yule personally. I prefer to talk to my siblings at Christmas, not just have them read a card. I sent Yule cards out to them 2 years ago, but that didn’t go over so good. Or as Shirley is fond of saying, oh well.

Tree Farm, photo by Mankey.

I’m not opposed to having Yule and Christmas trees in homes and spiritual places. I just prefer to see them the way they are in nature. Pine cones, acorns, hazelnuts, walnuts and fungi are enough decorations for me. And since I’m outdoors a lot, especially hiking, I get to be with trees a lot. I can talk to them, touch them and commune with them. I can’t see cutting them down just to put them inside. A neighbor of mine when I lived in the country agreed with me. He only cut down dead trees for firewood. He would cut down a small dead tree every year for Christmas. No ornaments, except for natural things would he attach to it, like pine cones or nuts.  Then after the season was over, he would burn it in his wood stove. Recycle and repurpose. He spread the ashes on ice on his driveway.

I’ll be spending Yule this year at Circle Sanctuary. At our sanctuary work day, my sister came along with me to help. She got to help decorate the Yule tree and it made her happy. She likes to help out at our work days, but not at events. I will attend our Yule event my myself and with others. That will make me happy.

We did agree to put a wreath on our apartment door. I preferred plain. She attached small jingle bells to it. We agreed and it looks nice. She keeps an artificial Christmas tree in her bedroom decorated all year long. I asked her if she would like a live tree in a pot in our living room. One that could be planted outside in the spring. No, that didn’t fly. But it all worked out and both of us are happy.

I do all the cooking since my sister Shirley moved in. She does the cleaning of the apartment. Works out good for both of us. I’ll be cooking the Christmas dinner for us. And I’ll play some Christmas music for her, and Yuletide music for me. Hey Shirley, how about the Dar Williams song, The Christians and the Pagans? 

Until next time, in the future. Happy holidays!

About Brianne Ravenwolf
Brianne Ravenwolf has identified as a Pagan from a very young age. She is an active member of Circle Sanctuary in Wisconsin. She volunteers her time there helping at most Full Moon Rituals, as well as some workshops, Circle events, and Sanctuary work days. At Pagan Spirit Gathering (PSG) last year, she became the first Pagan Transwoman to have the Senioring Rite of Passage. She follows a Hekatean Witchcraft Spiritual Path. To relax, she likes to walk, camp, and hike as much as possible in very rural areas. Brianne is also an avid reader, especially young adult novels. You can read more about the author here.

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