Category Archives: Wicca

(Belated) Wiccan Wednesday : Blessed Yule and Other Holiday Greetings

Lately, my social media seems awash with people being offended.

They’re offended by politicians, they’re offended by organizations, they’re offended by coffee cups, and they’re especially offended by the way people say goodbye to them during the winter months.

“Merry Christmas? Don’t people realize that I’m not Christian?”

“Happy Holidays? Don’t people recognize the religious aspect of holidays anymore?”

When it comes to greetings and goodbyes, it seems like a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t kind of situation.

When the hell did we all get so touchy?

 

Here’s the thing, unless you’re walking around wearing a tshirt that says “Hello, I am [insert religion or belief system or lack thereof] so please recognize my holiday [insert holiday name or lack thereof]” you have no right to be offended. And even then, it’s iffy.

If you’re offended by a stranger’s holiday greeting, then you, my friend, are a turd.

That person doesn’t know you from Adam, and yet they were thoughtful enough to wish you a good day in the best way they knew how.

Maybe you would prefer that they recognize your individual religious belief or holiday celebratory style. But guess what -they have no idea what you celebrate or what you believe. And, honestly, they’ll probably never see you again in their damn life. So when the cashier at your grocery store says “Happy Holidays” please, please, don’t be the guy who responds with “Actually I’m a [religion], so I say [greeting]”.

It just makes you look like a buttmunch.

Some people take it a step further and become offended, not only by the greetings of strangers, but by the way their friends address them in the winter months.

Oh, so your friend said “Merry Christmas” the other day, even though they know that you don’t celebrate Christmas? And this has filled you with righteous indignation and offense?

Okay. Step back.

First of all, you seem like such a turd that you should be grateful that anyone is offering you any kind of holiday greeting at all. I mean, jeeze.

Second of all, you aren’t the center of everyone’s friggin’ universe.

Everyone is so different and has such different belief systems that sometimes it can honestly be hard to keep track of everyone’s everything every second of every day. Can you really blame a person if they just throw out a blanket greeting from time to time? Perhaps the greeting that they would enjoy hearing?

Look, the bottom line is this : if anyone offers you any kind of seasonal greeting, they’re doing it out of kindness. Why in the world would you take offense to that?

.

.

.

And to that end, Blessed Yule, friends!

Go out and be un-offended.

Blessed Yule!

-Ck

Let’s Talk About Stones: Fancy Jasper

image

This stone is great for grounding and meditation, as it’s thought to bring a sense of wholeness to the bearer.

Fancy Jasper is sometimes referred to as “the rain bringer”. Some believe that rubbing the stone brings a healing, cleansing rain.

This type of Jasper comes in a variety of colors and often has beautiful swirls inside.

-Ck

Wiccan Wednesday : A Tale of Door-to-Door Religion

Let me preface this post by saying: today I do not look pretty.

I don’t mean that my mascara is smeared or that my outfit is unflattering. I mean that I look like something that crawled out of a swamp in a Jim Henson movie.

image

For one thing, I’ve been working furiously to prepare for this weekend’s craft fair. My hands have cuts from wire ends, my fingernails are broken and jagged, and the tail end of a ball of twine is dangling from my sweatshirt pocket.

For another, I spent a sleepless night on the couch, binge watching reruns of Hell’s Kitchen. My stomach and I often have disagreements over my meal choices, and last night was a rough one.

Because of my evening’s activities, my hair is loose and wild, my eyes are packing heavy bags, and my leggings-and-torn-sweatshirt ensemble is less than flattering.

So when the doorbell rang this morning, I was inclined to ignore it.

I hunkered down on the sofa, hoping that the people outside would decide I wasn’t home and wander away.

Assassin, of course, had other plans. She chose that moment to poke a paw through the curtains, creating the illusion that a person was peeking out.

I heard someone outside say “hello!” and the doorbell rang again.

There was no escaping now. So I zipped up my tattered sweater and tentatively pulled the door open.

Outside were two friendly ladies holding a collection of pamphlets.

“Oh,” they both said, taking in my appearance. Though, to be fair, it may have been more than my Fraggle Rock hair that threw them off. “We thought you spoke Spanish,” one of the gals explained.

I blinked. “I do not.”

“Do any of your neighbors speak Spanish?”

“I have no idea,” I admitted. I haven’t lived in the new house for very long, and I’ve hardly taken a poll of the neighborhood.

And with that, the first lady was done with me. She stepped off the porch and the second gal stepped up to the doorway.

She gave me a smile and brandished her pamphlets.

“We’re coming around your neighborhood today to talk about our religion,” she told me.

“Oh,” I said. “Well, I’m not actually…” I trailed off. I didn’t want to outright offend these smiley women who had braved the Oregon rain to come to my door. But I wasn’t sure how to say “I’m not interested in hearing about your religion and your god, so please get off my porch” in a gentle way.

“That’s okay,” she quickly said, opening one of the pamphlets. “We’ve listed several passages from the standard bible that we feel will help you understand what we stand for. Because we all believe in one creator, right? And we all believe in good, right?”

“Sure,” I agreed. “But I don’t actually use a bible.”

“Oh?”

“No, I’m a wiccan.”

“Oh.” The ladies exchanged a quick look. “I don’t actually know a whole lot about your religion,” the gal at my door admitted.

To be honest, at this point I was anticipating the worst. I was expecting to be lectured about the dangers of hell, or least to hear about the virtues of jesus.

But I was surprised.

“Wiccans are very close to nature, right?” She asked.

I agreed.

“We aren’t so different,” she decided. “Nature, to us, is a representation of the creator.”

I nodded, surprised by her answer and the change in her tone. She no longer seemed to be reading from a script. Instead, she seemed genuinely thoughtful.

She wished me a good day with a smile, keeping her pamphlets to herself. Then she and her companion carried on down the road.

And so, my slightly rambling point is this: none of us are so different from each other.

We all have our own path, we all see goodness in our own way. But we all see it. We are all just trying to live in the best way we know how. We’re all just trying to do right.

I’ve had people come to my door with fliers for religion in the past. I’ve had people hand me pamphlets, ignoring the fact that their god and mine are not the same.

But this was the first time that someone has come to my door with the intention of teaching me about their beliefs, only to realize that we already share values.

And it was a much more pleasant experience. Definitely for me, and probably for the ladies at my door.

Wouldn’t it be easier if, instead of standing alone and screaming about our differences, we took a step back and realized our similarities?

-Ck

image

Let’s Talk About Herbs : Cypress

Cypress

Cypress is sometimes known as the Tree of Death. That sounds creepy, but actually the name refers to an old custom of placing a cypress branch into graves to bless the deceased in the afterlife.

Keeping cypress branches in your house, or planting the trees on your property is thought to protect and bless a home.

Adding cypress boughs to bouquets at funerals is believed to ease grief and bring peace to loved ones.

-Ck

Wiccan Wednesday : The Summerland

The Summerland

I often get questions about Wiccans’ beliefs in heaven and the afterlife. Some people think that if we don’t believe in hell, we couldn’t possibly believe in heaven. And, I suppose, that that’s a fair assumption to make.

However, many (but not ALL, because remember that Wicca is a very individualized religion) Wiccans believe that when we pass, our souls go to a place called The Summerland.

For some, this is a place where our souls find peace and rest for all of eternity. For others, The Summerland is merely a comfortable waiting room that our souls pass through on their way to beginning life again.

We do not believe that a person can get “kicked out” or barred from The Summerland because of bad behavior or decisions made in life. Nor do we believe that only those who followed a certain faith may find peace after death.

Occasionally, you may hear someone saying that someone has been “reborn in The Summerland” when they speak of a person passing. This is because many Wiccans believe that as our physical bodies die, our souls shed any hurt or negativity that we may have collected in this life and arrive “new” in The Summerland.

Some Wiccans and Pagans also believe that after several lives (or reincarnations, depending on who you ask), our souls may be elevated. Some believe that angels and spirit guides are simply elevated souls who watch over the living.

.

Whatever you believe, it’s important to remember that everyone is different. When it comes right down to it, none of us have definitive proof of what happens after we die. If someone needs to think that there is a peaceful place for their soul to rest, let them. If someone needs to believe that we are rewarded for our good deeds in this life, let them. As long as no one is harming or damning you with their beliefs, there’s no sense in arguing. Understand that death (whether it’s our own or that of a loved one) can be a terrifying subject for some people.

Be compassionate. Always.

Litha – the Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice (c&h)

The longest day of the year goes by many names. But whether you call June 21st Midsummer, Litha, or even Beltane (as some covens do), today is a fabulous day to celebrate.

For Wiccans, Litha is celebrated as the height of the Sun God’s strength. After Midsummer the god weakens and begins to die (to be reborn again at Yule), but today he is strong and powerful. We may light bonfires or candles to commemorate as sun sets and the shortest night begins. In lieu of bonfires, some people prefer decorate their home in sunflowers to represent the Sun God’s warmth.

Love and fertility are also important themes at Midsummer. Dropping a Chamomile sachet into a bath is a great way to cleanse negativity, while attracting love into your life. Some people also choose to jump over bonfires for purity and luck (which is totally dangerous. If you choose to be ridiculous and jump over a bonfire, don’t try to blame your burnt off eyebrows on me).

Even if you aren’t Pagan, Midsummer is still a magical time. The longest day of the year is a perfect time for Barbecues, hikes, and trips to the beach.

Stay safe out there, no matter how you choose to celebrate!

 

-Ck

Friday the 13th AND a Full Moon?

 

Awesome!

People tend to think of Friday the 13th as being bad luck, but for many Wiccans, it’s a blessed day.

Wiccans celebrate 13 Esbats (or lunar Sabbaths) every year. When the moon is full, we honor the Goddess by meditating, cleansing ourselves and our homes, and performing rituals. Because of these Esbats, the number 13 represents the Goddess.

Today is a great day to focus on everything the Goddess represents – healing, growth, unconditional love, strength, joy, grace, and intuition.

Because of the power of the full moon, rituals performed tonight will be especially effective. Especially those which focus on uplifting your spirit by embodying the qualities of the Goddess.

-Ck

 

Wiccan Wednesday : Full Moon Blessings (Flower Moon)

Image

“When the moon rides at her peak, then your heart’s desire seek”

 

May’s full moon is often called the Flower Moon. It the moon of creativity, beauty, and commitment.

All around us, Nature is erupting in colors and sounds as the warm weather begins in earnest. The Flower Moon reminds us that this is a time of renewal for us, as well as for Nature.

Tonight is a great time to charge crystals associated with creativity and determination (like amethyst) by laying them out in the full moon’s light. It’s also a great time to do spell work related to beauty and grace.

However you celebrate, be sure that you get outside to play in the moonlight!

-Ck

Let’s Talk About Stones : Serpentine

Serpentine (c&h)

Serpentine is also known as New Jade.

This stone helps to balance emotions and smooth turmoil. It’s thought to assist meditation, especially when meditating on finding inner peace.

Serpentine is also a protective stone. It’s supposed to ward against disease and poisonous creatures.

Plus, holding Serpentine against your skin is thought to help with stomach pain, cramps, and indigestion.

-Ck

Happy Ostara!

Have a wonderful Ostara weekend!

Image