Does Yule time bring up extra stress for you—especially as a witch?
Recently, I was talking with a friend. Concerns about pagans dealing with other people’s pushing about “the holiday season” came up.
These specific topics arose:
- It feels unfair
- You get treated like an Outsider
- Details appropriated—like the Yule tree
I’ve thought about these details over the years. Why? We witches cannot escape the stresses that arrive with “the holiday season.”
I have three insights for you.
- Own the blessing of the Yule Tree.
Let’s look at the Yule Tree. Evergreens were seen as proof of everlasting life. Our ancestors saw that evergreen trees were the one source of life that continued to live and stay green throughout the year. Even in the deepest winter. They didn’t die with the rest of the plants during the cold months. They were special.
Our ancestors celebrated this. They and we, modern Pagans, consider the Yule Tree sacred.
This is why our ancestors’ brought evergreens into their homes and decorated them with small gifts to the God and Goddess. Candles were placed on the bows of the trees (Please avoid this due to the fire hazard). This is where Yule trees come from, and yes – Christians have adopted the Yule Tree as their “Christmas tree.”
Still, we, witches, can say to ourselves “Our Yule Tree!”
2. Realize the stress of meeting with family, and focus on your Chosen Family
An old comment is: “If you think you’re enlightened, just attend a family reunion!”
Do you ever dread going to family reunions?
For Pagans, family reunions can be an extra burden. Many of us, for good reasons, must keep our Pagan path as our own secret.
Many of us fear being outed as a witch/Pagan. We hide our pentacle necklaces and other jewelry to conceal our true selves.
So, what is the solution?
Devote Time with Your Chosen Family
In a few days, I’ll be attending gatherings with friends who are Wiccans. What a relief! Being with like-minded people can really help with the loneliness/alienation/fear that comes with being around non-pagans. Especially this time of year!
Finding a place where you can share common ground with support can be a lifesaver. Really!
3. Return to the roots of gift-giving
For Pagans, exchanging gifts, at this time, is really about celebration. How?
Think about it. Why do you give gifts in the first place?
The first gifts were exchanged by our ancestors as a means of expressing joy for the Sun God’s return.
Small gifts were hung on the branches of the Yule tree for the God and Goddess. Now, we give gifts to each other, too.
You can think “small and meaningful.” Even giving a printed-out photo, placed in a frame (from a “dollar store”) can be a good gift.
In summary, Yule has always been our time. Smile to yourself and own it.
May these insights support your path.
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