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.
Have you ever beat yourself up and put down your own work?
I often put myself down. I say about my artistic work: “Other people can do it better.”
My depression symptoms function like a filter.
My husband’s praise of my artistic projects often cannot get through my depression-symptoms filter.
He told me, “You make beautiful necklaces and pendants.”
“Other people can do it better,” I reply reflexively.
At this moment, I see how this drains my energy.
I have three insights for you.
Focus closely on what you like.
Creating art can be an in-the-moment journey. I suggest you choose an empowering focus. I say, “Focus on what you like.”
I invite you to focus on doing your art.
This is your art. This is your moment.
For example, I’m writing this material now. Later, my editor and I will talk about adjustments to this writing. So, at this instant, I am focused on writing—that is, doing this art form.
Realize that creating something is a process.
To focus on what you like is the opposite of looking outside yourself and saying, “Other people can do it better.”
Think of the Mother Aspect of the Goddess. The Mother creates. The Mother nurtures. She is caring of Her offspring. She creates life and, with the God, creates all around us. This is part of Her true essence.
As you create something, you are an artist. We’re not talking about whether someone outside of you “likes” the art. That’s a different topic and focal point.
You are an artist.
2. Focus on your true essence.
What is your true essence? Do you default into calling yourself something which refers to people outside of yourself? Do you say daughter/son or mother/father? Do you describe yourself in terms of your job? As many people say, “That’s not what I am. That’s what I do.”
Let’s go back to true essence. One time, my husband was asked by a possible employer: “Who are you?” My husband replied, “Creative energy.” He added details about how he writes text and marketing materials. He mentioned how he edits videos and writes for social media.
The potential employer was surprised by my husband’s comment “creative energy.”
What is the true essence of a witch? Witches like to work with the Elements.
Witches enjoy good relationships with the God and Goddess.
You are not a human being having a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being having a human experience. – Dr. Wayne Dyer
As a spiritual being, you are creative. You could say, “I am a spirit who is doing art—in this moment.”
For readers who do not do traditional artistic work (painting, writing, and more), it’s still important to realize that you are a creator. You create the moment when you hug someone. You create the moment when you listen to a friend. You create solutions to life’s daily problems. You are creative.
3. Use a chant to create solutions and wonders.
I often write and use a chant to get to the essence of some aspect of life.
You can use this chant to energize yourself. This process can help you create your art and your life.
The Creation Chant
Thread in needle, Paint on brush. I focus on the deed I’m in no rush. Now beauty be seen, By others and me. Light this flame in me. So Mote It Be.
I nodded. I’ve learned that life can be so tough that it’s hard to remember the good parts of one’s day.
“Let My worship be within the heart that rejoiceth.” – The Goddess speaking in The Charge of the Goddess, written by Doreen Valiente
A definition of rejoice includes “feel or show great joy or delight. (Oxford Languages)”
The question is: “How can we keep the door open to good moments?”
How can we keep our hearts in the place of rejoicing and being grateful?
I have three insights for you.
Communicate with the Goddess for your needs.
“Whenever ye have need of anything, once in a month, and better it be when the Moon be full, then ye shall assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of me, who am Queen of all Witcheries.” – The Goddess speaking in The Charge of the Goddess, written by Doreen Valiente
This phrase “whenever ye have need of anything” captures my attention. How often do you ask for what you need?
Some of us hesitate to ask. Why don’t we go to the Goddess and God more often?
See if you relate to this. I often feel tired and lack energy. I cannot let myself get stuck.
Perhaps, similar to me, you need to set a real intention to connect with the Gods.
Release yourself from tiredness and connect with the Gods.
I have learned that a vague idea does not move me to action.
Here’s a better plan.
A. Set an intention.
Identify how many times a week you’re going to connect with the Gods
B. Make a schedule.
Set a time of day. Identify how long you will devote to connecting with the Gods. Decide how often you’ll connect with the Gods.
C. Make your action into a routine.
Start with something simple and easy. (I began by saying a prayer every morning before I opened my laptop computer.)
Make a shrine.
Making a shrine to the God and Goddess can create good feelings.
With your shrine, you make offerings and pray to the God and Goddess. These can be happy and good moments in your day.
“Really? The number 3 is sacred? How?” my friend, Devin, asked.
Part of an answer includes the Triple Goddess. The Triple Goddess contains Three Aspects: The Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone. Each has Her advantage.
Here are three insights.
Come up with 3 possible solutions.
I realized that the Sacred Number 3 can also relate to how I make decisions. I seek a “third alternative solution” to simply thinking “yes or no” or “on or off.” That is binary thinking. It is limited.
When you come up with the third alternative solution, you avoid the problem of “black and white thinking” or “yes/no thinking.” A classic example is that teenagers often default to “yes/no thinking.” Alicia, 18, thinks, “Either I put up with Alex’s bad actions or I dump him.” She does not think of the third alternative which can be “I’ll ask Alex if he wants to stay together. It will require us to see a counselor and some changes.”
Sometimes, we get stuck in black-and-white thinking just like Alicia. Instead, we can connect with the Goddess and ask Her for guidance toward a possible third alternative solution.
Realize “3” is Sacred in the 3 Aspects of the Goddess.
As I mentioned, the Goddess has Three Aspects: Maiden, Mother, and Crone.
Imagine that you can experience the Three Aspects in your daily life.
Like a Maiden, you can wake up to a new day with curiosity in your heart.
Like a Mother, you can create something and express yourself. You can be creative in solving problems and producing at work or school.
Like the Crone, you can harvest new lessons and gain knowledge during your day.
In prayer, meditation, or ritual, you can call on the Three Aspects of the Goddess.
For energy to clean the home, you can ask the Maiden for help.
For help with children or family matters, you can call on the Mother.
For sage council, seek the Goddess in her Crone Aspect.
Align yourself with the Sacred Three.
Here is a prayer to align yourself with the Sacred Three.
Maiden, I call upon your youthful vigor to charge me with energy for the day. Mother, I call upon your creativity, productivity, and bounty so that I may get things done. Crone, I call upon You for wisdom. Guide me and help me know my true self. I call all Three to me, So Mote It Be.