Thoughts on blending Solstice and Christmas

I grew up Unitarian Universalist, in a Northeastern (USA) community.  After Thanksgiving, as the days grew darker and shorter, and the temperature grew colder, we would begin to decorate the house and count down the days to Christmas.  In those days, the 1960’s TV shows taught us that Santa was coming down our chimney, and, that Jesus was born on December 25th, in a manger, in Bethlehem.

I don’t recall going to Christmas Eve church service on a regular basis as a child.  I just remember decorating the tree.  I loved the way the tree looked when we got it all decorated, and I loved how it smelled to have evergreens in the house.

As I write this, I realize how deeply personal these holiday celebrations are for families.  These celebrations are laced with family stories which contain sorrows and joys.  As a child, (and an emphatic one at that,) I knew there were family sorrows, but didn’t know what they were, because they weren’t spoken of.   Now that I am older, each year, I learn more about that aspect of my growing up.  I understand more about why my mom acted the way she did each December:  She would pretend she didn’t want to make a big deal out of Christmas each year,  but secretly, she loved every bit of Christmas.

And I’ve come to realize I’m the same way, but without the sorrows.   For years, I’ve tried to convince myself, that I don’t want to make a big fuss about Christmas. But you know what?  I love it.  I love putting up the tree, and  the decorations.  I love collecting shells and things and making decorations out of them.  I love sitting in the living room with all the lights out except the tree’s and just enjoying the glow.

20141225_062546I love making cookies.  I LOVE eggnog.  These days, we buy the pasturized nogg at the store and add our own rum.  But I have a fabulous family recepie that begins with 12 eggs.

I love teasing gift ideas out of my dear family.  I love locating gifts.  I love wrapping gifts.  I love opening gifts.

And these days, I love celebrations with friends.  The CUUPS group at my local UU Church usually holds Solstice celebrations, and I love to gather with everyone in the evening and sit out on the porch and sing the Solstice Songs.  My favorite one is,  We are, by   Ysaye M. Barnwell , a member of the group, Sweet Honey in the Rock,  and it goes ,  “For each child that’s born/ a morning star rises and sings / to the universe who we are /… / We are our grandmothers prayers / we are our grandfathers dreamings / we are the breath of the ancestors / we are the spirit of God…”

And then, a few days later it is Christmas Eve.   My Husband and I attend the service at the UU Church and sing Joy to the World and Silent Night.  This is my Church Family, it is a small community and I love these people.  After that, we go home, eat something — next year, it will be my turn to cook — and then we go back out later in the evening and attend his church.  It’s bigger and more christian, and there are more people.

There’s an awesome pipe organ and organist.  we sing the same songs, but the pipe organ infuses the songs into me.  It is powerful and awe inspiring and I love that experience of feeling the songs, best of all.

Savor the Peace of the Holiday Season, Dear Ones, for as long as you can.

~Whale Maiden~

~~~ ♡ ~~~

Although the Earthways Shamanic Path is based in Florida, it can be celebrated anywhere. You just need to explore the magic of your land. What is it saying to you? What are the seasons, where you live? What do they mean to you? How are they celebrated?

Join Whale Maiden in the discussion at the Earthways Shamanic Path – Facebook Group

(c) 2015, Whale Maiden. All Rights Reserved.

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Towards a New Age-Pagan Treatise

Towards a New Age-Pagan Treatise

Last week a confluence of cultural and religious events and experiences led me to transcribe a series of belief statements which I think can be called a modern New Age-Pagan Treatise.

In roughly chronological order the experiences included:

A.     Listening to My Chemical Romance (MCR)’s newest cd, “Danger Days–True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys” which is based somewhat on the various apocalypse movies,  such as Mad Max and maybe Blade Runner, and which contains the following three Truths:

              i.  “Everybody wants to change the World,”

              ii.  “Everybody wants to live forever, no body wants to die,”

              iii.  “You can live forever if you’ve got the time.”

B.     Attending the UU Church service where the –sermon– was about the Three Magi and how they were men of wisdom — they were magicians or wizards, depending upon your word choice but they were also what a lot of people mean when they call themselves  Light Workers.  I hadn’t thought of Light Workers as going back that far in history before, but it makes sense to me.

C.     Seeing the Chronicles of Narnia movie, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, in which the truths of other realities was reinforced:  that animals talk (that we can communicate with beings other than ourselves,) that magic is apparent in everyday life, and that swords and rocks and other objects have special functions.

D.     Then there was the Solstice+Full Moon+Eclipse, which had most people I know just buzzing with all the energies and the vibrations.

So here are the belief statements:  We the New Age-Pagans believe:

     1.  We believe in a Positive Force greater than ourselves, but to which we are also connected.

     2.  We believe we are of the Light Side.  Many of us believe we are Light Workers.

     3.  We believe we will live forever, that we have lived before.

     4.  We believe we can access magic.

     5.  We follow our Intuition and base our decisions on signs and signals.

     6.  We believe we are, to some extent, invincible.  (If we get wounded, we believe someone will come along with a spell or an ointment or a touch and patch us back up through various healing arts; but they have to come along timely and sometimes, if our wound is too severe (or caused by Evil,) then we pass on.

     7.   Many of us believe that those of us (Light Workers) alive now, will be alive to witness the “coming End Times,” or certainly that our Light Working skills will be called upon in 2012, or other times. 

     8.  We believe we can communicate with all beings, not just people.

     9.  In spite of our efforts and good intentions, we know there is a Dark Side, which most of us actively work to oppose.

     10.  We take names that signify our Journies.

I am that I am, and so are you.

 I was raised Unitarian Universalist by really good people.  If you’ve followed my Blog, you’ll figure out fairly quickly that  I’m Pagan. (*)

I saw the movie Avatar twice, and appreciated the spiritual message:  that we are all connected.  that we are all part of the Divine.  And because I believe this, Christians automatically think I’m a bad person.  Where do the Christians get off, calling everybody who was raised differently from them, bad? 

I believe God created us in his own image.  I believe God is a multidimensional, multifaceted force.  Thus, God can create christians and their whole faith and resulting belief system.  And at the same time, God can create pagans.  We all have a right to be here.

— > 5-02-2010:  (*) Please note, not all Unitarian Universalists are Pagan, and, not all Pagans are Unitarian Universalists.