Final new moon of the year is upon us. What an amazing time to release it all and send it back into the earth. Whatever you have gone through, held onto, cried over, got angry about or really just held onto to shit you know you shouldn’t and isn’t serving you. Time to clean yourself up and get rid of it. Make space for the New Year, set yourself up so you can start creating the year you want.
Take your time with this one, there is no rush. Start by having a shower or bath with all your favorite products. Dress comfortable and splash on some perfume or cologne, some lip gloss or your favorite earrings. Its important to feel really good about yourself and be fresh when you go to your altar or work space.
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When the evenings draw in early and the festive spirit is upon you, making Yuletide crafts can be great fun for both adults and children.
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/beneaththemoon/2017/12/yulewinter-solstice-crafts/#QrmRgEcvBCQFeIjk.99
Welcome to the first Conversations Under the Oaks, a new monthly Q&A feature. I’ve been responding to questions for as long as I’ve been blogging, but this is the first time I’ve actively solicited questions. This is your chance to ask me anything.
I’ve already responded to some questions. A few were brief enough for immediate answers. Some I’ve already answered and could just post a link to an old blog post or two. One (on prayer) I’m going to turn into its own full post next week. The rest are here.
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2017/12/conversations-oaks-pagan-qa.html#a0T0tOuD77S1YteR.99
The shortest day and the longest night, it is from this day onwards that we start to get a little bit more sunlight each day. The Oak King and the Holly King fight once more with the Oak King winning this time to reign over the waxing period of the year. A time for family, friends, get togethers, feasting and celebrating.
We probably all over eat at this time of the year, I like to think of it as fuel to help keep my body warm…The scents and tastes at Yule are amazing with cinnamon and cloves being my favourites, just the smell of mince pies baking in the oven sums up this season for me.
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/beneaththemoon/2017/12/1709/#RSB1cULxqLWziZ4w.99
At the Winter Solstice the sun dies and the sun is reborn. It is the shortest day, the longest night, and the farthest south the sun will rise and set on the horizon (in the Northern Hemisphere, that is). This makes the Winter Solstice an auspicious time for beginnings of all sorts, and it is no surprise that it is the birthday of many Gods and heroes.
What needs to be born at this year’s Winter Solstice?
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2017/12/winter-solstice-needs-born.html#fYDERSCxxGoBC2Uk.99
Most serious Pagans avoid the term “powers” like the plague. It reeks of bad fantasy novels and people who are trying to figure out how to shoot fire from their fingertips. We prefer terms like “skills” which anyone can develop, and “wisdom” which is more valuable than “powers” throughout most of our lives.
But sometimes the situation is desperate. Sometimes skills and wisdom just aren’t enough – you need powers.
Here are seven critical powers you need. The good news is that you already have them right now. Like the main characters in fantasy novels, you were born with these powers. You just have to realize you have them and start learning how to use them
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2017/12/7-critical-powers-right-now.html#mimSMuzfm51oDRRJ.99
I often talk about the Other and Witchcraft a lot on this blog. We tend to be the marginal folks, and sometimes we wear that as a badge of pride. We might say things like: “We’re different from those people. They don’t understand us. It’s always been this way. We’re revolutionary.”
But what if the revolution involves un-othering Witchcraft? What if that is a solution to many issues facing humanity? What does that mean?
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tempest/2017/11/un-othering-witchcraft.html#TzhLsZk4139ouEVY.99
As I became a wiccan, I learned there are two halves to the pagan community on Mother Earth. The other half has similar features as mine, but still so different. The other half that I have visited when I was working for my government is unique in that many things are offset from my own. As a wiccan, the unique features have come to light in my eyes. The unique features that I now see that makes them different than my half are the solar calendar, the lunar chart, and some Gods and Goddess.
First the solar calendar is offset by six months. As I celebrate one holiday in my half, I must be concerned with my fellow brothers and sisters in the other half as their time is offset by six months. When I celebrate one holiday, they are also celebrating the opposite holiday to mine. In returned I feel that I must be aware to observe the two as one. Even though the two holidays have totally different representation in themselves.
Secondly, there the moons meanings are different at different times of the year. As the seasons change, the meaning for the moon is different between the halves due to the offset of the two halves. One half could be in the dark moon of dying while it is the planting time on the other half. I would like to learn more about each moon meaning throughout the year. With this understanding, I will better appreciate what the other half goes through.
Thirdly, the other half has some different Gods and Goddesses the ones I have. I wonder if the pagans in the other half pay homage to them or do they bless the one in my half or do they do both? I personally I don’t know them, and I would like to learn more about them, so I can have a better understanding about them. I have looked on the net and found no information on these patrons. Maybe I have not looked in the right area. I would like some help from the followers on the other side of Mother Earth.
You may be wondering by now, what world I am taking about? It is the southern hemisphere. I don’t claim to be an expert in these matters due to that I am still a student in the wiccan world, in the northern half of wicca. There are still things that I need to learn that may give me more insight of the other half.
What captivates my mind at the moment is contemplating the future of religion. Where will religion be by the end of this century? What will religion be like in the next century? How will monotheism change? What does the future look like for paganism? How will paganism evolve? Will paganism grow? I think it will grow, as paganism is a religion for our future.
When it comes to religion it appears true that everything old is new and vice versa. When Christianity came onto the scene, it was a new religion. The traditional religions of the Greco-Roman world had been around for centuries and well entrenched into the cultures of empire. Christianity was new, it was “oriental” and with that brought some people to it out of curiosity. Some willingly converted, but by in large Christianity was overwhelming forced onto the empire, out of fear, or political expediency people converted. Much like the new age wave of the late 20th century, Christianity was different and provided something new for people who were possibly experiencing religious fatigue.
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/agora/2017/11/hearth-hellenism-paganism-end-religious-extremism/#wLUDtUBsBRiF7eP7.99
November 16 is the modern celebration of Hekate of the Underworld. Although I’m not certain of the origins, I know I’ve been observing this festival for at least a decade. I did a bit of digging to try to find out where this event started and I found this link from 2009. Since that time the festival has evolved from being an all-purpose night honoring Our Lady to one that focuses exclusively on Hekate as Queen of the Underworld. Honestly, I have no idea how this happened. Let’s just say that Hekate wants it this way.
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/keepingherkeys/2017/11/oh-holy-night-celebrating-hekate-of-the-underworld/#W6uOrOKvzfOXWLWh.99