Acknowledging the holidays celebrated by the special Witch in your life is a wonderful way to express appreciation for and understanding of a very unique aspect of your loved one. When December rolls around, why not add a personal flair based on an understanding of what this season means to those close to you who practice Wicca? By doing this you can deepen your understanding of what this time means to your loved one, while also showing that you are willing to acknowledge a large part of what spiritually fulfills the individual.
Unlike many other holidays, there is a great deal of overlap in seasonal celebrations this time of year with pagan and Wiccan celebrations. In fact, unlike Samhain which may take some practice to get used to, the Wiccan celebration in late December bears a name with which most of us are familiar: Yule. It is important to note that many traditions and customs later carried out during December festivals such as Christmas, St. Stephen’s Day, and other Winter Holiday traditions originated in pre-Christian, pagan cultures. The roots of many of these traditions still hold strong in the modern Wiccan and Pagan celebration of Yule, or Midwinter or Winter Solstice. This holiday occurs circa December 20-22, depending on the year. It marks the beginning of winter. A great example of a special tradition for Yule is the decorative or functional Yule Log, or an evergreen log with holes drilled along the side for candles. Holly, Mistletoe and other natural accessories of winter are very important and symbolic, as well as beautiful accents used during this holiday. Even wreaths and other remnants of nature’s stoic survival in the harsh winter months make great Yule gifts.
As it marks the heart of winter in the northern hemisphere, this holiday is a fire festival. Any gifts that bear the mark of fire, from candles, to warm spicy foods and ciders, to specialty stews or toasty warm blankets, carry the energy of this holiday: warming the heart and home and uplifting the spirit in an otherwise dark time of year. Gifts that capture the light are a great way to acknowledge this season as well, and can be given in the form of sparkling, glittery or shiny ornamentation, jewelry, and household accents. Gold colors are significant this time of year as they relate to the Sun and this is being the holiday marking the “rebirth” of the Sun God.
While most symbols of Yule are close enough to other winter holiday décor and symbolism to be compiled together in one big politically correct happy family, acknowledging the specific celebrations of one you know to be Wiccan can be deeply heartwarming. When in doubt consider that since Wicca is a nature based religion, most symbols reminiscent of winter holidays that stem from the natural world will be held in high esteem. Go for the holly, mistletoe, and pinecones in decorative or fragrant arrangements, even the reindeer as symbolic of the “Stag King” (fertility representative of the God) or any variety of candles or representations of warming and fire. Choosing gifts carefully can help you avoid awkward moments on the holiday and during family or workplace gatherings. With the right gifts you can demonstrate that you took the time to choose seasonally appropriate gifts for the known Wiccan in your life: gifts that show an understanding and respect for Wiccan holiday customs and traditions.
Article by: Angela Kaufman. Angela is a Priestess for the Dragon Warriors of Isis Coven in Upstate, New York, and the co-author of Wicca: What's the Real Deal? She is a professional tarot reader. For more information about Wicca: What's the Real Deal? visit http://www.wwtrd.webs.com.