Firstly this Boxing day morning I want to pay tribute to Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Strange for a witch to be honouring a Christian Archbishop you might think but Archbishop Desmond had a big impact on this 48 year old witch. Back in the 1980’s when I was in the middle of my Anglican phase of my spiritual life, this man gave all of us hope. At the age of 18 when I was just starting to struggle with understanding my sexuality and how it effected my faith and spiritual path, this wonderfully warm, joyous man came up in my spiritual view. He embodied the message of the Christian faith, love, fellowship and he didn’t pull his punches against those who imposed oppression on the poor and disenfranchised. He took his Rainbow nation and bear hugged it as it left the cradle and began to take it’s first unsteady foot steps as the toddler version of a country. I will always be grateful to him for his example of love and respect and his love of the pure silliness of life. He always have a joke, a laugh, a hug and a reassuring hand. So thank you Desmond for you leadership and love, and as someone that holds a place in my heart I honour you, may the Goddess guide your journey home.
After the Ritual is over
Well it’s all done, well nearly all done. That post Christmas depression can come and settle in for a few days. You’ve played with all your new toys, eaten till you can’t move and more than likely drank until you nearly passed out in front of Mrs Brown and her boys on the telly last night – shame on you! I’m giving up on Christmas. Well to be honest I gave up on Christmas a long time ago. Much like most of the western world I’ve not celebrated the birth of the Christ Child for many years, just swept it under the rug but kept the commercial Christmas of my peers and parents. I’m going to leave Christmas to those who it belongs to – the Christians and the commercial Christmas can go do one. But i’ll keep my addiction to the sprouts and pigs in blankets and the Christmas telly. Oh and the time off work. The next person to say “tis the session of goodwill” is going to get a slap and a yule log shoved up their bracket. I’ll keep my Yule and sit contemplating the high’s and lows of the year just passed and promise to be a better person next year, to work on my inner demons and resolve to be my true inner self on the outside.
In these covid times is the other reason for Christmas even valid? Is it truly save to be spending time with a 2nd cousin that you normally wouldn’t pass the time of day with during the year? So is “it’s family time” still a valid reason to be doing Christmas? I’m afraid that these days my answer would be no. I’d much rather get together during the summer months when it’s warm and we can do it outside.
Now before you all come at me with Christmas crackers and tinsel, i’ve not take the Grinch pills. The reason why Christmas is still important is that it brings with it a reminder of who it is that we truly love. Through out human history the gathering of the tribe for a festival, a celebration, to mark an event or a life marker, to feel those who are important to you close by is so important. It’s a reminder of where you came from, some times that’s an all to painful thing for some, but for others it’s as important as remembering to breath.
This year I have been lucky that me and the other 3 solitary witches that are close to me, have been able to gather and mark the Sabbats by Ritual, sharing of gifts, reading poetry, sharing experiences, working Magick together. Is that any different from the mundane’s gathering to celebrate their christmas? Of course it isn’t. Its’ the same thing.
When the Ritual is over we have a greater bound in love for those we chose to be with, those we chose to be connected to. For me it’s grown my expression of who my witch is and given me a sense of belonging. This is the true message of Christmas. Indeed for any one who celebrates any festival. I suspect our Hindu brothers and sisters will say the same. That’s why these things are important to us as humans and that’s why Christmas will always be important.
What I love about the Pagan Celebrations is that it’s with people that I chose to be with. And the reflection of the chosen family in the gay community is so clear when we have had struggles at home and have to move away from parents that don’t understand or threw us out because of who we loved. Over the years my gay family has moved and shifted and I only have a few left now but I did get a message from one of my gentleman friends yesterday so that was a bonus. But the point being is that its important to keep that sense of “Family”, even more so if your family is a non traditional form.
I think this year I’ve finally realised why Christmas is at the end of the year rather than in April. To put the birth of the son of God at the end of the year, when the Pagans of old where celebrating the re birth of the sun and the return of the warm and light it’s links up with the message of hope of the child born in the stable. I’ve only just seen that link this year.
what ever you celebrated and how ever you celebrated it I hope your having a happy and safe holiday session. And I hope that the sense of family, what ever it means to you, stay’s with you and helps strengthen you in the months ahead.