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Words, Wrants and Wramblings

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Wren Wrants A-Z ...

A Letter To My Daughter

A PumkinHead in the White House

A Real Bad Day For Witchcraft

A Real Reason To Vote

A Time for War, a Time for Peace and a Time to Browse the Bookstore

A Wonderful Piece of News

The Aftermath of Columbine High School

Beating A Not-So-Hasty Retreat

Behind Enemy Lines

Breakfast Will Be Served In Fifteen Minutes...

Building a Circle of Trust

But What Will People Think?

By Their Furniture, Ye Shall Know Them

Caution: Restricted Area

Cleaning Out The Junk Drawer

Community Power Who Holds it?

Community Thoughts on Tempest Smith

Compelling without the Yelling

Confessions of a News Junkie

The Consistancy of Change...


Coping with Grief

Cramming It Down Our Throats...

Damned if you do and Damned if you don't

Declaring Your Personal Independence Day

Did Your World Change Too?

Dreaming in The Dark...

There is No Zuul

There's a Rabbit In The Moon...

Excavating the Dinosaur Altar

Fair Use, Copyright and the Pagan Net

Feeding Our Young

The First Day

Gather 'Round The Fire

Getting Back To Nature

Getting Back To Normal

Getting Rid of What Bugs You

Gifts That Keep On Giving...

The Giving Circle

Gods In A China Shop...

Good And Evil: In The Shadow Of Littleton And The Garden Of The Gods.

Good Will Toward Men

The Great Hamster Myth

Happy Beltaine!

Happy Brigid's Day Everyone!

The Heart of A Mechanic

Helping Hands

Helping Our Own

Hidden Hatred Haunts Pagans

Home is Where the Spirit Is

Homosexuality and Public Policy

The Household of Priests and Priestesses

If The Hissy Fits

In A Mirror Darkly...

In Your Dreams

The Internet Reaches beyond Washington

It All Happens Locally

It Is Your Destiny

It's Maypole Week 'Round the World

It's Tribal Time!

January Arrives Wearing A White Coat

Judging Amy -- Wren's Thoughts

Killed a Goat Today

Knot Charming

Learning How To Fly

Life With Mikey

Listening To The Story

Listening To The Woods

Living In A Banana Republic

Living Through A Drought

Logging On and Speaking Out!

The Long and Short Of It

The Love of Ordinary Things

Mabon... a Man for all Seasons

Magick's Arrow

Mamas, Don't let your Babies...

The Media Story Is Often Not The True One

Mercury Has Left the Building

Minding Your News P's and Q's

Mixed Blessings

NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.

Unlocking The Door

Author: Wren
Posted: December 11th. 2000
Times Viewed: 6,732

The scent of spiced apples is there waiting for us as we enter the hallway. Plopping the packages down on the steps, Wren pauses for a moment to delicately sniff the air. (Okay, Wren is really standing there desperately gasping for breath in a decidedly indelicate fashion. Living on the third floor sometimes has its drawbacks. Hauling the groceries up multiple staircases is one of them.) It is a scientifically researched conclusion that certain scents can spontaneously prompt the brain to recall events or feelings from the past. Spiced apples, heavy with cinnamon, are very old-fashioned and hardly anyone makes them anymore. Even fewer people can make them using the rosy apples plucked from their own trees. But while it may be true that many Pagans no longer actually live in country settings, we can still be quite creative when it comes to bringing the outside in and keeping the past ways alive.

The art and practice of Hospitality is another old-fashioned idea. Although it is one which we would hope has never completely gone out of fashion, many of the practices and values that once promoted the concept of 'giving' have been replaced with those which emphasize 'getting'. "Hospitality" in the older Pagan sense, is a more equal exchange-a balance- of both giving and getting. In the days when people traveled much, but in which there were no widespread Holiday Inns to guarantee a good and safe night's repose or a hearty meal, the folks who hit the road depended upon 'the kindness of strangers'. Obviously, to invite (and in some cases be REQUIRED to invite via local/feudal customs/law) strangers into the heart of what most people would consider their most private safe haven presupposes that everyone at that time knew, understood and agreed to abide by some guidelines. In exchange for a place to stay or a meal, the traveler agreed not to steal anything from the house nor harm its inhabitants.

In some locales, a special honorarium was offered to the Gods of that household-even if these Gods were not the traveler's own. The idea behind this practice was to honor the Gods of that domain Who had blessed and provided for that household in ways that allowed the traveler to eventually enjoy those same bounties. It was considered extremely bad form to abuse the hospitality of a household while under its roof-and thus offend the householder's Gods in the process-by entering into quarrels, insulting the food or lodgings being offered or by bringing weapons into the home. We can only think that if more people adopted the old Pagan values of hospitality, we all might become a little more open-minded and tolerant about other people's belief systems. (There are plenty of chatroom and message board affectionados who surely could use a lesson on the responsibilities that come with accepting the hospitality offered by the board hosts and hostesses!)

Opening The Door...
According to YuleLore , "Children were escorted from house to house with gifts of clove spiked apples and oranges which were laid in baskets of evergreen boughs and wheat stalks dusted with flour. The apples and oranges represented the sun, the boughs were symbolic of immortality, the wheat stalks portrayed the harvest, and the flour was accomplishment of triumph, light, and life. Holly, mistletoe, and ivy not only decorated the outside, but also the inside of homes. It was to extend invitation to Nature Sprites to come and join the celebration. A sprig of Holly was kept near the door all year long as a constant invitation for good fortune to pay visit to the residents." Today's decorations designed for the entryway are really remnants of protection magick. What hung over, on or under the threshold was meant to send a message of either 'Come in!" or "Keep out!" to both human and otherworldly travelers alike. How many non-Pagans today put out a big 'welcome mat' in front of their door and then wonder why door-to-door solicitors are constantly bothering them? Pagans, on the other hand, 'qualify' both the welcomed visitors and those who are being asked to stay away by carefully charging the items that they place in the entry points of their homes. So, whether you buy these 'decorations' or make them yourself, make your intentions clear - as you would in any magickal practice- and you should have no further problems with those annoying and pesky critters of any variety!

One of the most widespread decorations for the door is, of course, the wreath . One of the ways to find out who your friends REALLY are is to allow them into your bathroom during your wreath-making season. If they can come out again without shuddering at the site of a bathtub filled with murky brown water and strange sinewy humps- which seemingly point to your hereunto unknown hobby of harboring mysterious snake-like creatures in your powder rooms- then do consider keeping these people in your life forever! Soaking grapevines is sometimes a necessity if you can't get those wreaths made during the 'season of pliant vines'. Honeysuckle makes a nice round as well, but you should always check out any potential wild-harvest vines during their leafy season first. Poison ivy vine wreaths can send a clear-and quite visible- message, too, but one that we do not personally endorse. Talk about your instant karma!

Article Specs

Article ID: 4493

VoxAcct: 1

Section: wrenwalker

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 6,376

Times Read: 6,732



Location: Tampa, Florida

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