Articles/Essays From Pagans
December 1st. 2013 ...
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
The Celtic Tree Calendar
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
September 8th. 2013 ...
Introduction to the Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage
The Druidic Concept of Nwyfre
The Holocaust Survivor (Part 1)
Giving and Helping
September 1st. 2013 ...
Use a Flyswatter for a Fly: More on the Dark Arts
How Spells Work
Is It Really 'Energy'?
August 25th. 2013 ...
Mother Nature’s Way: Forging a Distinctly American Path
Healing Moon Ritual
Unconditional Love: The Paradox of Perfect Love
Earth to Soul/Sole
August 18th. 2013 ...
How Not to Fall in the Bunny Trap
Why Are You Like That? Thoughts on Hoodoo and Appropriation
Finding the Right Coven
The Knowledge Found in Silence
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances, Hazelnuts and Magick Wands
August 11th. 2013 ...
“I Survived a Weekend with Galina Krasskova”
The Charges of the Goddess and God with Commentary
August 4th. 2013 ...
Fair Weather Witches
Pagan Studies II: Modern Paganism in the Americas
Pagan Abbeys - A Practical Heritage for Spiritual Lay and Professional Cloistered Communities
July 28th. 2013 ...
Crystals 101: A Helpful Guide For Beginners
The More the Merrier? It’s not Only an Inaccuracy; it’s an All Out Farce!
My Pagan Manifesto
July 21st. 2013 ...
I'm a Witch, Not a Wiccan: A Brief Summary of Broad Pagan Designations
Rethinking Community for Solitaries
13 Keys: The Beauty of Tiphareth
July 14th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés We Use (Part II)
Pagan Humanism: A Tradition of Rational Religion
Moon/Planetary Musings: The Holly King and John Barleycorn
July 7th. 2013 ...
Coping With Depression: Learning to Dance with the Sacred Twins
Shamanic Healing of Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Humility and Community Service
H is for Hubris
June 30th. 2013 ...
How To Feel The Energy Around You
Planning A Ritual
Why Pagans Might Benefit from Counseling Techniques
The Weight of Contemplation: When the Silent Self Grows Louder
June 23rd. 2013 ...
Magick and Play
Tarot Spell for Protection
Moon Musings and Planetary Preponderances: RE-fuse, RE-duce, RE-use, RE-pair and RE-cycle
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The Yule Odyssey
Article ID: 13703
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Crick [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: December 20th. 2009
Times Viewed: 3,321
Don’t read this if you are easily offended. I am about to offer a very pragmatic observation in regards to Neo paganism and the celebration of Yule. I’ve been walking the path of witchcraft for nearly 50 years. And about this time every year I begin to reflect on the hypocrisies of the Neo pagan movement when it comes to Yule.
I don’t say this as a judgmental comment, but rather as a realistic observation. It is quite clear that Neo paganism is inundated with folks whose mindset is that of one of the Abrahamic religions in general and Christianity in particular. And that such folks through no fault of their own have been indoctrinated from birth with such views.
This is not a bad thing if such folks were to continue to follow the beliefs that they were inundated with throughout their lives. The problem arises when such folks leave their former belief systems and decide to become pagans.
Why would this create a problem you may ask? The problem as I see it is that such folks tend to try and align their new found pagan beliefs with that of their former belief system. And Yule is a glaring example of this paradox. This alignment is attempted even though paganism and the Abrahamic religions are diametrically opposed in beliefs.
So many Neo pagans expend far too much energy in an effort to validate themselves in the views of their friends and family members who often retain their beliefs in one of the Abrahamic belief systems. And when it comes to Yule this massive expenditure of energy comes to the forefront, laying bare the hypocrisies that so many, though not all, Neo Pagans engage in.
Historical evidence makes it clear that the Christian Jesus was born (if at all) during the springtime. And that circa 313, it was decided to celebrate his birthday on Dec 25th in a blatant attempt to obliterate the birthday of the Babylonian God, Tammuz. In other areas and cultures he was known as Horus or Mithra. Each of these pagan deities was worshipped as a Sun God.
And yet Neo pagans in many instances are content to ignore the outrageousness of superimposing an alleged God from their former Abrahamic upbringing over that of a god that has undisputed pagan connections. Earlier I mentioned that it is primarily former Christians who engage in this hypocrisy. The reason for that comment is that of the three primary religions that make up the Abrahamic religions, the Hebrew folks don’t believe that the Jesus has been born as yet and the Muslims do not celebrate Christmas. That leaves the Christians who by their own words have declared themselves as the only true religion in the world.
So why in this world would someone who calls himself or herself a pagan want to celebrate a holiday that was created solely for the purpose of obliterating established pagan beliefs?
Of course such folks will give such excuses as “it’s for the kids”. But is this really a valid reason? If one were actually going to be a pagan would you not want to teach your children the values and beliefs of paganism? And was it not the Yule celebration that originally established the concept of gift giving that the Christian holiday of Christmas has now claimed as its own?
Others would say that it is to develop an acceptance of their pagan beliefs by their Christian family members and friends. And yet how realistic is this concept? Paganism was established thousands of years prior to the advent of Christianity and so why do those of pagan beliefs have to pander to such a newfound belief system?
And as already mentioned the Christians recognize no other belief systems as being equal to their own. So why expend so much energy on such a fruitless effort by celebrating Christmas in lieu of Yule?
Yes, there will be many such folks who will claim that they celebrate both Yule and Christmas. But then again does celebrating two diametrically opposed holidays realistic? And let’s be honest with ourselves folks. As far as Yule goes, many of these same folks will gather with others who lay claim to being pagan for an hour or two, will recite a few words off of a piece of paper and then turn their real thoughts and energy to Christmas and all that it involves. Such as buying a tree, decorating, buying gifts, visiting folks and so forth. Little of this massive amount of energy directed towards Christmas is given in the same manner to the celebration of Yule.
Is this hypocrisy really the way to validate the pagan community? Or does it simply continue to feed the insecurities and hypocrisy that such actions create and which are the trademark of Neo paganism, as we know it today?
No one is making the suggestion that one should be openly or even quietly hostile to the Christmas celebration. What I am saying is that if we are to ever validate paganism as an established belief system then we must stop seeking such validation from those who do not follow the pagan path.
If such folks want to celebrate Christmas then so be it, it is their right to do so. By the same token, Neo pagans should assert their right to celebrate Yule as it was done for thousands of years before our celebration was hijacked. I realize that it is very difficult to separate ones mindset from a former immersion in a particular belief system and then to change from that mindset to one that is the completely opposite in views and understandings as they apply to the world around us.
But then no one is forced to become a pagan. That is an individual choice made by the person who now proclaims them to be just that.
If paganism is ever going to be seen as a valid belief system as it was prior to the advent of Christianity, then those folks who adhere to such an identity must first be true to themselves before they can be true to others. And Yule, with its established celebration of the joyous arrival of the Sun God might be a good place to start.
There is a massive amount of energy expended each year by Neo pagans in connection with Christmas, perhaps we may want to re-direct such energy to a celebration that actually is connected to paganism and not so much to one that is opposed to pagan ideals.
Let’s be honest, how many Neo pagans do you know that celebrates Yule within a void of silence and yet have no issue with going all out in favor of Christmas? And so one has to wonder, do such folks really desire to follow a pagan belief and lifestyle or is it just a façade that is cool to claim to be involved with?
As a lifelong witch I fully embrace my heritage and hope that others who walk under the banner of paganism do so as well. And to those folks I wish each of them a very spiritual Yule…
Location: Manheim, Pennsylvania
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