Preparing for Yule

We’ve finished decorating the inside of our house for the upcoming Yuletide/Christmas season with decor items we already had from last year, but I definitely need more. We tried going to an expo this weekend to see if there were local, handmade decorations to buy, but unfortunately it was more focused on gifts and basic items one would find at a  typical Saturday Market. I did get some amazing loose leaf tea and garlic dip seasoning mix (I’m a sucker for local food and drink haha).
It looks like I have a future trip to the craft and home decor stores in the area. I’ve also been saving DIY projects on Pinterest for things for Yule. We are buying our first real Christmas tree this year which I’m very excited about. I also plan on making a small tree in our backyard that I call the “Fairy Tree” (it’s a Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar) our outdoor Yule tree by placing seed ornaments on it as offerings for our backyard friends.

I’m also hoping to be more active in my studies for my path, so I’m hoping to fill the month of December with posts on the history of Yule and stories/lore behind some of the traditions and symbols of this time of year. It will be nice to get back into the swing of things and be more of an active participant vs a silent student as I have been for the past few months.

That’s all for now, but I hope everyone has had a nice holiday weekend.
Blessed be!

Lark

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A Very Happy Thanksgiving to You All

Just a quick post to send many blessings to everyone on this holiday celebrating thankfulness for the joys in our lives, for the harvest from our Earth, and for life itself.
I also want to extend blessings and wishes of peace and love to those who may be feeling anxiety about this holiday or sadness; you are not alone (I imagine that statement is even more true this year after our election, than ever before). The holidays, while they’re supposed to be a time of happiness, can actually be the exact opposite for some, so just know you are not forgotten on this day.
I also want to extend a thank you to our military service people who are deployed on this holiday; Pagan or otherwise. Please come home, please be safe.

Happy Thanksgiving and blessed be!

Lark

Looking Forward…

The past couple weeks have not been easy; the election results were a bit of an eye opener for me which was hard to deal with at first. I knew racism existed in America, but I didn’t realize that there was such a large base that either supported it or were indifferent to it. To vote for a man who spewed nothing but hateful rhetoric throughout his campaign with no real explanation of his plans except that they were “great plans” or “the best plans” was completely baffling. Or that they were single issue voters who found abortion more abhorrent than a man who admitted to kissing women without permission, who degraded women and men, who mocked the disabled including POWs, and goes on “Drunk Uncle” tirades on Twitter.
I have friends and relatives who voted for him despite his demeanor and his hurtful, divisive remarks. To lose that much respect for a number of people I care deeply for (and still do) all at once as well as my own country was hard. The hardest was the feeling following it, which was just loneliness. I felt no presence of any God or Divine Being in those moments and I tried to find them, any of them, but was met with only silence and this dark emptiness.
I know this all sounds dramatic, but I’m trying to be honest in showing my heart. People may not like it, but this is simply my experience and my emotions following this election and is not meant to be an attack.
I was numb. I cried myself to sleep those first three nights after. I cried at work. I managed to hold it together for the weekend until that damn “60 Minutes” interview where Trump didn’t really confirm or deny his intention to repeal Roe v Wade (a 43 year old law passed by the Supreme Court), but then was very much against repealing the marriage equality law because it was “…already passed by the Supreme Court. It’s law, it’s done.” Or something that effect. Like, really? That doesn’t make sense that these two laws are treated differently by that logic. I’m happy that my LGBTQ friends can, hopefully, remain married and not fear too much for their relationship, but it enraged me. My brother and I might not be alive if abortion were illegal. My parents might not be together. I have relatives who may not have survived their doomed pregnancies. It angers me that the party of small government is totally cool with the government telling me what I can and cannot do with my body when it comes to reproductive choices or situations. But this is not my point.

I’ve had my time to grieve, to feel fear, to feel numb, to feel anger. Now, I’m ready to take action. My husband and I are going to continue donating our money to our usual charities, but we’ve both vowed to start volunteering time as well. We will support those who need it and be present in peaceful demonstrations. We will clean up local parks, plant trees, run in charity races, help in food pantries, etc. We will become more involved in our community by taking classes and getting out more. We will travel, for as open minded as I like to think we are, we have not left the country, so I think a cultural vacation would be good for us as well. I don’t know what it was, but one day last week I finally felt a little better, a little stronger. I started following those I had unfollowed on my Facebook again. I’m listening more to those who voted for this man and while I have yet to agree with any of their reasonings, it’s at least helping me know where my focus should be in all of this.

In this strength, I have found myself and my faith again. I think the emotions and shock from everything caused my feet to go off path and I got lost in my own depression. I started to find goodness in the bad times, such as the way my coworkers came together; hugging and talking out our feelings in a gentle and positive manner, or my mother who is a wonderful woman and helped me through the motions, my brother and father who shared my feelings of anger and shock, my husband letting me rant, cry, and helping me come up with volunteering ideas. I also changed my perspective from fear being a bad thing to fear being a motivator. All of this combined and I found my way back.
I realize that I need to practice more in my craft, to keep my emotions centered, my thoughts logical. I must continue focusing on my inner peace to help contribute to the peace I hope we can achieve someday in our world.

F.E.A.R – Face Everything And Rise
Love Trumps Hate

Blessed be.

Lark

 

Christianity vs Paganism

So this is my continuation from the last post. I would like to add that I noticed a few typos from the last entry which I would like to apologize for (I’m sure I’ve had others); it serves me right for only using spell check and not actually proof reading as well. Ugh, that stuff makes me feel like such a moron.

Moving on!

So, this is not a battle royale of religious beliefs blog post. No.
Actually it’s a blog post basically complaining and poking fun 386d0a558868a86be4e09f6cce1c2220at this match up and the negativity and vitriol each religion directs at each other. Okay, I take that back, the religions do not fight, it’s the followers. This is making fun and shaming the followers that choose to engage in this ridiculous behavior.

Please remember, I am Pagan, so the fact that I used a Pagan meme is not meant to showcase who this blog post is directed towards. I’m merely using it as an example. Mostly because when I saw it on Pinterest my reaction to it was to scoff and roll my eyes.

Of course, this could be a sort of Neopagan Atheist meme, which if so, fine, but I have seen cases where Pagans who worship deities shared this same sentiment in a way and I honestly think it’s silly. I totally understand the bitterness towards Christianity felt by Pagans. The past between these two systems of faith has been…not great, to put it nicely. But does that mean we should continue the trend by being so judgmental and critical of them in present times? Especially if those criticisms of their beliefs could be applied to our own? I think it’s a bit of a waste of time.

I do think things like the book of Leviticus are totally up for judgement since it kind of goes against what Christianity stands for, or at least what I was brought up to believe it stands for which is the word of Christ himself and the 10 Commandments (e.g. “Love thy neighbor” being nonjudgmental, not stealing, killing, or feeling envious or hateful, and being accepting and loving; whereas stoning divorced women and hating homosexuals is not really in line with that idea, so there’s a lot of hypocritical crap in the Bible, in my opinion).
But, poking fun at the existence of their God is just really silly (as the above meme seems to do). As Pagans, we are supposed to be polytheistic right? And not all Pagans worship the same Gods/Goddesses, correct? So, if I were to claim I worshipped Freya and Thor, but told a worshipper of Persephone and Apollo they were wrong or they’re Deities didn’t exist, I would be wrong for doing it. So why is it okay to claim the Abrahamic God doesn’t exist or make fun of people for believing in Him? Actually, I think it should be considered that He does exist, He just has a different set of rules and prefers His followers to be monogamous to Him and Him alone.

Now onto the Christians. Seriously? Your religion is based off of the teachings of Christ (who, of course, did exist; we all know that…whether he was merely a philosopher preaching about basic human decency or the actual son of God is up for debate) yet you’re going to go ahead and allow the writings of other men who were kings and leaders of cities to dictate the religion you follow? Men who probably made these rules according to their own comfort or ideas of how they believe the world should work instead of the words of your God? Interesting. You’re no better than anyone else and what others believe is none of your concern; it’s none of our concerns so long as we aren’t harming each other in the name of our beliefs. As far as Pagan Gods/Goddesses existence goes, the first commandment in the Christian Bible says “Thou salt have no other gods before me” which means, the Abrahamic God, your God acknowledges the existence of other deities. I take this to mean that He simply feels if you are to follow Him, then He needs to be the only deity in your life, so telling Pagans or other polytheists they are full of it and their Gods don’t exist is not really true nor is it very nice.

So enough of the childish banter. People should be able to believe and worship however they want. I do think the majority of Christians and Pagans feel this way towards each other, but there are those few who seem to enjoy putting down the other’s religion and their followers and I think we’re all better than that. I think our God(s)/Goddess(es) feel we are better than that as well and expect more from us.
Be kind, be accepting, but don’t let others treat you badly either.
Today’s post might be rambly and scolding, but it comes from a place of love (and a few rum and cokes; I’ll admit…it’s a Friday).

I hope everyone has a great weekend, be safe, and blessed be!

Lark

Christianity and Witchcraft

This is a topic that I’ve heard of a few times and it’s something I thought would be fun to discuss or just think out loud about. It’s a topic that’s come up in a few of the podcasts I’m listening to currently. Side note: I feel that I should mention these episodes were not recent as I like to start podcasts from the beginning so that I can experience every topic and the evolution of the podcast and its host(s).
Any who, so Christian Witches, can they exist? Well, probably since they already do and, in my opinion, they have every right to since the Pagan path is so individualistic and a lot of us tout it as one of Paganisms most charming features. I do think Christianity is a religion that, if someone chooses to practice witchcraft within it, then they can do it, but carefully.

I have no idea where to start, so we’ll start with a couple basic facts: Witchcraft is a practice, NOT a religion; whereas Wicca is a religion and not all Wiccans practice the craft (so, if you think about it, the craft isn’t totally off limits to other religions if they really wanted to adopt it as a practice). Knowing this, obviously, one cannot be a Christian Wiccan as that would be like someone saying they were a Mormon Sikh or something.

Christianity and Wicca are two different religions, so if there are any Christians reading this who are thinking of practicing witchcraft, please look for non-denominational teachings or very basic 101 Witchcraft material; I strongly advise to avoid getting too far into Wiccan beliefs if you desire to be a Christian Witch…and here’s why: The very first commandment in the The Bible given to Moses (and the world) from God/Yahweh is “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Given that Wicca is polytheistic and celebrates both a God and Goddess (which can be basically whatever pantheon calls to you), this is basically breaking the first and, according to the book of Matthew, most important commandment.
Another issue with being a witch and a Christian is that it does contradict a few other “rules” thou not commandments in the Bible.

Exodus 22:18 – Thou shat not suffer a witch (or sorceress) to live. This seems to be the most well known and common argument against Christians practicing witchcraft. There’s been some debate as to whether or not the word “witch” was a mistranslation and actually meant something else, but I’ve had trouble finding evidence of that rumor being true.

Deuteronomy 18:10-11 – Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord… This is a bit more obvious as far as the Christian God’s view of witchcraft. And there are a few other mentions of witchcraft, sorcery, divination, etc throughout the book (e.g. 2 Chronicles, Isaiah, Galatians, Revelations, and the oh-so wonderful book of Leviticus mention these things and make sure to specify how witchcraft is an evil sin).

So again, while everyone is free to pursue their own path however they wish (I’m making an exception for closed religions; those are off limits) if you are Christian and looking into witchcraft, do your research to be sure it’s what you want to do, because the Christian God (or at least the teachings of His religion) seem to have some pretty set rules and he seems to be a fairly easily offended deity. That being said, cherry-picking is a common theme through a lot of religions it seems, so if you feel in your gut you can do it free from consequence, then by all means learn what you can about the practice and do so safely. Ask questions and question everything, because fakes and manipulators exist in all forms.

I’m feeling inspired to do another post jumping off from this one, but it’s late and I feel like I’ve rambled enough for now. I hope everyone had a great Halloween/Samhain and I wish you all a wonderful rest of the week.

Blessed be,
Lark