This second week of my journaling practice from Nature Bound Pagan blog focuses around Pagan holidays and celebrations. I thought this topic would be perfect to jump into since I’m in the middle of trying to focus on studying the different traditions of Yule. There aren’t as many prompts as the first one, but they get fairly in-depth which is nice. So here it goes:
- Which season of the year is your favorite? What do you remember from your childhood about this season that has special meaning for you? How do you celebrate this season now?
I love the Fall/Winter; always have. I remember Halloween mostly. My Dad raised us to love the holiday, so everything surrounding it fell into that as well. I liked how long it seemed to last as a kid; the anticipation leading up to it. I have a pretty active imagination and Halloween kind of amped it haha. Then you have the fun and togetherness that the holidays following Halloween inspired, which was great.
Today, I celebrate it a lot like I did as a kid. I carve pumpkins, I go to haunted houses, watch scary movies, decorate the house in appropriate seasonal decor, etc. But I’ve added honoring the dead and thinking a lot about family members no longer here.
- Have you ever been to a Pagan holiday ritual? If so, what did you think? Describe what occurred in the ritual and what you liked about it.
I have not.
- Alternate. If you haven’t been to a Pagan holiday ritual, research common rituals for each holiday and pick one. Describe why you picked that one. What do you like about it? What don’t you like about it?
I chose the Maypole Dance for Beltane. I picked it, because while I’ve heard of the Maypole Dance; I’ve never seen it and I’ve always wanted to. I’ve heard of the intricate designs the dances can make and I heard of one Maypole Dance a podcast I listen to talked about how there were several Maypoles and all of them had different designs. It seems like it would be a very fun, light-hearted ritual, probably a good first public ritual to witness or be a part of for someone like myself who is more of a solitary practitioner. And, not important, but the fact that the pole represents a penis is awesome and makes me giggle and is simply awesome. I don’t know if there’s anything I don’t like about it…maybe just that a few of the places claim the Maypole Dance is usually held shortly after sunrise and, in the Spring/Summer, that’s too early haha 😉
- What do you think about Paganism including celebrations of fertility into its sacred year? Do you think that the Pagan celebration of fertility offers something positive to the culture? If so, what, and if not, why not?
I think it’s great and makes perfect sense, not only from a nature standpoint, but biological standpoint as well. Birth/new life is what the Spring/return of Summer is all about. Whether it’s flowers blooming, leaves returning, or babies being born/hatched. On a personal level, I am childfree (meaning I have actively chosen to never reproduce/raise kids), so while I am happy to celebrate fertility in nature/Earth, I do not celebrate my own fertility. In fact, if I could, I’d give it to someone else who needed it (well, since I’ve never been pregnant, I suppose I don’t actually KNOW if I’m fertile, but I assume it’s more likely than not and choose not to take the risk by ensuring I am protected from pregnancy haha).
- What do you think about Paganism including the processing of death into its sacred year? Do you think that the Pagan celebration of aging and dying offers something positive to the culture? If so, what, and if not, why not?
Same as the previous answer actually. Death is as much a part of life and nature as birth/fertility. I think there is a lot of negativity surrounding death that doesn’t necessarily need to be there. Sure, it’s sad when someone dies, especially in a sudden or violent way. And death is scary in that what happens after is truly a mystery.We all have ideas or hopes for what may come after, but in the end we won’t know until our time comes (and if nothing happens, then there’s nothing to worry about). Personally, I’ve found that the view of death through Pagan eyes has been WAY more therapeutic than anything else. My family has experienced a lot of death in the last year and are preparing for yet another due to a terminal illness. While grief and sadness are definitely still present in dealing with death as a Pagan, I’ve also been able to approach it more matter-of-fact and have been able to accept it quicker. I’ve also been able to find peace faster; life goes on and I have ways to continue celebrating that loved one and honoring them which makes me feel close to them and comforted.
That’s all for this journaling practice entry. Hope everyone has an excellent week! I will try to post again by the weekend for more Yule tradition research.
Until then, blessed be!