Where the Wild Things Are: I Believe in Santa Claus

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, December, 25, 2003.

I believe in Santa Claus. Maybe I just choose to believe. But I think there’s more to it. In part it’s the Christmas spirit generated in this season, sharing good cheer and love, friendship. Maybe it’s the atmosphere of giving and not just taking. Maybe it’s the strength of all those children who also believe in Santa Claus. All those things combine and make strong magickal forces. You may scoff all you like. But the fact is this is a powerful time of year. Each person wandering around with their own part in the whole of the Christmas spirit contributes to the power. Each good deed, each gift shared and each friend greeted is part of a huge ritual taking place.

Children traditionally set out offerings for Santa: milk and cookies, something for the reindeer and a tidbit for the elves. We send him notes asking for blessings. Santa also has ritual music and poetry, widely known and frequently chanted at this time of year. The rituals are passed on to each new child, carried along and given new life for each generation.

All those people, no matter what path they follow, know about Santa Claus. He’s the focus of the spirit of giving and good will. For children he’s the figure of authority, he who must be pleased. Cultural icon, old wives tale or commercial legend, Santa has been given power and there doesn’t need to be an actual human being for that power to exist. We don’t need to see a man in a red suit driving an air borne sleigh, packing a bottomless bag of toys to believe in Santa Claus. It’s all around us, every moment of every day in this season.

So, scoff if you choose. But, I believe in Santa Claus. I like it that way.

Merry Yule, Seasons Greetings and leave Santa a little something tonight.

Where the Wild Things Are: Yule or Christmas

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, November, 23, 2003.

Christmas, by that name, is a Christian holiday, Christ’s Mass is how it started as far as I remember. Also, if you want to get technical, holiday is also a Christian word, coming from holy day, the long, extended version before the remix.

I was thinking tonight, do you call it Christmas or always religiously, in a semi-fanatical way, call it Yule? To me, I don’t think the small things are worth fighting against the tide over. I don’t mind calling it Christmas or a holiday. I know what it means to me. I know where it comes from, historically and spiritually.

I also know how I celebrate it. I don’t go to a church, not one recognized by the average Yellow Pages phone book. I live in my ‘church’ it’s always with me and all around me. Mostly, I just like being outside. That’s when I feel closest to everything that matters and makes me feel good.

So, for me Yule or Christmas, is about time outside as well as our family traditions. The Christmas tree, singing carols, the exchange of new pajamas on Christmas Eve, the big dinner, making bread together, driving around admiring the fancy coloured lights, and so on. My favourite things are fresh, new snow on Christmas day and admiring the tree all lit up and decorated with ornaments we’ve made and kept from year to year and relatives past.

However you feel about Yule, remember the spirit of the season. Don’t insist people recognize you as Pagan, call it Yule whenever you might be listening and don’t make someone feel their Christmas is less than your Yule. Play nice. Religious tolerance works both ways.

Where the Wild Things Are: Are you Superstitious?

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, October, 22, 2003.

Are you superstitous? Don’t deny it too quickly. There are sorts of little things we do without even considering them to be a superstition. Do you read horoscopes? How much credit do you give to them? Would you consider your day not as great if you have a poor horoscope? Kind of superstitious aren’t you?

Wicca and Witchcraft are full of superstition though we might deny it. I think, Pagans in general, try to distance themselves from the occult and the superstitions which have all gotten a bad reputation.

It’s funny cause the very stuff they deny is partly what their beliefs are based on. Occult was a word long before Wicca. Meanwhile, I expect superstitions have been around right from the first people on the planet.

Most people think about superstitions around weddings, births and deaths, the major life events. I think those are the times when we are most off balance, in need of some extra sign or guidance that everything will be ok. That’s really what a superstition is. Just that extra assurance that you’re going to be all right.

Of course, some superstitions are safety precautions. You should avoid walking under ladders, breaking mirrors and squishing spiders. Not because you fear having a run of bad luck but because it’s less likely ladders will fall on your head, glass will cut your hand and spiders are needed for eating other bugs. It’s all logical and reasonable.

So go ahead and avoid stepping on cracks, tossing salt over your shoulder and so on, guilt free. Superstitions might be soffed but they have their own purpose and history. As long as they harm none what’s the harm in humouring your own superstitions?

Where the Wild Things Are: Karma, Goodness and Light

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, August, 12, 2003.

Witches don’t believe in hell, or devils or satan, none of that Christian stuff of nightmares. (Note: I’m sure there is someone who is thinking even now… “that’s not true, I believe in devils, imps and the like”. In my opinion, that’s your choice but most Witches wouldn’t agree).

Anyway, if Witches don’t believe in Christian baddies, is there anything evil that we do believe in? Or is everything all light and good and pure with the world?

No, we do believe there are consequences to your actions and choices. There is the three fold law, there is karma and there is the Wiccan Rede. But, that doesn’t really answer the question, does it?

I do believe there are bad things out there. I don’t trust that everything around us is goodness and light. But, I tend to seldom think about anything negative in that way. It’s not a focus in my day to day doings. If you don’t dwell on evil (whatever word you would call it) it won’t notice you either.

To me even talking about evil sounds a bit looney toon. In the end, people make choices and that is what brings consequences to themselves and the rest of the planet/ people. The evil comes from ourselves, not so much from an outside source. Yes, I think there is an outside source but it’s only as strong as we ourselves make it.

Each day is a new day and you have to choose who you will be, what you will believe in and what you will do.