12/13/2014 by syrbal-labrys
It is a holiday season here — we are pagans of the humanistic/naturalistic sort in this household. (I often discuss the ins and outs of that here.) I sometimes self-describe as a polydeist. We beg, borrow, and steal symbols and metaphors from various traditions ranging from Hellenic to Nordic to Amerindian and feel entitled to do so due to being what I have called “American mongrel” — our bloodlines and ancestral “homes” as mixed and tangled as the average Heinz 57 puppy!
So, once upon a distant Catholic/Christian time, we celebrated this day as “St. Lucia’s Day” and I’d be up before dawn making “Lucy Cats” buns for my daughter to deliver (with or without the candle crown) to other family members. Now, we simply call it “Little Yule” and this year I am instituting it as the day to give gifts of alcohol and possibly do movie marathons.
Of course, even in those days that my uber-up-tight Baptist neighbor called “pagan Catholic” days — I knew Lucia and Lucy Cats had little to do with Christ or his Mass for us – those buns are clearly the rune Sowilo — the rune of the Sun, for the coming Winter Solstice when the days lengthened again promising spring and life in the future. It was a comfortable segue into actual pagan life. I had been personally pagan since late 1985; I came out to my family in 1994 after Pope John Paul II told the Catholic world that human conscience was trumped by his decree. Although I loved our socially active parish for the political and justice related works, at that point I had to be officially done.
That is what this post is about, in a way: being officially ‘done’. No, no, I am not again attempting to flounce off in despair to sulk about what the world/my country is doing to my ideals and hopes for the world. But there are smaller ‘dones’ aren’t there? When you just know you’ve had your fill of beating your head against walls of apathy and ignorance? When you need to refuel and refresh and you don’t know how long it will take?
That is where I am. So, I laid my hearth altar today for “Mothers’ Night” (celebrated 20 Dec.) — a Nordic pagan tradition honoring the “disir” – though what, you ask, can all that clan mother stuff have to do with a humanist? Well, this year, considering it as I looked for a way to make obvious what I felt inside, it occurred to me it is useful to consider all the “mothers”, all the women who went before me. How I am them and they are me in ways that never change, as well as considering what has changed, and what remains in need of change.
So, while I am “done” in a sense of burn-out presently; I am certainly not done in terms of searching for healing for the self, the family, the world at large. But for a while, from today until at least January 1st, I am going to literally practice the time I call the “Fallows”…for my personal new year began in November; but I have to catch up with my society’s calendar. I will do this by avoiding the news, and likely even favorite blogs for a time. I’ll spend the next week looking at those “matrushka” dolls — women, women, women, connecting to the feminine, divine and human. I will rest, baking and eating cookies, and sitt in holiday lit rooms with candles enhanced by drops of Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs oils. I will listen to family laughter; we will eventually open gifts and eat a Winter Solstice dinner. We will step outside the world in a way not quite what other pagans (Wiccans for instance) had in mind — a functional human stepping away to revive ourselves and celebrate the putting together our own family Humpty Dumpty this past year.
May you find light and merriment in this season by whatever name you celebrate it! See you in 2015 — unless I pop in to post photographs alone, which may or may not happen.