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Author Topic: Celebrating holidays in the broom closet  (Read 1678 times)

feigi

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Celebrating holidays in the broom closet
« on: August 25, 2014, 01:17:59 pm »
I'm sorry if there is another thread like this but I couldn't find it.

I moved back in with my mom about a month ago. She (including my entire family) are devout Christians. But they aren't the accepting, loving and tolerant Christians of myth that we hear oh so much about; they are more of the belittle you, disown you, call you a heretic, a devil worshipping whore and if all else fails beat you with the bible in hopes that you will learn the word of God by osmosis. Fun stuff...

I am in the broom closet and don't ever see myself coming out, not to them at least. It's all well and good until holidays come around. I'm a solitary witch, I have no pagan or witch friends and I'm unsure how I can best celebrate while in the closet and by myself. I just don't feel right not celebrating the turning of the seasons and yet I'm stuck celebrating Christmas and Easter and such, I feel like I'm still Christian (a sorry excuse nonetheless).

How can I integrate the holidays into my practice in the most subtle way and with only me alone?

NiDara

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Re: Celebrating holidays in the broom closet
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2014, 04:30:32 pm »
Quote from: feigi;157057
I'm sorry if there is another thread like this but I couldn't find it.

I moved back in with my mom about a month ago. She (including my entire family) are devout Christians. But they aren't the accepting, loving and tolerant Christians of myth that we hear oh so much about; they are more of the belittle you, disown you, call you a heretic, a devil worshipping whore and if all else fails beat you with the bible in hopes that you will learn the word of God by osmosis. Fun stuff...

I am in the broom closet and don't ever see myself coming out, not to them at least. It's all well and good until holidays come around. I'm a solitary witch, I have no pagan or witch friends and I'm unsure how I can best celebrate while in the closet and by myself. I just don't feel right not celebrating the turning of the seasons and yet I'm stuck celebrating Christmas and Easter and such, I feel like I'm still Christian (a sorry excuse nonetheless).

How can I integrate the holidays into my practice in the most subtle way and with only me alone?


Your personal celebrations really depend on which holidays are related to your spiritual path. If you follow the typical Wheel of the Year, decorate seasonally. Imbolc can involve candles and early spring flowers. Samhain can be pumpkins or skeletons (if your family's not offended by those). Stores generally have autumn leaves and harvest decor in autumn. If you're creatively inclined, make crafts that are suitable for the season. Again, candles are good at any point in the year.

If you want to have a private, quiet ritual, consider doing a journal ritual. You can write down what you would want to do and still be able to celebrate; then you have a record to look back on. I don't know if your family's the type to snoop, but keep it hidden. Make altars with everyday items that don't look pagan or witch-y. Depictions of deities can be done with symbols instead of statues. Another option is finding a secluded location to have your celebrations.

Honestly, since you're a solitary witch, there shouldn't be that great of a difference on what you'd normally do on a day to day basis. Adapt your practice for festivals.

MadZealot

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Re: Celebrating holidays in the broom closet
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2014, 07:53:07 pm »
Quote from: feigi;157057
I just don't feel right not celebrating the turning of the seasons and yet I'm stuck celebrating Christmas and Easter and such, I feel like I'm still Christian (a sorry excuse nonetheless).

 
Two words: "Seasonal decor."
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Earthworm

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Re: Celebrating holidays in the broom closet
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2014, 08:20:20 am »
Quote from: feigi;157057
How can I integrate the holidays into my practice in the most subtle way and with only me alone?


I don't really do much celebrating, myself, outside of Halloween and Christmas. However, I definitely let the tone of the season color the tone of my work. This works best for me if I spend some time outside before a ritual (or whatever you want to call it).

For instance, biking home through the woods on the afternoon of the summer solstice, it was all sweaty and muggy and I came across a massive blacksnake on the little bridge over the creek, and I felt like all of that really encapsulated the time of year for me.

Similarly, biking home through the woods in the snow on an evening some time around the winter solstice, I heard a strange sound and stopped. I realized it was the sound of ice moving in the creek and was able to stand and listen to that, feeling the cold and thinking about the winter.

The impression I got from these encounters with the seasons stuck with me throughout my solstice observations. That actually seems like a really good word. While celebrating is difficult while alone and in the closet, there's usually a chance to observe.

Disclaimer: It may sound like I live in the country (what with the creeks and biking through the woods and all), but actually I come from a city and my way home just happened to take me through one of those wooded areas that sometimes lie in the middle. There is a similar area around the train tracks in the town I live in now, and parks are also perfectly nice places to get outside.
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Siona

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Re: Celebrating holidays in the broom closet
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2014, 07:53:13 pm »
Quote from: feigi;157057
How can I integrate the holidays into my practice in the most subtle way and with only me alone?

 
If it's possible to do so, you might want to go out and do some season activities to connect to nature a bit that way. Apple picking, pumpkin picking (and carving), a trip to the ocean in the summer, maybe consider a small garden or some potted plants? There are a lot of seemingly secular activities that you could give a private spiritual twist on.

Siren

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Re: Celebrating holidays in the broom closet
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2014, 10:04:54 pm »
Quote from: Siona;159284
If it's possible to do so, you might want to go out and do some season activities to connect to nature a bit that way. Apple picking, pumpkin picking (and carving), a trip to the ocean in the summer, maybe consider a small garden or some potted plants? There are a lot of seemingly secular activities that you could give a private spiritual twist on.

 
All of the above, plus meditation and visualization. Your temple can be as elaborate as you want it to be, when it lives in your head. :)

Nyktelios

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Re: Celebrating holidays in the broom closet
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2014, 11:26:48 am »
Quote from: feigi;157057
I'm sorry if there is another thread like this but I couldn't find it.

I moved back in with my mom about a month ago. She (including my entire family) are devout Christians. But they aren't the accepting, loving and tolerant Christians of myth that we hear oh so much about; they are more of the belittle you, disown you, call you a heretic, a devil worshipping whore and if all else fails beat you with the bible in hopes that you will learn the word of God by osmosis. Fun stuff...

I am in the broom closet and don't ever see myself coming out, not to them at least. It's all well and good until holidays come around. I'm a solitary witch, I have no pagan or witch friends and I'm unsure how I can best celebrate while in the closet and by myself. I just don't feel right not celebrating the turning of the seasons and yet I'm stuck celebrating Christmas and Easter and such, I feel like I'm still Christian (a sorry excuse nonetheless).

How can I integrate the holidays into my practice in the most subtle way and with only me alone?

 
Rituals can be pretty simple, so don't feel like you have to have all the bells and smells that the beginner books tell you that you need. Lighting a candle, invoking the gods, and praying can be all you need. Like others have mentioned, seasonal decor is also good to give you the feeling of the holiday. If you aren't able to use a candle, symbols from nature that represent the gods might help, or you could paint a pentacle on a stone and dress it up seasonally by putting flowers, fallen leaves, evergreen boughs, etc. around it.

If it makes you feel any better, my parents are completely non-religious and they still belittled and ridiculed me when I was drawn to paganism as a teen, and they do the same even now that I am doing a master's degree in Christian theology. Sometimes you just can't win.

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