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Yule and other questions

Do you tie Yule and Christmas together? If you do, which parts? If you have children, what parts of Yule do you share/teach them? Do you do any rituals personally?

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This is my first year observing the Wheel of the Year. I'm a solitary practitioner so I have only been doing research and reading on my own. I'm sure you've probably seen me around this past year asking questions about integrating my husband's eclectic Christian beliefs with my own earth pagan beliefs. I don't believe in a god or goddess (yet), so that kind of simplifies things. I believe in the energies of the earth and the energies around us. I wonder though, if I had someone who taught me about the gods and goddesses, if I would believe then. Being so isolated in my learning, I suppose it's hard to find that connection and easy to become overwhelmed by it all.

I guess I feel lost and alone in this. I have only one other friend in real life who's beliefs are even close to mine and she's only begun searching for her path with no definite wisdom to share yet. I wish that I didn't have to spend hours and hours researching and finding something that fits with one holiday. I feel so behind in so many ways. My soul and heart want to celebrate these festivals, but my head doesn't know how. I try to celebrate them in my own way but I want to dig deeper, find more. How? I don't know.

When I was little, I heard a CD called Sons of Somerled. It made my heart race and my body buzz with this elated feeling of passion for a land I'd never really learned about or heard much about. I didn't grow up with any kind of music like that, any kind of history lessons. I grew up with 70's and 80's music. Never was anything like that ever introduced to me before. After that I started reading everything I could get my hands on about the Celts, Celtic traditions, Gaelic, Scotland, music, history, everything. I read about the Scottish highlands and I found that I had to make myself breathe. My soul was alive and I couldn't understand why. All I knew is that I had to find out more! more! more! To this day I feel this connection that is so strong. And I don't understand it. I keep thinking reincarnation, connection to past lives, something. All I know is that when I practice and celebrate and participate in these beliefs and traditions, I feel complete. But to finish that feeling of completeness, I need to find what exactly I believe and how to practice it.

My husband is very supportive of me and my choice of path, wanting to share in it even though he doesn't believe. His point is that I celebrate his holidays with the kids and him so it should be vice versa and I shouldn't be celebrating them alone. This Samhain I intended to celebrate with the kids, but they're only 4 and 3 and my husband wasn't comfortable with that holiday, so I simply did some things by myself. I don't want to be by myself in this. I wish I had a mentor, someone who could teach me, could help me learn and understand.

I suppose what I'm asking for here is advice. Are any of you, or have any of you, been in this position before? Or any part of this situation? Am I truly alone? What did you do if you have been here?




x-posted for more answers

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
mardott
Nov. 14th, 2011 06:27 pm (UTC)
I can't offer advice, since I'm also new to this. But I do know you're not alone because I'm going through the same thing. I also approach paganism through the idea of natural energies, but not anything divine. I have the same deep reaction to all things Celtic that you've described, and I struggle to celebrate the sabbats without acknowledging a specific god or goddess. Sometimes I feel like a pretzel as I try to combine my beliefs with a ritual.

I hope you find someone nearby to help you. I'll gladly add you as a friend, here. We can at least keep each other posted on what we figure out.
briannablade
Nov. 16th, 2011 02:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :) I'm with you on the pretzel- I feel that way exactly.
I'd be happy to add you as a friend. I was going to ask if we could and then you did. Ha :)
rapscallion
Nov. 15th, 2011 05:16 am (UTC)
There's nothing inherently un-Christian about what you believe, especially since you currently lack a deity. (That wording sounds off, as if you need one, but that isn't what I mean to imply. I just don't know how better to put it.)

My family is Roman Catholic and I am party to their celebrations every year. What I do is this:
I go along with the parts of their stuff that I can stomach and I calmly sit back without participating for the stuff I really don't like.
Then, I bring out my own traditions. I say, "so I brought something over which is traditional for this time of year. It is [food, music, whatever] and here is where it came from, this is who made it, and this is all the good stuff it represents like peace, happiness, prosperity through the hard winter, etc." And then I share it with them. Usually I try to bring a food item, and then everyone can help cook and eat it! Everybody likes that in my family.

The same thing goes for all holidays, including Samhain, which is isn't a bad holiday at all. And it overlaps with Christian holidays such as All Saints Day. My advice to you is to look up the history of what aspects you would like to celebrate and present them in as diplomatic a way as possible. When framed as traditional, most people will accept something along the lines of "this is what people used to do in the old days, let's try it!" It can be done without being overtly spiritual at all. No "mother earth" or any such talk necessary, but you can still get the point across.

But yes, I'm with you. My fiance is avidly anti-religious and has, at many points along the way, insulted my path without even meaning to. He's now a lot more supportive, but there are times when I have to say, "look, you don't have to know anything about this holiday or believe in it, just know that it helps me to feel in touch with the cycle of the seasons and that's important to me. Plus, it's a great excuse for a party!"
briannablade
Nov. 16th, 2011 02:40 pm (UTC)
That's a great idea about bringing something from your traditions! Love it!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I really appreciate it :) :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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