Posts Tagged With: Family

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chri… Yuletide!

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chri… Yuletide!

Author: Lori Dake

One of the things I truly enjoy doing is decorating for the Holidays, and the Sunday before Thanksgiving is when I start doing my yearly ritual. It was a lot later when I was growing up, sometimes as late as Christmas Eve, because we always had a real tree, and as you all know, real trees tend to dry out and look rather Charlie Brown-ish if it’s left up too long.

I do miss the wonderful pine smell, but I certainly don’t miss the pine needles all over the floor stabbing my toes, or the resin giving me a terrible rash as I string up the lights, nor do I miss the aftermath of what an urban Pagan apartment dweller is to do with a tree that was cut down for our amusement. So, since we use an artificial tree year after year, I get to decorate mine much earlier, as well as lavishly cover our humble abode in twinkly white lights and pretty red ribbons. So, early decorating is a bit of a tradition I have started, and hey – one of the perks of having your own family is to change things up a bit!

And why do I choose to decorate before Thanksgiving? I means seriously! Don’t we always complain about how the holidays are rolling around earlier and earlier, no thanks to the Big Box stores (and all their evilness!) trying to make a few more dollars? Well, quite frankly, I’m going to be busy preparing Thursday’s feast all this week starting on Monday, since I do prep work like a well-founded catering company! Also, since we run a home business predominantly through eBay, the Dakes will be in a retail full swing, trying to compete with those aforementioned Big Box stores and their incredibly low prices! And, Sunday is Clean Up The House! day around these parts, so this is really the only opportunity I have to decorate before Santa starts to pack up his sleigh. That, and well, decorating, for me at least, is a lot of work – an all-day thing actually! – so I want to enjoy the fruits of my labor for just a little bit longer. But I promise, after New Year’s Day, they really do come down! I swear! Really! No ornaments will be discovered with decorated eggs!

So, with this being the Saturday before, I’ve already started straightening up the living room / warehouse to make room for all the decorations, and I’ve even bought a couple new items for this year’s Yule Diorama, which is my version of the Nativity Scene; I have a wolf and a moose to add! I have such fond memories of playing with the cast of characters as a kid, so I restructured the scene to more accurately reflect my Pagan beliefs.

My husband said if I keep adding onto it, that by the time our son has his own kids, my little “manger scene” is going to take up a whole wall! And since almost all of the pieces in my Yule Diorama were originally intended to be children’s playthings, as opposed to being delicate, hand painted porcelain religious icons to be admired and not touched, I happily welcome the thought of having that wall of critters and magickal creatures readily available for my future grandchildren.

We also break another tradition of throwing ourselves into bankruptcy over buying the biggest and best gifts for extended family and ourselves. My husband’s family is huge, and their tradition is that everyone buys everyone a gift. When his sisters, their husbands, their children and now, their children’s husbands and children are factored in, even token five dollar gifts can easily jack up to over a thousand dollars!

So, in order to still manage to give something to everyone, I also invest a full day of cookie baking, with at least four varieties and a dozen cookies per gift bag. (Yes, that’s a LOT of flour and sugar, but soooo good!) Okay, so we end up looking like cheapskates to some of our wealthier family members, especially when the gifts we get in exchange are pretty darn sweet, but I am at least trying to convey the message we do care and hopefully one day, someone will do the math and realize just how much work and love was put into them all. If anything, I got to make my home smell delicious and was able to sprinkle a little magick into their tummies!

Now, one tradition I have retained intact from childhood is to add at least one new ornament for the tree. For at least the last decade, I’ve been desperately searching for a blue Santa, more like a Father Christmas than the Coca-Cola image people are mostly familiar with, because somehow, it just feel ‘right’, for lack of a better term. Our tree is very Pagan-ish, but without being blatant or tacky about it, and I feel it reflects our faith as a whole. So, to find that special Santa would be such a wonderful addition to all the birds, bells, stars, icicles, snowflakes and winter woodland creatures that currently adorn our happy little tree, and it would just plain make me happy.

Here’s the way I see it:

Yes, we’re Pagan, yes we celebrate Yule, but yes, we also open presents on Christmas and have no problem calling them Christmas presents. Sure, we also open a special gift at Yule, but just like any religiously blended family, that’s another perk: more presents for the holidays! But no, we do not send out cards that say “Merry Christmas!” on them, unless we specifically know the recipients celebrate the holiday as such.

Oh, and no – I wouldn’t be offended if you or anyone else were to wish me a “Merry Christmas”. I know a couple times, people have tap-danced around that term, and it always came off as rather awkward, even in email form. I was able to just sense that fumbling around with a half-hearted, generic “Happy Holidays”, and to me, it just took away from the gesture.

Now, while I honestly do appreciate that extra effort, the sentiment is all the same to me, so I kindly ask my friends and family to just say whatever comes to mind. It’s not necessary with us. We always appreciate the sincere wishes, in all its guises. I’m a vegetarian too; as just the same, I’m not out to inconvenience anyone when what he or she gives me is out of love (I’ll just stick with the sides!)

So in closing, I wish a Merry Christmas to you, a Blessed Solstice, a Happy Yuletide, a Happy Hanukkah, a Happy Kwanzaa, a Happy Boxing Day and a thousand other ways to wish you a wonderful holiday, however you wish to call and celebrate it!

PS. Pssst! So hey – if anyone comes across a blue Santa ornament, would you kindly let me know where to find it? :) I’d really like to start a new quest!

______________________________________

Footnotes:
Yule Diorama: http://pagan-wiccan-practice.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_pagan_nativity_scene

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Today’s I Ching Hexagram for December 15th is 37: Community

37: Community


December 15th, 2014
hexagram09
A community or extended family that works is one where healthy interdependence is appreciated and supported. Good direction is essential, but strong kinship is dependent upon every member of the community. Trust, shared responsibilities and good communication are essential. Each member must be encouraged to find his or her appropriate expression, and contribution.

The functional family is a team that symbolizes the ideal of human interdependence, and has long provided a firm foundation for society. The healthy family is a microcosm of society and the native soil in which ethical values take root and grow. Fertilize this soil, and the whole of society benefits.

The power that bonds a tribe is the yin or feminine principle — gentleness and receptivity. Relationships are improved through cultivation of these. Learn to accept both advice and aid from others, and be willing to assume an appropriate role in any group that supports good relating. A good team player is always valuable to others. Increase your value!

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Daily OM for October 27th – Reviving a Community Tradition

Reviving a Community Tradition
Storytelling

by Madisyn Taylor

Most cultures use storytelling to pass down family history using the power and energy of the human voice.

Ever since our ancestors could first communicate, we have gathered to share our stories. We have passed along creation tales and tragic stories of love lost. We have repeated accounts of real heroism and simple stories of family history. When our forebears lived closer to the land and to each other, the practice of storytelling was imbued with ritual and occasion. Members of the tribe would often gather around the fire to hear their genealogy recited aloud by an elder or master storyteller. Listeners could track how their own lives, and the lives of their parents, interwove with the lives of the other tribe members, as everyone’s ancient relatives once played out similar life dramas together.

As a custom, some cultures’ storytellers repeat the same tale over and over because they believe that each time you hear it, you come to the story as a different person and view the plot and characters in a new light. Hearing the story over and over is a way to gauge where you have been and where you are now on your path of personal evolution. It also helps the younger generation learn the stories so that they can pass them to forthcoming generations.

When we hear others tell stories, we can laugh at their humorous adventures, feel the thrill of exciting encounters, see parts of ourselves in them, and learn from the challenges they face. Though most of our formal traditions of storytelling are lost, it does not mean we have to be without. We can begin new practices in our own families of listening to one another, of honoring our own journey, and witnessing the journeys of those around us. We can revive the fireside communal by gathering around the campfire or hearth with family and friends, sharing in stories. By building new practices of storytelling, we give ourselves and the ones we love an opportunity to draw ever closer in our shared human experience.

 

 

Source:
The Daily OM

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How to Come Out of the Broom Closet

How to Come Out of the Broom Closet

Telling Family Members You’re Wiccan or Pagan

By , About.com

 

At some point, you may have decided that you’re comfortable enough in your spiritual path that you’re ready to “come out of the broom closet.” Chances are it’s not a decision you’ve made lightly, because it’s a pretty big step. After all, once you’ve “come out”, you don’t get to take it back if people don’t like it. Certainly, we all want to be accepted by those we love and care about, but realistically we know there’s a chance they might be upset, angry, or concerned once they find out we’re Wiccan or Pagan.

First, you’ll need to decide what you hope to gain by coming out. Do you just want to shock the neighbors and grandparents into thinking you’re Spooky and Mysterious? On the other hand, maybe you feel like you’re being less than honest with people in your life by not revealing your true beliefs. Or perhaps you’re just tired of tiptoeing around and hiding who you are, and you’re ready to be open about your path. Regardless, make sure that the benefits outweigh the possible repercussions.

Coming out to Family

 

You’re the one who knows your family best, so you may be able to gauge how they’re going to react. Is there a chance you could cause a lot of family discord by coming out? Will your spouse threaten to divorce you? Could you get kicked out of the house? Will each family dinner become an opportunity for siblings to throw Chick Tracts at you and scream that you’re a sinner? Is it possible your kids might get picked on at school if word gets out that you’re Pagan? These are possible results of coming out of the broom closet. Consider them carefully, and weigh it against your reasons for coming out in the first place.

If you’ve decided that coming out is the right choice for you, the obvious place to start is at home, where there are people who love you and care about you. The reason for this is twofold — one, families tend to be more accepting than strangers, and two, how would you like it if mom and dad or your wife found out from someone other than you that you’re Wiccan?

First, let them know there’s something really important you need to discuss with them. Try to plan a time when there are no distractions — and do plan ahead, so no one feels like you’re trying to corner them or surprise them. Don’t bring up the subject when you have half a dozen Wiccan friends sitting on your porch — your family members will feel ambushed, and that’s not a good way to start the conversation.

Before you actually have the Big Conversation, think about what you’re going to say. As silly as this sounds, know what you believe. After all, if your family members ask you questions, you better be able to answer them if you want to be taken seriously. Make sure you’ve done your homework beforehand. They may want to know what you believe about God, reincarnation, spell work, or even if you hate Christianity now that you’re Wiccan. Have an honest answer ready.

When you do sit down to finally have the Talk, focus on remaining calm. Depending on how conservative or religious your family members are, there’s a possibility they might fly off the handle. They’re entitled to – after all, you’ve just told them something they weren’t expecting, and so the natural reaction to such a situation can be shock and anger for some people. No matter how much they yell, keep yourself from responding in kind. Keep your voice down — this will do two things. First, it will show them that you are mature, and secondly, it will force them to stop yelling in order to hear what you have to say.

Make sure you focus on what your belief system is, rather than what it isn’t. If you start the conversation with, “Now, it’s not devil worship…” then all anyone will hear is the “devil” part, and they’ll start worrying. You may even want to recommend a book for your parents to read so they can understand Wicca and Paganism a little better. One book aimed specifically for Christian parents of teens is When Someone You Love is Wiccan. It does include a few sweeping generalizations, but on the whole it provides a useful, positive Q&A format for people who are concerned about your new spiritual path.

The bottom line is that your family needs to see you’re still the same happy and well-adjusted person you were yesterday. Show by the way you behave and conduct yourself that you’re still a good person, despite the fact that you may have a different spiritual path than everyone else in the house.

Coming Out to Friends

 

This can almost be trickier than coming out to the family, because a family member can’t just drop you like a hot potato if they disagree with your choices. A friend can, although one could argue that someone who does so wasn’t really that good of a friend in the first place. However, if your friends have very different religious viewpoints from you, understand that it could happen.

Once you’ve come out to your family, you can come out to your friends gradually. You might want to start by wearing a piece of religious jewelry and seeing who notices it. When they ask what it is, you can explain, “This is a symbol of my faith, and it means [whatever].” For teens in particular, this is a much easier method than standing up on the lunchroom table and yelling, “Hey, everyone, listen up, I’m Wiccan now!!” I’d also recommend not taking big books on Paganism and magic to school with you — there’s a time and a place for reading about Wicca, but school isn’t it.

You may find that some of your friends are confused by this choice you’ve made. They may feel hurt that you haven’t talked to them about it before, or even a little betrayed that you couldn’t confide in them. The best thing you can do is reassure them that you’re telling them now, because you do value their friendship. If you have a friend who is particularly religious — or one you’ve met in a religious context, such as a church youth group — this could be even more awkward. Be sure you answer any questions they have, and make sure they understand that just because you’re no longer part of their religion doesn’t mean you no longer want to be friends. If you’re really lucky, eventually they’ll come around and be happy that you’re happy.

The great thing about really good friends is that they’ve probably already figured it out, and were just waiting for you to speak up. If they know you well enough, chances are good that you’re not really coming out to them, but simply confirming what they already suspected.

Coming Out at Work

 

While you are certainly protected against religious discrimination at work thanks to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the fact is that some people may experience some retaliation if they come out at work. It’s going to depend on where you work, what sort of people you work with, and whether or not there’s anyone who’d like to see you fired.

That having been said, the workplace is not really an appropriate place for discussions on religion. Your spirituality is private and personal, and while there’s nothing wrong with wearing a crystal on a chain around your neck, I’d probably draw the line at having a giant pentacle hanging over your desk. There’s very little benefit to actually coming out at work.

Understand that if you’ve come out to friends and family, there’s a possibility that someone at work will find out anyway. If that happens, and you are pressured into discussing your spirituality at work or if you are harassed in any way, talk to a supervisor. You may also want to look into retaining an attorney.

The Bottom Line

 

Bear in mind that there may be people in your life who are not going to be happy with your choice. You can’t change their minds; only they can do that. The best you can do is ask for tolerance, or at the very least, a lack of a hostile environment. Don’t waste your energy protesting against someone who’s convinced you’ve made a wrong decision. Instead, show them by your actions and deeds that your choice is the right one for you.

Some people may come up to you and say, “Hey, I hear you’re a Wiccan. What the heck is that, anyway?”

If that happens, you should have an answer. Tell them what you believe, something like, “A Wiccan is someone who honors both a god and a goddess, who reveres and honors the sacredness of nature, who accepts personal responsibilities for their own actions, and who tries to live a life of balance and harmony.” If you can give them a clear, concise answer (notice that there’s nothing in there about what Wicca isn’t) that’s usually good enough for most people. At the very least, it will give them something to think about.

Ultimately you’re the only one who can decide how to come out. You can wear a big shirt that says “Yes, I’m a Witch, Deal With It!” or you can gradually leave hints for people who are astute enough to spot them. You might leave books or statuary lying around where your parents can see them, or you may choose to wear Pagan jewelry where everyone can see it.

Remember that for some people, you may be the only Pagan or Wiccan they’ve ever met. If they have questions, answer them honestly and truthfully. Be the best person you can be, and perhaps you will be able to pave a path for the next Pagan in their life who is considering coming out of the broom closet.

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How To Hold a Family Abundance Rite for Beltane

How To Hold a Family Abundance Rite for Beltane

By , About.com

 

Beltane is a celebration of fertility, and despite that it’s a perfectly natural aspect of the human existence, let’s face it — some parents may not always be comfortable discussing the erect phallus of the god or the open womb of the goddess with their young children. However, in addition to sexual fertility, the Beltane sabbat is also about abundance, in many forms. Don’t just focus on material gains — it’s about the growth of the earth and its bounty, and it’s about increasing your own spiritual and emotional wealth.

This family ritual is one that you can easily include children in. Hold it at night, if possible. Before beginning, prepare your family’s evening meal. Include spring foods, such as a light salad, fresh fruit, or breads. Set the table as you normally would, and go outside. For this ritual, you’ll need the following:

  • A small flower pot for each person in the family
  • A bowl of dirt or potting soil
  • Seeds for your favorite herbs or flowers
  • A cup of water
  • A small fire
  • A piece of paper for each person in the family

Go out in your yard with the entire family — be sure you have a small table or other flat surface you can use as an altar. For the fire, you can either build a large one in your yard, or if space is an issue, use a table-top brazier. A small cast iron pot is perfect for this purpose. You may want to decorate your altar space beforehand with symbols of the season. If your tradition requires you to cast a circle, do so now.

The oldest person in the family should lead the ritual. Begin by saying:

Welcome, spring!
The light has returned, and life has come back to the earth.
The soil is dark and full of energy,

so this evening we plant our seeds.
They will lie in the soil, taking root and growing,
until the time has come for them to meet the sun.
As we plant these seeds, we give thanks to the earth
for its strength and life-bringing gifts.

Each person fills their pot with soil. You can either pass the bowl of dirt around, or if you have small children, just let each approach the altar or table. If there are a number of people participating, you may want to sing a chant as everyone fills their pot. A good chant for this is:

Earth my body, water my blood,
air my breath and fire my spirit;

repeated multiple times, or sung as a round-robin.

Once everyone has filled their pot with soil, pass out the seeds. Say:

Tiny seeds, containing life!
They travel upon the wind and bring to us abundance.
Flowers, herbs, vegetables, fruit…
all the bounty of the earth.
We give thanks to the seeds,
for the gifts that are to come in the harvest season.

Each person should push their seeds down into the soil. Older participants can help smaller children with this. Finally, pass around the cup of water. Say:

Water, cool and life-giving!
Bringing power to these seeds,
and moistening this fertile soil.
We give thanks to the water,
for allowing life to bloom once more.

When each person has finished potting their seeds, set the flower pots on the altar or table. Give each participant a small piece of paper and something to write with. Say:

Tonight we plant seeds in the earth,
but Beltane is a time in which many things can grow.
Tonight we plant seeds in our hearts and souls,
for other things we wish to see blossom.
We plant the seeds of love, of wisdom, of happiness.
We dig deep, and begin a crop of harmony, balance, and joy.
We add water to bring life and abundance of all kinds into our homes.
We offer our wishes into the fire, to carry them out to the Universe.

Each person should write on their paper something they wish to see blooming in their own life — harmony, happiness, financial security, strong relationships, healing, etc. For small children, it may be something very simple — even if your first-grader writes down that he wants a pony, don’t discourage anyone’s wishes. After each person has written their wish down, they approach the fire one at a time and cast the paper into the flames (help little ones with this part, just in the interest of safety).

When everyone has placed their wishes into the fire, take a few moments and think about the meaning of Beltane. Think about the things you want to see bloom and grow in your own life, in both the material and the non-physical realm. When everyone is ready, end the ritual. You may wish to follow the ceremony with another Beltane festivity, such as a Maypole Dance, or the traditional cakes and ale.

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April 29 – Daily Feast

April 29 – Daily Feast

Life stirs up our priorities – makes us think beyond our usual knowledge. There are enormously important things basic to all of us such as the family. The family as a whole is important, and so is each individual. Family makes us consider health and spirit and the capacity to take care of ourselves. The invisible circle gathers all we love close to us. But the final arc involves the making of who we are personally. Each person must know contentment, must be in awe, reverent toward the spiritual, recognize truth, and not go strictly by the depths and height of feelings. Searching for happiness leads us far afield when the search is for self, for a divine connection, a knowing that we are indeed divinely centered. We are a part of the earth, part heaven, one with every living thing. For this reason we love. The, ga lv quo di, the precious, the dear truth is that we love.

~ It is the command of the Great Spirit, and all nations and people must obey. ~

BIG ELK

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

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Continuing the Tradition

Continuing the Tradition

Author:   Talma Stormphoenix  

There’s a great deal of anticipation in the air of my home right now. My daughter, my eldest child, is about to become a mother. Her pregnancy has taken me back to when I was pregnant with her. I was so excited to see my baby I just thought about how the little person was that I was carrying.

Was my child a boy or a girl? Would my child have ten finger and toes? Would my child be healthy? Did I eat right; walk enough? What would my child look like?

All of my questions were answered the night she was born. She was born healthy and strong and beautiful.

Now seeing as I was still Catholic at the time it was expected that I get her baptized and I did even though it wasn’t something that I really wanted to do. I had become more dissatisfied with my faith then but still didn’t have any alternatives in mind.

I had no idea that Wicca or any other Pagan faith existed. The Internet was still years away and I had no idea of where to go or to look for other information. No idea that I could even search for what my heart yearned for.

Before I found Wicca I had three more children but I did feel strongly enough to not get them baptized in a faith that I didn’t agree with.

Now about seven years ago I told my daughter about being Wiccan and she confided that she had also found Wicca. Talk about a pleasant surprise! Ever since then we’ve been studying together.

Now that I’m going to be a grandmother we’re going to teach her child, her daughter, our faith. And that is what brings me to the debate that has surrounded other Pagan parents and grandparents.

Do you teach this new child about your Pagan faith to the exclusion of others or be more open-minded and teach about all others?

My daughter wants me to perform my granddaughter’s Wiccaning and I will. I see no problem with teaching her Wicca first and then when questions arise teaching about other faiths that are more dominant in our society. In this way this little girl will be able to function without feeling that we’re hiding anything and she’ll understand that while not in the mainstream there’s nothing wrong with our faith.

My daughter was ten when she found Wicca and came to it on her own and the truth is why shouldn’t we teach her daughter the same things that we learned by trial and error? I can’t imagine teaching her what I was of other faiths. The only thing I was told about other faiths was that they were wrong and those folks were going to ‘hell’ but I did differently with my daughter to the consternation of my family and those lessons about other faiths have allowed her to be friends with people her age and teach about her faith and allay their fears.

One of her friends is a girl whose mother is a reverend. Her friend was nervous for a while but now, three years later, it’s nothing to her and even admitted that for a while it scared her until she got to know my daughter better.

I’ve been the maiden and the mother, now I begin my journey as the crone. Like any other grandparent I get to pass on stories to another generation about my daughter, my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and the rest of the family, including myself.

I get to teach lessons like I did with my children about why ants collect food and how you know it’s about to rain when you see them all over the sidewalk and how to smell it for yourself when it’s close. I get to teach her all the things that I know and about the lessons I’ve learned about my life.

I know she’ll still make mistakes but I get to pass all this knowledge on. I look forward to this beautiful challenge.

My daughter baby-sits a friend’s baby and has been watching me like a hawk. Her friend’s baby didn’t crawl because the previous baby sitter left her on her back the whole time she had her. We were trying to get her to work her legs so I put the baby on my bed and lay down too.

I let her watch me get up and crawl across the bed and then she began moving her legs trying to get her knees up under herself. My daughter had a look of shock and pleasure on her face. She couldn’t believe it. She and her friend had tried to get her to crawl but never thought about getting on the floor with her! It’s another one of those things that I still have to teach my own daughter. I look forward to that too.

Now this other child is making her way across the floor on all fours.

It’s not even all the magickal stuff that I look forward to passing on to my granddaughter. Yes we’ll have ritual and celebrate the seasons and each full moon but there’s also crossing the street and tying her shoes. Showing her how to use the DVD player right instead of like her mother with the VCR sticking pennies in it and frying it out. Singing sing-a-long songs with her and teaching her games like Red Rover, Red Rover and Fox in the morning.

Granted that’s all years away but I want to do it. Help her learn to write her name, learn her English and math and even some geography and history before she even starts school. My daughter speaks Spanish and I did also. My two youngest sons are learning to speak French so she’ll have two languages under her belt before she goes to school.

My oldest son is a car fanatic! This little girl will be able like Marissa Tomei’s character in My Cousin Vinny!

This child is the furthest thing away from being a chore for all of us and we are looking forward to being able to teach her, with her parents, all that we can. I love learning things, as do my daughter and my new son so this first grandchild of mine is probably going to suck up everything!

I thought about ways of passing on our beliefs and traditions, as we obvious will be doing. We have an open view of how things are and want to pass that on. There is what we believe in as right and wrong which is simply “Would you want it done to you?“ Which is another way of saying harm none. We’ve been blessed with the opportunity to pass on what we know and I look forward to this next generation as the blessing that it is.

Ashleen O’Gaea wrote Raising Witches and uses a term to describe what we should be doing as parents that I’ve tried to do. It’s called regency parenting. Working to raise your child to be a responsible adult and able to function in the world independent of the parents. Able to live their lives when they turn eighteen and leave your home if they choose and being able to let them go live.

Thankfully my daughter has learned well from me because she is my granddaughter’s first teacher. Right now while she is still in the womb my daughter eats pretty healthy so her daughter has learned to look forward to the taste of fruits and vegetables instead of candy and junk food. Although there is still that craving for gyros and hoagies. At least there’s a lot of lettuce!

Raising children is only so hard as you make it and that includes the discipline. My daughter was a fairly spoiled child but has become a very responsible adult so I can’t complain about how she came out so that’s another thing that is, hopefully, going to be passed on.

Yes, things can be totally different than what you plan on them to be but as it stands we’ve got our foundation firmly in place and are more than willing to work to do our best for this little girl coming in the world in the next couple weeks.

A new chapter has opened up in all of our lives and it’s up to us to make the best of it and give her the best that we can while teaching her the best that we can about everything that we can. That includes being Wiccan and practicing Witchcraft and being under the big, beautiful umbrella of Paganism.

Let the adventure begin!!

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Daily OM for December 18th – Conscious Decisions

Conscious Decisions
Going against What Is Popular

by Madisyn Taylor

Because an idea or way of doing things is popular doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone.

Just because an idea or way of doing things is popular doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. However, part of the way that something becomes popular is that many of us don’t take the time to determine what’s right for us; we simply do what most of the people we know are doing. In this way, our decisions about life are made by default, which means they aren’t what we call conscious decisions. There may be many other options available, but we don’t always take the time to explore them. This may be the result of feeling overwhelmed or pressured by family, peers, and humanity at large, to do things their way, the way things have always been done. Regardless of the cause, it is important that, as often as we can, we decide for ourselves what to do with our lives rather than just drift along on the current of popular opinion.

It is not always easy to make decisions that go against the grain. Many people feel threatened when those close to them make choices divergent from the ones they are making. Parents and grandparents may be confused and defensive when we choose to raise our children differently from the way they raised us. Friends may feel abandoned if we decide to change our habits or behavior. Meanwhile, on our side of the fence, it’s easy to feel frustrated and defensive when we feel unsupported and misunderstood simply because we are thinking for ourselves. It can be exhausting to have to explain and re-explain our points of view and our reasons.

This is where gentleness, openness, and tolerance come into play. It helps if we are calmly persistent, consistent, and clear as we communicate to those around us why we are making the choices we are making. At the same time, we have the right to say that we are tired of talking about it and simply need our choices to be respected. Our lives belong to us and so do our decisions. Those who truly love us will stand by us and support our choices, never mind what’s popular.

The Daily OM

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