Being a ‘pagan’ during many of the Christian holiday’s is actually pretty easy, for as many know, several of the traditions of our pre-Christian ancestors were incorporated into this relatively new faith, most notably during Easter and Christmas. There is, however, one tradition of giving during the holidays that we embrace which is truly Christian, the ever so humble Candy Cane. I’ll get back to this in a minute…
As I noted in my previous blog, I have tried each year to show my family that I support their path, and hope the sentiment will be returned. This Winter Solstice, sadly, was not the year. I awoke pre-dawn to prepare for my ritual, my mom tucked in bed, my family nowhere in sight. After the ritual was completed, my mom and I then proceeded to my sister’s Church to honour and celebrate my eldest niece’s Confirmation to her faith. It was also the 4th day of advent, and the candle of light for love was light. In my mind, it was a double blessing for my niece that her confirmation was to be on the Winter Solstice, and blessed her with a card, a hug and a tear when it was over. The card restated my support of her spiritual journey, and to remind her that at the core, our paths hold the same tenants, belief, hope and love, and that the Goddess and I would always be there to walk beside her and her Father in Heaven. She is a beautiful girl, and I know she understood. My sister was not as thrilled to see me in attendance, but it was also the Solstice, and one way or another, I was going to see the kids 😉
Once service was over, and we returned to my sister’s home, I had hoped to sit them down with the kids and share the story of the Season with them, but all I was able to do was give them their gifts. So once again, my celebration with family in honour of the true meaning of the Winter Solstice did not happen. But, I refuse to allow how other’s treat me, to taint who I am, and how I treat them. This brings us back to the Candy Cane! 🙂
With an ongoing hope that one day my sister will see that I am not trying to convert her, or her children, to some deviant path, but simply wish for us to share our journey’s, I always give the kids both a Solstice gift (to be opened on the 21st) and a Christmas one. This small gesture took years of arguments as she would tell the kids to place them under the tree for Christmas, and I would have to insist that these are NOT Christmas gifts, they are for the Winter Solstice. So though she was not pleased, this year, small victory, the kids did open their gifts! 😀
In preparation for their Christmas gift this year, I came up with two ideas to honour their Christian path. The first is below, the second will be posted next year. This gift is a visual representation of a poem I found, and titled ‘The Shepherd’s Staff’. It explains the origins of the Candy Cane, and it’s ties to Jesus Christ. The Candy Canes circle around a vase, within which I half filled with white mini vase pears and placed upon it a candle. The candle states: “Miracles happen everyday”, and I will always hope, that for us (my sister and I), it one day will. I also made a card for them with the poem enclosed, which can be found below.
I hope, with all I have, that you and yours find peace during the Holidays. That the light which unites us in hope and love will rise above whichever God, Goddess, or path you each follow, to unite us, for we are all part of the same race, the Human Race, and this makes us all kin.
Om Shanti Om, KaylaB, the Shakti Shaman.
The Shepherd’s Staff
Jesus is the Gentle Shepherd,
and this cane of red and white
proclaims the humble story
born on Christmas night.
This cane, you see,
when turned around
begins His name of Love
and now becomes a symbol
of peace proclaimed above.
The lively peppermint flavor
is the regal gift of spice.
The white is His purity
and the red His sacrifice.
And so this cane reminds us
just how much He cares
and like His Christmas Gift to us
it’s meant for all to share.
(Should you know the original author, please add it to the comments below.).