Merry Christmas everyone!
As always I spent Christmas with my family, and since I’m pretty much out of the broom closet now in terms of them knowing that I’m a practising Pagan, this year I decided to make them some cookies with a bit of a Pagan spin on them – each one had a different rune cut into them (the recipe was basically the same I used for my Samhain soul cakes but with additional raw cane sugar for that extra Christmas flavour!). I let everyone pick their own cookie and look up their meaning on this chart.
My husband tried one with a Peorth/Hearth rune on it, which apparently means “Divination/Luck/Primal Law.” We’re looking for a house right now so I hope a rune with a combined meaning of “Hearth” and “Luck” foretells some good fortune in that area in 2015! My sister, who’s recently given birth to her second son, picked out the “Fertility” rune and refused to eat it!
Although fortune telling activities like this aren’t usually associated with Christmas (it’s more of a Halloween thing in Britain), it is associated very much with O-shogatsu (Japanese New Year). Dreams had on the night of New Year are taken very seriously as they are said to fortell the year ahead, while a popular activity that Japanese may do while visiting the temple or shrine at New Year is O-mikuji – a kind of fortune telling “raffle” where the participant receives a slip of paper that tells them how lucky they will be in the future.
Because my sister now has two young children, our Christmas celebrations have changed quite a bit – they’re far more child-orientated now, just like they were when my sister and I were children. I think this is how it should be. Christmas is a very magical time for children indeed, and they should definitely take central stage. And as a Pagan, I can now celebrate the Winter Solstice as a more spiritual and personal time, so everyone’s happy!