I began to study and read about Paganism, especially Wicca in the 60’s as I was contemplating leaving the Catholic Church. The one redeeming quality of my Catholic religion was the spirituality, I must say. I found great solace from all the sufferings of my youth as I sat silently in the church. At the time, I attributed that to my Catholicism. Now I see it as a Universal kind of spirituality, the Universe presence perhaps. But what I knew without a doubt, is that it brought me peace and sense of joy.
My current day job is that of a Children Case Manager, a social worker. And working yesterday, on December 23, I noticed a happy smile and a joyful playfulness in a child who is normally sullen, mean, sarcastic and angry most of the time. When I asked his mother why she thought he was suddenly so happy, she said well tomorrow is Christmas Eve. His refreshing cheerfulness brought to mind for me the same feelings I once had as a child too in the anticipation of a wonderful event about to happen very soon.
Many people are unusually happy and cheerful this time of year. It is socially ‘okay’, socially acceptable to be cheerful and ‘gay’ during the Holiday season, or Christmas time of year. Think of being that way at other times of the year and, unless you just hit the lottery or something similar just happened, you are considered crazy to behave in such a cheerful manner. In fact, you are thought quite the fool if not profoundly dumb and stupid if you behave in perennially cheerful manner on a regular basis. People may also become jealous and suspicious of you, wondering what you are up to. And many will try to find a way to knock it out of you. The bullies want to bring you down to their glum, sad world. Outside of Christmas time, it’s the only time a bully thinks it okay to be happy. In fact, in our mainstream culture, the bully attitude seems to be the “cool” way to be.
I recently attended a wonderful Yule/Solstice gathering and felt those wonderful warm, cheerful feelings as well. I have gathered that the feelings of the season are universal. We are all ‘allowed’ to behave in a cheerful, nutty way that would otherwise be thought of as too goofy for our day to day mundane, often dreary lives. But I don’t think it is just about the time of year and being ‘allowed’ to be that way. I also think it is that we all are psychic in the sense that we pick up on the feelings, the moods, the attitudes of others around us and the general sense of everyone in our society. Many would refer to this as the ‘energies.’ And in fact, there is much scientific evidence available to support the idea of the existence of these kinds of energies.
As a Pagan, I don’t really celebrate Christmas time in the Christian way, but I do celebrate it as a Pagan. As a Pagan I gave up the idea of noble sufferings. Enjoyment, pleasure is a fact, a reality and feels so much better than suffering. Consider the fact that in the greatest pleasures of orgasm, we often create a new human being. As a Pagan, I feel that same pleasure is occurring all around us in Nature. I choose to acknowledge the Universal cheerfulness that is all around us all of the time. I choose to feel happy, cheerful and I will appreciate that feeling wherever I can get it. If Christians are going to celebrate their Christmas and be happy, I’ll be happy for them and with them. I’ll celebrate the season too. Of course for me the meaning is different, but hey who cares what the meaning is or was. To be happy, to be cheerful and joyous with others is far more important.
In short, life for me is about honoring fun, happiness, joyfulness in myself and others. I just love being a Pagan and I also chose to be a Happy Pagan.
All the best to all of you the Joyful Season, no matter what the meaning of it is for you.