Ever try getting into the winter solstice and yule holiday mood and holiday music is playing? This has probably been brought up before sooooo please consider a fun sharing moment of what happenened in my inner vision this morning. I am up early drinking coffee and decorating my altar when "Joy to the World " comes on. I had scanned the playlist for songs that didn’t fit my style if you know what I mean? I was about to skip the song when suddenly instead of feeling frustrated that “our holidays” had been part of an attempted coo to be replaced by “their holidays” this is what I saw in my minds eye to the words “The lord has come, let earth receive her king” a full bodied Cernnunos walking out of the forest in green winter garb! Light shining from behind. All the imagry of nature and earthy presence. I shall never hear the song again without this image!!! And even better when I am out and about and the songs come on I shall smile and hum right along with Cernunnos striding beside me in spirit!
I love this! What a great image! I am not a Christian and have struggles with the dogma of many Christian religious institutions - and I also love Christmas music and singing in a choir. For years I have sung in a community Christmas Cantata which has the express purpose of telling the story of the birth of Christ through song. In prior years, I have just focused on my love of music and helping bring joy and cheer to the community and not thought too much about the story itself. Since finding and pursuing Druidry this year, I find myself struggling more to simply set the story and words aside. I am going to take inspiration from you, Laura, at the next rehearsal, and see what words I can recast into my own understandings. Thank you!
I personally have never had a problem with Christianity as I simply view it as another spirituality that barrows from other spiritualities.
“Isms”, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism …ect.
Did not start out as religions, they only became “Religions” when someone imposed rules to them ie: doctrine in order to standardize worship practices and thus control how folks were intended to worship and centralizing the power of that control.
If one actually reads the bible no actual “religion” is name anywhere in it, rather there is a very detailed description of how to build and use a sacred space the “Tabernacle”.
So as I mentioned, I am not offended by other spiritualities, instead see them as the “Why” in the equation of human behavior, in many cases.
I like to do as another poster mentioned, in finding the beauty in the music and art without being offended.
Just my 2 cents.
I like your minds eye view!
I don’t really get hung up on the whole Christmas versus Yule, or my winter solstice is the real reason for season. I’ve never really cared about proving anything to anyone so I embrace the time with family and try to remember that Christmas is really about gifting and joy, and remembering the love and care we have for each other.
And I enjoy a present now and then, gifting in moderation is just fine with me.
I am in tears with how beautiful this is. I am so moved. I love this perspective. I am so glad you shared.
I rather love holiday music actually. A lot of my friends rile at the histories of them, but for me they were something that brought me joy. I associate them with some much loved activities. My love for singing in choir, I was a caroler during the holidays (generally around old folks homes, and retirement buildings). When I got older I would attend the “Carol” sessions my daughter’s school had, and I would sit with her while we sang. She adored it, and so did the other kids in her class (which was unexpected, but apparently that I showed up and sang was a novelty).
Growing up, for me the holidays were one of the only times I was safe. People around town were actually nice to me. Sadly it was the one point in the year, where I knew my next two weeks were going to be ok. I would be surrounded by family, friends, food, music, and laughter. I understand the anger it brings to some people, but for me, it truly was a time of peace, and love, and one I looked forward to every year.
lol So I still listen to my music, and stick my tongue out at the friends who playfully roll their eyes in mock annoyance (they get it, it’s all in good fun I promise lol).
Thanks for the 2 cents. All views welcome:ok_hand:. I was speaking with a good Christian friend yesterday and as we discussed I shared with him that in my perspective ‘god’ is not involved in which spiritual way we walk to embrace our divinity. The path that is right for each person is the path that resonates with their soul and being. As long as we harm none. All are one at some point in the cosmos. And in saying that I still do struggle with overlayering of dates and the owning of the meaning of a holiday that is shared by many paths. And I fully admit the ‘reason for the season’ driveway signs make me nuts.
What a beautiful image and what a way to incorporate other spiritualities without changing your own. I love “Christmas” music. I am far from being a Christian, but I think I feel the music more because of its intention of spreading love and cheer, not a form of proselytism. I have even listened to Christmas music during odd times of the year.
great seeing you in person yesterday, Ocelot
It was for me too @LauraJK . As for music @Rook and I have been building a collection of solstice songs that we hope to learn to play and sing as part of our bardic studies. I would love to have a growing list of Yule and Solstice songs that folks enjoy for our gatherings. Eventually caroling would be a fun thing to do. Certainly we will wassail the new and old trees of the orchard with the heathered cyser we made this year!
This is one he introduced me to that is quite inclusive of many faiths and I am always moved to joyful tears when we sing it together.
I totally understand where you are coming from, @LauraJK. I think for many of us who are in the druid community, we may have trauma from birth religions, and that’s particularly hard this time of year. I love your approach to hearing the traditional Christian music!
Here are two approaches that I use a lot. First, I sometimes rewrite the lyrics: heres one I slightly adapted (I think many here know about how much I love wassailing the trees in January!)
Here We Come A-Wassailing
“Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a-wassailing,
So fair to be seen:
Love and joy come to you,
And to you forest too
Spirits bless you and send you,
A happy New Year,
Spirits send you,
A happy new year.”
Another thing I’ve done is create my own playlist of music I like to play for myself this time of year. One of my favorites is this album:
It’s an instrumental album with a beautiful harp. It just puts me in the mood.
Thanks for sharing Laura. When it comes to this time of the season, Christianity influence has the say so since it markets the most in this society unfortantely. When it comes to listening to music for the holidays, I tend to go with moden classic instrumentalists like Lindsey Stirling, Taylor Davis, Kenny G, The Piano Guys, etc. I also like listening to holiday music in Jazz with such as Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Norah Jones. To me, it’s a much better holiday alternatives without the “Praise be Jesus on the holy mountain”, in every lyric sentence.
Dana this album is awesome.Thankyou.
Ditto the jazz holiday music. I play it all Dec and drive my husband nuts😁
I thoroughly love this post because certainly I feel the same and so many of the most wonderful times I had as a child are plagued with these songs that circulate in my head during this season. So far I have had to stay away from songs of a religious nature because they irk me to no end but with decorating my house with irish pagan festive decorations it helps to aleviate the frustration. I will take my holiday back! Lol. Bright Solstice summonings to you!