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‘Tis the season…again

The wheel has turned again (I seem to say that a lot), life challenges us time and again and, suddenly, we’re back to Yule/Alban Arthan/Winter Solstice season.

For some odd reason, 2017 flew by. I hardly had time to adapt to so many challenges that have been thrown at my family. To be honest, since July last year.

Life has basically been a rollercoaster with everything happening at one and my family and I having to adapt to everything on the fly. Such as our impending move to a new house and serious health issues that are not to be taken lightly.

My parents and I have decided that I am moving in with them. Easier to keep and I on them and support them in any way I can.

But I haven’t been inclined to decorate my current house this year, with being on the verge of moving and being preoccupied with my parents.

This is how I cope with the challenges life throws at me: I become more introspective, I withdraw from my emotional side to some extent so I can take care of those in a more fragile state, while I keep my light and shadow sides balanced.
This can be unsettling for people around me.

Mom hadn’t been handling well the fact that I hadn’t decorated my house. So, last night after dinner, mom asked me to go with her upstairs (my apartment is in the floor above my parents’) and we decorated my house together.

And now you ask: You are a Pagan. How do you handle Christmas.

Well, my family is Christian. I am a Pagan following the Druid path (member of both ADF and OBOD). For us, this season is to be with the family. So I do what I do best: I find balance.

I have angels in my tree (an artificial tree because I hate the idea of killing a tree, especially for decoration purposes) to honour my ancestors. I have photos of my family (similar to a family tree) featuring my grandparents (now part of my ancestors), my parents, my siblings and their life partners, and soon I will be adding photos of my in-laws as well as of my beloved and I.
My tree has pine cones, balls, bells, stars, deer and snowflakes, lights and ribbons.

img 20171215 2020021308076901 - 'Tis the season...again

My table’s centerpiece (made by my cousin – she knows me too well) has pears and apples, greenery and an owl made with a pine cone.

img 20171214 220823413342673 - 'Tis the season...again

I included my family’s beliefs because I respect them. They also respect my chosen path, even if they don’t understand it.

It is, once again, time to look back, to analyse what life has given us, to look ahead and prepare to what is coming.
It is time to find balance in darkness and in light, to nurture both our shadows and our light side.
It is time to take care of ourselves and each of our loved ones as whole beings, to cherish and respect them.

It is time to look forward to brighter days while being prepared to the darker ones.
And we can only do so if we, as John Beckett wrote in one of his posts on Under the Oaks (on Patheos) blog, ask ourselves the big questions of life.

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Happy Alban Elfed

Happy  Alban Elfed

May this Autumn Equinox bring you peace
May you shed the things you no longer need in your life
May you have plenty in your life, of happiness, love, food and health
May the new cycle ahead be kind to you
And may you find balance in light and darkness.

AutumnEquinox1
Source: Image taken from here
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Alban Elfed

Alban Elfed. A time of balance and harvest.
The hours of daylight become once more equal to the hours of the night, right before the days grow shorter.
The culmination of the year’s endeavours, for those that work the land.

And also my birthday.  Harvest 2017_1

This is a time I use to ponder upon my life, to assess my accomplishments, my fulfilments, before starting a new year (until my following birthday).
I look at how far I’ve come, analyse what I’ve done, what I could have done differently. I pretty much look at what I have sown and I count my blessings.

So far, what I have learnt:

1. I am loved.
I have a loving family.
My parents, siblings and siblings-in-law. My husband and my in-laws. My uncles, aunts and cousins. I have a large family that loves me.
I have friends and coworkers that care for me.

2. I have a job I love.
I am fortunate to have a job I love. When I feel like staying at home, it is because I feel under the weather, not because I dislike my job.

3. I am part of a wonderful Community.
Although I mostly keep to myself (in general and as a Pagan), I am lucky to be part of a community, both Portuguese and International), that fights for what is right.

4. I am part of something bigger.
I am still learning the best way to hear and understand the Gods and Goddesses, the Ancestors, Fae and other Unseen Beings.
I know there is a Path I must follow that I am only now beginning to see. Lets see where it’ll take me.

Harvest 2017_3