Explains how eclectic Wicca and initiatory Wicca are two different things; discusses cultural appropriation in Wicca; looks at the Wiccan Rede and the Threefold Law; and explains Wicca’s relationship with Crowley, Thelema, and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. I’ve tackled some of these topics myself but this is an excellent overview.
Yule is a turning point in the year. In a way, this is true of every festival in the Pagan wheel of the year, but it is said that the word Yule means a turning point.
There are many facets of Yule. There is the anarchic element of mumming, Saturnalia, the bean king, boy bishops, the lord of misrule, the inversion of the usual order of things. This aspect seems to be inspired by the concept of turning, and of liminality: being on the threshold, being neither one thing nor the other.
Yule is a distinct festival, often overshadowed by its younger sibling, Christmas. If you’re a Pagan or have Pagan leanings, the chances are that everything you love about Christmas is actually because it’s a Yule thing. If you love the tree, the holly, the greenery being brought into the house, the feasting, and the reciprocity of thoughtful gift giving (as opposed to obligatory gift giving dictated by social norms), then you love Yule. Yule is not “Christmas with the serial numbers filed off”, and Christmas isn’t “Yule with added Baby Jesus”, Yule is far more exciting and wild and numinous than that.
I always have a look at the census results whenever they’re published, and the articles never report the Pagan numbers properly as they only look at people who write “Pagan” or “Wicca” (they never think to include Druidry and Heathenry in the total). So I always go to the detailed spreadsheets and make my own list.
In Mexico, Monarch butterflies are associated with the Day of the Dead, because that’s when they arrive back there after their long migration from Canada. The Day of the Dead is on the same day as Samhain and Hallowe’en and comes from the same roots.