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Reflections on Yule and Cailleach

By a Contemporary Druid

The materialistic reductionism of our modern technological age has left its indelible mark upon our Holiday traditions. It is with no small measure of angst and sadness that I watch the growing tide of commercialization and commoditization of Yule (i.e. Christmas). Being a Pagan, I don’t associate the Yuletide with the birth of Jesus Christ; however, I am constantly amazed at the number of people who, claiming to be Christian, incorporate so little of the religious significance of the season into their own lives. The same could be said for many Pagans. This is not to suggest that I am opposed to gift giving, jollity, and a good party during the Yuletide. In fact, each of these has a venerable history in antiquity. Rather, I am suggesting that a less commercialized and financially dependent celebration, which focuses on the historical and religious precedents for the season, might allow us to connect with each other and with our natural world in a more meaningful and inspired way.

“It is only in the past three hundred years or so that a ‘rational’ civilization has turned its back on both the Christian and Pagan traditions and remembered the Solstice by custom and habit rather than by an instinctual involvement with the turning season.” – Shirley Toulson: A Winter Solstice

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