Celebrating Winter Holidays

It’s the beginning of December, and in the Pacific Northwest, that means it gets dark really early and the Sun rises late. We have a lot of darkness this time of the year, and in Portland we make up for that darkness by celebrating a lot. My family isn’t religious, but we still celebrate Christmas in what I have always assumed is the traditional American way – a tree, a bunch of presents, The Night Before Christmas, big meals, shots of akvavit, and singing carols together. That’s how everybody does it, right?

But unlike my family, I am religious and I’m not Christian. What holidays are available to the modern pagan? I’m curious about how other modern pagans pick their Winter holidays, so I’m going to share some things that my friends and I have done or are planning to do.
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In 2005, I started collecting the Pritzker edition of the Sefer ha-Zohar. I finally got the last two volumes this week — an early birthday gift to myself! I’m so pleased to see them all sitting together on the shelf! Finally!! #books #bibliophile #kabbalah #Arnemancy #zohar #ספרהזהר via Instagram

There are a few books coming out that I’m really excited about. If you read this blog regularly, you should be excited about them, too. First, Dan Attrell’s translation of the Picatrix is finally available for pre-order. I interviewed him back on episode 29 of My Alchemical Bromance and have been eagerly awaiting his book.

Second, One Truth and One Spirit: Aleister Crowley’s Spiritual Legacy, Keith Readdy’s book about Aleister Crowley, the OTO, and other cool Thelema stuff is available for pre-order. I interviewed Keith about his book in episode 40 of My Alchemical Bromance. Go check out those two books and add them to your list!

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The featured image for this post is “Old books” by David Flores on Flickr.

In case it hasn’t been made abundantly clear by my numerous podcast appearances, public lectures, and short list of published articles, I’m a Freemason. This generates a lot of curiosity in those who aren’t Masons. Occultists and esotericists, the main audience for this website, have lots of misconceptions about Freemasonry, so I get asked frequently for reading suggestions. The problem is, there is a ton of bad Masonic reading material out there.
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