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Sunday, December 14

Two Years After Sandy Hook

Two years ago today, around 9:35 in the morning, a tragedy like we've never seen before struck an elementary school in Newtown, CT.  Twenty-six inspiring and beautiful people were taken from this world.

I had a hard time taking Doodle Bug to school that Monday.  He struggled with what a tragedy like this meant.  The shock was enough to make him question the very existence of the Goddess.  It's been two years and he still asks me sometimes if Miss J (his special education teacher) knows what to do if "a man with a gun" comes into their school.  

Personally, I still cry when I think about it.  So, I won't be typing much today, but I encourage you to visit the legacy website that the town put together:  My Sandy Hook Family


On our ITHOMS Facebook page, today, you will find links to the various foundations and non-profits which were founded in the names of the victims.  Always verify the legitimacy of a charity before you donate funds.  

The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation
"We are currently developing a compassion- and wisdom-based curriculum to introduce into our schools and communities – inspirational and educational programs that will incorporate this empowering message and also highlight unforgettable stories of young people (including genocide survivors) who have overcome extreme hardship through choosing love over anger."

"As Emilie’s parents, we are striving to honor our daughter by continuing to support the things that she loved. Emilie was an exceptional artist, and we enjoyed watching her as she expressed her creativity, love, excitement and her true self through art. We want to celebrate Emilie’s passion by supporting the arts with funding for programs in the community and schools."

"We want to express our deepest thanks to everyone who donated money to the funds created in Allison's honor. All money that is donated to the Allison Wyatt Memorial Fund must be distributed to licensed charitable organizations, and to date with your help we have made significant donations to the following organizations:  St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Ronald McDonald House Charities, International Child Art Foundation.  Thank you all very much."

"The Kowalski family wanted to capture Chase’s competitive spirit and vitality in creating a charity in his honor with a focus on health and wellness for children and their families. CMAK (Chase Michael Anthony Kowalski) Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation has pursued programs and initiatives that encourage personal improvement, healthy lifestyles and strong family and communities."

Sandy Hook Promise
"Protect children from gun violence so no other parent experiences the loss of their child by engaging and empowering parents and communities with targeted prevention programs in the areas of in the areas of mental wellness early-identification & intervention, social & emotional development and firearm safety & security." 

"Dylan was a beautiful 6-year-old boy.  He had an infectious laugh and was passionate about the moon, garlic bread, the color purple and computer games. Dylan also had autism.  After we lost our beautiful son so tragically, we established Dylan’s Wings of Change, a foundation dedicated to the memory of Dylan that is committed to helping children with autism and other related conditions achieve their full potential."

"Our mission is to inspire and empower every person to act with kindness in order to make a positive cultural change. Our goal is to help individuals build a sense of community and reduce social isolation. We believe by bringing awareness to these issues and providing opportunities for interaction and acceptance, cultural change will occur."

"Ben’s Lighthouse fosters all children’s potential to build a more compassionate and connected world. Children become architects of a changed society by practicing empathy, self awareness and volunteerism. Each child’s contribution, small or large, is a benefit to self and society. #HelpingIsHealing "

"In partnership with Klingberg Family Centers we have established the Center for Community and Connection as the first initiative of the Ana Grace Project. Klingberg Family Centers’ extensive experience serving children traumatized by abuse allows us to build on a strong foundation. I am deeply grateful for their incredible support and expertise. I hope you will join us as we move forward with this important project.”

"The mission of The Avielle Foundation is to prevent violence by fostering brain health research, education, and policy; and community development, engagement, and responsibility. The foundation... direct(s) resources to support breakthrough research in brain health, bridging behavioral and biochemical sciences."

"Our mission is to promote kindness as a guiding principle of humanity. Newtown Kindness is committed to fostering compassion in children and inspiring life-long contributors to society. The organization aims to facilitate acts of kindness within communities as well as raise awareness of kindness through education, sharing and recognition."

"Grace was an artist.  She saw beauty in everything and was fortunate to have found her passion  early in life.  She (had taken) art classes since the age of nine and was truly gifted.  We hope to honor her life and dreams by supporting young artists and youth art programs through scholarships and grants."

"The Lauren Rousseau Elementary Education Memorial Scholarship was established to honor the memory of Lauren Gabrielle Rousseau, a 30 year old teacher, who was one of the 26 individuals who lost their lives in the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012."

"Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung was the principal who died while trying to protect her Sandy Hook Elementary School Family. As a lifelong student, Dawn strove for excellence and encouraged those around her to do the same. Dawn devoted her life to education, instilling a love of learning in all who knew her. Dawn's family has established a scholarship fund in her honor. The scholarship will benefit students of her hometown high school who are planning to pursue a career in education."

"We are the parents of the children who survived. We are the classmates, friends, and the little league coaches. Sandy Hook is where we live -- it is our proud community. We ask the world to join us not only in our grief but also in our burning need to take some of the burdens off these families in their time of incredible pain. To bear their cross in some small way. We intend to give 100% of the donations collected to the 26 families in equal shares for their continued support. Please help us help our own neighbors beyond sharing their tears. All funds received will go directly to the families who lost children and immediate family members."

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Also, conspiracy theories are fun, but I do not accept that anything was staged that terrible day.  You can look at the available facts from any event and theorize an alternate story, but real life is NOT a giant game of Malarky.  Please don't be disrespectful. 


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Tuesday, December 9

One Less

Today, I was reading back through old 1990s pagan parenting websites.  These are those busy-background picture-less things that used to be hosted on Geo-Cities or some other now-defunct free web hosting sites.  I found myself drawn to an old section of editorials.

I was reading a reaction to the Columbine shootings and the writing devolved into the discussion of bullies and just how cruel children can be in general.  Amberflame wrote:
 "I wonder if anything can ever match the cruelty of children. 
Then I listen to adults, and no longer wonder."
Her words ring of such truth that I want to sob.

I'm not sure if it's laziness, exhaustion, or simply human fallibility that causes us to stunt our children with such careless regard some days.  We snap at children.  We order them around.  We are not always as careful as we should be in our speech when we address them.

My biggest complaint to Papa J (when it comes to his struggling step-parenthood to Doodle Bug) is that he would NEVER want to be spoken to in the manner with which he speaks to our son.  When he speaks to Doodle Bug without thinking, when he snaps at him out of irritation, the venom in his voice drips of the reminder that "you're a not mine" or "your very presence in this house irritates me".  If Doodle Bug tries to be physically affectionate, Papa J jumps or stiffens up. 

It's not everyday, but it's often enough that I know my son has internalized his father's nonacceptance of him.  And try as he might on a conscious level, Papa J's subconscious rejection of our son is glaringly obvious.

These two photos were taken 15 seconds apart.  I said, "Smile!" both times.  The only thing that changed was that I asked Doodle Bug to stand by his dad.


 

We've talked with therapists and had our own whisper fight/discussions in bed at 2am.  Somewhere, there is a Monster in Papa J's closet that doesn't allow him to accept and unconditionally love Doodle Bug.  His reactions are unconscious

I've even hauled us off to parenting seminars by a gifted man who has yet to make a splash across the nation, but who I've no doubt will one day.  Eric Guy, the founder of the Center for Victory, counsels foster families, adoptive families, and basically families in crisis.  He asks that we recognize the emotional needs of children from the womb on up.  It's a great seminar that I wish could somehow become required of all parents and teachers.

Anyway, part of his lecture asks you to envision the layers of your mind and memory as a file cabinet.  The very bottom drawer holds the scary Monsters of trauma and hurt and rebuff that cause us to be shallow or callous or lie or act out any of the negative behaviors that we catch ourselves doing.  This bottom drawer is full of ugliness that we have no conscious memory of how it got there or what exactly happened to put that Monster there.

Eric Guy shares that the problem comes in when a child approaches an adult and says "I'm having trouble with something" and pulls open their bottom drawer to show that trusted adult their Monster... and that adult, instead of helping and understanding, pulls open their bottom drawer and says "Boo!  Mine's bigger!"

Img Source: Foter.com
This happens to children across the globe everyday.  They are snapped at or pushed out of the room or sent to bed or spanked... without having their problem addressed.  They learn to internalize harsh words and rejection.  They act out, they suffer with low self-esteem and bullies.

I am a believer in trying to consciously recognize the underlying reasons for Baby E throwing things at me or Doodle Bug lying.   It doesn't mean I'm perfect or do it every time.  It doesn't mean that stress doesn't sometimes get the better of me.  It doesn't mean I always have a solution.  But it does mean that I'm trying to create a few less Monsters for my babies.


Further along in the editorial I was reading, Amberflame wrote about the disparaging responses of some parents who think that teaching your child not to tease or bully or become violent was a waste of time.
"Someone asked: So what if you raise your child on an alternate path that teaches respect for others. How many other children are not raised that way?"
Her favorite response to this parent was, "One less."

And how dynamic are those two words?  The idea that no matter how dark the world may be, I am not raising my children to become the darkness, but to become one of the unwavering lights that bring support and cheer to the world.  I want them to respond from LOVE, never FEAR.  I want to raise helpers, not bullies.

I hope you share this quest.  I hope you strive every day to speak kinder and react with more compassion that the day before.  I hope you hug before hitting.  I hope.  


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Thursday, December 4

Santa Claus and the Return of the Sun

This is a guest post by Pagan author Arie Farnam.  Enjoy!

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I don't remember a time when I actually believed in Santa Claus. But I do remember how much I appreciated him as a child.

I grew up in a family that quietly practiced an earth-based spirituality in a remote corner of Eastern Oregon. Everyone and everything around us was heavily Christian. I often felt isolated and confused about religious and cultural differences. It didn't help that my family didn't talk very openly about our spirituality. Most of our celebrations were muted and not shared with anyone. We would pay lip service to celebrating "Christmas," even though we didn't really. 

Sure, even at home we called it "Christmas" but we had no connection to the story about Baby Jesus in a manger. When I first went to school, I felt a bit dishonest, like our version was a fraud. But a few years later, I realized that Christmas trees and Santa Claus had nothing to do with the story of Baby Jesus. And yet, my Christian classmates shared them with me. It was hugely comforting to have something I could share with others and still feel was also authentic to my family and culture.

Some things have changed since I was a child. I went to college and learned that people who believe what my family does are called Pagans. I learned other words for things that had always been silent in our family - "Yule" and "Solstice," for instance. Having names for things helped me to develop a stronger identity and to integrate spirituality into my everyday life, bringing it back from the ghetto of secret rituals to which my spirit had been banished.

Today, I am slowly teaching my mother to say "Solstice" instead of "Christmas." She wants to but the words of mainstream culture are deeply ingrained in her and the years of secrecy and fear are hard to overcome. It is not that openly admitting to being Pagan is without risk in Eastern Oregon today. There can be problems at school or in a professional career, but it isn't as taboo as it once was and we feel secure enough that we can at least name these things in our own home. 


I am also teaching my two children, ages four and five, about our beliefs. Yesterday, my mother hung Yule lights in the living room. My five-year-old daughter, who is attending the heavily Christian-influenced local Kindergarten, was delighted.

"Christmas is like Yule, isn't it?" she asked me as we walked the quarter mile down the mountain to the bus this morning.

"That's right," I said. "We call it Yule or Solstice and Christians call it Christmas."

"But they have Santa Claus too," she said.

"That's true," I agreed. "But I don't think they know that Santa Claus is a sun spirit."

"The sun gives us presents," my daughter said, hugging herself happily.

That's my take on Santa Claus in a nutshell. I've heard the debate – to Santa or not to Santa. It rages among Pagans, Christians and devotees of secular Christmas. The rhetoric may vary but the core of the problem is really the same. I understand the desire to deemphasize the materialistic side of the holiday. I also get how uncomfortable parents are with telling children an elaborate "lie" about a man in a red suit.

On the other hand, I know that one of the precious gifts of childhood is the sense of magic and wonder that makes Santa Claus possible.

On another day my daughter asked, "Is Santa Claus real?"

I answered, "Santa Claus isn't real like rocks and sticks are real. But Santa Claus is real in spirit. Santa Claus is real like the spirit of our favorite tree is real or like the protection of Thor. Santa Claus is a symbol of how the Sun gives us the gifts of life, food and warmth."

My five-year-old doesn't seem to have a problem with this sort of physical real versus spirit real dichotomy. That's good because I want both worlds. I want to be able to raise my children with science and with spirituality. I want my children to develop an "attitude of gratitude" because life is a lot happier that way.

I wanted to write about this because I have seen and heard a lot of anxiety expressed among Pagans about whether to or how to introduce Santa Claus to their children. The good news is that everyone gets to make their own choices these days. You won't be alone if you choose not to include Santa in your midwinter holiday. But if you want to include him and his deep Pagan roots in your celebration, here is one way of doing it.
At our house, we celebrate Yule beginning on the eve of the Solstice. We have a candlelight dinner focused on round things in the colors of the sun and the night sky (i.e. shepherd's pie with turmeric in the mashed potatoes on top and huckleberry desert with star-shaped cookies). The next morning we get up before dawn to greet the sun outside with a thermos of hot chocolate, cookies and drums.


We attempt to mark the twelve days of Yule. The second day carries the theme of harvest, bounty and possessions, so that is when we have Santa Claus.

In the evening on Dec. 21, the children leave an offering of cookies that they made in front of the hearth. We talk about the sun and all the gifts of the old year, how a new year is beginning but Santa Claus still has some gifts of the old year for children. I guide the children in saying a blessing and thanks for all the gifts of the past year.

In the morning, the children wake up to a gift or possibly two under the Yule tree. The cookies are gone. They were enjoyed with nice cups of tea by the breadwinners of the household after the children went to bed. Some were also left outside as an offering.

The fifth day of Yule falls on the night of the 24th to the day of the 25th of December and that day is dedicated to family. As a result, it is natural for us to exchange gifts between family members and visit extended family during this time. It's fine that some of our family does Christmas.

The only real problem we run into is the fact that we don't always have the 21st and the 22nd off of work or school. We try to engineer that as a quiet family time whenever we can and we aren't too orthodox to play with the dates if absolutely necessary.

We often spend our winters in the Czech Republic. While that is not the most Christian country in the world, it does have a little issue for us to deal with. In the Czech Republic, Santa Claus is not actually a very popular figure. Ironically, most secular children have "the Little Baby Jesus" bring their presents. For 70 percent of the country there is no religious connotation to this at all. It is simply tradition and my children are as used to hearing about "the Little Baby Jesus" from their friends as they are to hearing about Santa Claus from their American cousins.

As I said before, one of my reasons for keeping the tradition of Santa Claus alive in my family was that as a child, I really enjoyed having something of our celebrations that I could share with friends outside our small Pagan community. It made me feel both solid in my unique identity and included in the larger culture. So, for awhile, I pondered what to do about the constant references to "the Little Baby Jesus" in secular Czech society.

At last, I settled on a handy solution thanks to a book called Smokey and the Feast of Mabon, which is a wonderful children's book about the Sabbat of Mabon. In the story there is a depiction of the old year as an old man with a flowing white beard. And the symbol of the new year is an infant, lying asleep in a cradle, because the old year has not yet woken up at Mabon. While that book discusses the magical New Year at Samhain, I realized that the same principal could be applied to the solar New Year.

As a result, we have spiced up our Yule celebrations in the past few years with the addition of the Little Baby Sun of the new year. We view Santa Claus as a popular representation of the spirit of the old year's sun. We build a goddess figure out of clay and paint it in the colors of the night sky - with the symbolism of "the womb of the night." This we use as a table centerpiece in the weeks leading up to Yule.

Then, when the moment of the Solstice comes, I secretly slip in a sun-colored baby that I have fashioned to go along with the goddess figure and place it in the goddess's arms when no one is looking. This has been a magical tradition so far and has cleared up what little confusion my children had over references to the Little Baby Jesus bringing presents in the Czech Republic and the constant drumbeat of heavily religious Christian influence when we are visiting my family in Oregon around Yuletide. 

This is an adaptation of ancient ideas, not a literal transmission of some ancient Pagan tradition. But Santa Claus has clear Pagan roots. There were pre-Christian legends about a similar figure in many parts of Europe. You may also note that Santa Claus carries the three "colors of the Goddess" – red, white and black. And that Santa Claus is said to come through the hearth and fire. All of these things make a natural correlation to the idea of Santa Claus as a spiritual symbol of the sun and the gifts of life and prosperity.

Last night, my four-year-old son turned to my mother, who had cooked the family dinner, and said, "Thank you for our food." It wasn't just unprompted. It was out of the blue. I have never actually taught my children to thank the cook, as that is usually me. I have simply taught them to be mindful of the gifts of the earth and the sun. Our Yule traditions are part of this "attitude of gratitude" and that is why I finally have started to believe in Santa Claus.

See more of Arie Farnam's writings at www.ariefarnam.com 

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Arie Farnam is a Pagan blogger and fiction writer. She lives most of the year in the Czech Republic with her husband and two children, where she concocts medicines from herbs and dreams up fantasy adventures for children and adults.

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Sunday, November 30

2014 Artisan Holiday Gift Guide for Pagan Children

It's CYBER MONDAY and we're kicking it off with our "2014 Artisan Holiday Gift Guide for Pagan Children".  This year, let's pledge to shop with fellow spirituals and artists for the holidays. 


Back in October, we asked for you, our loyal readers, to share the website of your favorite home-based artists with us.   The following is a collection of what you sent our way.  If you think of another artist who could be added to this list, get it to us by December 15th and we'll add it to the list. 

Terra Pooka: 'Crescent Moon Dolls' are 11-inches in size and created from organic cotton and bamboo cloth.  The dyes are low impact and vegan.  Each doll is the embodiment of an element of nature, such as 'Pine Tree' or 'Rain Cloud'.  Created in Nevada.



Moon Garden Stitches: From New Hampshire, Sophie has created a whole lot of goodies for you to consider.  Of note are these gorgeous crayon roll-ups and these flannel rice warmers in kid-friendly patterns like Marvel's Avengers and AG's Strawberry Shortcake. 



MoonWorks Emporium: Tammy, in South Carolina, makes these cute little Goddess dolls.  The simple shape and lack of accessories makes these a perfect "My First Goddess" for infants. Snatch one up while you can!  Message her on Facebook to order. 



River Scepters & Suds:  River, a 12yo homeschooled child, creates travel altars, pendants, and other Wiccan/Pagan items from his home in Maine.  His mother helped him put together an Etsy shop to sell his creations.  




Lilliana Press: Joni Rae is an artist with lots of talent.  She has PDF coloring books for Pagan children.  These are really nice!  If you'd prefer a physically print & bound copy, you can contact her.  She also makes these adorable custom Goddess dolls.  They have dangling crystals and are stuffed with polyfill and herbs.  The other astounding offer she has are these matte prints of her art.  Many feature baby wearing or breastfeeding (one even has Doctor Who's TARDIS, for those so inclined!)



Family on Bikes: This shop is run by artist Nancy Sathre-Vogel of Idaho.  She loves to mix it up with copper.  Your teen children might love a chance to sport some custom made wrist cuffs or pendants. 



Orange Blossom Babies:  Jocelyn makes homemade plushies and crochet caps for kiddos.  This busy mom, based in Florida, custom makes each order so contact her on Facebook soon! 



Reed Silk Studios:  Based in the United States, this family handcrafts every item you see on their site.  Bill makes the wooden cars and dyes them with all natural items such as turmeric.  Kate creates play silks from Habotai silk and non-toxic dyes. 



A Hippie with a Minivan: Melissa creates felt items from her home in Canada.  These are breathtaking!  Made from wool and pure artistic skill.



Clea Danaan:  This heartfelt author has a few books available that your older child may enjoy.  If your teen could use a Pagan/Green Living devotional, or a book about the Zen of raising chickens, please check Clea's books out.  



The Blessed CauldronThese ritual items are handmade in Texas.  Latisha uses stone, wood, paint, and wire to create unique pieces that your tween or teen may love to add to their collection of magical tools.  



Do you sew, dye, stitch, carve, mix, write, or otherwise create something that an Earthy or Pagan family could give as a gift to their children?  Does your creation help pregnant mothers or appeal teenaged boys?  Go ahead and send us the information by December 15th to be added to this list. 


Saturday, November 29

21 Tasteful & Useful Yule Gifts for Pagan Men



After publishing my other gift guide, 21 Ridiculously Cool Yule Gifts for Pagan Dads, I got feedback from the more saged men in the Pagan community that those gifts did not appeal to them.  This led to the creation of a list with more refined, useful, and tasteful gifts for Pagan and Norse men. I hope you enjoy!


#1  Witches & Pagans Magazine
This Yule, gift your Pagan man a gift that lasts all year!  W&P magazine is published three times each year.  It focuses on a prominent Pagan in the community along with budding Pagan hotspots, trends in magic, upcoming artists, and articles on modern Pagan practices.  You can receive Witches & Pagans digitally or in print.  If your man wants to stay abreast of what's going on in the global Pagan community, this magazine is for him.  



#2  'Osiris for a Day' Homebrew Beer Kit
According to Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, "...Osiris taught the people how to brew the beverage which is made of barley, which is not greatly inferior to wine in odor and potency."  This Beer Kit includes a 2-gallon keg, bottles, caps, and ingredients.  Add water and wait 14 days.  Who knew it was that easy to be a brew master?  If beer isn't your brew, try this kit for Hard Cider or a nice non-alcoholic Root Beer Kit.  





#3  Classic Brass Compass
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I... I took the road less traveled by.  And that has made all the difference."  Could Robert Frost have better described the contentment of reflecting on a life lived as a Pagan?  Pagan men choose to live in a world of fire and sacredness, full of magic and primal energy.  This Antiqued Compass is the perfect addition to any Pagan man's ritual tools.  Made from brass, this handsome elemental tool comes with a leather case for storage. 




#4  Beastly Door Guardian
Grace your front stoop with magic and mystery as this charming king dragon keeps watch over your home.  Your Pagan man can delight in the looks on caroler's faces as they approach your front stoop to find this Black Dragon staring them down.  He's makes quite a statement with a sturdy black metal body with silver colored accents.  The solar lantern charges up during the day and casts a color-changing glow overnight.



#5  Grumpy Greenman Goblet
This regal forest spirit has been waiting patently for someone to wine and dine him.   Perhaps your Pagan guy can help him out this Solstice?  The Greenman Goblet is made of resin and has a removable/washable steel insert that is completely foodsafe.  To really round this gift out, how about picking up a bottle from your local winery? 



#6  Historic Isle of Lewis Norse Chess Set
Yule is a day for comfortable clothing, good food, and playing a game or two.  This year, you can delight your Pagan guy with this set modeled after the historic Isle of Lewis chessmen.  These chiseled Norsemen are ready to battle on your coffee table.  Made of hand finished stone, this Chess Set a museum quality replica.  If your Pagan man is a chess lover, this is the perfect Solstice gift! 





#7  50th Anniversary Prydain Chronicles
Based on Welsh mythology, The Book of Three starts this five-novel series that is comparable to LOTR.  Steeped in Pagan fantasy, this series includes a cauldron that reanimates corpses to create an undead army, an adventuresome bard, Welsh soldiers, a horned King, and a sacred boar who can predict the future.  Often considered a hidden treasure, Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles is the "indie" version of the genre.  So, if your man likes fantasy, but hates how common LOTR has become, try this series.  This book is the first in the series' 50th anniversary run and includes much bonus material.  If you'd rather buy the entire boxed paperback set (so your man doesn't have to wait for the next installment!), you can find that HERE

 

#8  Vulcan's Steel Minions
Skill with a blade is often a source of confidence and pride for Pagan men.  This set is for the mature swordsman or smith who is ready for a new and delicate hobby.  At 6.5", these Throwing Knives have a good hand feel and hit hard.  If your man is new to knife throwing, you may want to toss in this How-To Book or DVD so as not to offend Vulcan with lack of skill.  



#9  GRUNT like a Khal
Is your Pagan man a Game of Thrones fan?  I'm sorry.  That's a dumb question.  Of course he is.  If he would like any hope of impressing the Mother of Dragons, he'd better brush up on his Dothraki.  Based on the language developed by David J. Peterson, this book offers conversational Dothraki and a CD to practice in the car.  If he's serious about learning the tongue of the horsemen, add this Dothraki App to your list, as well. 



#10  Drunken Gnome Wine Covers
It's just not Solstice without a good spiced wine.  These sleepy gnomes will add a touch of magic to your wine collection.  If your Pagan man isn't a wine connoisseur, these Felt Wine Toppers can do double duty as toppers for his gin, whiskey, whatever!  These would go great with an earthy Cheese Tray & Knife.   




#11  Strength of Romulus Walking Cane
Sturdy enough to be useful, tasteful enough to be admired.  This is not a reminder to be physically strong, but instead honors the strength it requires to live a life of truth and honesty.  Romulus, the founder of Rome, was so disgusted by trickery and lies that he killed his brother to protect his people from falsities.  Let your man carry this Wolf Walking Cane as a reminder to always be truthful and honorable. 



#12  Quest-Worthy Traveling Coat
Just imagine your Pagan man bundled in this fantastically classy coat as you gather for Yule with your friends and family.  The false waistcoat adds extra elegance to this gorgeous Men's Coat.  This style suits the comic-con crowd, the steampunk gang, the asatru/vampire brood, and the pirate hardy men in your life.  French cuffs, satiny lining, crimson trim to offset the raven-black material... this coat has it all!





#13  THUG Kitchen Vegan Cookbook
Not all Vegans are fluffy lightweights.  Thug kitchen offers some hearty meals for people who aren't always into sprouts and lemon zest.  Based on the foul-mouthed blog, this real world cookbook throws down recipes chock full of grilling, beer, potatoes, and "guy" of flavors.  Whether your Pagan man is a fulltime vegetarian/vegan or just an earth conscious guy, he may like this amusing and totally useful cookbook.




#14  Eternal Life Ring
Grant your Pagan man a charm to ensure long life this Solstice.  The Ankh was carried by Egyptian gods and when used in writings, represented 'Life'.  This solid sterling silver band won't catch or snag and comes in sizes up to 11.  If your man needs a larger size, try this sterling silver Scarab Ring, which comes up to size 13.





#15  Celtic Copper Fire Bowl

It's not Solstice without fire.  Your Pagan guy can bring light and warmth to his family by building a roaring fire in this admirable copper-toned fire pit.  The Celtic Knot Fire Pit comes with a domes screen and poker.  Imagine hosting witchy gatherings around this all the year!



#16  Faire Boots
These man-made boots are top-rated and sure to keep your Pagan guy comfortable and warm as you make the rounds for Yule, this year.  After the holidays, they will keep him stylin' as you hit Renaissance faires, Pagan festivals, and costume parties.  Sized up to men's 14, these Caribbean Combat Boots should fit just about any guy out there. 






#17  Rosewood Longpipe
Solstice evening can be spent smoking the plant or herb of his choosing through this smooth, classic pipe.  The 14" long stem ensures a cool draw.  This Churchwarden Pipe comes in a gift box with velvet lining for safe storage.  Pair with some herbal smoke blends to mix it up.




#18  Rugged Utility Kilt
If your Pagan guy is past his squeamish phase, he may be ready for a high quality kilt like this.  Made of thick cotton and outfitted with pockets and adjustable buckles, this Men's Kilt is ready for festivals and faires.  These are sized for waists up to 46", so even plus-sized guys can get in on this rugged kilt.  Many colors to choose from.   




#19  Spirit of Mjolnir Belt Buckle
Give your Pagan man the gift of virtue and strength this Solstice.  Mjolnir carries the power to level mountains, but only works if the soul who wields lives a moral life.  This Mjolnir Belt Buckle is made of lead-free pewter and based on the designs of Paul Borda. 



#20  Pulse of the Earth
At this point, your Pagan guy probably has a drum, but perhaps it's time for a new member to join the circle?  This hand-carved mahogany beauty has a 9" premium goatskin head.  This 20" Djembe Drum includes a fitted, zipper top carrying bag as a bonus!  If your guy loves his current drum too much to try another, perhaps he'd like Djembe Strap to help hold his drum while he hangs around the fire. 



#21  Cernunnos Blade
Pagan men deserve righteous ritual tools and this dagger, blessed by the symbols of Cernunnos, would astound him on Solstice morning.  This wooden handled Deer Athame is a rare find!




Bonus Gift Idea:  Handbound Leather Grimoire
Yule is a time of traditions and perhaps it's time for your Pagan man to start writing some down.  This hand-tooled Leather Book is beautiful enough to become a family heirloom.  The wrap and tie cover lends itself to the antique and mystical feel of this blank book.



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