Friday, November 23, 2012

Holiday Shopping for the Pagans in Your Life

Whatever your religious bent, the winter holidays are just around the corner, and pagans are just as susceptible to commercialism as the next guy.  Besides, who doesn't love giving (and getting) gifts?  Here's an idea list for that special pagan in your life--

Jewelry's nice, and pagan jewelry can be found all over the Internet.  A charm might make a good choice since some of us don't want to flash our pentacles at PTA meetings.  One cool alternative I found was this fabulous locket--I wonder if you could keep a photo in it as well, or maybe a tiny spell?

Candles, candles, candles--There's not a pagan I know who isn't the Fire Marshal's worst fear, and they can be found ANYWHERE.  You could go the extra mile and spend on a specially blessed organic beeswax candle, but most witches I know like to anoint their own.  Small tea lights work well for day-to-day practice, or for general ambiance, colored tapers or votives are perfect for candle magic.  Include a cool candle holder and you will be golden.  I would hesitate to choose scented candles for other people--smell is such a personal thing...

Books are always welcome, but you really need to know your pagan's preferences before you go shelling out at the local B&N.  For example, I lean toward Celtic paganism in my beliefs and am fairly conservative in my practice (an it harm none and all that).  Joseph H. Peterson's Grimorium Verum would probably creep me out as a gift.  I'd obsess over what kind of witch you think I am (are you a good witch or a bad witch?), and I'd be afraid to get rid of it because, well...I am pagan and a certain amount of unhealthy superstition goes with that.  A better book gift would be a gift-certificate to their local bookstore or better yet, used bookstore.  I've found some of my favorite occult books at Half-Priced Books. 

I drool over the hand-tooled leather bound journals I often see in occult shops, but if your pagan is a vegetarian or vegan, this may not be the right choice.  Still, journals can be found in many styles and shapes--there's bound to be one out there.

Herbs are a great choice.  Whether used in cooking or in spells, the gift of a lovely, green, growing thing is always thoughtful. In the Victorian language of herbs, here are some meanings for the most basic herbs one can find at any nursery:

Parsley--festivity, joy and victory
Sage--long life and good health
Sweet basil--best wishes or love is near
Thyme--happiness  and courage

A selection of incenses is thoughtful, but as I said earlier, scents are a personal thing so know your pagan well.  Ask the shopkeeper what their favorites are if you have doubts.  My local witch shop turned me onto this brand, and I have yet to experience an overwhelming smell.

I don't know a pagan who doesn't have a crapload of chotchkies around their home, many of which can be discreet and charming.  I have a collection of glass balls scattered around my living area which I  like to charge during full moons, and often use for meditation.  Small statues work as well.

Handmade gifts are always nice too, but that's between you and your skills.

If none of these individual ideas seem right for the pagan in your life, might I suggest a gift basket incorporating several small items?  Happy Yule and safe shopping.

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