Holidays – Part One – Finding your Inner Pagan

Please Note:  Winter Blooms is an educational website only and is in no way meant to replace experience with a trained EFT practitioner, counselor, or therapist.  To find an EFT Practitioner, visit the AAMET website, the EFT Universe website, the Tapping Solution website, or contact Jane at 802-533-9277 or for EFT coaching support.

Holidays.  For some people, this time of year is filled with the joy of anticipated reunions and the evolution of family and community traditions.  For others, the official onset of the winter season heightens fear, loneliness, and lack of connection to our fellow human beings.  We in the west have created the perfect conditions for situational depression through our emphasis on material gifts, an emphasis that eclipses the intangible joys the season brings.  Finding our way into the spiritual heart of the Winter Solstice is challenging but it can be done, even as we feel ourselves slipping into despair over human excesses.

As we become more aware of the very real consequences of humanly induced climate change on our individual communities and our entire Earth home, television and store ads for more and more electronic devices spark a cognitive dissonance impossible to ignore.  How can we teach our children stewardship of our resources  while engaging in the frenzied buying of phones, video games, computers, and televisions. The answer is simple.  We can’t.  Realizing this truth, we are freed to look for other ways to celebrate at this time of year.

Story is perhaps the most profound way to remind ourselves of what this time of year symbolizes.  Each spiritual tradition has a story of renewal that balances our vulnerability as Light dwindles and Earth grows cold.  Clarissa Pinkola Estes tells many cultural stories of Duende, the spark or spirit that cannot be extinguished.  Finding picture books at the library that help to celebrate that persistent spark is one way to infuse spirit into our shopping and eating frenzies.   Going out into the natural world and finding Evergreens among the sleeping deciduous trees is another way to remind ourselves, metaphorically, of that eternal spark.  Hosting a story circle where each person brings a story of hope and renewal is yet another.  These simple acts of awareness help to calm the crazed spending energies that seem to take over even the sanest people at this time of year.

The suggestion to embrace one’s inner pagan sets off alarm bells in many people.  Because paganism and all Earth-based religions have been demonized by the most zealous and narrow minded members of the dominant religions, it is easy to forget that the term pagan originally described country dwellers as distinct from urban populations, heathens – dwellers on the heath – who had reverent relationships with all the insects, animals, plants, and stones in their environment.  In the truest sense, we are all country dwellers, whether we are aware of this status or not.  The technological advances in building shelters and our current methods of global food production lull us into forgetting that we are very much a people dependent upon the air, water, and land of a specific place.  When our place is threatened by extreme storms, floods, and droughts – a growing sign of human-induced climate change – our existence becomes precarious.  Recent hurricanes Katrina, Irene, and Sandy remind us that nature really is invincible.  Stories of renewal during such dark times help us to take heart and embrace our opportunities to move into more reverent relationships with our natural environment.

What does finding our inner pagan have to do with Emotional Freedom Techniques?  At this time of year our media encourage us to express our love for others through consumerism.  Going against the unsustainable economic forces active all year round but especially during this season is not for sissies.  We are called cheap, joyless, and mean-spirited when we suggest that this spending frenzy has nothing to do with the original cultural traditions of gathering together when we feel most in peril to remind ourselves that the Light will return and the Earth will awaken.

Tapping for the courage to go against the spending tide and for companions in creating a different kind of winter celebration is both comforting and inspiring.  Tapping helps us to resolve any fears we have of making changes that may seem odd to others.  The emotional peace tapping provides can help us to begin traditions of service at our local human and other-than-human shelters. The generosity tapping inspires reminds us to include our more isolated neighbours during an evening of story telling.  Tapping supports us in creating inspired gifts that are unique because they have been well loved, gifts that will bring pleasure to others because of their associations with the giver.  When we choose to give something we have enjoyed and used reverently to someone who in turn will take pleasure from this gift and, when the time is right, pass it along, we are embracing our inner pagan by living in a way that honours a respectful and sustainable way of life.

Tapping and the courage it brings help us to feel good about making changes to lessen our carbon footprint and embrace values that honour the spiritual nature of this time of year. It is a support tool that provides immediate inspiration for creating emotionally rich and spiritually meaningful celebrations.  We all yearn, consciously or unconsciously, for the promise of renewal at the heart of the  Winter Solstice.  Tapping helps us to open to the spiritual and to the courage to express this spirituality at this sacred time of year.

Until next week



Jane Buchan, MA, AAMET Advanced Practitioner,, 802-533-9277