Giving Gifts, Giving Blessings, Giving Praise

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December 18, 2023

Oh Goddess, another turning of the wheel of the year and, Winter Solstice is just around the corner!

So I thought I would give you some ideas to help you plan a women’s gathering of some kind for a Winter Goddess Feast at Yule this year.

The Art of Receiving Gifts Gracefully

Gifts are a common tradition during this time of year. We give time and attention to thinking  about what gifts we’ll give to our loved ones and close friends. This heartfelt attention is lovely, but I must remind you of the necessary balance of not only being a thoughtful gift giver but also one who can receive gifts with grace.

Some of us like to give but have a harder time receiving, and it’s telling. Practicing the skill of receiving without guilt or apology is a must!

Personally, I have missed having an in-person gathering with my women’s circle (they are all in California) during the Sabbots because we always had the ritual of giving small but symbolic gifts for the season. It was so fun to see what little charms were waiting for us.  Although we meet on Zoom now, it hasn’t been quite the same giftwise.

So I’ve been thinking of a couple of fun games and rituals that you may want to try for Yule or some other women’s Winter gathering.

#1 The Crystal Wish Game (From Laurie Cabot’s book “Celebrate the Earth)

Each member is given a wrapped crystal. Some are quite special, some are nothing but mere rocks.

Then, every time the host rings a silver bell you have to give whatever package you received (yes you do get to look) away to the person next to you, and each time you make a wish before doing so.

This is a game to teach us about giving. What the faeries tell us with this game is that whether rock, gem or stone, they are from the Earth, and the gift carries meaning only you can discern.

The game can continue for some time, perhaps even during a meal. The host will continue to ring the bell randomly, each time signaling all to swap packages and make their wish. When it’s all over you have your final gift.

#2 Praise Goddess (Taken from Peggy Wynne Borgman’s “Four Seasons of Inner & Outer Beauty” — but with my own game title)

What you will need: Elegant paper or parchment, a special pen and 10-inch pieces of blue ribbon for each guest. In Chinese medicine dark blue represents the color of Winter and is a symbol of reward or triumph.

Start by proposing a toast to one of the guests in your group. Praise her for one of her unique talents or recent accomplishments.

Continue this dialog of toasting until every woman has been acknowledged at least once. Let this continue until everyone feels warm and good.

After all have been warmed up, then each woman will take a turn acknowledging and toasting herself! She is to fully claim with conviction all her wits and charms, beauty and accomplishments of all kinds. (If any woman slips into self-deprecation then she has to start over!)

While these speeches are taking place, an assigned “scribe” writes down what each woman has declared on a piece of the parchment paper and then rolls it up and ties it with blue ribbon. Each Goddess receives her personal message later as a souvenir.

I hope you enjoy these ideas. Let me know if you have an opportunity to try them!

Goddess be praised!

Gay

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