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  • Kristy Johnsen

The Old Gods in The New: Pagan and Nature Symbols in the New Religion

As a solitary practitioner and At Home Witch, you can put out symbols of your faith while still embracing "Be Silent."

Many of the symbols of the old religion are in the New Religion. Most pagans know that the prominent Christian holidays, including Christmas, Halloween, Candlemass, and Easter, were initially pagan holidays. Many saints recognized by the Catholic Church were originally Gods and Goddesses that our ancestors refused to give up. Even the days of the week are named after the old gods, for instance, Wednesday is Odin's Day, and Thursday is Thor's Day. Look around and see what other pagan symbols you notice, and don't be afraid to use them or modify them to celebrate your path.

In my home, I have a Brigid's Cross by my front door. Brigid's equal-armed cross is embraced by the New Religion but was originally a Celtic symbol of the balance between the Elements and seasons. I have a collection of prayer beads and mala beads throughout the house. Prayer beads and rosaries are used for spell work and spiritual communion in almost every religion. Combine that with the use of specific semi-precious stones in their construction, and they can be especially powerful.

It's crucial that as pagans we look at other religions and find our points of commonality. For instance, if I join family members at a Catholic or Episcopal Mass, I can find symbols of my God and Goddess there as well. I see the Horned God, the stag who dies each fall so that His people can live in Christ and His message of peace. I see a very stubborn and loving Mother Goddess in Mary and Her Rosary. The more common ground that we can find, the more we can work together on social justice issues and goodwill towards all.

Natural representations of the elements can be displayed around your home and will be seen as nothing but decorations. For example, Geraniums are planted outside of church doors, and pagans know they have a powerful warding effect! In my home, I have a jar candle surrounded by stones on a small wooden pentacle on my center island. All the elements are represented, and people who visit don't even notice it, save for the sweet-smelling candle!

Embrace some of your inner snark and start decorating with the mindset of "Mission: Pagan Possible!" See how many different symbols you can find that are around your home already or out in your garden. Blessed be as you walk the path of your spirituality. May you learn to trust your heart and your truth.

#oldreligion #paganism #realwitchcraft

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