December 2023 Newsletter


  • What is Yule? By Becky
  • How to Be Pagan at Christmas by Volanndra
  • Resolutions and Goal Setting by Volanndra
  • Sun and Moon Deities by Morgan LeFay
  • Cleansing in the New Year by Morgan LeFay
  • Upcoming Events

For a holiday gift and to celebrate the end of the year OPC has decided to share to the public some of the past articles that have been written and then maybe if you are new to our Patreon read the rest of the articles. We wish you a joyous Yule and a happy new year!

What is Yule?

By Becky

(Originally in Dec 2022 Newsletter) 

Yule is a festival of lights. Instead of one day of presents, we have eight crazy nights.


Yule, like many holidays celebrated around this time of year, is definitely a festival concerning light. It celebrates the end of the darker time of the year when (for us in the Northern Hemisphere) the Earth is tilted away from the sun. Days have been shorter, nights are longer, it’s getting colder out. The world has been contracting and is in its hibernation cycles. The harvests have been reaped, we’ve tucked away what’s needed to get by until the Earth is in its fertile growing stages again.

Yule is the celebration of the Winter Solstice. This is the longest night of the year. This is the literal tipping point when the Earth begins her tilt back towards the Sun. From here on out, the nights begin to get shorter and the days once again longer. We’re celebrating the return of The Sun, Its warmth, and its function as the heavenly body that brings new life to the planet.

As many cultures will create fables and mythologies to explain things observed in the world around us; many Pagans relate the cycles of the season to the death and birth of God. Birth of God… now where have I heard that one before…? Anywho, the life cycle of God’s life begins on Yule when he is born to the Goddess. He grows into a man, they partner, she’s impregnated, he dies, and he is again reborn from her.

Other traditions see the year broken down into two halves. One of light and one of darkness. Each half of the never ending cycle of the seasons, and each ruled by a King. On the summer and winter solstices, these Kings (the Oak King of the waxing year and the Holly King of the Waning year) battle it out, trading off victory. The Holly King’s imagery is very similar to that of Santa or Father Christmas. Similarly, the Pagan custom of either decorating trees or maintaining a Yule log have been brought into modern practice.

The decorating of the evergreen trees, which do not go dormant the way many other trees do in the winter, was a way to celebrate the life still present in nature. While everything else is contracting, dying, hibernating, etc; these trees kept their green and reminded us that even in the coldest and darkest days, spring will come again. Life will flourish, and these dark times will be nothing but a memory in the heat and warmth of the summer Sun. The Yule log is another way to observe and pay homage to the forest, but in a manageable way and inside the home. Many did not actually cut down the tree, the symbol of life and hope, because then it would die,…. Not really the goal here. The decorated trees would be actual living trees and often the decorations would serve as offerings to the forest and its inhabitants. A naturally fallen log brought into the home and carefully tended to, would also serve as a symbol of the tree that could be kept close by. And let’s be honest, log – much easier to manage than a whole tree.

That being said, I’m all for getting a ‘Christmas’ tree and decorating it. I know that can be controversial, but it can also be very sustainable. The artificial tree that my grandmother used when raising her children, was passed to my mother, serviced us for decades, and now lights up my brother’s home and his four children. No trees harmed, and if you take care of them, artificial trees can last darn near forever. I’m also pro planting a tree in your yard and using that as your holiday tree. Just be sure that you’re not decorating it with anything artificial because that can severely impact the environment and animal life. Homemade decorations with pinecones, dried fruit strung on twine, etc, can be a really fun way to involve kids in the process… and let’s be real, super minimal clean up, if any.

But going big on the holidays is never necessary. One of the simplest ways you can honor the transition back to the waxing side of the year is to simply watch the Sunrise the morning after the Solstice. It’s beautiful, and it’s a sign that brighter and warmer days are coming. Take a beat and be grateful we have the progression of the seasons that renew us and the planet each year.

How to be Pagan at Christmas

By Volanndra

(Originally in Dec 2021 Newsletter) 

It is easy to keep the Yule in Yuletide since many of the traditions of Christmas have Pagan origins.  However, it may seem challenging to convince a Christian of this.  There seems to be a regular discussion about the “war on Christmas” and a general discord about how the country should be celebrating the season.

At one time, there was an actual war on Christmas [1].   In fact, Christmas was not declared a federal holiday until the late 19th century.  In some areas, the holiday was outlawed.  This reluctance to celebrate came from the Puritan English who thought the celebrations at this time was too wanton and immoral.  However, today, Christmas is everywhere.

For Pagans, this season can be a time of stress.  From the turkey holiday until the end of the calendar year, we are bombarded by holidays celebrated with family and friends who may not know of our religious beliefs.  And although the turkey holiday is more about food and family, Christmas is certainly less secular with the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and all the  decorations, traditions, etc. to go with it.

But this is a spectacular time to be Pagan!  As stewards of the Earth, we know that the Winter Solstice is coming.  Although it is the shortest day of the year, it marks the time when the days will be getting longer.  We are on our way back from the darkness into the light.  In many pantheons’ stories, this is when the Sun God was born, which is why the Christians moved their Son of God, aka Sun God, to this celebratory time.  Many locals were already celebrating the Solstice (or Saturnalia or Yule) and adopting this time was the method of the conquering culture to adopt (re: steal) the holiday season.  Nevertheless, Pagans can avail themselves to many of the festivities of the season, such as decorating an Evergreen tree, lighting candles, creating a Yule log (non-edible or edible), and merry-making with friends and family.  All of these activities have Pagan connections [2] and need little explanation to our Abrahamic religion friends who are doing similar activities.

Enjoy the season! From Orlando Pagan Collective, to you – have a wonderful holiday!  And if you are looking for somewhere to celebrate the Solstice, come join us at our monthly Pagan Chat Night, Bubble Bubble Talk and Trouble! It’s on the Solstice and  we’ll be at Denny’s to celebrate the Sabbat.  We hope to see you there!


Resolutions and Goal Setting

By: Volanddra

(Originally in Jan 2022 Newsletter) 

Happy New Year and welcome to the January newsletter for the Orlando Pagan Collective!  I hope this post finds you in good spirits and health.  We are in the season of a waxing new moon, which is advantageous for this time of year of restarts and resolutions.  As of 1/2, the New Moon is in Capricorn – the stubborn water goat; this energy can help you dig into goals and set your sights on success.  The full moon in Capricorn will be in 6 months (July) if you want to do some long term planning but have a shorter goal term than the end of year.  If you do not follow the moon in your practice, but are interested in more information, feel free to reach out in our Discord group as there are members who can answer your questions.

Are you a resolution maker? A goal creator? Do you have a deity or deities that you work with? Have you thought about using your relationship with the divine to develop your resolution and goals for the year? If you do not work with any deities, what about divination? Have you tried using divination to determine your next right step?

Setting goals may seem too mundane to pull your spirituality into it, but I feel it is these times of uncertainty that you should lean into your beliefs. Use all the tools about you – not just your planner, vision boards, podcasts and YouTube videos. Ask your divination tools the best path for you at this time, for this year. Petition your deities to give you guidance on the most direct path to a better job, better relationship or whatever your goal is. If your relationship with your tools and deities are strong, then this ask for your personal development is no different than divining on whether you should do a money spell or praying to your gods for the same monetary boost.

Your deities or divination tool may not magically make you successful in achieving all your resolutions, but it can help you develop your focus for the year. And it may help align yourself spiritually to what you need to achieve mundanely and maybe you will feel more balanced.

Sun Deities

By Morgan LeFay

(Originally in July 2022 Newsletter) 

For some people they praise the sun, others try to avoid the big giant ball of fire at all costs. Either way the sun has been reveried by humanity before we had written language. This was seen as both the sun being held as a divine being or deities that had domain or were directly connected to the sun. So put on your shades, get some sunscreen on, and layback and enjoy a look at some of the different sun deities that have brightened the world.


For most people Apollo would be the first encounter with a sun god, though learning about Greek myths as one of the primary Olympian deities. Besides being a sun god, Apollo is connected to archery, music and dance, truth and prophecy, healing, and poetry. He is considered one of the most important and complex of the Greek gods, being the son of Zeus and Leto and has the twin sister Artemis the goddess of the hunt.


Looking to the Egyption parthenon we have Ra. Ra rules in all parts of the created world: the sky, the Earth, and the underworld. He is the god of the sun, order, kings and the sky. All forms of life are believed to have been created by Ra. Humans were created from Ra’s tears and sweat, hence the Egyptians call themselves the “Cattle of Ra”. Ra represents warmth and growth and being the creator of the universe and source of life he is considered the king of the gods.


In Shinto Amaterasu is one of the major kami and is the goddess of the sun. She is connected to the Imperial House of Japan by her grandson Ninigi. Amaterasu’s chief place of worship, the Grand Shrine of Ise, is one of Shinto’s holiest sites. She also was said to have given the Imperial Regalia of Japan to her grandson. Amaterasu, while primarily being the goddess of the sun, is also sometimes worshiped as having connections with other aspects and forms of nature. Amaterasu can also be considered a goddess of the wind and typhoons alongside her brother Susanoo, and even possibly death.


In the Celtic parthenon there is Lugh. A member of the Tuatha Dé Danann, a group of supernatural beings, Lugh is portrayed as a warrior, a king, a master craftsman and a savior. He is associated with skill and mastery in multiple disciplines, including the arts. Lugh also has associations with oaths, truth and the law, and therefore with rightful kingship. Lugh is linked with the harvest festival of Lughnasadh, which bears his name. When translated, Lugh’s name means “the shining one” relating to his connection with the sun and with harvests.

Lunar Deities

By Morgan LeFay

(Originally in August 2022 Newsletter) 

In our last issue we went over some of the different solar deities but there is another globe of light that shines down upon us, the moon. Because of the way the moon replaces the sun at night and the sun then comes back in the day, often the moon is seen as a twin of sorts to the sun.


And speaking of twins, one of the most widely known lunar deities would be the twin sister of Apollo, Artemis. In the Greek pantheon, Artemis is the daughter of the sky god and king of gods Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. As her brother was a sun god, she became a moon goddess. Artemis preferred to remain a maiden goddess and was sworn never to marry, but because she was born before her twin and helped with his birth she also became connected to childbirth. This connection to childbirth and the menstrual cycle also deepens her connection as a moon goddess. She was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities, her worship spread throughout ancient Greece, with her multiple temples, altars, shrines, and local veneration found everywhere in the ancient world. Her great temple at Ephesus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, before it was burnt to the ground. Artemis’ symbols included a bow and arrow, a quiver, and hunting knives, and the deer and the cypress were sacred to her.


In the Egyptian pantheon we have Khonsu, who is the ancient Egyptian god of the Moon. His name means “traveler”, and this may relate to the perceived nightly travel of the Moon across the sky. Along with Thoth he marked the passage of time. Khonsu was instrumental in the creation of new life in all living creatures. At Thebes he formed part of a family triad (the “Theban Triad”) with Mut as his mother and Amun his father. In art, Khonsu is typically depicted as a mummy with the symbol of childhood, a sidelock of hair, as well as the menat necklace with crook and flail. He is sometimes shown wearing an eagle or falcon’s head like Horus, with whom he is associated as a protector and healer, adorned with the sun disk and crescent moon.


Because I am writing this you know I had to take a look at the Shinto kami relating to the moon and that would be Tsukuyomi-no-Mikoto. What is interesting about Tsukuyomi is that because so little is known about them their sex is not known. The story of why Tsukuyomi is connected to the moon is their connection to Amaterasu. Tsukuyomi angered Amaterasu when they killed Ukemochi, the goddess of food, when Amaterasu learned what happened and she was so angry that she refused to ever look at Tsukuyomi again, forever moving to another part of the sky. This is the reason that day and night are never together.

Other Thoughts

While I was doing research about this topic I was surprised to find how there were less lunar deities compared to solar ones. Most often in modern culture we see the sun and moon as a duality but this was not the case in the past. Also numerous deities were all basically Artemis with a few things changed, such as Diana the Roman goddess of the moon.

Cleansing in the New Year

By Morgan LeFay

(Originally in January 2021 Newsletter) 

With a new year, many people have different traditions of how to bring in the new year. One thing to look at before we get to spring cleaning is doing some new year cleansing. Everyone has their favorite way to cleanse things both physically and magically. What is interesting is how each of the different types connect with different elements and senses. Here are some of the different ones you can try.


For most, when it comes to cleansing sage can be the end all be all. Some also use sweet grass mixed with white sage to do this. Usually one would burn a bundle of sage and either waft the smoke around the object or walk around the area that needs cleansing. It can be helpful to have a bowl to catch the ash and a feather or fan to help spread the smoke. Note: some people can be allergic to sage, so before you use it in a group area ask if anyone has any problems with any incense you burn.


Running water is used as a cleansing force. We wash our hands (for 20 seconds) under running water, but even before we found out about germs running water was used to clean things. When using water, try to find running water or water that has been blessed in one way. For some, new crystals and gems are put under running water to clean off negative energy that might have gathered on them as they make their way home.


Salt is often used as more of a banishing or blocking tool, but can also be used along with water to do cleansing. Mix in some salt into water until it dissolves. You can then use your finger or a magical tool to spread the salt water mix to areas that should be cleansed. Once you have cleansed an area, you might want to lay a salt line to help ward and keep the area purified.


For some, there is the magical tool of the besom, which is a broom used to ritual purify an area. Besoms are usually what you would think of as a witch’s broom. They are handmade with twigs bound together. Even if you do not have a besom, you can still use a normal broom to sweep away negative energy. You might want to have a broom used just for this purpose.


It is amazing how one can feel when you take a walk in the sun. Remember to wear SPF15 sunscreen to help prevent sunburn. The sun has been a aspect of cleansing for as long as we have been on this planet. Like putting things under running water to cleanse them for other items such as things that are dry clean only, leave them out in a sunny area.  Morning sunlight is considered the best because of the aspect of new beginnings. Also, if you get good sunlight, opening your windows to let the light in is an easy way to cleanse your home.

Tarot Card

The Tower

Number: XVI

General Meaning: The Tower is commonly interpreted as meaning danger, crisis, destruction, and liberation. It is associated with sudden unforeseen change.

Element: Fire

Ruling Planet: Mars

Upright: Accident or damage, Catastrophe, Destruction, Renovation, Unexpected change

Reverse: Illness, Losses, Obstacles, Volatile situation


Bubble Bubble Talk and Trouble, A Pagan Chat Night

Tue, Dec 19, 2023, 7:00 PM EST


We are in a PRIVATE ROOM at Denny’s. This ensures privacy, quieter space for conversation, and dedicated service staff. Reservations help us set up our room and provide an optimal setting for open communication.

Topic: Witchin’ in the Kitchen

The holiday season is filled with gatherings. As we get into the groove of the season, one practice becomes the forefront – food. You may not identify as a Kitchen Witch or even a witch, but those in the kitchen know that cooking is magic. Come join us as we talk about how creating any food can be done with intent and infused with energy to change your life.

At our pagan chat nights, we share a meal and conversation about our pagan practice. This is a wonderful way to introduce yourself to the pagan community at large, as well as to learn and share a little of your own experience and path. Our monthly topic is determined each month based on a poll by attendees and updated on each event at the beginning of the month.

Online Yule Sabbat Ritual, hosted by the Aspen Temple

Thur, Dec 21, 2023, 7:00 PM EST


This is a spectacular time to be Pagan! As stewards of the Earth, we know that the Winter Solstice is coming. Although it is the shortest day of the year, it marks the time when the days will be getting longer. We are on our way back from the darkness into the light. In many pantheons’ stories, this is when the Sun God was born, which is why the Christians moved the birth of their Son of God, aka Sun God, to this celebratory time. Many locals were already celebrating the Solstice (or Saturnalia or Yule) and adopting this time was the method of the conquering culture to adopt (re: steal) the holiday season. Nevertheless, Pagans can avail themselves of many of the festivities of the season, such as decorating an Evergreen tree, lighting candles, creating a Yule log (non-edible or edible), and merry-making with friends and family. All of these activities have Pagan connections2 and need little explanation to our Abrahamic religious friends who are doing similar activities.

Come join us for this wonderful holiday! We will hold the Yule sabbat in a traditional Wiccan circle led by Volanndra, the High Priestess of The Aspen Temple.

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