Pagan Activist: Olde Ways to Create Change

Even as robots and mechanization have rendered many jobs obsolete (making the economic “recovery” more theoretical than reality-based), the average amount that economic trackers expect each American to spend this year on Yule gifts is in the seven hundred dollar range.

While Pagans aim to please, much on offer is plastic or electronic — designed to quickly break or fail to function. Buying stereotypical pink/girl, blue/boy toys smacks of sexism, and there’s minimal diversity on tap (ubiquitous hat/scarf/glove sets a case in point). So what’s a savvy, ecology minded Pagan to do? Change begins in the tone you set with family, relatives, co-workers, and neighbors, etc. Making a present that imparts real meaning and delights or enables them is not a matter of being a skinflint curmudgeon: Rather, it shows that you’ve personalized an aesthetic, useful gift in a culture that offers precious little of either. Begin by considering recipients’ needs, your creative talent abilities, and what could make folks you care about smile or be diverted, challenged, or relieved in some way. Intuition, repurposing what you have on hand, creative recycling, and decorating with Pagani spiral, sun, or star décor can make this year’s round of gifting a satisfying experience. Options include: 
  • Winter Wellness Basket
  • Decorate and fill a wood or woven basket with items that comfort, instill a sense of wellbeing, strengthen immunity, and promote stamina, such as:

    • A rolled, warm throw
    • Wool socks
    • Echinacea (capsules repackaged in a labeled, dark amber or cobalt-colored container, a pretty embellishment tied around its top)
    • Immunity cooking oil (olive oil flavored with cracked red pepper, cayenne, and garlic)
    • Add-ins (tissue, horehound cough drops, or Emergen-C® packets, etc.)
    • Chamomile tea (repackaged in a decorative box or tin)
    • Soup bowl & silver spoon (inexpensive at thrift-stores)
    • Chicken Soup recipe and/or ingredients:
      • Pkg. dried rice; or, egg or No Yolk® noodles
      • Chicken bouillon cubes or jar stock base
      • Spice mix in envelope (cracked black and red pepper; dash cayenne; garlic powder; dehydrated onion; Ms. Dash of choice)
      • (Recipient simmers all with fresh chicken and desired frozen vegetables.)
  • Pamper Package
  • Decorate a basket with items that foster recuperation, such as:

    • Luxury soak set — Essential oil-scented liquid soap or bath salt (recipe below); black-light bulb or tea-lights; incense, matches, and sand-filled burner dish; relaxing music)
    • Snuggle set Area rug; wrap throw; suspense flick or fireside read; cognac or brandy
  • Portable Altar Setup

    Fill a serving tray with all-purpose magical items, such as:

    • Altar cloth (a folded fabric remnant)
    • Emergency candles ($1. for a 12-pack)
    • Candle engraver (a finishing nail driven into a champagne cork)
    • Candle/self-anointing oil (dried fennel in mineral oil)
    • Compass (to determine North, East, South, West Quarter directions)
    • Element packets (salt, matches, gemstones, feathers…)
    • God/dess representations (horn-shaped bead and seashell, etc.)
    • Add-ins (wee Sake offering/libationcups; greeting cards depicting the seasons; or a collection of olde spells on 3-by-5 cards)
  • Skill Master Kit

     Decorate a box with enabling items for the:

    • Artsy Pagan — Blank journal; drawing pad; watercolor pencil set; or carded wool, a drop-spindle, and a spinning how-to book

    • Foodie Pagan — Chocolate-dipped spoons; my Simply Savory: Magical & Medieval Recipes (including Sabbat menus, at:; dishwashing tools set vertically in a decorative flower vase; wild game-dressing books; and pounds of dried staples (cranberry beans, rice, dehydrated fruit, hanging peppers or garlic cloves, or gourmet coffee, etc.)

    • Handy Pagan — Basic fixit tools; illustrated home maintenance how-to book; picture-hanging kit; assorted glues; DIY project; and contact info list of local resources

    • Pagan Kid/Teen — Mythology and beginner spellbooks; DIY-scented bath salt kit (lavender oil and purple food coloring to mix in Epsom® salt and air-dried); self-hardening or Sculpey® clay

    • Predicting Pagan — Divination tools such as a0 to 9-sided die & The Kwan Yin Oracle book;Tarot deck or playing cards;pendulum; and a box of flower petal tea, a vintage cup and saucer, and a symbol book such as Sterling Publishing’s Little Giant Book of 1,001 Symbols

    • SurvivorPagan — Emergency home kit (protective pentagram pendant; first aid info; cotton bandages; Witch Hazel; aloe vera; hemp lip balm; cold/hot pack (dried rice-filled fabric pillow); and fabric remnant arm sling, etc.; or, car kit (local and national maps; energy bars; kitty litter; jumper cables; and wind-up-yourself radio or flashlight, etc.)

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Author Bio: Lady Passion (Dixie Deerman) is an experienced seer, counselor, and registered nurse. Third degree Gardnerian High Priestess of the 501(c)(3) religious nonprofit Coven Oldenwilde in Asheville, NC since 1994, she is co-author of The Goodly Spellbook:Olde Spells For Modern Problems.

When not lecturing about magic in universities, she often appears in the media, such as on Extra and BBC/London radio, and writes for magazines such as Witches & Pagans, Oracle 20/20, and The Magical Buffet (view, hear, and read at:

Lady Passion helps Pagan inmates nationwide secure their religious rights, has conducted a popular free Samhain ritual for decades, and lives in a 3-story Covenstead in the Appalachian Blue Ridge Mountains. She may be reached via her websites:;; and

Originally published in The Black Hen E-Zine, Dec. 2013

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