I'm on the road!

I'll be away from the computer for a couple weeks, so comment approval and replies will be delayed a spell (ba dum tss). But don't worry! There's fresh cookies on the counter and milk in the fridge. Make yourself comfortable, and I'll see you when I return! =D Happy Casting! ♥

5 (More) Ways to Celebrate Yule Without Spending a Dime

One of the most magical experiences I had on Yule happened a few years ago when I was about twenty-eight. At the time, my husband and I lived in Phoenix, Arizona, just a few miles from a gorgeous protected piece of desert called White Tank Mountains. In the blue hues of a chilly pre-dawn Yule, we drove through the silent desert to hike one of our favorite trails, the towering saguaro cacti acting as sentries in the stillness of the sacred morning. To the soundtrack of coyotes yapping, we hiked to a precipice that allowed us to overlook The Valley of the Sun. In the distance the twinkling lights of a groggy city stretched across the horizon, but before us was the untouched splendor of the Sonoran desert. The woodsy scent of creosote bushes kissed the chilled December air as we stood atop the overlook, watching in wonder as the cool milky colors of twilight warmed with the nearing dawn.

Quietly, with a cup of hot coffee held between mitten-clad hands (the true desert—not the concrete-laden city—can actually get quite cold), we stood in awe as the mountains across the valley birthed a blessed Yule sun. It was the first time I ever really made it a point to appreciate the sunrise, and I was left breathless by it's ethereal beauty. It genuinely looked like a birth, the fiery blaze of sun slowly materializing from the red dirt mountains in a transcendent progression akin to life emerging from the womb. 

Too early and brisk for most hikers, we were alone with nature, the elegant mule deer and chatty coyotes left to their own devices, thus far undisturbed by the influx of city-dwellers hungry for nature. It was in that moment, as I watched the proverbial birth of the God beside my husband, that I felt the sacred hum of the earth, the beat to which we all live, and the sheer magnitude of life. As physical beings, humans are quite small in relation to the world, and yet we are powerful, gifted with a divine connection to that which makes life worth living. 

I think of that significant morning every Yuletide season, hoping to relive that moment as I once again bundle up to watch the sunrise. For now, nothing has compared to the first time I ever really gave the sunrise true appreciation. But like an adult forever chasing the magic of Santa, I still believe. I still chase. I still experience that gentle vibration of essence as the morning breaks on a chilly Yule day. Like much of life, it's rare to eclipse the first time something truly magical happens, but that doesn't take away from each breathtaking time we try.

As with any sabbat, I encourage you to go outside and simply be. We don't get enough of that in our hectic modern era, and you certainly shouldn't wait until you're twenty-eight to fully appreciate a sunrise. 

...I blame it on the fact that I am not a morning person. It's an unspoken rule in our house that if you speak to me within thirty minutes of waking you'll receive nothing more than a closed-mouth murmuring as a reply. 

If you're in the mood for a more festive approach to Yule, here are five ways you can capture the joy of the winter solstice without spending a dime!  And if you'd like to discover more information about this restful sabbat, check out this post for more details

Make ginger tea
For most people, December is a cold month. Warm up with a hot mug of tea and honor the God by making that bad boy ginger tea. Curl up by the fire and relax. After all, Yule is a sabbat of respite and restoration. Take some time to chill!

Meditate during the sunrise
Too cold to go outside? Meditate in the warmth of your home during the sunrise! Before our phones pinged with constant alerts and we were expected to conquer the world, winter was seen as a time of deep restoration and reflection, particularly during Yule. Take this morning to honor that ritual and do a little self-reflection through meditation. If you're not very comfortable with meditating, you can find many guided meditations on Youtube. 

Leave an offering
Remember those pine cone bird feeders you made as a kid? Whip up one of those peanut butter creations and hang it from an evergreen. Or decorate an outside tree with edible gifts such as apple or orange slices, whole peanut or cranberry garlands, and nourishing suet cut into festive shapes with cookie cutters! The winter birds will thank you! 

Craft with nature
Take a nature walk and collect fallen evergreen bows for a handmade wreath. Or gather up those pine cones for a Yule altar. Honor the sabbat and lift your spirits by bringing a little bit of nature inside during this otherwise barren season. 

Take a few moments on this quite December morning to reflect on the year past. What lessons did you learn? What challenges did you overcome? What accomplishments are you proud of? What heartaches would you like to release? Don't get overwhelmed or feel like you need to start a to-do list. Now is not the time to begin a New Year's resolution pamphlet (which no one on the planet has ever actually adhered to) Simply reflect. Over a warm mug of tea and a sugar cookie, of course!

Bonus: Celebrate!
Don't forget to make merry! Crank those holiday tunes. Watch your favorite movies (Christmas Vacation is one of my favorites!). Indulge in cookies and eggnog. Savor a hearty sabbat meal. Raise your vibrations for those long winter nights, because we all know it's easy to start feeling a little bit The Shinning by the time February rolls around! ;)

Keep it simple or make it grand, just as long as you feel merry and bright, my friends! Hope you have a wonderful Yule! 🎄

How do you celebrate Yule?

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10 (More) Witchy Gifts for under $20

Pour yourself some eggnog, curl up by the fire, and turn on the holiday music because we're about to take a Pagan-inspired shopping trip from the comfort of your couch! That's right, Yule is almost here, the sabbat of light that celebrates the return of the sun (representing the God). After today, the daylight hours will begin to extend by roughly one minute per day and The Wheel slowly progresses through winter, promising the return of warmth and life.

Er, but that return doesn't come with a deadline guarantee, so don't put away your wool sweaters just yet. I'm looking at you, Northerners! ;) 

If you're looking for free ways to celebrate or want to learn more about this deeply meaningful sabbat, head on over to 5 Ways to Celebrate Yule. 

If you came here looking for ways to save a little scratch yet still want a beautifully-wrapped treasure tucked beneath your Yule tree, you've come to the right place! While I can't help you with the wrapping (but totally would if I were standing there beside you. I'm like Buddy the elf when it comes to a love of wrapping gifts), I can assist you in finding the perfect gift without going broke. And if you need more ideas, make sure to check out last year's 10 Witchy Gifts for more suggestions! There's a link below, so no need to abandon this Yule train just yet. ;)

Indigo Wild Zum Mist Aromatherapy Spray— $10

Quell those winter blues with the fresh, natural scent of Indigo Wild Zum Mist. Made with essential oils, you can rest assured your loved one won't be pummeled by hormone-disrupting chemicals. With scents like lavender lemon and sea salt, you can easily find the perfect scent for under $10! Know someone prone to colds? Try the eucalyptus! Eucalyptus essential oil is excellent for chest/sinus congestion, headaches, and even arthritis!  

Himalayan Salt Tea Light Holder— $15

It's not really a secret that I adore Himalayan salt lamps. I even recommended them in last year's Witchy Gifts. Then last year, as this bleary-eyed blogger sat with her husband beside the woodsy-scented pine tree, opening gifts to the melodic crooning of Andy Williams, I was gifted a Himalayan salt votive holder. It sits on my desk as we speak, and I use it daily as I write. 

But the reason I recommend the tea light over the votive is that tea lights are self-contained in those little metal cups whereas votive candles aren't, which means they drip as the candle melts. I keep mine on a plate and the world continues to turn, but if you're not wanting to deal with the extra step, go with the tea light. Either way, I recommend these wonderful holders for your spiritual kinfolk! 

Color and Conjure: Rituals & Magic Spells to Color— $15

I met Natalie Zaman through Twitter. With her sense of humor and love for Gifs, we quickly became blogger friends. She's written several books, including Magical Destinations of the Northeast (which I reviewed here.) On Color and Conjure she teamed up with a talented illustrator named Wendy Martin to create a—well, creative!— spell book that combines magic and coloring. What I enjoyed most about this book is the encouragement of creativity. I think imagination is too often hampered in childhood, and I feel people should really embrace and reinvigorate their imagination if they feel disconnected from this important quality. It's in there. Trust me. You just need to nurture it! ♥

While Color and Conjure is great for any age, it would make a FANTASTIC gift for a younger witch, especially teens. As I flipped through its pages, thirteen-year-old Michaela was all over it! Mostly because it wasn't all that different from my introduction to Paganism. To this day I will still draw pictures if I feel that's the best medium for a spell, so Natalie and Wendy have simply given you a hand with that aspect! 

Natalie, who wrote the spells, is adept at weaving information and visualization, crafting (pun intended) a vivid yet insightful prose that will educate and entertain, which is a practical way to absorb information. I've got to say, it's good she takes this approach because there is a LOT of information in each spell. That's just her thing. She's kinda brainy like that. ;)

If, like me, you get too excited to read the damn directions at the beginning of the book, you may find yourself saying, "Where the hell are the page numbers?!" as you look for the coloring page that correlates to the spell. Let me help you out here so you don't look like a dork yours truly as I clumsily flipped through the pages, all man-like in my refusal to read the directions.

...They say that's a man thing, but my husband is all about directions and I bull-in-china-shop my way through life. So, I'm pretty sure they're wrong about that one. 

Llewellyn (the publisher) shrewdly tucked the page numbers away close to the binding so they wouldn't be on your spell once you tore the perforated page out of the book! Very astute, but this occasionally obtuse Pagan took a moment to get with the coloring program! In my defense, once I saw the page numbers were on the other side of the perforation I realized why they did that BEFORE reading the directions. So there. I don't need no stinking directions! Oh, it may take me three minutes longer to than it could have, but I eventually get there!


Because I only recommend products I genuinely enjoy, I can honestly say Color and Conjure is a kick-ass gift. But if you have a youngblood in your midst, this is an incredible present that will teach them highly useful information they can forever apply to their Craft. 

"Exhale" by Iris and Owl Paintings— $15
(Photo from OwlandIris)

I'm very particular about art. I only buy stuff I have to have, and I know the moment I look at it whether it's going to get comfy on my walls or stay with its creator. "Exhale" had me at hello.

Stephanie is a supremely talented artist who is just as adorable as her work. Seriously. She looks like a Disney princess come to life. With an almost steampunk fantasy feel, Stephanie paints beautiful works of art that invoke a sense of dark whimsy. "Lucy" is one of my absolute favorites, but it's "Exhale" that I have hanging on the wall beside me. At $15 shipped, this artist prices her prints at extremely affordable prices. If you've ever bought a print, you may know the quality can sometimes waver significantly from the original. That isn't the case here. In a conversation with the artist (she's very friendly!), she told me she did a lot of research before settling on a printer. Well, her work was worth the effort because it yields a crisp, true-to-color print.

She had loads of fantastic work, so check her out! But "Exhale" specifically really struck a chord with me. The darkness surrounding this beautiful woman who has all the beauty of nature trapped inside her resonated viscerally with me. Because I think art is deeply personal, I don't want to influence your takeaway from this piece. But as nature lovers, I think this breathtaking piece would be cherished by Pagans.

Live the Life You've Imagined Journal—$12

I love Katie Daisy. Her designs are bright and colorful, and her quotes are very applicable to a Pagan's path. I have her 2018 "Love This Life" day planner, which I adore.

Yup, I'm that person that gets excited over office supplies. Tom Hanks can send me a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils any day!

The "Live the Life You've Imagined" Journal is cute, compact, and a wonderful gift for any writers in your life. And at just $12, you can snag yourself a pack of pencils and create your own freshly sharpened bouquet to accompany it! 

...You've Got Mail anyone?!

The Celtic Tree Oracle—$20

I learned of this beautiful deck from the wonderful Emara from Runaloire.com. I don't actually have this deck, but I covet it. I hope Santa leaves it under the tree. Or in a stocking. Or on my front lawn. The drop-off location really doesn't matter...

Being of Irish descent, the Celtic Ogham (the tree alphabet) is something that always fascinated me, and I would love to learn more about it. Plus I cherish trees, mostly because they're leafy (#PhoebeBuffay). For the tree lovers in your life, this is an oracle deck that would make one lovely Yule gift! 

Marble Pestle and Mortar—$10

No witch should be without a pestle and mortar. They come in very handy for crushing herbs or resins and for making spells, like Protection Salt. I suggest having a separate one for kitchen use vs spell crafting, because resins (like dragon's blood) shouldn't be ingested. This bad boy is a beautiful gray marble, which would make a stunning gift for any kitchen witches in your coven! 

Best Witches Keychains—$7
(Photo from FairyFountainGifts)

I love shopping on Etsy because I get to support a small business and the hardworking creative minds behind them. Plus you get the pleasure of gifting a really unique item for an affordable price! 

If you're besties with a witch, this is an adorable gift to honor your spiritual connection. And for a few dollars more, you can personalize this present with an initial charm.

Soapstone Elephant Essential Oil Diffuser—$15

Did you know elephants actually mourn lost herd members? Elephants are highly intelligent creatures that represent deep spiritual messages, including wisdom, strength, compassion, and leadership. 

If you know an elephant fan (you're looking at one!), this beautiful soapstone diffuser would make a meaningful gift. Toss in a small bottle of essential oil (pine would make a great seasonal touch) and you'll have a thoughtful, gorgeous present that will be the envy of any white elephant gift exchange!

Too punny? See, I felt it, but just didn't rope it in...

Aside from the beautiful carvings, this diffuser's bowl actually comes off, which makes for easy cleanup! Pretty swanky, my friends!

Penniless Pagan Paperbacks—$12

Last Yule By the Light of the Moon was only available in e-book, and I got a lot of requests for paperback. At the time I wasn't sure how to get an affordable paperback to you, but I figured it out! And for just $12! 

2018 will boast not one but TWO blue moons. Holy magical year, Batman! Whether you have a moon lover on your gift list or you dance beneath those luminescent beams yourself, this is a great opportunity to support the blog AND give the gift of magick! And since this spell book has thirteen full moon spells, you'll be all set for the lunar wonders of 2018— no repeats!

Every purchase helps keep this blog loaded with free material for readers, so thank you for your support! ♥

There you have it, my Pagan companions. Ten gifts under $20 to imbue the magick of the season to you and yours. Treat yourself to a gingerbread man (very appropriate for Yule!), wrap your hands around a hot mug of coffee, and shop in your reindeer pajama pants. Because everything is better in reindeer pajama pants!

Happy Yule, everyone! 🎄

Looking for even more witchy gifts for under $20? Check out this post!

Do you have an affordable witchy gift suggestion? Leave a comment below!

*Prices may change. Please note all items were under $20 at the time of writing this post. Some of the above links are affiliate links, which means I make a small percentage AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. Affiliate links help keep PennilessPagan.com alive and supplied, so thank you!!♥

By using this site, you agree you have read the full DISCLAIMER.
NOTE: As with any recommendation found on this blog, consult your doctor or naturopath before use.