Pagan Dawn Editor-in-Chief, Kate Large, shares some of her recommendations for buying beautiful and meaningful gifts for Pagan friends and family this coming Yule.
The Earth Pathways Diary, £13, continues to top everyone’s wish lists with its blend of beauty and functionality, and the 2017 edition doesn’t disappoint, with a fantastic selection of thoughtfully-curated art, prose and poetry throughout. A great way to recycle and re-use your old diary is to cut out the images and paste them into a blank book, leaving room for you to add your own thoughts or ideas. Let us know if you do this!
Astrocal’s Astro Moon Diary £14.99, contains a wealth of detailed astrological and astronomical information, all in GMT. A great astrological diary, also beautiful and useful enough for general use. The current edition of Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook, £10, is to be congratulated on its 18th year of publication, continuing to prove popular with witches of all paths.
Other choices include the terrific feminist We’Moon Diary, £13; the stunning Women of Myth and Magic Datebook, £14.99; the Country Wisdom and Folklore Diary, £13, and Gwydion’s Moon Diary, £5.50. We don’t know of any specifically Pagan examples, but diaries for anyone with visual issues can be found at partsight.org.uk; shop.rnib.org.uk, and vipdiaries.co.uk.
Llewellyn’s Steampunk Calendar, £13, was an unusual and atmospheric surprise, which looks fantastic on the wall and of course, is the perfect gift for all Steampunk fans. I was delighted to see Llewellyn launch the Shadowscapes Calendar, £12.99, based on Stephanie Pui-Mun Law’s hugely successful tarot of the same name, which I’ve loved for years. There’s a Shadowscapes colouring book too, (see below)… I expect a diary by next year!
Llewellyn’s Witches’ Calendar, £13, is again a delight this year, with wonderfully dynamic, vibrant artwork and full of information on correspondences, biodynamic planting and astrological info. The company also publishes Linda Ravenscroft Woodland Fairies Calendar, £13. Linda is such a well-loved artist and it’s easy to see why: you simply can’t not fall for her array of wonderful faery characters who will safely see you through the year.
As you’d expect, Astrocal have a vast range of calendars on offer: their Seasons and Cycles Calendar, £11.99, and Astro Moon Calendar, £13.99, are stylish and invaluable, and their portable pocket planners are brilliant for taking out and about. At PD Towers, we can’t do without their silver Moon Phase 2017 poster, £6.99, which looks just stunning hung on the wall and is referred to all year.
The Pagan Federation 2017 calendar has been put together by PF volunteers and Pagans around the country. Like everything you buy from the PF shop, it helps support our work, so do linger a while and check out the many gifts on offer.
For large-print and other specially-designed calendars, check the links above.
Tarot and Oracle Decks
Fans of English magical history will love Red Wheel/Weiser’s new English Magic Tarot, £17.53. Packaged in a smart, durable box, the deck evokes a ‘golden age of mysticism’, but uses a dynamic, graphic style and comes with a comprehensive and vibrant guidebook. Full review in next issue.
The author of The Wild Unknown Tarot has launched The Wild Unknown Animal Wisdom Oracle, a 63-card deck in a similar style to its sister tarot, and it really is a thing of beauty. At $60 for deck and guidebook, minus shipping, this is an expensive deck, but an item to treasure forever.
Jasmine Becket-Griffith and Lucy Cavendish make a terrific team when it comes to oracle decks, and their Faerytale Oracle, £15.99, is no exception. Becket-Griffith’s depiction of wide-eyed children simply hasn’t worked for me in the past, but this completely changed that. Perhaps the fairytale setting made sense of her style, but I totally feel for this colourful and beautiful deck, full of faery stories from around the world. Other eagerly-anticipated oracles from Blue Angel include Stacey Demarco’s The Gospel of Aradia (£15.99) and The Faery Forest (£15.99), a stunning deck that brings together the very popular team of Lucy Cavendish and Maxine Gadd.
Tarot fans working closely with animal spirits or totems would be ideal recipients for Llewellyn’s Animal Totem Tarot, which at £20, comes ready for gifting in a large box with full-colour cards and a cracking, 350-plus page guidebook.
If I could gift anyone any deck, it would probably be Andrea Aste’s The Lost Code of Tarot (review in PD 200). At £34, it’s a premium price tag, but the amount of work that has gone into this deck and it’s backstory, plus its stunning presentation, make it truly unique in a crowded market.
If you’re looking for a tarot bag, try Tarot Sulis at www.tarotsulis.co.uk, (bags from £12). I’ve bought both off-the-peg and commissioned tarot and Lenormand-sized bags from this lovely seller, a huge range of beautiful fabrics and designs are on offer and the service is fast and friendly. Top notch.
The Magpie and the Wardrobe, £20, is a lovely hardback perfect for vintage lovers and full of snippets of folklore, charms, festivals and recipes. Sure to be read year after year. This is also the time of year Llewellyn releases its almanacs: the Witches’ Spell a Day Almanac; the Sabbats Almanac, and the Magical Almanac (£8.99-£10.50). As always, tradition rubs shoulders with modern eclecticism, and authors from around the world are featured, with enough content to keep you busy until the next editions come out!
Newly-launching is Of Shadows: One Hundred Objects from the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, from £25. Available from http://strangeattractor.co.uk, it features over 120 images from one of our most important treasure houses of magical history and culture.
Adult colouring books have become huge recently, and we now have a have of Pagan-friendly titles to choose from. Llewellyn and Blue Angel Publishing have a wide range to choose from at www.blueangelonline.com and www.llewellyn.com. Llewellyn’s Jasmine Becket-Griffith Colouring Book and Witch’s Colouring Book are two of my favourites, and the beautiful Shadowscapes Colouring Book could be teamed with the new matching calendar (see above) for a gorgeous gift. All are priced around £10.
Yule’s a great time to curl up with some Pagan-friendly fiction, so I’ve gathered up some of my favourites. I loved Lucy Rutherford’s A Bunch of Lies, £7.99, a poignant, compelling mystery of a child’s death and a local witch, where magical and mundane worlds collide, (from Amazon and www.lucyrutherford.co.uk). Crime fans will also love Nina Milton’s Beneath The Tor, £12.99, set in Glastonbury, from a series featuring a Shaman detective.
I fell in love with Gigi Pandian’s Accidental Alchemist books (from £11.60), featuring a mediaeval alchemist in modern America, and her French gourmand gargoyle – the books even include recipes. Coming under the ‘young adult’ banner, yet suitable for anyone, I also read and loved Lu Hersey’s Deep Water, £6.99, and Tasha O’Neill’s Charlotte Stone and the Children of the Nymet, £4.52. Anna McKerrow’s Crow Moon series of books, £6.99 delight too, with their gifted writing and Pagan knowledge. One of my favourite discoveries to date has to be the brilliant Matlock the Hare trilogy, from £11.99, more info at http://matlockthehare.com. Simply saztaculous!
All book prices are for print editions: Kindle versions may be much cheaper
Charities and Organisations
Join the Pagan Federation and help continue decades of volunteer work for Pagans and those of other paths. Different categories, including gift membership, are available, and you can choose to subscribe to Pagan Dawn as well, which helps us continue our work. As mentioned above, the PF has an online shop full of gifts for every budget. Thank you!
You don’t only have to be a fan of the woman herself to join The Doreen Valiente Foundation from £20. The DVF does a huge amount of work, including a range of events and projects, and if you’re interested, also check out The Centre for Pagan Studies.
The Woodland Trust has gift options and is offering membership for just £3 a month before the end of Jan ’17, helping you support a great woodland conservation charity. Trees For Life is another option.
If you’d like to champion tribal peoples, help them defend their lives, protect their lands and determine their own futures, you could look into joining Survival International. Some useful animal charities include The Badger Trust, The Barn Owl Trust, and the Bat Conservation Trust, which I’ve supported in the past. If you work with a particular totem animal, or a friend does, there may well be a specific charity for that animal; it’s worth checking.
If, like me, you don’t have witches and Druids strolling your streets, or need help getting about, online shops are a must. One of the biggest is pagandreams.co.uk, which I’ve used many times, and has a great regular newsletter. They produce sabbat kits, with everything you’d need for a ritual: ideal if you prefer to practice alone, or find it tricky to celebrate outdoors.
The Goddess and the Green Man has a shop in Glastonbury, but is an online favourite of mine: I adore their tiny hare totems, £3.99, and their keepsake candles, wrapped and with a message, are a steal at £2.50 – £3.75. There are high-end goods too for splurging, and a general feel of quality and care throughout. Starchild is also a popular Glastonbury shop, with an online store at starchild.co.uk, and The Cat and Cauldron’s online shop is witchcraftshop.co.uk. A good guide to the shops of Glastonbury, as well as links to their websites, can be found at www.glastonbury.co.uk.
Domina Lunae specialises in female witchcraft and women’s spirituality, but has a wide range of items to browse through, with something for everyone.
Barbara Meiklejohn-Free, with Flavia Kate Peters, runs the Arnemetia ship in Buxton, but have an online shop too. Instruments and clothes are on offer, as well as books, cards, and magical supplies. Another business with the personal touch is Hedingham Fair, run by the talented duo Karen and Colin Cater.
Some other useful online shops include indieshaman.co.uk; lunalevitas.co.uk; everywitchway.co.uk; magicspirit.co.uk; themysticmoonshop.com; wings-in-the-night.co.uk; 13moons.com; newmoonenterprise.co.uk and the excellent Freya’s Cauldron.
PD readers will know the photography of Rachel Burch, but as well as prints and cards, she sells her own jewellery, 2017 calendar, and her poetry book, The Green Lady of the Woods, at https://www.etsy.com/shop/Thegreenlanesshimmer. She is also on Facebook.
Alex Bear is a Druid and transman who runs the Etsy shop Hopespoons. His range starts at £2 for a handmade keyring, and for £6, you can buy wonderful, hand-decorated spoons. Punning on the concept of ‘spoon theory’, they’re great for those with chronic illness or disability. Alex also produces pronoun badges, helping trans folk communicate how they wish to be addressed.
Laura Daligan is known to many of us, as she often seems to be at a hundred events at once; and that’s as in addition to being a versatile and prolific artist. For her artworks, go to www.lauradaligan-art.com and for her tarot and other psychic work, check out lauradaligan.com. Laura’s drums are incredibly popular, and start at £75 for a small pre-designed mandala drum, up to higher prices for bigger drums and bespoke designs. Laura has a mailing list and newsletter, and is often on social media: if you’re looking for a trustworthy, friendly and gifted artist to realise your dream design, Laura should be at the top of your list.
Triba Mythica is a real must, not just for their gorgeous bags, but leather necklaces (I have the crow feather, and love it) and lots of other items. All work is beautifully hand-made and you can discuss commissions too. A really friendly, vibrant and creative setup.
Ffyona Campbell’s business, wildfoodwalks.co.uk, spans a range of offerings, from foraging walks and courses, to books and other products. Her hand-bound booklets are beautiful enough to keep or gift, and do sign up for her newsletter. Last year, she offered a limited amount of Yule foraged food hampers – I was lucky enough to reserve one and it was just stunning. Fantastic value for money and full of personal touches.
Eolith Designs create sculptures are inspired by some of the world’s oldest-existing artefacts, as well as some paintings. Their work seeks to recreate an ancient past as is known for quality and attention to detail.
For Strange Women is an American business creating some of the most amazing perfume you’ll ever experience. Ingredients are sustainably wild-harvested from organic crops, cruelty-free, suitable for vegans, and the owners support ethically-produced and harvested materials. Perfume oils and solid perfumes are on offer, as well as perfume jewellery and amulets and perfumes are often tailored towards sabbats, or times of the moon. If ordering, factor in international delivery time, and ensure you’ve paid a customs charge.
It’s impossible to list every Pagan gift-producer on here, so we recommend you use internet searches, local publications and social media as well as recommendations from friends to find your perfect Yuletide gift. And, whatever you buy or don’t buy, we hope you have a magical end to 2016!