ALLSTON, Mass. — Local goth and recent convert to Wicca Willow Bates is insisting to anyone who will listen that there is a “war on Yule,” also known as Winter Solstice, and all those who celebrate it.
“Anti-Wiccan bigotry is everywhere, but it’s especially bad near Solstice. Just the other day I was at Starbucks, and they had the nerve to wish me ‘Happy Holidays’ instead of, ‘May the turning of the wheel this blessed Yule bring you peace.’ How insulting is that?” said Bates. “And my high school wouldn’t even let me perform a Pagan chant during the holiday concert, because somehow lighting a ceremonial fire on the auditorium stage is ‘dangerous’ — plus they didn’t want me smearing mud all over my naked body for some reason. But if you ask me, I think it’s just a plot to destroy my people’s beliefs.”
Cousin Ophelia Lawrence explained how Bates’ newfound faith has dampened the family’s holiday cheer.
“What’s most frustrating is, you can’t talk about anything Christmas related without Willow ranting about how it was stolen from the Pagans. Mistletoe, yule logs, Christmas trees… even if you try to stick to seemingly safe topics like favorite Christmas toys from childhood, she’ll come up with some bullshit about how Pagans had ‘rudimentary Furbies’ centuries ago before Christians stole the idea,” said Lawrence. “I try to be respectful and inclusive during the holiday season, but if I have to hear again how holly is not a symbol of Jesus but instead the Pagan ‘King of Winter,’ I’m going to shove a candy cane up her polytheistic, heathen ass.”
Still others, like Pagan warlock Eoin Reeves, believe the “war on Solstice” is blown out of proportion.
“If anything, Solstice has become far too commercialized in recent years. I mean, when did the holiday become all about posting blurry pics of the moon on Instagram and not about honoring the agricultural god, Saturn?” Reeves stated. “Plus, it feels like the crystal boutiques and feminist bookstores are putting out their yule altars right after Samhain each year, and I saw a ‘solstice meditation circle’ thing at a yoga studio on Groupon for like, $39 last year. [Bates] should just be happy she won’t be the ‘weird aunt at Thanksgiving’ when she’s older.”
Bates is hiding her beliefs from her grandmother, however, until she forks over her presents and a batch of her highly sought after Christmas cookies.