The Wild Hunt 2016 Winter Solstice Gift Guide

Cara Schulz —  November 25, 2016 — 14 Comments

By McKay Savage from London via Wikimedia Commons

[Photo Credit: McKay Savage / Wikimedia]

Looking for the perfect Solstice gift for your favorite Pagan, Heathen, or Polytheist? The Wild Hunt’s annual 2016 Winter Solstice Gift Guide with expert advice, reviews, and recommendations can help as you plan your shopping list over this coming season.*

For the Bookworm

Pagans may not be People of the Book, but we are people who own books – lots and lots of books. Yet what book to buy? Here is some help from a few industry experts.

Taylor Ellwood is co-owner of Immanion Press. He’s also a holistic business coach, magician, and author. There are Taylor’s top picks.

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The Tao of Craft
by Benebell Wen. The Tao of Craft provides a rare opportunity to learn about Taoist magical practices and what you need if you want to try out those practices.

What is an Altar by Rowan Moss and illustrated by T. S. Lamb. Simply put, What is an Altar teaches your children what an altar is, and how to create and care for one. The book is perfect for Pagan families who wants to teach the kids about their spiritual practices.

Nothing But a Pack of Cards by S. Rune Emerson. Nothing But a Pack of Cards teaches readers how to use Tarot for practical magic work, including what spreads to use and how to create your own tarot spells.

Elysia Gallo is the senior acquisitions editor for Llewellyn Worldwide, based in Minnesota. She is also active in her local Minneapolis community. Here are her suggestions.

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The Chaos Protocols by Gordon White. The Chaos Protocols starts with a sobering, eye-watering view of the current global challenges around economics, industry, and the climate, and then reminds us that “Magic is always the tactic of last resort for those who refuse to give up hope.” This book is for people willing to do the work, and makes a good gift for millennials looking for their best chances at success in this shifting world.

Jailbreaking the Goddess by Lasara Firefox Allen. Part intersectional feminist manifesta and part liberationist book of shadows, Jailbreaking the Goddess challenges the old Maiden/Mother/Crone model that limits women to their biology. It is a perfect gift for those who are seeking greater understanding in fighting for autonomy and for marginalized groups. As Allen writes, “We work to dismantle the system from the inside because we are all inside the system, and the system is inside us. Together we will bring it down.”

Magical Destinations of the Northeast by Natalie Zaman. A book you can have fun with! Zaman guides you through sacred or magical sites all over the northeastern portions of the U.S., including nature sites, museums, monuments and graves, sanctuaries, temples, intentional communities, sculpture parks, historical sites relating to Native American and African American history, and more. It contains spells for each state, but it is also a perfect gift for people who are just beginning on the path, or esotericists who love to travel and are looking for interesting places to visit.

A few other picks by Wild Hunt Staff:
Love Magic by Lilith Dorsey
Doreen Valiente: Witch by Philip Heselton
Witch’s Book of Power by Devin Hunter
Taking Sacred Back by Nels and Judy Linde
A Mystic Guide to Cleansing & Clearing by David Salisbury

Infants

infants

Baby Protection Rune ($18) Here is a very thoughtful gift for new parents. The protection rune is made of birch with copper inlay. Cradles were once made from birch for the sole purpose to protect the helpless children. The wood is believed to ward off evil, banish fears, and build courage, and copper is said to have healing properties.

Yggdrasil Rattle ($6) This handmade infant rattle has a spring leaf green fleece top and a bark brown fleece trunk. Brown machine-stitched embroidered leafy vines detail the top and black wood grain stitching details the trunk. The rattle is filled with poly-fil and has one single metal bell.

Little Witch Doll ($25.52) Looking for a gift for your baby witch? This snuggly little witch doll can be customized to hair or skin color of your choice. It is hand crocheted and stands 12 inches high.

Kids

kids

Wood Bowling Game ($25) Long-lasting and made out of wood, this set is not only great fun but also great for developing hand eye coordination. The game is hand carved and finished with beeswax. It is a gift that can be passed down to younger siblings and even the next generation.

Art Cloth Goth Rag Dolls ($55-85.00) These beautiful Ares Crea handmade art dolls can be used for play or for decoration. Each doll is one of a kind and is made to have “its own personality.” Artist Simona Mereu takes custom orders.

Black Doll Cape ($7.99) Now your little Witch in training can take their doll to ritual wearing their very own wool cape. The handmade cape is available in both red or black. Fits all 18 inch dolls.

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Bow and Arrow Set ($14) For the little Apollo or Artemis on your list, here is a very lightweight bow, made from pvc and wood. The arrows have eraser tips. Designed to be used outside, this set can help develop the lasting lessons of dexterity, patience, and safety, rolled into the fun of learning a valuable skill.

Teens

Backpack with changeable art flap ($60) Made of heavy black duck and nylon with art on the 11-square-inch outside flap. this handmade backpack Includes three additional zipper pockets of various sizes, a mesh pocket for an ID or permit, and special holders for a cell phone, a water bottle and pens. It has adjustable back straps and a loop for easy carrying by hand or for hanging on a hook when not in use. What makes this a great gift ever more appealing for teens is that you can change the look of the backpack by swapping out the art flap.

teens

Minoan Coloring Book ($14.95) Here is a great new coloring book for both teens and adults. Through this beautifully-drawn collection of 48 images, you will discover the amazing world of the Minoans of ancient Crete, including bull leapers, snake goddesses, prancing dolphins, and other images from the Minoan age.

Tarot of Pagan Cats ($3.99) Cats and tarot – what’s not to like? From popular developerThe Fool’s Dog, this newest tarot app shows cats in both of their worlds; here with us and in an exotic realm of feline power. The imagery is inspired by the classic 1910 RWS scenes with cats taking the place of humans. You can download this app from Apple or the Google Play Store.

Gifts Under $10

The New Radiation Cookbook” Refrigerator Magnet ($4) This is a fun, brand new magnet with a vintage pulp look. Jen Talley Art and Design offers many other similar tongue-in-cheek, pop culture, and feminist-inspired products, including greeting cards, prints and buttons.

Purification Powder ($5) Know someone who needs magical cleansing while they’re cleaning? Gift them this purification Powder to add to their wash water. It is good for doors, windows, and floors.

under10Krampus Ornament ($7)  Made from wood, this 3×3 mod-podge ornament may be perfect for your holiday season. There here are several different styles of holiday ornament to choose from, but the quantities are very limited. (I am not sure which side of this ornament I like better: Krampus with his tongue out or the screaming child on the reverse.)

The Whole Seed Catalog ($9.95) A catalog as a gift? Oh yes! Just flipping through the pages, imagining the possibilities, will bring months of pleasure to any herb Witch on your list. The catalog offers seeds from over 1800 varieties of heirloom herbs, flowers, fruits, and vegetables. There’s a smaller catalog available for no charge.

Gifts Under $50

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Book of Shadows Coloring Book ($11.99) Over 70 one sided pages for you to color, this new coloring book provides a unique way to create a personal Book of Shadows. The pages include the Sabbats, crystals, herbs, elements and more.

Hand Painted Tea Set ($16.33) Each cup and saucer set is hand painted with the pattern of your choice. You can even have the artisan create a custom pattern for you. As an aside, can you imagine picking this out for a handfasting pattern?

Solstice Morning Diorama ($35) This tiny diorama features a Solstice sun rising over a woman making a libation. The house is made of high quality fiberboard, hand painted acrylic paint,  and then sealed with decoupage medium. The diorama measures 4.5 x 2.5 x 1.25.

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Cernunnos Wall Hanging ($38.05) This Cernunnos wall hanging is backed with wood and has hooks already installed, making it ready to hang. The Latin word for light is inscribed at the top along with a clear cabochon. Below is the symbol of infinity. This wall hanging is a thoughtful gift for a new homeowner or someone who recently moved into a new apartment. It can be personalized.

Astrological Signs Watch ($38.99) Here is a different take on a traditional gift. This handmade bamboo watch has a leather strap and is very lightweight for its size. A personal message can be engraved on the back.

Leather Wallet ($46) This wallet “Mjöllnir” is made of thick leather in combinations of browns and reds. It is hand-stitched with a waxed thread. It has one main pocket for banknotes and four sections for cards. The wallet’s edges are polished and rubbed with wax.

Cratejoy Magical People Subscription ($5 a month and up) Every month your recipient will receive a themed-box filled with products and illustrated cards with tips and instructions. (To be honest, I was a bit cynical when this subscription first came out, but the reviews have been excellent. After seeing one in person, I was pleasantly surprised.) It is nicely packaged with thoughtful, quality products.

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GBG 2017 Year and a Day Calendar ($17.50) Since 2011, the Gerald B. Gardner Calendar has been a treasured yearly gift for many. It is filled with photographs, historical notes, newspapers clippings, and more. The calendar is printed in limited quantities, and a portion of the proceeds go to The Doreen Valiente Foundation and the Museum of Witchcraft.

Gifts Over $50

Oak Leaf Bracelet ($60) This single oak leaf bracelet cuff is made from fold-formed copper and has a beautiful patina that no camera could capture. It contains blues and greens with a bit of the natural copper color shimmering through. Each bracelet is made to order and unique in its patina shading. They are fully adjustable, measuring 5 inches in length and about 2 inches wide.

Handcrafted Broom ($65) These brooms can be used as a working broom, a Working broom, or both. Made by a small, family-owned shop in Washington, these sturdy besoms are woven onto natural branches. They are made from 100% North American broom corn; the sweeps are woven tightly, and the owner says that they’ll never loosen or unravel. The whisks are adorable! (I want one for a hearth sweep.)

over-50

Reproduction Book Travel Case ($195) Is there someone on your list who has a special book or five, and would love to have a unique place to show them off? Perhaps they read tarot and would enjoy a special carrying case when they visit clients? These cases come in your choice of wood: cherry, oak, or walnut. You can also choose between the mesh wire front or a brass privacy screen. Each case has a sun engraved on the left side and a crescent moon on the right.
All three drawers are removable leaving cubbies for your own scrolls or instruments.

Felted Witch Hat  ($198) These are practical, wearable fabric art pieces that will turn heads anywhere you wear them. The color palettes, the detailing – perfection! (I had the hardest time picking out just one hat to feature from this artist.) This particular hat features a large full moon with the bare branches of a tree. Silk chiffon trails down the front, softening the look. The artist also offers belts, shawls, gloves, and vests.

MUSIC

music

Ljos and Svart ($27.31 for both) Originally funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign, Kari Tauring and Drew Miller put out two spectacular Nordic tradition albums: Ljos (Light) and Svart (Dark). The cuts range from acapella, to trad folk with dulcimer, spoken word with vocal looping, dark electronics backing 10th century verses, improvised spirit journeys, and string arrangements.

Ragnarok  ($15.90) This is Wardruna’s 3rd album and one infused by Nordic spiritualism and Elder Futhark runes. Wardruna’s sound combines the complexity of heavy metal with the repetition of electronic trance. Tracks include Tyr, UruR, and Raido.

Queens of Avalon Original Cast Recording ($20.00) For musical theater fans and Arthurian fans, singer-songwriter SJ Tucker and Heather Dale star in the retelling of the stories Guinevere and Morgana as these two beloved characters meet as young girls. A DVD of the show is also available along with other related packages.

The Green Album ($15) This album is an independent musical compilation created by 14 Pagan musicians from around the world. The goal of the album is to raise eco-awareness with 25% of every album sold by the collaborators is donated to the Rainforest Trust. All fourteen cuts on the album are either brand new or were not released by the artist prior to the album’s release. Available only as a download.

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We hope you’ve enjoyed the gift guide. This is just a small taste of what Pagan or Pagan-friendly artisans have to offer.  As always, when possible, support your community by buying local or buying direct from the artist.

*Disclaimer: This is a wholly independent gift guide. The Wild Hunt was not paid to endorse any of the listed products. All prices were current as of publication date.

Cara Schulz

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Cara Schulz is a journalist and author living in Minnesota with her husband and cat. She has previously written for PAGAN+politics, PNC-Minnesota, and Patheos. Her work has appeared in several books by Bibliotheca Alexandrina and she’s the author of Martinis & Marshmallows: A Field Guide to Luxury Tent Camping and (Almost) Foolproof Mead Making. She loves red wine, camping, and has no tattoos.

  • Tauri1

    I just got my copy of the Whole Seed Catalogue by Baker Creek Heirlooms. I started buying from them last year and oh my! This catalogue is better than the Whole Earth Catalogue from back in the 1970s! Definitely worth the $9.99. The number of heirloom and unusual Open Pollinated varieties will tickle the heart of anyone trying to be more self sufficient. There are also some varieties from India that cannot be found anywhere else. Highly Recommended.

  • Hecate_Demetersdatter

    If you use a credit card today, you are sending the message that all will be normal in the new fascist regime, good consumers will continue to spend money, and we’ll all just ignore what’s happened. I am very sorry to see The Wild Hunt encourage shopping on this day of all days. And, yes, putting up a shopping guide is encouraging shopping.

    • Tauri1

      So… In the future, if we need to buy something, like food, or arrows, or books, what should we use? Barter, which will still be taxed by the IRS? Cash? Seashells? Or are you just irritated with the concept of “Black Friday”?

      • Baruch Dreamstalker

        As she used the phrase “the new fascist regime” I’d guess she is primarily irritated with the concept of President Trump.

      • ChristopherBlackwell

        I personally have never had a credit card, nor will I have debit card.

        I gave up all holiday shopping some fifty years ago and though poor have only rarely ever had a debt.

        I have never had a bank loan, never had a mortgage. I got everything the hard ways bit by bit as I could. Even property and my dwelling were done bit by bit starting at $15,000 cash.

        As for Black Friday, I would like to live a bit longer, so you are no going to see me among the crazed Black Friday mobs. I have never felt the need to be just like everyone else.

        As for the holidays, pick out the parts that you like and do that, but leave off the stuff that you don’t like, whatever that maybe.

        Just because I dumped them all, does not mean everyone else should. I just like having my spending stay pretty much the same year round.

    • Summer

      Where did you get your free-to-the-people internet connection? (and ps… your avatar is a Disney pic).

  • Allaya

    As I’ve said in years past, “here’s a list of stuff you can buy” is NOT a service to the community and I really wish I could NOPE NOPE NOPE this ‘article’ harder than leaving a comment.

    And even setting that aside, it comes off as pretty tacky.

    So yeah, still disappointed in The Wild Hunt for continuing to pull this sort of thing.

    • Allaya

      On reflection, if TWH is so desperate to have a Solstice Gift Giving Guide as “a service to the community” (as is has been defended in the past) that involves monetary exchange…

      …why not just do a roundup of worthwhile pagan charities that allow people to make donations-as-gifts in the recipient’s name?

      Gifts are given, money is exchanged, Solstice is celebrated. THAT is what a gift guide done as a service to the community would look like from my perspective.

      • Traci Leanne

        Than maybe you should do that. I imagine TWH would also include such a wonderful list. But put away your hubris that you would be the one to decide what is a service to an entire community, the vast majority of whom you do not know. It’s pretty easy to simply bypass the list if you do not appreciate it.

        • Allaya

          First, it is very easy to ignore those things that we believe are wrong, yes. However, silence is acceptance. Therefore I chose to express my disappointment.

          Second, I specifically said “from my perspective”. I was not dictating. Rather, I was countering my own simplistic expression of disappointment by proposing a constructive solution.

    • Summer

      It’s so much easier to complain than build.

    • Ashley

      Why is offering suggestions of what gifts to buy your loved ones “tacky”? It’s not like they are listing a bunch of cheap items made in China. Gift giving has been acceptable for thousands of years, so why should we as Pagans see it so demonized? If you don’t want to participate in consumerism don’t, but gift giving doesn’t always equal consumeristic gluttony. Sometimes it’s just about showing someone that you care about them.

  • lilithdorsey

    Thanks for including my new book in this great list. Many blessing to you this Yule !

  • Erin Lale

    So many negative comments about supporting writers, artists, crafters, and musicians. How do people think books and so forth come into existence? Do they think artists and writers are supported by the government or something? Or by a medieval patronage system? Guess what, we are supported by sales of our products, and if I can’t make enough money on books I’ll have to spend my time doing something else to make a living. That means less books. Less art, less music, whatever. If it’s impossible to be a professional artist, there will only be amateurs, and there will be less high quality art in the world, and less art in general. Between people expecting art and writing for free, pirates stealing and distributing art and writing and music (often charging money for them) and the attitude that money is dirty (unless you actually need something, like to pay the internet bill for the device they’re reading this on) it feels like a war on books.

    I came to this article hoping to see if my 2017 Heathen Calendar and Slavic Calendar or my new novel Planet of the Magi were featured on the list. Now after reading the comments I feel like I’d better chuck my publishing career and go apply for a job in some other industry because the public thinks buying my products is wrong.