Looking for the perfect Solstice gift for your favorite Pagan, Heathen, or Polytheist? The Wild Hunt’s 2017 Winter Solstice Gift Guide, with its expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest movies, books, gifts, and treats, can help. If you find something you like, just click on the link to find more information or to purchase the product.*
Trimming the Tree
Solstice Wrapping Paper ($15) This doesn’t go on the tree but it sure makes what’s under it pretty. Unlike most wrapping paper created for the season, this one is specifically designed for the Winter Solstice.
Pentacle Tree Topper ($65) Here is an incredible topper for your Solstice tree. This one is made from an iridescent white glass which changes colors depending on the light, similar to an opal. The shop has other colors and styles. It’s about 8.5 inches and weighs 6 ounces. The artisan says to use the topper on trees over 6ft so the top is sturdy enough to support its weight.
Flower of Life Yule Tree Ornament ($6.79) A bit more than simply a tree ornament, this item is an intricate hanging amulet for your yule celebrations. These ornaments are made from 10 mm Oak or Walnut, have a veneer finish, are tied with a ribbon and come packaged in a gift box.
Gifts Under $20
Ouija Board Nail Decals ($3.50) Super cute, but also super stylish! Each set comes with 30 nail decals, and include a pentagram, Good Bye, star, plain moon, Yes with a face, No, and planchet.
Kyphi Incense ($11) Kyphi is the sacred Egyptian incense traditionally burnt at dusk. This particular incense brick is made of 16 sacred herbs, spices, resins, oils, honey, wine and raisins and takes several weeks to make and cure. The brick should be burnt a little at a time on a block of burning charcoal.
Yuletide Blessings Wreath White Flour Sack Towel ($11.99) Here is a thoughtful gift, especially for someone who has recently moved or bought a home. These are classic flour sack kitchen towels with a Yule print on them. You might also check out the other offerings in the artisan’s store, such as the “Witchy AF” bag for a bolder statement.
Mother, Maiden, Crone Print ($16) Artist Tamara Adams has been painting for over 20 years, mainly contemporary interpretations of traditional iconography that pay tribute to the beauty, mystery, and strength of the female spirit. This image is 8X11 and is printed on archival matte paper.
Snake Hair Stick ($16) This decorative snake hair stick is carved from ethically-sourced cow bone and just over 6 inches long. The artisan soaks the bone in tea to create an antique looking stain which brings out the detail. You can buy just one or a complete set. Other hair pick designs include crescent moons.
Triple Moon candle holder ($18) This candle holder is made from laser cut wood. The four sides show the four Moon phases: waxing moon, full moon, waning moon and new moon. As this candle holder is made of wood, it may be better to include a battery operated candle for safety.
Raven Ring ($19) A very affordable piece of jewelry that is simply stunning. The ring is translucent with a very delicate band of painted ravens. The ring does require some care, however. You can’t get it wet or have it come into contact with alcohol-based products such as perfume.
Heathen Calendar ($15.95) This 12-month Calendar includes images from Heathen life and belief. New and full moon dates are included. Norse holidays are listed. While Pagan and Witch focused calendars are easier to find, Heathen ones are not quite so common. Here is one option.
Gifts Under $50
Rider-Waite Smith Inspired Bag ($25) Here is a gift that cuts right to the meaning of the Two of Swords! (Yes, that was a bad pun.) This tote bag is a great gift for anyone who reads or collects tarot cards. The tote is 15X15, and it comes with your choice of different colored handles.
Triple Goddess Wall Shelf ($27.37) Laser cut from oak and hand finished, this shelf has a triple Goddess symbol as a back piece. Your recipient could use it to display treasured items or even use it as a home altar. The sheft measures 60 cm long and 23 cm high. It is also available in walnut.
Witch House Wall Plaque ($34.95) For the friend or family member who is proud to proclaim Witches live in their house, This plaque is carved in pine with a gothic font and tree branch and bat detail. Hand painted with a black finish. Comes with a silver sawtooth hanger mounted on the back and measures 10X10. It only ships within the US.
Dryad Mask ($45) This gift can be worn or displayed. It is a lightweight paper mache mask, fully lined in velvet and hand painted. The shop has other masks to choose from as well, including a few that have antlers or horns incorporated. The mask ships worldwide from Russia.
Copper Trinket Dish ($45) Do you have a Heathen or rune reader on your list? Perhaps this handmade hammered copper trinket dish would be something they’d like? You can request the custom rune of your choice to be stamped into the center of the dish. It can be used as an altar piece, a catchall bowl for loose change or keys, or a decorative mantle accent.
Tarot Decks ($29.99) This year two long-awaited decks came out by two popular Llewellyn authors. Everyday Witch Tarot by Deborah Blake brings a sense of true playfulness alongside deep meanings through Elizabeth Alba’s colorful and fun art. Celtic Tarot by Kristoffer Hughes brings the symbolism of Celtic myth, magic, and deities through Chris Down’s direct and inspiring art.
Gifts Over $50
Potions Book Bag ($72) This gift is a leather bag made to look like a book. It resembles the Advanced Potion Making book from the Harry Potter series, and is available in 5 different sizes with a removable strap. Taking the idea a step further… when you open the flap, it looks like a page from the book.
Ram Ring ($94.58) Here is a very bold ring for a devotee of Khnum or other Ram’s head gods. The ring is made from solid sterling silver, which has been heavily oxidized to make it black. Each ring is made to the specific size requested.
Grey Celtic Cape ($95.98) This grey wool cape with a Druid hood comes with a belt and can be wrapped in a variety of ways. The cape is decorated with Celtic knotwork that is embroidered on woven cotton. Not only does this make a great gift, but for every purchase, a tree is planted in West Ireland to restore the natural woodlands.
Book of Shadows ($93.21) The pages of this book are hand-bound onto solid walnut covers, using the Coptic stitch in durable waxed linen thread and comes complete with headbands. Each signature will be reinforced using thick smooth black card stock. Each cover is sanded to a smooth finish then coated with beeswax and avocado oil.
Five Norse God or Goddesses with Altar ($59.95) This is a set of 5 Norse deities and an altar for them. All of the Deities are approximately 10 cm tall and handcrafted from clay. Some of the 32 deities available are Odin, Thor, Freya, Freyr, Tyr, Heimdall, The Norns, and Idunn. Individual God or Goddess figurines can be purchased for $11.95 each.
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? We have some help from industry experts. Elysia Gallo is the senior acquisitions editor for Llewellyn Worldwide, based in Minnesota. She’s also active in her local Minneapolis community. Here are her suggestions:
Crystal Magic by Sandra Kynes is really something special. More than just a reference guide to the magical properties and correspondences of a veritable A to Z of crystals, it’s a full-color book with gorgeous photos of stones and minerals throughout – more than 200, in fact! Whether a beginner or a seasoned gem-hound, this beautiful guide will be treasured by whomever receives it.
If you’re one of those gift-givers who thinks “go big or go home” then The Hearth Witch’s Compendium by Anna Franklin is right up your alley. The perfect gift for kitchen witches or DIYers, this compendium contains hundreds of recipes for culinary creations, wine and mead, body care, household products, herbal remedies, incenses and dyes, and much more! At a whopping 528 pages, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
What could bring more Yule cheer than a new coloring book and some pencils or markers? Well, how about a coloring book that is also a spell book? Color and Conjure by Natalie Zaman and Wendy Martin contains 50 complete spells to color, along with instructions and suggestions for incense, oils, candles, herbs, or other materials and actions to create the spark of magic! The range of spells offers something for everyone, from halting gossip or kicking bad habits to awakening your chakras or getting a good night’s sleep.
While not a children’s book per se, momma witches will be happy to have The Magickal Family by Monica Crosson as a full resource of fun DIYs, crafts, and rituals to enjoy with their children as they grow, along with charming tales on parenting experiences. Chapters on family life, gardening, preserving foods, making easy home remedies, reusing and recycling, family sabbat celebrations and more will bring Pagan values to the fore while enchanting your whole family.
The following selection was recommended by editors at Red Wheel/Weiser:
The Witching Herbs by Harold Roth. Harold Roth is a leading authority on plant and herbal magic. In this book, he offers the essential plant-worker’s guide, skillfully blending clear, practical gardening techniques with sophisticated plant magic. He presents an in-depth exploration of 13 essential plants and herbs most closely associated with witchcraft: poppy, clary sage, yarrow, rue, hyssop, vervain, mugwort, wormwood, datura, wild tobacco, henbane, belladonna, and mandrake.
Santa Muerte by Tracey Rollin is a complete ritual guide to working with this famous—and infamous!—Mexican folk saint. It takes readers beyond the sensational headlines to reveal why Santa Muerte is so beloved by so many. Author Tracey Rollin presents simple, straightforward methods for working with Holy Death that may be used alone or easily incorporated in your own practice.
The Magical Art of Crafting Charm Bags by Elhoim Leafar. Charm bags may be the most popular style of amulet or talisman in the world today, but the strongest amulets are those you make yourself. In this clear, focused book of practical magic are over 100 formulas to create bags intended for various purposes including love, luck, success, happiness, health, wealth, protection, prosperity, and the attainment of goals and desires.
The following music selections and suggestions are offered by journalist and music expert Nathan Oididio:
“The Raven King” — Brian Henke Brian Henke is one of the most technically proficient guitarists in Pagan music; his fingers glide across the strings with an effortlessness that takes you far beyond the music. In “The Raven King,” Henke adds his melodious voice. This is always one of my absolute faves.
“Kilts and Corsets” — Tuatha Dea Any year that Tuatha Dea puts out a new album is a great year for Pagan music, and this year is no exception. Their fifth full-length album includes many new songs and a traditional Irish tune or two as well. Look for the release of their video for the album’s second song, “Appalachia Burning” in the coming week.
“Babalon” — Knifesex I heard about the solo project of Vanessa Irena (lead vocalist for The Harrow) as Knifesex towards the end of 2016 and have been eagerly watching her social feeds for news of her full length album. As of Nov. 17, it’s finally here. Knifesex specializes in electronic, industrial and drone. The album is a product of the times we are in right now and for that reason feels startling, fresh and relevant.
Oididio also suggests the following “albums to stuff your stockings and make your ears cheery:”
He adds “the following artists, who may or may not be specifically Pagan but they’re in my must-haves for the year:”
“Speaking of being relevant and of the moment, Ibeyi is like putting your head to the ground and listening to the heartbeat of our era,” says Oididio.
These three picks for DVD gift ideas for the savvy Witches on your gift list are movie critic Peggy Aloi’s favorites of the year:
The Love Witch by Anne Biller. This colorful retro horror comedy is an absolute must-see. It’s an homage to 1970s trashy exploitation horror films and TV crime procedurals, and it’s all about a beautiful young witch (Samantha Robinson) who does love spells to meet the man of her dreams, and then uses, ahem, other kinds of magic when things don’t work out. This is subversive, violent, shocking and delightful. Anna Biller has crafted a brilliantly original film that offers some fascinating commentary on paganism, feminism and the horror genre.
Mother! by Darren Aronofsky. Mother! is a controversial but thrilling and very moving film by Darren Aronofsky that has an enormous and timely metaphor at its center. Perhaps you’ve already read about this film, and the many theories about “what it means.” All I will say is, as a Pagan, the central metaphor became clear to me and hit me like a ton of bricks. Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Barden star as a couple living in a remote and beautiful house that is invaded by uninvited guests.
Ma Vie en Courgette/My Life as a Zucchini by Claude Barras. “Do yourself a favor and see the French subtitled version of this, Courgette/Zucchini is a young boy orphaned when his mother has an accident. His life was already quite challenging and at the orphanage he meets a lot of other kids with various emotional and personal problems, But since the film is told from the point of view of these kids, it’s especially straightforward and charming. But also quite dark and intense at times. The animation is old fashioned claymation and is simply stunning. This smart and beautiful film was for me the feel-good movie of the year and full of humor and redemption.
* * *
We hope you’ve enjoyed the gift guide. This is just a small taste of what Pagan or Pagan-friendly artisans and stores have to offer. As always, when possible, support your community by buying local or buying direct from the artists.
*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.