Traditions are customs that have been passed on from generation to generation. They are legends, stories, and beliefs that have constantly been given the breath of life. Traditions are important because they connect you with the wisdom of your ancestors – in a way, traditions strengthen the bond you have with creation, as some were born from the beginning of time. These legends and stories celebrate the miracles of life, the relationships, and the monumental moments of our connection. Traditions are the stitches that create the pattern of life. The mystical and magical. Keeping traditions alive while creating new ones creates a stronger link in the ancestral chain.
“It takes an endless amount of history to make even a little tradition”– Henry James
The holidays are an exciting time because they bring ancient traditions set forth by our ancestors to life. With Christmas, it’s tradition to buy trees and decorate them with shimmering and personalized ornaments, create a dinner filled with old family recipes, gather with loved ones, gift one another presents, and read Christmas stories of Santa Claus and reindeer. We gather and reminisce about the ones who have passed and celebrate the joy of new family additions.
Hanukkah is one of the oldest holiday traditions, dating back about 2500 years! Legend has it that a Jewish family had just enough olive oil to keep a desecrated Temple in Jerusalem lit for a single day. However, despite the oil scarcity, the lamp burned miraculously for eight days. Now every night, for eight days, a candle is lit on a special menorah in celebration of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. Each night of Hanukkah grows longer than the last and concludes on the longest and darkest night of the year. The essence of this spiritual fire is eternal – without end and without beginning. And just as a single flame holds the potential of infinity, a single person has the power to keep the tradition going. To read more about Hanukkah, click here!
Much like The Hierophant in the Tarot, traditions represent the beliefs we adopt. They are the messages and routines of our ancestors who came long before us. A Hierophant literally means someone who interprets secret knowledge. Traditions hold the secret to our immortality. And traditions, like The Hierophant, touch your soul with a spark of recognition, embracing your spirit, assuring that you never walk alone.
If you’re into astrology, think of Saturn – father time. Saturn rules everything that is tried and true. Saturn is a wise elder who teaches based on life experience, master of the earth plane and all that is tangible. It is our structure, our support and stability, and how we keep ourselves grounded in reality. Saturn controls our ability to produce results.
Five ways to honor tradition ∞
Holidays are the foundation that most traditions can be built upon. What are your traditions? Do you enjoy building new ones? Here are a few ideas to help you honor traditions while making them your own:
1) Revisit your favorite traditions
What are your favorite holiday traditions? Do you bake cookies for Santa Claus? Decorate your table with grandma’s handmade menorah? Cook an ancient family recipe? Stay up all night with your family? Or go Christmas caroling? Do you enjoy shopping for others? Whatever your favorite traditions are, holidays are the time to revisit them – all of them if you can! It’s part of the magic. Visit our magical shop to start your holiday shopping early. It’s tradition!
2) Start new traditions
Don’t be afraid to welcome the new beside the old! Invite new friends to holiday dinner parties, read classic Christmas stories you loved as a kid, send quirky holiday cards, create a new holiday drink, or throw an ironic onesie party. Creating new traditions is part of the fun! Create your mark and make sure you get to do what you want to do every year, regardless of what has already been done. Traditions can sometimes get stale, and it’s up to you to spice them up! What have you always wanted to do around the holidays? Make a list and go out and do it.
3) Give back to others
It feels SO good to give back to those who are less fortunate. During the holidays, we could get so wrapped up in our blessings that we forget that others may not be as lucky. Give back to others, everything counts. Invite your neighbor to dinner, donate toys to a children’s hospital, or volunteer at a soup kitchen. Make others feel special during a time when they could be feeling their lowest. You will be the miracle they possibly needed. Make a tradition of it!
Do your mom, dad, or siblings usually do all the cooking during the holidays? Is it difficult for you to find what you really love on the dinner table? Do you have dietary preferences? Create your own dish and include it during holiday dinners! You’ll enjoy yourself more knowing you are represented, and might even inspire others to do the same. Who knows? Maybe that will even become a new tradition!
5) Honor those who have passed
Holidays are also a time we honor those who have passed – the ones who shaped our traditions into what they are today. We remember their presence, their smiles, their warm and loving energy. If a loved one has recently passed, commemorate them by planting a tree, making their favorite meal, or sharing stories of their life. There is no better way to honor someone other than keeping their memory alive.
As you consider what your favorite traditions are and you continue to pass on the wisdom of your ancestors, I hope you will also incorporate a piece of yourself to pass on to future generations. What are your favorite traditions? What and who do you miss most around the holidays? And what can you do to keep their spirit alive? Which tradition could you live without? And why not let it go? Just because something has been done forever, doesn’t mean that you have to keep it around. Choose what truly has meaning for you. Below, I am sharing a couple of my own traditional recipes with you, in hopes that it will inspire your creativity. However you choose to integrate your traditions, may you feel inspired and connected this holiday season.
My traditional family holiday recipes
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Curious about the spirituality and ritual practices of ancient civilizations? Join my Magical Sabbatical course, and see how you can weave their ancient traditions with your own spiritual practices.
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