The Polygamist's Daughter

Stories, Reflections and Conclusions of Life on the Inside


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The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Not long ago I had no concept of the true value of giving and the internal joy and self-satisfaction that come with it.

As a child I gave merely out of expectation and sometimes coercion. There was never enough of anything to go around and that feeling of lack prevented me being able to give with any semblance gratitude. As I grew older I gave begrudgingly, knowing that anything I gave away meant significant loss for me. A few years ago when I began to consciously use gratitude to change every aspect of my life I saw that giving with gratitude made giving pleasurable. And, in giving from gratitude I received an abundance of joy. Not only did I receive joy but I had an inner sense that all is well and I would always have enough. Now I fully understand that when I give from gratitude the universe rewards me with more abundance and inner fulfillment then I would have ever had otherwise.

“The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.”  – Albert Einsteingift-giving

At the core of every human being is the desire for love and acceptance which ultimately translates into a need for connection. As social beings, connection to other loving beings (human or animal) is one of our most basic human needs, right up there with food and water. Without expressions of love we become lifeless. Lack of feeling love and acceptance can lead to depression and even suicide.

Giving and receiving are an outward way that love and appreciation are expressed. This form of expression is so vital to our well-being that we have created entire celebrations around reciprocation.

The act of giving is a natural anti-depressant and creates an emotional high when the giving is truly from the heart. For the rest of the story click HERE.

Until next time, be fearless, fabulous and free. 

Victoria Reynolds Signature

 


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Christmas and Other Pagan Rituals

Happy Holidays

When our commune was first established the founding elders agreed that there would be no recognition or celebration of holidays based in Pagan tradition. That sadly included Christmas.

My father referred to Christmas as a “filthy Pagan ritual” and refused to expose his children to its customs. As a child I was far too young to understand the true meaning of either the holiday or my father’s opinion of its formation. Growing up I knew the birth of Jesus was in April and we celebrated his birth each year with great enthusiasm. While conveniently close to Easter, another Pagan tradition, the birth of Christ had it’s own celebration every year on April 6th. As I got older I decided my father was crazy, but I digress.

Aside from a small gift provided by my grandparents, Christmas went by each year with no fan fare or acknowledgement. As a teenager I rebelled against my parents wishes and brought a Christmas tree into my bedroom. It’s amazing what a hatchet, a few strings of popped corn and silver fake icicles can do to lift the holiday spirit. It wasn’t much but it was mine.

As I became an adult and enjoyed the fruits of the real world I fell in love with Christmas. I fell in love with the lights, the music, the food and the energy. But I still had no connection with it in regards to Jesus. It was a Pagan celebration of joy and giving and I was perfectly accepting of that. I was anti-religion and wanted nothing to do with any religious aspect of the holidays. Then I matured and discovered the truth of Spirituality. I rediscovered Christ and his teachings of love and light. I am not a Christian and have no attachments to the birth of Christ. I have finally come to understand the true meaning of Christmas and the joyous celebration this season represents.

It turns out that my crazy father as right about the Pagan foundation of Christmas, although I completely disagree about it being based in evil practices. I for one celebrate the Divine Feminine and everything She represents. More on that in another blog. Most Religious scholars agree that Jesus was most likely not born in December, so why did the Catholic Church choose December 25th? It is really quite simple and you can find the juicy details in links provided below. Warning, these links may cause you to rethink a few things you think you know. These are only for the open-minded…

My favorite part of the Winter holiday festivities is the celebration of light. It is no accident that the demigods such as Jesus were supposedly born around December 21st. The winter solstice is the day that the promise of light returns each year to our planet. The weeks surrounding the winter solstice have been celebrated for thousands of years, long before the birth of Christ, by cultures all over the world. Regardless of religious, pagan or traditional beliefs this time of year has always been filled with gratitude, joy and celebration. It is a time that celebrates abundance and promises hope for the future. It is a celebration of prosperity, love and light.

The Christmas season is not just for Christians but for people of all races, creeds and beliefs to celebrate the harvest, celebrate life’s bounty, celebrate love and yes, celebrate the return of light and hope that accompanies it. The return of light is recognized with many names and rituals, all of which are beautiful and inspiring. Regardless of the tradition they all deserve recognition and celebration.

To all of my friends and family around the world I wish you Happy Holidays!

For more information about the true history of Christmas visit the History Channel at http://www.history.com/topics/christmas
For more details on the story of Jesus check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZgT1SRcrKE


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A Different Kind of New Year’s Celebration

During research for my forthcoming book I stumbled across a hand produced notebook that had been compiled by students in the community where I grew up. Within its pages were notes from the community secretary describing a meeting that took place among leaders during the community’s inception.  In that meeting it was agreed that no Pagan holidays would be recognized or publicized.  And with that declaration I was unaware of Christmas, never knew of Halloween and its Trick-or-Treating, did not hand out Valentine’s cards and did not gather Easter Eggs in the spring.

Living in this closed community I had no idea when I was young how the rest of the world lived or what outsiders celebrated.  Due to the continual efforts of members in our community, our Zion on the hill became a magnet for others who wanted to experience our clandestine lifestyle.  As more people moved into the community they brought with them their worldly ways, and some refused to give up what they brought with them. They brought their ideas, traditions and celebrations.

Although our founding fathers were firmly against the celebration of any Pagan holidays and traditions, some of the newer members refused to give up their worldly celebrations. Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter, although not celebrated openly, were secretly celebrated in individual family’s homes. When many children began arriving at school with new toys and new clothes for Christmas, I was devastated, as were my brothers and sisters. Feeling the pressure, and not wanting us to be completely left out, my parents gave into pressure, and we created a gift-giving tradition of our own.

Every New Year’s Eve we had a celebration that rivaled that of any neighbor.  My mother’s handmade doughnuts and Chex party mix were the talk of every kid in town.  After the children were sound asleep, my father placed a box the size of a refrigerator on the center of our living room floor.  My parents filled the box with gifts for their many children. Nothing extravagant of course, with a dozen mouths to feed money was in short supply. The gifts were nothing more than the necessities of clothing, and each of us received one toy.  New Year’s morning we all woke up with the exuberance of any child at Christmas to unwrap the treasures that await us in the “big box.”   New Year’s Day was always the biggest day of the year in our house.