There is a tendency in young enthusiastic wiccans and in hollywood to identify everything as either black or white, good or evil. In wicca, apparently we banish the “evil” to make way for the “good”. One of the basic points of wicca as I understand it is that there is no pure evil or pure good, only shades of everything in between – within every bad person is the capacity for something good, and within every good person is the capacity for evil . I guess it is easier to see people as either wholly good or evil, but thats not the way the world works. The hollywood thing too. Watching Lord of the Rings, I realised how Peter Blasphenous jackson (I was brought up on LOTR so its a bit or a sore subject) warped all the characters into good or evil, (or sappy, but thats another thing). Denethor was portrayed as an evil callous lord. Boromir had no depth, and they portrayed Gollum as completely schizophrenic, as if there was a good half and a bad half, both completely seperate. Now, I’m not saying Smeagol wasn’t a bit schizo, but they made it so clear cut there was no grey. When you turn to wicca, I believe you are encouraging happiness and harmony, as with all positive faiths, but you are also accepting the sad stuff, the angry stuff and the malevolent stuff. It’s not all sunshines and daisies, sadly, but with a strong religious basis, you can move through the storms and poo easier.

Which is why this yule, it’s not the triumph of evil night over beautiful day. I love night – going for a walk in the dark wakes me up more than a walk in the day. It’s a recognition of balance, reminding us of the good ol’ cycles of the year that teach us change is inevitable. Yule teaches us that we have the strength to move through everything, that all things change in time. Of course, now we have reached that turning point, things are gonna get worse for a while – well, in Britain at any rate, January and February are the most enthusiastic winter months – but all will get better with time.