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Yule/ Winter Solstice 2019

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Morgana Post number 26034 Posted: 9th December 2019     Subject: Yule/ Winter Solstice 2019
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First a story for Christmas. From 1897, The First Christmas Tree by Henry van Dyke.
It is a classic example of pagan traditions being Christianised. This time in the form of a story.

"It opens with Saint Boniface (born Winifried) translating a parable of the soldier into the realities of life. A very spiritual Christmas story.
An illustration for the story The First Christmas Tree by the author Henry van Dyke


Saint Boniface by Cornelis Bloemaert

I

The Call of the Woodsman

The day before Christmas, in the year of our Lord 722.

Broad snow-meadows glistening white along the banks of the river Moselle; steep hill-sides blooming with mystic forget-me-not where the glow of the setting sun cast long shadows down their eastern slope; an arch of clearest, deepest gentian bending overhead; in the centre of the aerial garden the walls of the cloister of Pfalzel, steel-blue to the east, violet to the west; silence over all,--a gentle, eager, conscious stillness, diffused through the air, as if earth and sky were hushing themselves to hear the voice of the river faintly murmuring down the valley.

In the cloister, too, there was silence at the sunset hour. All day long there had been a strange and joyful stir among the nuns. A breeze of curiosity and excitement had swept along the corridors and through every quiet cell. A famous visitor had come to the convent.

read on...
https://americanliterat ... ristmas-tree
Morgana Post number 26057 Posted: 16th December 2019     Subject: Winter recepten
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LA BEFANA CAKE: HONOURING THE OLD WITCH OF WINTER



Inspired by the many Italian cakes baked on Epiphany Eve as offerings to “La Befana”, this fruity golden cake (with a dash of spirit) is a Witches Cake.
According to legend, Befana is an old witch who flies through the night of January 5th on her broom delivering presents to children.
And as they lie asleep in their beds, she comes down the chimney and puts gifts and candies in stockings hung by the fireplace.
So just as we leave cookies for Santa, in Italy putting out special cakes and cookies out for La Befana is a centuries-old tradition.

https://gathervictoria. ... h-of-winter/
Morgana Post number 26058 Posted: 17th December 2019     Subject: Doe, a deer, a female reindeer: spirit of mother christmas
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More from Danielle:

Danielle Prohom Olson
divine feminine, Seasonal Celebrations, Winter"featured autumn tag", christmas, flying reindeer, horned goddess,
Reindeer, shamanic flight, shamanic priestess, shamanism, winter solstice
DOE, A DEER, A FEMALE REINDEER: THE SPIRIT OF MOTHER CHRISTMAS



Oh wondrous headed doe… Amongst its horns it carries the light of the blessed sun…” Hungarian Christmas Folk Song

Long before Santa charioted his flying steeds across our mythical skies, it was the female reindeer who drew the sleigh of the sun goddess at Winter Solstice.
It was when we “Christianized” the pagan traditions of winter, that the white-bearded man i.e. “Father Christmas” was born.
(read on... )

https://gathervictoria. ... Kecm-OIFf5_0
Morgana Post number 26059 Posted: 17th December 2019     Subject: Weird Nature: These reindeers love magic mushrooms
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More about Reindeer:


https://i0.wp.com/www.m ... eigndeer.jpg

Weird Nature: These reindeers love magic mushrooms

https://www.facebook.co ... oup_activity

BBC Earth: https://www.facebook.co ... fEbQh92nYt1v

and
http://www.redgage.com/ ... eindeer.html
Morgana Post number 26073 Posted: 23rd December 2019     Subject: Joulu - Finnish folklore
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And from Heidi Rautionmaa from Finland

In English:

Joulu was a joyful family feast celebrating the harvest year that brought health, vitality and well-being for the whole year. On Joulu people went to sauna, played games and spend good time together, ate well and remembered their loved ones as well as domestic animals.

Many Joulu customs have been transferred from kekri to Joulu as the significance of the latter feast has grown in the course of history. Both are family celebrations which involve good food and beer. Similarly to kekri, the spirits of the ancestors for said to visit the living during Joulu and sauna was heated for them. Also, luck for the new year was ensured by various customs on both kekri and Joulu, and the future was also forecasted in many ways on both occasions.

On Joulu, straws – also conifer twigs in some places – were spread on the floor and a decoration made from straws, called himmeli, was hung from the ceiling. The master of house poured a welcoming drink to one sheaf before it was opened and spread on the floor. The master of the house also threw straws between the roof and crane log. If a lot of straws got stuck there, the harvest would be good. If little straw stuck to the roof, the next year would be bad.

Traditional Joulu had two elements that have remained strong in the contemporary Finnish culture: sauna and food. Sauna was considered a sacred placed, as is proven by the large number of sayings comparing sauna to a church. The spirit and body were purified in sauna before beginning a feast.

The Joulu sauna was heated early so that everyone could wash up before dark and dress clean clothes for the Joulu banquet. Foods were placed on the table before sauna in the the same way as in kekri, so that the dead could enjoy their Joulu meal while the people bathed in the sauna. The master of the house was the last one to leave from sauna, and it was his duty to prepare everything so that the ancestral spirits could bathe there after the people left.

Foods needed to be offered also to the local spirits before people ate those foods. If a house had a sacrificial tree, small portion of every dish was set on the root of the tree. Food and liquor could also be taken to the barn, put on a bench and placed under the table as an offering. Only after the offerings were placed could people sit down and enjoy their banquet in good company.

Food was important on Joulu because it symbolized the abundance of food on the next harvest. Traditional Joulu foods include bread, meat dishes, beers and porridge. Foods were kept on the table for whole Joulu, and, it was said that if even one dish run out, the house would face poverty in the future. Even the poorer houses did everything they could to get plenty of good food on the table for Joulu.

Cattle and horses were also treated especially well on Joulu, and only the best hay and sometimes even bread and drinks were given to them. The birds on the yard were fed in the same way with grains. It was believed that this would ensure good harvest luck for the coming year.

Christmas games going on in the. Photo by Aino Oksanen from 1925. Museum office, creative commons by 4.0.


"Pig Parrot", Christmas play from haparanda. Aino Oksanen photo from 1926. Museum office, creative commons by 4.0.



Dancing in the the. Aino Oksanen photo from 1925. Museum office, creative commons by 4.0.

FINNISH

Joulu on ilon, satovuoden ja läheisten muistamisen juhla, jonka tavat tuovat terveyttä, elinvoimaa ja hyvinvointia koko vuodelle. Jouluisin vanha kansa on saunonut, kisaillut ja leikkinyt, syönyt hyvin ja muistanut läheisiään sekä kotieläimiä.

Monet vuoden päätösjuhlan tavat ovatkin siirtyneet kekristä jouluun sitä mukaa kun joulun merkitys juhlana on historian saatossa kasvanut. Molemmat ovat olleet perhejuhlia, joihin on kuulunut hyvä ruoka ja juoma. Sekä jouluna että kekrinä on lämmitetty sauna vieraileville vainajille, varmistettu tulevan vuoden onnea sekä päätelty tulevan vuoden kulkua enteistä.

Jouluksi lattialle levitettiin olkia - tiettävästi joissakin paikoissa myös havuja - ja kattoon ripustettiin himmeli. Isäntä kaatoi yhteen taloon tuotuun lyhteeseen ryypyn, jonka jälkeen lyhde avattiin ja levitettiin lattialle. Isäntä saattoi myös heittää olkia kattoon kurkihirren ja katon väliin. Jos kattoon jäi paljon olkia roikkumaan, satovuodesta tuli hyvä. Jos vähemmän, se tiesi huonoa vuotta.

Jouluun kuuluu kaksi perinteistä asiaa, jotka ovat säilyneet myös suomalaisessa nykykulttuurissa: joulusauna ja jouluruoka. Sauna on koettu pyhäksi paikaksi, mistä kertovat lukuisat sananparret, joissa sauna ja kirkko rinnastetaan toisiinsa. Joulusaunassa puhdistettiin henki ja ruumis. Näin rauhoituttiin ja hiljennyttiin joulun viettoon.

Sauna lämmitettiin jouluaattona varhain, jotta jokainen pääsi peseytymään ennen pimeän tuloa ja pukeutumaan puhtaisiin vaatteisiin ennen ateriaa. Juhlapöytä katettiin valmiiksi ennen saunaan menoa samaan tapaan kuin kekrinä, jotta vainajat saattoivat nauttia jouluateriasta talonväen saunoessa. Viimeisenä saunasta lähti isäntä, joka valmisteli saunan vainajia varten ja heitti heille löylyt.

Haltijoille piti viedä jouluna juhlaruokia ennen kuin ihmiset niitä söivät. Jos talolla oli pitämyspuu, aattona vietiin joka lajin ruokaa puun juurelle ennen kuin kukaan oli ruokia maistanut. Haltijoille voitiin asettaa ruokaa ja juomaa myös riiheen, penkille tai pöydän alle. Tämän jälkeen talonväki saattoi istuutua nauttimaan juhlapöydän antimista.

Jouluna pöydällä piti olla joka lajia ruokaa mitä talosta löytyi. Perinteisiä joulupöydän ruokia ovat muun muassa leipä, liharuuat, olut ja puurot. Jos joku ruokalaji loppui pöydästä jouluna, se tiesi talon köyhtymistä. Köyhemmässäkin taloissa panostettiin joulun tarjoiluihin, joita pidettiin pöydällä koko joulun ajan.

Myös kotieläimistä pidettiin jouluna erityisen hyvää huolta. Hevosille vietiin parhaita kauroja, lehmille jokaiselle leipä ja juomaa, ja samalla sanottiin: » Nyt on joulu! » Pihan linnuille annettiin jouluna jyviä, sillä näin uskottiin viljan riittävän ihmisillekin tulevana kesänä.
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