Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Yuletide Verbots and Completing Projects

Yule starts at sunset tonight.

In the Urglaawe tradition, recommended practice is, prior to sunset, to open projects that you wish to work on and to complete before sunset on December 31 (the start of Twelfth Night and Berchta's feast day). Currently-open projects should be completed by Twelfth Night or abandoned completely and restarted in the New Year. Ongoing projects can identify a goal of a phase completion or a stopping point. New projects should be delayed until the New Year once Yule begins; focus instead on completion of that which is still in process. 

Historically the oldest references to Verbots (bans, taboos) on new projects were to spinning and weaving but Pennsylvania German oral tradition also extends it also to smithing, canning, and carpentry. Urglaawe examines the mindset behind the need to complete open tasks and the Verbot on starting projects during Yule, and we apply the concept to all aspects of our lives wherever it is practical and possible.

Job requirements may make some of this difficult or impossible to avoid, but the mindfulness applied to figuring out appropriate areas in your life to recognize the need for completion does matter.

Berchta and the lesser-known Berchtold are deities associated with the end of something or the completion of a cycle prior the the restart. There are many considerations that go along with the mindfulness: responsibility, deprivation, organization, preparation, and being willing to abandon partially-completed work if procrastination is a problem.

GLAD YULE TO ALL!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Story of Mistletoe


There are many myths that surround the Yuletide.  One of the oldest is that of the death of Baldur.  The main myth cycle is dramatic and the focus of much song and poetry, but inside the larger myth are a number of lesser stories also worth telling.  One of those is the story of Mistletoe, the plant that was at the heart of the murder of Baldur, whose small but tragic part bears examination in its own.  This is a tale of consequences and forgiveness, of love and redemption.






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A Tale of Santa


When I became a Heathen parent, the question of how I was to treat the holdiays became a critical one to answer.  My children were raised in a Heathen household, yet went to public schools in a society that was largely current or post Christian, so at least socialize with largely Western Christian traditions, even if fairly secularized in practice.  Now I could demand we ignore the world and do things our way, and isolate my children, or I could choose to bridge the gap.  What we in the west celebrate is mostly Yule already.  Santa is a barely disguised Yule Father, so rather than re-invent the wheel, we decided to bridge the gap between the Yule father that is, and the Santa they know.  Put the sacral reason back in the season, and we can celebrate along side our friends and neighbors, understanding the sacred purpose of what we are all doing already.






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