Saturday, December 17, 2016

Spirit thoughts upon Yuletide

In the same manner that you may be walking along on a warm summer afternoon and feeling the invigoration of the warm air against your skin; you may also feel the invigoration of the cool air of a winter walk. To our Pagan ancestors, the spring was the start of the year, and the seasons paralleled the cycle of life itself. "Birth" in spring (usually the start of April), "Life" during the next eight months or so, and "Death"  and a "new arising" tied to the Yule season. "Birth, Life, Death and to a New Arising."

Lisa Thiel - Winter Solstice Song (with lyrics)


Lessinia, a region in the Veronese pre-Alps. If you use Google Maps and get right onto the ground in Val Camonica, Valtellina, or any Alpine region like this; you may notice the homes, and the very heavy shutters, probably two inches thick or more. Sometimes when I hike on a Yule night, I imagine my ancestors living in a home like that, maybe in 1870. The family huddled around the fire during Christmas on a freezing winter evening. That fire symbolizes the fire of the generations. You are carrying their torch.

The Origins of Christmas


Christians have hijacked the faith of pagans for a mythical child called Jesus and the corporations are cashing in on the ignorance reflected by Christians when they buy gifts for their loved ones.

The lynx

The lynx is not a very prominent figure in mythology. No fables or legends concerning the lynx have been found . There are a few proverbs concerning the lynx like for example "to wangle something out of someone" in German means "jemandem etwas abluchsen", which reminds us that the lynx is a very intelligent and quick hunter (Schenda 1995).

Epcot Italy's CHRISTMAS WITCH - LA BEFANA - Holidays Around The World


Epcot Holidays Around The World - ITALY

Meet the kind-hearted witch La Befana who arrives on the eve of the Epiphany to grant gifts to good children.

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Christian legend had it that Befana was approached by the biblical magi, also known as the Three Wise Men (or the three kings) a few days before the birth of the Infant Jesus. They asked for directions to where the Son of God was, as they had seen his star in the sky, but she did not know. She provided them with shelter for a night, as she was considered the best housekeeper in the village, with the most pleasant home. The magi invited her to join them on the journey to find the baby Jesus, but she declined, stating she was too busy with her housework. Later, La Befana had a change of heart, and tried to search out the astrologers and Jesus. That night she was not able to find them, so to this day, La Befana is searching for the little baby. She leaves all the good children toys and candy ("caramelle") or fruit, while the bad children get coal ("carbone"), onions or garlic.

Another Christian legend takes a slightly darker tone as La Befana was an ordinary woman with a child whom she greatly loved. However, her child died, and her resulting grief maddened her. Upon hearing news of Jesus being born, she set out to see him, delusional that he was her son. She eventually met Jesus and presented him with gifts to make him happy. The infant Jesus was delighted, and he gave La Befana a gift in return; she would be the mother of every child in Italy.

Popular tradition tells that if one sees La Befana one will receive a thump from her broomstick, as she doesn't wish to be seen. This aspect of the tradition may be designed to keep children in their beds.

Another commonly heard Christian legend of la Befana starts at the time of the birth of baby Jesus. Befana spends her days cleaning and sweeping. One day the magi, also known as the three wise men, came to her door in search of baby Jesus. Befana turned them away because she was too busy cleaning. Befana notices a bright light in the sky; she thinks this is the way to baby Jesus. She brought some baked goods and gifts for baby Jesus in her bag and took her broom to help the new mother clean and began her search for baby Jesus. She searched and searched for Baby Jesus, but never found him. Befana still searches today, after all these centuries. On the eve of the Epiphany, Befana comes to a house where there is a child and leaves a gift. Although she has been unsuccessful in her search, she still leaves gifts for good young children because the Christ Child can be found in all children.

"Yule walk" - an individual tradition

Last evening, I engaged in what I have come to call my annual "Yule walk" after the defacto Winter and the approaching Yule. I started it some years ago without even thinking of it as a "thing" in of itself, or any type of annual "tradition." It can be whatever someone wants it to be, but for me it's a very individual tradition. It's an opportunity--two or three weeks before the chaos of Christmas and New Years--to take a reflective walk on a cold night by yourself. It should be a personal spiritual endeavor to connect with the past, present, and future at this dramatic weather-shifting time of the year. A time of the year that strongly feels like an "ending"... with a new "beginning" intuitively "visible" in the distance.


Joan Collins in Tales From The Crypt (1972)


Tales From The Crypt - "All Through the House"

Saucy Joan is a murderous strumpet who wallops her husband to death on Christmas Eve and is then besieged by a homicidal maniac dressed as Santa Claus. Wonderfully dark episode from the '70s horror anthology movie, "Tales From the Crypt."


The eeriest scene

It would have to be within the context of the entire movie, but to me this scene from the original 'Tales From The Crypt' (UK; 1972) was the scariest horror scene. The secluded home during Christmas Eve on a dark snowy winter night.

Mean Girls - Jingle Bell Rock - Unedited



'Mean Girls' has become like 'National Lampoon's Vacation', a popular movie that is featured on TV incessantly. Both connect real life experiences with edgy humor.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987) as a Christmas movie

I think this very funny and underrated movie, staring Steve Martin and the late John Candy, should be thought of more as a classic "Christmas move"... especially with the ending. However, one scene gives it its R-rating. It portrays, as sometimes can occur, that "bad experiences" can be remembered as fun times after the fact. Great interplay between Martin and Candy. A truly underrated film.

Martina McBride - O Come All Ye Faithful

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