The Old Magic of Christmas: Yuletide Traditions for the Darkest Days of the Year by Linda Raedisch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Beneath the veneer of the snowy season, toys and all their fanciful wrappings and the icon of Santa Clause delivering presents lies a dark shadowy pagan past. Filled with dark spirits that came out when the veil between life and death is thin is a holiday season just as scary as Halloween but glossed over entirely. The season for winter or Christmas began around the end of October/ beginning of November and dos not end till sometime on January or February.
Woe to those caught outdoors on the wrong night of the season as all sorts of creatures were seen wandering about. On those holy night Frue Holle could be seen flying about with her retinue. She was also called Perchta and Bertha and a few other names. The base goddess for these was Frigga, mother goddess of the Norse.
In many castle across Europe there is legend of ladies in white that still haunt and rule over the castles. In some fairy tales she is the snow queen. At times she dispenses gifts to the deserving and chastisement to those who have been less than worthy.
Frau Holle is not the only one who travels the nighttime sky at this time. The one eyed Grimm with his strange floppy hat travels the nightly in his sled Along with his pack of dogs and wandering souls. Best not be out when he is around lest you go insane or be forced to join the pack. If t your barn has double leave them open so the wild hunt can pass through.
These are just some of the pagan Yuletide goodies or nuggets you will find in this book. All throughout this book there are chapters and references on the elves and their role without n the holiday season. There are also dark creatures sometimes called Krampus or Certain who help Saint Nick punish the bad kids. There are also dark monks and terrifying straw men. Certain holiday tradition are discussed. At the chapters end there are arts and crafts that one can do or make to get your holiday going. There are also recipes as well.
The book has a list of holiday herbs and different days of importance that have special holiday meaning. The book is well researched and the author describes the holiday season both with a strong living passion along with a just enough healthy skepticism to keep things balanced.
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