Winter and the Moon of the New Year
Christmastide: Day 2
Sunday gratefuls: 12 days of Christmas. Kate. Always Kate. Mark, who discovered another Doctor of Theology in the family.* (I’m really a Doctor of Ministry, but close enough.) Chex mix. Easy. That chili I made. Jon, Ruth, and Gabe driving up here to get their Hanukkah presents. Seeing them since they chose not to come in. (wisely, I think.) Joe and Seoah hunting for a new car, a new place to live in Hawai’i. The Ancient Ones and Wonder. And wandering.
According to John Matthews, there was a pagan, supernatural thread that ran through Christmastide and the second day is a good example. It’s St. John’s day for the beloved disciple who wrote the book of John. (according to legend.) Priests bless wine on this day and it’s so much better than other wines that it makes other wines near it on the shelf better. Go, John!
This second day of Christmastide is also Mother’s Night. The mother is Hulda, Frau Holle in Germanic legend, an avatar of the ancient Mother Goddess, the female principle in deity. Hulda brings justice, fertility, and abundance. She is also known as Mother Christmas.**
On the nights of Christmatide she travels the countryside in a sleigh pulled by dogs and hands out gifts. She is tall, beautiful, dressed in white and wears a golden girdle.
Like Samain the veil between the worlds thins and these nights when Hulda passes out gifts, the Wild Hunt races through the skies led by King Arthur, Woden, and Arawn, the Celtic underworld deity. The Wild Hunt collects scattered souls and carries them to the Otherworld.
On this, the second day of Christmastide, we honor mothers and the feminine, women like Harriet Tubman, Kate, Roxann, Regina, Elizabeth, Sarah, Seoah, Queen Victoria, Boudicca, Bridget, the Suffragists, Jane Goodall, Nefertiti, the Amazons. And, we honor the feminine in each of us.
We also honor the souls of those who have died before us, collected by the Wild Hunt, and delivered to the Otherworld. May their lives and their memories be a blessing.
(1570-1645) the Irish historian, born in County Tipperary, of Norman-Irish
stock. He was educated for the priesthood at Bordeaux, and returned to
Ireland as a doctor of theology in 1610.
**Happy Mother Christmas! 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. Today it is her beloved image that adorns Christmas cards and Yule decorations – not Rudolph. Because unlike the male reindeer who sheds his antlers in winter, it is the larger and stronger doe, who retains her horns. And it is she who leads the herds in winter.