Thursday, 18 December 2014

A werewolf celebration of Yule

It's that time of year when people build snowmen, open presents, stuff their faces in sweets and turkeys or goose, and drink beer, gather around a fireplace singing out of tune hymns, and watching the Queen's special broadcast message for the season. Okay, with the decourations and trees done up pretty with tinsel and baubles, fairy lights and gingerbread men. We celebrate it that way because we were raised to celebrate it that way, since it was drummed to us as children. But we don't clebrate the other solstice time, the summer one, in that way. In the summer, the majority of people don't know anything about it but those who do just recosgnise it as a scientific sun dance/alignment. This is what the midwinter season of Yule actually was, a celebration of the sun and calling Her to return.

Werewolves recognise that Yule is dark.

Yule celebrations going back many centuries indicate that werewolf traditions coincided with the traditions of warrior tribes. During Yule, there were many animal sacrifices. Boar was used to honour the fertility gods and the Vanir, particularly Freyr and Freya. The boars heads were presented on dishes, covered in honey, mead, stuffing and apples. 

The Winter season is when the daylight is short and nights are longer. Werewolves are generally nocturnal and it's a season best for hunting animals and shielding from malicious active spirits. The season is often linked to stories of the Wild Hunt, when the dead walk and ghosts travel across the land, visiting towns and villages. It's another reason why people subconsiously stick up Yule wreaths and garlands on their front doors, as protection against entities. The Yule wreath is circular and symbolic of the sun. Werewolves frighten off the dead.

To all who don't understand werewolves, werewolves DO celebrate Yule and always have done since ancient times. The werewolf is a reminder of the ancient Indo European warrior caste system and a link to the bonds with the earth, animals and stars. It's not the shapeshifting monster that you're used to seeing in horror films or reading about in horror fiction. The ancient peoples of Europe, Asia and the Americas had a great understanding of the animals and what the true nature of werewolfism is. Now because of this, werewolves (some prefer to call them Therianthropes or Otherkin), have a deep magical sense about the wheel of the year and seasonal changes.

The tree tradition was started as a gesture to the dead ancestors. It was a memorial tree. Gifts for the dead were hung on the branches so that the spirits who return during Yule would find them. This melded with stories of the Yule log and the fir, oak and mistletoe branch. It was only in recent history that the tradition of the decourated tree was placed inside the house.

Today people like their trinkets and lights and presents. Little do they know that it's a season of the sun, ghosts and animal sacrifice! HAVE A LOVELY YULE!


The Wild Hunt

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