Archive for December, 2004
From Our Troth:
The mightiest night of Yule is the solstice itself, the longest night of the year when all the wights who wander in darkness are freest and the human hold on this earth is weakest. The word “Yule” itself is ur-old, its meaning clouded; it could have sprung from roots meaning “wheel”; “time of joy”; “year-turning”, “time of sacrifice”, or perhaps “blind (dark) time” (de Vries, Wörterbuch, p. 292; Ásgeirr Blondal Magnússon, Órðsifjabók, p. 433). This is the night on which the Yule-log should be burned and the watch kept; this is the night on which the holiest oaths are sworn. It is not good to be alone on this night, for then the only folk about one are trolls and the dead – chancy companions at best!
Traditionally, this is also the night of feasting. Unfortunately the Christianization of Yule has the celebration set for the 25th instead of Solstice. Since our friends can’t properly revel on a Tyr’s Day, we settled for an impromptu party. Had a good number of folks wander through, and everyone left with a gift or a stiff drink to ward against the cold weather. It was during this time that sunset occurred. We lit the Yule Candle and began our vigil.
We continued the party alone, taking this time to exchange gifts. White Russians, Southern Comfort, ahi burritos, and nacho grandes were our feast. (The Yule spirits ended up with the monster portion of the nachos.)
As for gifting . . . I got the full season of Firefly on DVD! Woot!! I gave my wife a ton of books (and vice versa,) and we both ended up with iPods.
Since I’m the night owl, I stayed up through the night on vigil. The candle’s light was steady and strong. I listened to tunes on my iPod and reread the first Harry Potter book. At four am, I woke the wife to continue on while I took a nap. (Dr’s appt this morning, urgh.) She rousted me just before sunrise and together we put out the flame, welcoming the sun’s return for another year.
The next big push is the generally accepted feast day on the 25th. We’ve got RSVPs from lots of friends in the area who’ll drop in, share food and drink, and celebrate the coming new year. I’m looking forward to it!
. . . was on Monday. It’s the first of the thirteen nights of Yule, which is what my family celebrates. To quote Our Troth, a tome of articles written by Asatruar,
Of all the high feasts of our forebears, Yule is by far the highest, the holiest, and the most fraught with might. During the thirteen nights of Yule, all the worlds meet in the Middle-Garth: the god/esses and the dead walk freely, trolls and alfs come into the homes of humans, and those folk who are closest to the Otherworld may leave their human selves altogether to become the riders of the Wild Hunt or oskorei (Ásgarð-Ride), werewolves, or the embodiments of various of the wights that wander the earth at Yule-tide. But Yule is also the time of the greatest feasting and joy, because it is at Yule that the whole clan, living and dead, gathers as one, sure in the knowledge that even as the Sun rises every year from her greatest darkness, so there will ever be rebirth for us as well. It is not by chance that Yule has preserved the most Heathen customs of any feast: the promise of the Yule log and the ever-green tree also stood as the promise that our folk-ways should live through the long dark winter and rise bright again.
Mother’s Night focuses on home and hearth, a time to spend with not only your family but the spirits of your ancestors and the wights who abide in the home and care for the people there. (My wife refuses to call the wights or idises anything but ‘critters.’ LOL!)
Aside from errands earlier in the day, we puttered about the apartment. Did some cleaning, whipped up a wonderful dinner, and ate by candle light. We usually don’t have ‘sit down’ meals at our house, so it was very special. We talked about absent family, alive and not, and dished two small plates as offerings to our critters and ancestors.
Afterward, we roamed the building we call home to look at door decorations. Our management company holds a contest every year. First prize is $300 off next month’s rent. Some of the apartments go all out. Last year, there was Christmas at Bag End, the entire door (and surrounding walls) decorated to look like a hobbit dwelling. This year, the same folks turned out a castle theme, complete with a drawbridge over a small moat, two turrets, and a sword sticking out of a stone. (Immediately across from them, and just as expansive, is the Nightmare Before Christmas.)
The wife and I brainstormed a theme. It’s top secret, though. With proper forethought and planning, we might catch ourselves a rent break in 2006!
We then returned home to spend time together until bed. It was a nice, mellow night. Holiday or not, we’re thinking aboout repeating it soon.
Recently returned from the orthopedic surgeon. Everything looks spectacular, healing well! Woot!
I go back in ten days to remove the surgical bandaging and receive a real cast. He says the pins will be removed in about six weeks. From now. Not from the surgery or the initial break.
So maybe at the beginning of February I’ll have my hand back.
Nonexistant, as a matter of fact. First off, work’s been a bear. Lots of holiday parties and late night shifts.
However, something else has thrown a monkey wrench into things . . .
I broke my thumb last Wednesday.
I’m typing one-handed as we speak (as you read?) I have a splint from the tip of my thumb to my elbow. I go to an orthopedic surgeon tomorrow to see about a cast.
Needless to say, the writing (which in all honesty, has sucked this year) is on hold. I’ll probably be winged for a month. Hopefully no longer. In the meantime, I guess I’ll go over the Sanguire series in preparation for the full edit.