Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Winter Chieftain

At Yule, celebrate the coming of the Winter Chieftain.

His hooded robe is the dark green of the evergreen, trimmed in a red the colour of winter berries. The scarf around his neck is a tartan of green and red, gold and blue. His face is weathered and determined, and always eager to smile. The white streaking his dark hair and beard is the colour of freshly fallen snow. His strong hand grips a staff taller than he is. With each step, the ground beneath his feet fills with frost.

His heralds are the Hidden Wolves, all seeing yet unseen. Feel their presence as they prowl the world before him. Chickadees flit about his shoulders and head, whispering in his ear. Rabbits and hares run about his feet, and as he bends to stroke them he turns patches of their fur from brown to white.

Behind him come cold winds and heavy snows. The Trickster, which has likely prevented Winter from staying by confusing the warm winds, respectfully bows his head. In the months that follow, cold and snow will cover our lands.

Celebrate his coming. The memories you create this night must last through the hard times to come. Decorate your home with symbols of nature that live through the winter: evergreen, berries, and nuts. Cook a feast, and fill a plate with sweets. Build a fire in the hearth, and light many candles; place candles in the windows to invite and welcome visitors. Enjoy the company of family and friends.

Let the Winter Chieftain hear your laughter, your music, and the ringing of bells to know you wait for him. Be sure to leave an offering for him and his companions as they pass by your house. This night is the longest, and they have far to travel.

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