Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ms Graveyard Dirt's fault. . .

Cranes that have gathered at one of the
artificial lakes.  Yup taken the same day
as the gauntlet was thrown!
OK maybe not really. . . but it is fun to poke at her on occasion.  . . be aware she pokes back! Ms. Graveyard Dirt has thrown down the emotional blackmail gauntlet. She has made a vow that all of her friends will be joining her in ancestral Yule revelries and loads of work your behind off research. Ok I'm in! I love her blog and love the work she has put forth to share her experience in the craft. Besides. . . it's not like she had to twist my arm too hard.

Psychic Buffer charms.
Yes, I am keeping one for me!
Not sure if I am catching up or not is one of those things that has me jumping all over the place inside my skin. I hate being late, I hate being behind and I hate how both of those things make me feel. I can't say that I haven't done any work. I have photos and other pieces of evidence that testify otherwise. So what is this feeling that I have that drives me to distraction??? It may just be the season. You know the one. Everything has to be cleaned from head to stern and top to bottom. There are gifts to finish making, there are gifts to get still, and then we are not even addressing the wrapping of said gifts,

Pomegranate leaves to be dried
I am still gathering magic plants before the winter has it's final say in the landscape here for the season. So, my desk and altars look like drying racks on top of varying projects ( yes the ones I am behind in) still laying out as a constant reminder. . .ooo  ooo  oo  me, do me! Then there is the research I am digging up about my Finnish ancestry Yule traditions. A few of those things look rather familiar to me, most of them are news to me.

My Kekri buck!
The first festival in the Winter season is actually a final harvest celebration called Kekri. One tradition involved dressing  up as kekritär or as a kekri buck and go door to door asking for food and drink.From what I can see, a Kekri seems to be a wooly looking reindeer. A modern version of this seems to be performance based to dance in the new year. I tried opening the video for this performance only to have my computer tell me there was an error. . . I'll show you error. Another tradition was indeed remembering your ancestors by leaving them food. Seems to be a central theme in many cultures that keep their pagan roots a little exposed.

The ham dinner for Christmas was the thing that really called me out. I remember ham dinners, in fact it was a family joke to call it salmon. Fish is also on the menu, but good luck getting me or anyone else in my family to eat it! So salmon ham it is. There are some other things that interest me on the Finnish menu.  Drinks!!!! There are a couple of recipes for something called Glog! It's a mulled wine either white or red wine can be use. They also drink and toast with schnopps of vodka. It has even been suggested in the glog recipes I ran into that you can spike your glog with vodka. . . heheheeh!

Sugar Plum Faery altar
Being Feri, all of this feasting and drinking and honoring of the ancestors is great. . . but it will not be a complete festivity without the faeries! Gotta have them included! So with that in mind out comes my favorite seasonal ballet theme Sugar Plum Faery! She will have her own steeped vodka present for sharing and everything! Yes, she even has a spot in the house all for herself!

My skeins look more like
oil bottles
Before any of this glorious fun and feasting can be done, there is a whole list of things to be done! The house is scrubbed from top to bottom, the last of the harvest is brought in and properly stored, a piglet was purchased, blessed, and fed VERY well, (ladies)  nine skeins of linen were to be woven if the ladies wanted a sleigh ride to Christmas church, the men had to make wooden toys and weave baskets before Christmas, then came the saunas.

 I think I'll not be doing the sauna, but a long soak in the bath. I don't think I'll be buying a piglet either. . . and nine skeins of linen??? Hrm. . . I have other things that have to get done. . . can't that count?? ;) Besides there are no sleigh rides here and I most certainly do not want a ride to church. . . and I don't think the church really wants to see me either.

So where does that leave me with my Ms Graveyard Dirt challenge? Doing something familiar like food wise with a faery twist. Yup, leave it to me to take a perfectly good tradition and completely do something different, except the food and drink. Ugh!

Kids making decorations for
the house
Ok well maybe that's not entirely true. I am pulling in the harvest. I am cleaning the house from top to bottom, completing seasonal hearth chores as valid to the world I live in, and I am having a feast at the end of all the work done! So maybe, just maybe, my Finnish Grandfather recognizes the actions as a modern take of what his family was doing at this time of the year. . . add the faeries and it will be a great time!

1 comment:

  1. Loving the Sugar Plum Fairy altar! I have WAAAAY too much to do and too little time to do it. I have incenses to craft, altars to decorate - and the bloody house to scrub top to bottom first. I'm guessing I'm gonna be short on sleep.... Love the crane photo. I've been trying out making origami cranes, I'm getting better!

    Hope your busy Yule season give you a bit of a break soon. xxx