Saturnalia – Festival of Misrule
A time of excitement, attitude shifts, parties and giving gifts of ornaments, white candles and clay statues to be hidden in the holly. When adult served child and master served slave. When nothing serious could take place. Sound like fun?
The crops are gathered and stored, the animals are brought in from the fields and the fires lit in the house for those colder nights. And the party begins! Praise be to the gods and goddesses for a bountiful year! And time to rebuild for a new year, a new life. Embrace the hunter god and the moon goddess.
Santa Claus as a Pagan Godform. Today’s Santa is a folk figure with multicultural roots. He embodies characteristics of Saturn (Roman agricultural god), Cronos (Greek god, also known as Father Time), the Holly King (Celtic god of the dying year), Father Ice/Grandfather Frost (Russian winter god), Thor (Norse sky god who rides the sky in a chariot drawn by goats), Odin/Wotan (Scandinavian/Teutonic All-Father who rides the sky on an eight-legged horse), Frey (Norse fertility god), and the Tomte (a Norse Land Spirit known for giving gifts to children at this time of year). Santa’s reindeer can be viewed as forms of Herne, the Celtic Horned God. Decorate your home with Santa images that reflect His Pagan heritage.
Maybe we are more pagan today than they were then? But we are certainly more commercial than they were. So maybe we need to re-embrace Yule or Saturnalia?
Serve someone you know has less power than you and embrace the meaning behind misrule. And light your white candles. Then grab your neighbours and spill out into the street with songs and dancing! Nothing serious allowed!