Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Quick Easy PaganHeretic Holiday Blogpost Reference Guide

Oh and Yule Carols too!

(God rest ye merry Pagan folk)

(Christians and The Pagans)

Check out my other Winter Holiday Series Articles:

(New for 2014) -- You better Watch out, better not cry, better not pout, I'm telling you why......

(Older Archived posts from 2008)



PART VI ( Christmas becomes Americanized! And Santa Claus is Born!)

PART VII (Today The Sun is (re)born)

(Other aside articles on the Winter Holidays)

You better watch out, You better not cry, You better not pout, I'm telling you why........


Santa Claus is Coming to Town -

Wait a minute, that isn't Santa...oh no! Its...its.........its......


That is right it is Krampus. Wait, who is Krampus? I thought we tell kids if they are naughty then it is Santa that brings them lumps of coal and a budle of switches? That is true that parents may tell kids that Santa is the one that punishes them when they have misbehaved all year, but that wasn't always the case.

Krampus is a goat-like creature from the folklore of Alpine countries thought to punish children during the Christmas season who had misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards well-behaved ones with gifts. Krampus is said to capture particularly naughty children and drag them off into the black forest.

Krampus is represented as a beast-like creature, generally demonic in appearance. The creature has roots in Germanic folklore. Traditionally young men dress up as the Krampus in Austria, Romania, southern Bavaria, South Tyrol, northern Friuli, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia during the first week of December, particularly on the evening of 5 December (the eve of Saint Nicholas Day on many church calendars), and roam the streets frightening children with rusty chains and bells. Krampus is featured on holiday greeting cards called Krampuskarten. There are many names for Krampus, as well as many regional variations in portrayal and celebration.

Krampus is seen as the dark companion of St. Nicholas, the traditional European winter gift-bringer who rewards good children each year on December 6. The kindly old Saint leaves the task of punishing bad children to the hell-bound counterpart The Horned Devil, also known as Krampus.

Krampus is celebrated on Krampusnacht (Krampus night), which takes place on the eve of St. Nicholas' Day. In Austria, Northern Italy and other parts of Europe, party-goers masquerade as devils, wild-men, and witches to participate in Krampuslauf (Krampus Run). Intoxicated and bearing torches, costumed devils caper and carouse through the streets terrifying child and adult alike. Krampusnacht is increasingly being celebrated in other parts of Europe such as Finland and France, as well as in many American cities.

December 6 also happens to be Nikolaustag, or St. Nicholas Day, when German children look outside their door to see if the shoe or boot they'd left out the night before contains either presents (a reward for good behavior) or a rod (bad behavior). Before that however, children must make it through Krampus night.

A person participating in a modern Krampus Run - running thru the village to frighten misbehaved children

Krampus, whose name is derived from the German word krampen, meaning claw, is said to be the son of Hel in Norse mythology. The legendary beast also shares characteristics with other scary, demonic creatures in Greek mythology, including satyrs and fauns.

The history of the Krampus figure has been theorized as stretching back to pre-Christian traditions. In a brief article discussing the figure, published in 1958, Maurice Bruce wrote:

"There seems to be little doubt as to his true identity for, in no other form is the full regalia of the Horned God of the Witches so well preserved. The birch -- apart from its phallic significance -- may have a connection with the initiation rites of certain witch-covens; rites which entailed binding and scourging as a form of mock-death. The chains could have been introduced in a Christian attempt to 'bind the Devil' but again they could be a remnant of pagan initiation rites." *

*Bruce, Maurice (March 1958). "The Krampus in Styria". Folklore 69 (1): 44--47.

Krampus and Saint Nicholas visit a Viennese home in 1896.

Krampus's frightening presence was suppressed for many years --- the Catholic Church forbade the raucous celebrations, and fascists in World War II Europe found Krampus despicable because it was considered a creation of the Social Democrats.

In the aftermath of the 1934 Austrian Civil War, the Krampus tradition was prohibited by the Dollfuss regime under the Fatherland's Front (Vaterlandische Front) and the Christian Social Party. In the 1950s, the government distributed pamphlets titled "Krampus is an Evil Man". Towards the end of the century, a popular resurgence of Krampus celebrations occurred and continues today.

Krampus is making a comeback now, thanks partly to a "bah, humbug" attitude in pop culture, with people searching for ways to celebrate the yuletide season in non-traditional ways. National Geographic has even published a book in German about the devilish Christmas beast.

In the U.S., people are buying into the trend with Krampus parties.

For its part, Austria is attempting to commercialize the harsh persona of Krampus by selling chocolates, figurines, and collectible horns. So there are already complaints that Krampus is becoming too commercialized.

There has been public debate in Austria in modern times about whether Krampus is appropriate for children.

If you think Krampus is bad, watch out for this guy:

Robot Santa Claus doesn't mess around like Krampus does....

For more information on Krampus visit:

Check out my other Winter Holiday Series Articles:

(New for 2014)

(Older Archived posts from 2008)



PART VI ( Christmas becomes Americanized! And Santa Claus is Born!)

PART VII (Today The Sun is (re)born)

(Other aside articles on the Winter Holidays)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Holly King and The Oak King

The Holly King and the Oak king, Seasonal Changes, and The Pagan Wheel of The Year

*New Winter Holiday Series Content*

Dar Williams - Christians and The Pagans

The Holly King and The Oak king is a symbolic story about the constant battle and seasonal changes between light and dark. The dark half of the year vs the light half of the year. (Not dark as in evil and light as in good. But as in warmer months vs. Colder months) Perhaps this is why modern people still use Holly as Christmas Decorations today?

The Oak King rules the light half of the year, or spring and summer, and the Holly King rules the dark half of the year, or fall and winter. The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year, from this point on the days get longer a few minutes at a time and presumbably warmer. The Winter Solstice is the night the Holly king gives up his crown and allows the Oak king to transition into the warmer months. Vice versa - The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year. The sun wanes and days get shorter and longer. The Holly King takes over at this point until Yule or the Winter Solstice when the cycle starts over again.

Some say when the kings fight, the defeated one never really truly dies but instead merely withdraws for six months, some say to Caer Arianrhod, the Castle of the ever-turning Silver Wheel, which is also known as the Wheel of the Stars. This is the enchanted realm of the Goddess Arianrhod where the god must wait and learn before being born again. Arianrhod means "silver wheel" and the castle is the Aurora Borealis. She is the goddess of the astral skies and there she rules as goddess of reincarnation.*

Dahm The Bard - Noon of The Solstice

In the legends of some belief systems, the dates of these events are shifted; the battle takes place at the Equinoxes, so that the Oak King is at his strongest during Midsummer, or Litha, and the Holly King is dominant during Yule. From a folkloric and agricultural standpoint, this interpretation seems to make more sense.*

The Holly and Oak Kings are seen as symbolic personifications of the horned god as symbolized as the sun, who is said to be reborn at this time of year. Hence why this is a good time to recognize all the reborn gods at this time, Mithras, Osirus, Saturn, Sol Invictus (The Unconqured Sun)...and yes why the Christians chose December to celebrate the birth of Christ.

As the seasons change so too does the horned god go through changes.

In Modern Neo-Paganism, in one such Religion -- Wicca --- The Wiccan God is the Lord of the Greenwood, consort to the Lady of the Greenwood. Known also as Cernunnos, the Green Man, Herne the Hunter, and Lord of the Wild Hunt, he is a god of fertility, growth, death, and rebirth.

The Sun-God rules the seasons. At Yule, he is the new babe, the emodiment of innocence and joy. He represents the infancy of the returning light. At Imolg (Imbolc), his growth is celebrated, as the days are growing longer and light stronger. At Ostara, he is a green, flourishing youth whose eye is taken by the Maiden Goddess. On Beltane, he is the young man in love who takes the Goddess as his bride. Their consummated marriage is celebrated with maypoles and bonfires. At Midsummer, he comsummates his marriage in a union so complete that it becomes a death. He is mourned at Lammas, and at Mabon, he sleeps in the womb of the Goddess. At Samhain, he waits in the Shining Land to be reborn.*

The birth, maturation, consumating with the goddess, death, and rebirth at Yule/Solstice time of the horned god is synonymous with the cycles of the earth and the changing seasons from Winter into Spring into Summer into Fall and Back into Winter again. This is why for many Pagan Practioners the Yule - Solstice season is just as important to them as the Christmas season is important to Christians.

Don't forget to check out my older Winter Series Articles I wrote them between 2008 - 2010 and were archived on this blog in December 2013 from Myspace and --- See This Blogs December 2013 Archive for them: The Pagan Heretics other Winter Holiday Essay Series Entries