Steiner teaches us about how our ancestors experienced the darkest time of winter. Since Steiner’s knowledge was gained through (often) unreliable sources and clairvoyance, I wouldn’t entirely trust him with facts, only with the occasional outburst of poetic feeling. Steiner:

‘So it can be said that Nature herself made it possible for these ancient European peoples to descend from life in the external world deep down into their own inmost being. When November came near this descent into death and darkness was felt for weeks to be a solemn season, to be a harbinger of the approaching dawn of what was called the Yuletide Festival. This mood was a clear indication of how long the remembrance of ancient clairvoyant faculties had persisted among all the peoples of Northern and Middle Europe. During the season following the period roughly corresponding to our months of January and February, men felt inwardly aware of the portents of renewed rejoicing, renewed resurrection in Nature. They were aware of a foretaste of what they would subsequently experience in the external world; but when the fields were still covered with snow, when icicles were still hanging from the trees, when outside in Nature nothing indicated a future state of exultation, there was a persistent condition of withdrawal into themselves, of inner repose which was ultimately transformed in the soul in such a way that a man was, as it were, liberated from his own selfhood.’

In Swedish, christmas is called ‘jul’, which means we can say ‘merry christmas’ (or: ‘god jul’) without connotations to christ or christianity.

The photo above was taken this past Sunday. I’m still coughing. Scaring away Santa’s reindeers, in particular the nervous Rudolf, mr Dog says, revealing his deepest worries. ‘Also’, he adds, ‘I can’t sleep properly with all this racket going on. What if I nod off just as Santa appears with all my stuff?’


2 thoughts on “yuletide

  1. Sound as if you are suffering from a cross-cultural miasma, Zooey, as well as a bad cold. Santa is american. Surely it should be the Julbok or Tomte that Mr. Dog is worried about missing?
    God Jul och Gott nytt år! Hope you enjoyed your Risgryngrot.

  2. God jul och gott nytt år önskar jag dig också, Falk!

    Practical considerations have led mr Dog to a preference for a belief in Santa before the Julbock. It’s better to believe in an entity that you know you wouldn’t chase and kill if he approached you. A Bock is a prey animal. And the Tomte can be easily mistaken for a small animal too. Santa, however, is perfect. Besides, mr Dog once met Santa. One morning, a few years ago, as mr D was going out to take a leak, Santa was standing on the pavement. Big, round and glowing, thanks to the electric wiring. A proper American (and ahrimanic) Santa. Mr D almost jumped out into the street. He never tried to pee on Santa, but showed him respect all through December. Impressive guy. So — mr D doesn’t simply believe Santa exists, he knows, from experience! Plus, Santa is the better option anyway, for a hunter.

    As for the risgrynsgröt, I can’t eat it, and my mother has never been able to cook it. Being anywhere near warm milk makes her nauseous. I think her antipathies have been transferred to me…! And in waldorf, you were forced to eat all kinds of gröt, once a week. I felt so sick, I can hardly watch gröt anymore.

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