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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Thirteen Days of Yule

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Drink Yule

The Old Norse idiom for “celebrate Yule” means literally “to drink Yule.”

Where did you drink Yule this year?

To the ancestors, Yule was synonymous with, and unthinkable without, the special Yule ale that was brewed in quantity for the great Midwinter feasting each year. Most people drank beer throughout the year, but the Yule ale was always distinctive from the day-to-day brew, specially rich, dark, and high in alcohol. Medieval landowners were required by law to brew enough Yule ale to keep their families and retainers well-drunk for the entire Thirteen Days, and woe to the stingy farmer who tried to short his people of their Yuletide due.

 

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The Thirteenth Treasure

On first Mother Night, we tapped the box of red.

It was a nice wine for winter: chewy, hearty, a little leathery.

Next day, there was still wine left.

On second Mother Night, we drank more from the box of red.

Next day, there was still wine left.

Tonight, Thirteenth Night, we'll keep on drinking.

As for tomorrow, we'll see.

I'm beginning to wonder if what we've got on our hands here may not be that legendary box of wine that, no matter how many rituals you take it to, never runs dry.

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Born, Born Upon This Morn

Born, born

upon this morn:

a sacred day is dawning.

Rise, rise

and walk the skies

of this Midwinter's morning.

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The Witchiest Number

Call it triskaidekaphilia.

Lucky thirteen.

Thirteen is an oddball number, which is why witches like it so much. The ideal coven: the god and his twelve companions.

“Six and seven,” witches used to say: a greeting, back in pre-Blessed Be days. For reasons obvious to those in the know, this was a covert expression of Craft identity. In Italy they said “Five and eight” instead, for the same reason.

The ancestors counted in tens and twelves. Twelve was the “long ten,” as 120 was the “long hundred.” That explains why the teens don't start til thirteen; it used to be “three-ten.”

So thirteen means, “the cycle begins again.” Thirteen is both an end and a beginning.

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  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    We used to have Triskadelaphilia parties in our homw every yoear on any Friday the 13th. It was fun! I wrote an article on it just

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Ass's Ears

 'Tis a fine, foolish thing to wear a crown.

(Proverb of New Crete)

 

Sometimes Old Hornie wears an ass's ears.

Tomorrow is Thirteenth Night, the last of Yule, when the Merry Monarch of Misrule holds sway.

It's a short reign, but a merry one.

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The Yules

They say that if you add up all the gifts in The Twelve Days of Christmas, you get 364.

364.

The Twelve (witches would say Thirteen) Days of Yule are a microcosm, a year in little.

So Yule is actually the Yules: Twelve (witches would say Thirteen) of them, and every one a Yule.

The same pattern of the Twelve Between turns up elsewhere. The old Zoroastrian New Year, Nawrúz, at the vernal equinox, is a festival of thirteen days.

Mircea Eliade suggests that the intercalary dozen serves to reconcile a solar year of 365 days with a lunar year (= 12 lunations) of 352.

There's actually an old (15th century) Scots song kin to the one you may know called The Thirteen Days of Yule. It begins:

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Yule Rush

Ah, life in the Broomstick Ghetto.

In the days since Mother Night, I've several times caught myself wondering: Why are all these people still running around?

Then I remember.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

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