If you follow me on Facebook you’ll know that for the last couple weeks I’ve been working on a Yule painting. Every year around this time I find myself getting into the spirit of the season. In years past I’ve done a Zombie Santa and a mischievous Santa I call “Jolly Old Elf.” As I’m sure my readers know, I love Norse Mythology, and mythology in general. The mythology around Christmas and its pagan roots are no different.
This year I tapped into my research and love of lore to create a painting I call “Yuletide Spirits.”
In this scene we see the three spirits of the Yuletide season—Odin, Frau Holle, and Krampus—discussing the blessing of the town behind them that clearly has obeyed the old ways of erecting a proper Yule Goat.
The original was painted in oil paint and measures 18″x 24.” The original is for sale; e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org
It has been theorized that Odin evolved into Santa Claus. During Yule, Odin rode a white horse through town at night and put treats in the shoes of good boys and girls. Additionally, Every year for the 12 nights of Yule, the Wild Hunt rides throughout the land each night. In Christian times, this was depicted as evil spirits going through the land, but in earlier times it was thought of a joyous time when the land was blessed and renewed for the new year—a time when the spirits of the land and our ancestors returned to feast and make merry with the living. Odin was said to ride at the head of the Wild Hunt, and in other stories so was Frau Holle. In my last post I talked a lot about Frau Holle (read about it HERE).
Of course, Krampus the Christmas demon has received a lot of press in recent years. I for one think it’s very cool to see his legend spread again. For more information on Krampus read HERE. I love the idea of a connection between Krampus and the Yule Goat. As for the Yule Goat, please read more HERE.
The main thing I wanted to emphasize with my painting is the blending of the old with the new. As a culture we have been celebrating Yule/Christmas/Winter Holidays for a very long time. Things change and evolve as our culture changes and evolves. Our stories grow with us. I know oftentimes this season can become religiously charged, and I encourage everyone to remember that the season is the reason. It is a time for family and friends, both alive and dead.
I hope you all have a Happy Holiday, and this year let’s all remember to keep the Yule in Yuletide!
Please feel free to share this meme around, as I think many can benefit from the message.