The Flying Reindeer


The Flying Reindeer
-By Angelique Duncan

Most folks know the eight flying reindeer that pull Santa Claus sled; Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder and Blixen. And everyone recalls that most famous reindeer of all, Rudolph. Some folks even know of Olive the other reindeer, but do we know where the magical reindeer at Christmas time come from?

Most historians cite the first usage of flying reindeer to pull Santa’s sleigh was in the 1823 poem; “A Visit from St. Nickolas” written by Clement C. Moore. However a more obscure reference to Santa’s sleigh being driven by reindeer appears in a publication dated 1821 in New York called the “Old Santaclaus with Much Delight” in which Santa has a single reindeer companion. The author and illustrator are not listed and not known.

The first reference to Rudolph and his glowing nose was in a free publication given to children as a marketing tool during the holidays by Montgomery Wards department store in 1939. A song recording based on that earlier marketing publication, written by Johnny Marks and recorded by Gene Autry in 1949 further gained Rudolph fame. Rudolph became immortalized when a television movie aired in 1964 loosely based on the 1939 publication, however with significant changes to the characters and storyline from the original tale. In 1999 Olive appeared in a made for television special that was inspired by a line in the Rudolph song. “All of the other reindeer” interpreted as “Olive, the other reindeer. In both productions of Rudoph and Olive the deer depicted are actually white tail deer and not reindeer.

Despite these accepted historical references as first appearances of Santa’s reindeer, the deer seem to have had a place in the Winter holiday season before being put into print in North America. They are present in early Norse, European and Celtic decorations and illustrations as winter icons traveling with Gods and elves, St Nicholas and other Yule and Christmas settings. Flying reindeer appear in documentation as significant to Pagan culture and winter beliefs well before department stores, radio and television broadcasts. These flying reindeer of antiquity may have been, on some level, the inspiration for the modern image of the flying reindeer we know today.

In Norse mythology Odin also known as Woden and also Jólnir was the deity who brought gifts during Yule celebrations. Woden was said to travel via a flying horse with eight legs whose name was Sleipnir. (Eight-legged horse perhaps correlates eight reindeer). It is also documented in Pagan beliefs that Woden was the leader of the Wild Hunt or Wild Ride that occurred during the Winter Solstice, the date of the Wild Hunt ranging from December 19th through December 21st. The Wild Hunt is often depicted as Gods, deities and ghosts that road flying horses and reindeer through the night sky.

Another Norse legend speaks of Thor riding a sleigh drawn by two flying horned goats. During the winter the goats would change into reindeer. The tradition of Thor at Yule was eventually morphed into the story of Junenisse who was a Yule goat who delivered gifts. This evolved into a elf who traveled with a goat and then just an elf who delivered gifts.

The stag and deer were associated with many Gods in different cultures and eras. In the Neo-Hittite era after the fall of the Bronze Age another God who was associated with flying deer and was the Stag God Karthuhas. The Hungarian Bards tell of a great stag who brings the sun to man by carrying it in his horns. In other Hungarian legends a female hind flies to the heavens and brings the moon, stars and sun to earth. In Celtic myth Cernunnos is the God of wild animals and fertility of nature. He is often depicted the same as the Green Man or the Lord of the Beast. Like Karthuhas, he was a horned stag man creature and like Woden, he flew through the sky on a sled with hellhounds and deer on an annual wild ride. Cernunnos also was said to turn into a Stag who would fly into the sky to capture the sun.

The Siberians refer to the “Heavenly Reindeer” who was a stag who is represented by the Bog Dipper constellation. He too flies to the sky, but instead of giving the sun, he steals it making the artic dark for a portion of the year. To return the sun a hunter must capture the stag. The appearance of female deer in late winter and early spring, known as Leukepius, will also return the sun.

In the Russia Far East tales were told of the creator bringing reindeer from the stars to give as a gift to the earth. The Sami people believed that reindeer created a bridge between this world and the spirit world and could travel between both at will. Ritualistic drums were made from Reindeer hides and beaten with a Reindeer bone to aid the shaman in traveling with the deer into the spirit world and as a tool to cast out evil.

Another historical reference to reindeer at Yule comes from medieval times in a carol, now known as the “Holly and The Ivy”. It is not actually known when the original lyrics were written. There is some controversy and disagreement among historians over the origins of the song and it’s intent. It surfaced in popular culture as a traditional Christmas Carol during the Victorian era as a collection of traditional English folk songs that were reprinted and part of a performance. However the version put to print and adored by Victorians was evidently not the original version. Some historians believe that “The Holly and The Ivy” was originally a traditional Yule or Winter solstice song. The lyrics are about the battle between the Holly and Ivy battling for who would be king plant of the forest during winter. It is believed the song in its entirety was filled with Pagan symbolism of Yule. However was changed by the Church of England in it’s efforts to stamp out all things Pagan. Part of this effort was to alter written texts and songs and reassign Christian imagery to popular and enduring Pagan imagery and tradition. In an effort to boost the Winter Solstice as the date celebrating the birth of Christ in lieu of a Winter Celebration, many references and artifacts relating to Yule were altered. Thus today’s version of the song is an awkward combination of Winter Solstice references and the Nativity. The carol is significant to magical reindeer in that a line in the song references “running of the deer.” Thus reinforcing deer as an important staple to Pagan Winter imagery well before the Night Before Christmas became mainstream. Whether or not the running of the deer is reference to life in the forest at winter, the Wild Hunt or did something magical in the song, we will never know.

Reindeer are also known as caribou have been an important part of the artic circle for centuries. Indigenous tribes of European countries as well as tribes of the North American hemisphere were dependent on reindeer for their survival. They herded and lived with and upon the caribou as a source of food and pelts. To the Sami tribes of Europe they were revered and it was believed the deer were sent from the heavens to provide the tribes with life. The tradition of herding and celebrating the reindeer is still part of the Sami culture.

In Alaska, Canada and the northern most regions of North America, as in Europe, reindeer were essential to life of native tribes as well. Their symbolism in Totems and mythology as a magical creature of respect is deep seeded in tribal culture of Eskimo, Inuit and other native Alaskan peoples. However the reindeer of the Northern American regions are not faring as well as their European cousins. Exploration for oil, natural gas and mining are pushing them out of their natural territories and is taking a toll on populations of native peoples and the caribou that support them. In North America wild reindeer are no longer present in many sates where they once were prolific as population sprawl and global warming have made them all but extinct in what once their natural environment.

Perhaps magical flying reindeer are just part of the stories of Christmas imagination. Or maybe they are the flying companions of ancient Gods or maybe they are enchanted givers of life from the heavens. They are a part of Winter Holiday traditions in fiction and folklore with a rich mythology. Look intently to the skies this Winter Solstice and listen closely to hear the clasping of hooves on your rooftop on Christmas Eve, it might be the horned creatures of Winter the reindeer on their magical flight.

Angelique Duncan is proprietor of Twilight Faerie Nostalgic and Capricious Objects. Check out her artist page to find links to her shops and vintage inspired traditional holiday art. Visit again next month for more traditions and folklore.

2017 Winter Holiday Give Away


The Halloween Artist Bazaar 2017 Winter Holiday Give Away has concluded!

A winner has been chosen! Thank you for spreading a little holiday cheer!

Check back through out the year for seasonal promotions and give aways from HAB. Let the warmth and cheer of the holiday season stay with you and keep your Jack o Lantern lit!

Happy Winter and much holiday cheer to all!

How To Enter:

Step 1: Visit one of the contributing HAB artist from the list below. If the artist your spreading Winter Cheer to is an Etsy store contact them using the “contact the owner” tab of their shop. If they are on the HAB catalog use our contact form. Leave them a message that states your greeting that expresses how you wish to spread Winter greetings and cheer.
Step 2: Visit our Facebook page and “Like” us and comment your Winter Greeting on our wall.
Step 3: Fill out the official Winter Holiday Give Away entry form below.

Official Rules

Entry deadline is Midnight on December 17th 2017 Central Standard Time. The Winner will be chosen at random. One entry per person. Winner will be notified via email. The prize will ship on December 18th 2017. The winners name will be posted on the Halloween Artist Bazaar website and Facebook page. Information obtained will only be used to contact winner in regards to contest. HAB does not release or sell information from our entry forms or contact page. All ages welcome to enter. Members of Halloween Artist Bazaar are not qualified for entry. Contest open internationally, however please note that prize may not arrive before December 25th due to international shipping delays. *Your countries custom charges may apply. * Prize value an estimated $100.00 (and growing as more is added)

Contributing Halloween Artist Bazaar Artists links where to find their wares in order of photo appearance:(check back as the list grows and photo’s of the winnings are posted!)

Twilight Faerie
Sauvage Raven Creations
Gothbunny
Mr. Bony’s Nurse
Tarryfails Corner
Harvest Moon Studio

Gallery of photos coming soon!

Give the Gift of A Kitchen Witch


Give the Gift of A Kitchen Witch
-By Angelique Duncan

This Thanksgiving as you plan the traditional meal you may want to include a Kitchen With to over see the preparations. A Kitchen Witch is a small poppet or doll that brings good luck to the kitchen. She makes sure pots don’t boil over, cookies don’t burn and gravies don’t lump.

The Kitchen Witch is a talisman who originates from Scandinavia and carried over to Europe and then to the United States. Usually taking on the appearance of the traditional Halloween witch, often with a large nose, hunched back and gnarled fingers wearing a simple dress made from cotton, a scarf on her head and sometimes a cloak.. She is usually small only a few inches, at largest about six inches. She rides a broom or sometimes a whisk, wooden spoon or spatula. More modern interpretations depict the Kitchen Witch as elderly, jovial and sweet faced and sometimes she has a youthful more traditionally attractive or sexy appearance.

She is often suspended from a string in a corner of the kitchen facing the room. On occasion the doll might sit on a shelf or windowsill. Tradition states that the most effective place for a Kitchen Witch is to fly is above the stove to so her magical protection is concentrated over the cooking area. She should face the entrance to the kitchen, to ward off any evil or ill intent from visitors to the home whose bad vibes might sabotage a meal.

Sometimes the doll is scented with essential oils or is stuffed with herbs that offer protection and aid in good cooking and help in domestic tranquility. Often a small note is attached to her dress or broom giving her mythology explaining the tradition or a handwritten spell to ensure her magical powers.

Pre Christianity, Kitchen Witches were prevalent in Scandinavian and German homes, given as gifts and passed down from generation to generation. It is recorded that the Kitchen Witch was once a common inventory of the kitchen and was quite common during in the late 1400’s in the United Kingdom. The tradition carried over to the North America. However the tradition faded as Puritan Christianity frowned upon the old folkways and anything associated with Pagan religion or witchcraft during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

The tradition quietly re emerged in the United States in the 1950’s and became popular again in the 1960’s and 70’s as a movement of freethinking was on the rise. Many began to research and practice the old Pagan religions and handmade folk-art was extremely popular during the era. Kitchen Witches were once again given as gifts to young newly weds and as housewarming gifts. They lost popularity again during the staunch religious political era of the 1980’s and early 90’s as all things Pagan were rejected. However Kitchen Witches have made a come back in the modern area partly from a more open and accepting environment to alternative beliefs, a longing for simpler times and the old ways in a world of technology, and a huge resurgence of handmade crafts and the popularity of folk-art.

There are companies that produce Kitchen Witches in popular styles as novelties, however to truly be an authentic Kitchen Witch, it is best to purchase a one that is handmade from an individual seller. This ensures the witch is crafted in the old way of care and concern for the craft. Also she will be unique in her character and her magic will be personal to the home where she will reside.

Consider introducing a Kitchen Witch into your home this fall before cooking your Thanksgiving feast, or giving one as a hostess gift to your friends or family. According to the tradition, not only will the Kitchen Witch bring good fortune to the home she presides over, the giver of the Kitchen Witch will receive good luck as well.

Angelique Duncan is proprietor of Twilight Faerie Nostalgic and Capricious Objects. Check out her artist page to find links to her shops and vintage inspired traditional holiday art. Visit again next month for more traditions and folklore.

Trick Or Treat Give Away 2017

  


Trick Or Treat!
Trick Or Treat!

It’s the 2017 Halloween Artist Bazaar Trick or Treat Give Away!

The 2017 Trick or Treat Give Away has concluded. A winner has been chosen. Thank you to all who participated. Thank you as well to all our friends and those who follow Halloween Artist Bazaar. Keep your Jack o Lanterns Lit and the Spirit of Halloween alive. Check back with Halloween artist Bazaar through out the year for other give aways and art events.

Keep your Jack o’ lanterns lit in solidarity, and to all a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

How To Enter:

Step 1: Visit one of the contributing HAB artist from the list below. If the artist your Trick or Treating is an Etsy store contact them using the “contact the owner” tab on the left sidebar of their shop. If they are on the HAB catalog use our contact form. Leave them a message that states “TRICK OR TREAT!”.
Step 2: Visit our Facebook page and “Like” us and comment “TRICK OR TREAT!” on our wall.
Step 3: Fill out the official Trick or Treat Give Away entry form below.

Official Rules

Entry deadline is Midnight on October 20th 2017 Central Standard Time. The Winner will be chosen at random. One entry per person. Winner will be notified via email. The prize will ship on October 21st 2017. The winners name will be posted on the Halloween Artist Bazaar website and Facebook page. Information obtained will only be used to contact winner in regards to contest. HAB does not release or sell information from our entry forms or contact page. All ages welcome to enter. Members of Halloween Artist Bazaar are not qualified for entry. Contest open internationally, however please note that prize may not arrive before October 31st due to international shipping delays. *Your countries custom charges may apply. * Prize value an estimated $150.00 (and growing as more is added)

Contributing Halloween Artist Bazaar Artists links where to find their wares in order of photo appearance:(check back as the list grows and photo’s of the winnings are posted!)

Twilight Faerie
Sauvage Raven Creations
Mr.Bony’s Nurse
Chaos In Color
Tarryfails Corner
Harvest Moon Studio

Vintage Style Halloween Art Event 2017

  

Take the links below to purchase unique one of a kind vintage style handmade Halloween art, collectibles and jewelry direct from independent artist!

Mr.Bony’s Nurse Paper Mache Pumpkin Ride $160.00
A Paper Witch Black Cat Party Dress Ornament $10.25
Jynxx Designs Jolly Jack O Lanterns Bracelet $40.00
Creepy Cute Doll Works Pumpkin Goulie Ghostie $40.00
PunkinPrims Stubby Stu $16.99
Tarryfails Corner Woodland Jack Magical Bag $7.50
Plum Batty Beaded Pumpkin $20.00
Twilight Faerie Three Owls Decoupage Box $35.00
Sauvage Raven Creations Halloween Black Cabinet $20.00
Art By Sarada Owl and Cat Tea Party $8.00
Nancy Michalak Witches at the Cauldron $18.00
Harvest Moon Studio Vintage Halloween Silhouette Lamp $174.99

Find more Halloween art and collectibles year round by visiting Spooky Cute Team and Halloween Artist Bazaar on Etsy or the HAB sales catalog!

Halloween Artist Bazaar Artist Pages:

HAB Artists

HAB on Etsy:

HAB on Etsy

HAB online shopping catalog:

HAB on Etsy

Halloween In June 2017 Gallery

  

Take the links below to find unique one of a kind handmade Halloween art, collectibles and jewelry direct from independent artist! Help keep the tradition of handmade art and the spirit of Halloween alive with your own Halloween in June celebrations!

Ghostgap
A Paper Witch
A Ryer Studio
Chad Savage
Creepy Cute Doll Works
Amethyst Raven
Jynxx Designs
PunkinPrims
A Twisted Pumpkin
Twilight Faerie
Chaos In Color
Tarryfails Corner
Jan’s Beads
Sauvage Raven Creations
The Felted Fey
Art By Sarada

Find more Halloween art and collectibles year round by visiting Spooky Cute Team and Halloween Artist Bazaar on Etsy or the HAB sales catalog!

Spooky Cute Team on Etsy:

Spooky Cute Team

HAB on Etsy:

HAB on Etsy

HAB online shopping catalog:

HAB on Etsy

Halloween In June 2017


Christmas in July, Halloween in June (Repost from 2014)
-By Angelique Duncan

Most folks have heard the expression “Christmas in July”. It usually is used to express a great and unexpected surprise. There seems to be differing opinions and documentation of when the slogan was actually was first actually used. Some historians trace the term back to the 1930’s and 1940’s to different Christian church entities and clubs in regards to annual events involving decorated trees, gift giving and all the trappings of the winter holiday in the hot summer month of July. First official use of the term “Christmas In July” was from an American movie of that title that was released in 1940. However the concept has much deeper and practical origins.

The notion finds its roots in the Victorian era of the 1800’s and early 1900’s. The Victorians, despite being quite extravagant in their winter celebrations with in decorations and gifts were also frugal and inventive people. The practice of purchased gifts at the Christmas holiday did not surface until much later in modern history. The Victorians would primarily give hand made gifts. The common practice was for each family member to make a gift for each other member of the family. For this to be pulled off in time for winter, a lot of planning and preparation was required.

Most gifts were made from what one could find in nature or in ones home. The making of gifts and holiday decorations for the home became part of the summer ritual. During the summer months, materials from nature were readily available. Starting the craft projects early in July gave a window of roughly 6 months to complete the projects of sewing, collecting and drying flowers, canning and preserving special foods from the garden, using oils to sent sachets and pomanders and to build collages or paint objects.

The Victorian practice of hand crafting ones Christmas gifts carried over into the 1930’s during the Great Depression when resources were scarce. In lieu of purchasing items, holiday gifts were from what one could make from what they had on hand. Later in 1944 during World War II, the United States Postal Service and greeting card industry promoted a postal campaign to collect letters and cards in early July for soldiers overseas to help ensure that they would be received for the holidays.

In the 1950’s with rise in incomes and commercialism advertisers for department stores caught on to the phrase to help boost retail sales during the leaner profit months of summer. The idea gained momentum for bargain hunters, who would begin their holiday shopping early in the year. This also allowed for retailers to push out old inventory to make room for the next year’s products.

In the years of the 1950’s through the 1970’s retail marketing of the Christmas holiday season began the day after Thanksgiving, on what is now known as Black Friday. Stores would set Christmas displays and begin their holiday sales for what is considered season of the greatest profits for retailers though out the months of November and December.

In an effort to extend the shopping season and sell more Christmas merchandise retailers began to push the start of the holiday season earlier and earlier each year. The market for winter décor exploded. By the late 1980’s retailers would begin to play holiday music and stock Christmas items the day after Halloween. By the 1990’s and into the new millennium retailers began putting out their holiday merchandise as early as June and July and have capitalized on the “Christmas In July” slogan in hopes to capture revenue from folks doing their holiday gift and decorating shopping early.

The phenomenon of capitalizing and commercializing holidays carried over to Halloween. With the rise in popularity of Halloween in past decades, retailers have taken notice. Sales of Halloween themed items for home decorating, parties, yard decorations and costumes now follows a close second to Christmas related sales and is gaining.

During the early 1990s and 2000’s Halloween entered a surge in popularity in American culture. However availability of quality unique Halloween decorations was limited in the big retail market. Most decorations and costumes prior to the late 1980- 90’s were home made. As the desire for Halloween décor that was on par with Christmas decorating grew, so did the market for Halloween art. Small independent artist and individuals who built yard – haunting décor had found their niche. With the advent of the Internet and the growth of an online upstart auction site known as eBay, demand for handmade Halloween soared. An entire market of Halloween collectors was born. One of a kind direct from the artist creations was highly sought after.

As this national love of all things Halloween grew, national retailers took notice and followed suit. The large retail chains began to offer Halloween collectibles, home decor and elaborate yard art that hit their shelves by late August and September. Big retailers honed in on what was offered by the independent online sellers and created an entire industry of Halloween retail revenue.

Sales of Halloween themed collectibles for home decorating, parties, yard decorations and costumes now follows a close second to Christmas related sales and is gaining. With this popularity of Halloween, retailers now set out mass-produced Halloween items as early as July, often along side the Christmas wares. This has drastically hurt the profits of small independent Halloween artist and yard haunters who once enjoyed a reliable fall retail season for Halloween sales.

From this history a campaign of Halloween in June was born. Independent artist Julia Chibatar proprietor of Ghostgap had the idea in 2013 to create a month dedicated to Halloween outside of it’s traditional month of October as an answer to the commercial concept of Christmas in July. Halloween in June is a month long celebration of all things Halloween with particular emphasis on independent Halloween Artist and their handmade wares. The celebration is a combined effort of Halloween groups comprised of independent artist to raise awareness of the small retail businesses and artist who gave origin to the Halloween retail phenomenon. It is an opportunity to showcase one of a kind handcrafted works available for purchase direct from the artist before the onslaught of big retail Halloween hits the shelves.

Halloween in June is presented by Spooky Cute Etsy Team
Halloween Artist Bazaar Artist Group .

Angelique Duncan is proprietor of Twilight Faerie Nostalgic and Capricious Objects. Check out her artist page to find links to her shops and vintage inspired traditional holiday art. Visit again next month for more traditions and folklore.

Faerie Welcoming Party


Faerie Welcoming Party
-By Angelique Duncan

Many believe that beginning May marks the return of the faeries from their winter slumber in the underworld. The veil between our world and theirs is lifted and they hold a grand procession and feast to celebrate the end of winter and kick off their stay in the human world until they pass back to the through the veil on Halloween night.

As a way to celebrate the return of the faeries one can hold their own faerie party. Here are a few ideas for hosting a grand celebration fit for the fae folk. Faerie parties aren’t just for children; adult children can indulge in faerie celebrations as well.

Begin with invitations. Send a small vile of glitter or bubbles to your guest with the invitation attached with ribbon or twine. Or send a frilly decorative floral paper invitation, some thing that would intrigue a faeries interest.

Instruct your guest to wear their best faerie attire. This is a great opportunity to have a costume party in the middle of spring. Encourage floral headdresses, accessories and fluffy skirts, garden hats and of course the wearing wings!

If your guests don’t already own a pair of wings then this could become a party activity. Have materials on hand to make simple wings from netting and wire and glue guns to affix flowers and adornments. The same could be done with making wands. Another activity could be to have your guest decorate faerie houses or flower pots that they can take with them to attract faeries to their own gardens.

On the invitation also ask your guest to bring a small shiny token as a gift to the faeries. This can be anything they want to offer the fae; a bead, chain, coin or anything sparkly or floral in nature. Folklore tells us that faeries are intercity attracted to shiny objects and they are pleased when gifts are left for them. It is said that gifts left for the faeries will ensure they will not destroy ones garden. As an activity for the party the shiny objects can be left either at an alter created in ones garden or if in an apartment left under plants and pots for the faeries to find.

Since this will be a celebration of the faeries return it must include a faerie feast. Think dainty and be creative. Serve finger sandwiches, tiny quiche, and pinwheels. Make “faerie toast “ by spreading butter on bread and sprinkling with cinnamon and sugar or colored sugars and putting in the oven or toaster until brown on the bottom and the butter is melted. Cut into squares or quarter triangles. Serve sweets! Faeries love sugary things, cookies, mini cupcakes, be creative and think like a faerie.

Along with the offering of gifts that are left for the faeries make a food alter.Have your guest leave tiny bits of the faerie food or sugar cubes at the alter for the winged creatures to find. Fill thimbles with milk and honey and leave them with the food offerings.

It is said that faeries are most active at twilight so schedule the party in the late afternoon before it get gets dark so that at dusk you and your guest can welcome and watch for the faeries.

These are just some ideas to get you started. The possibilities for a faerie welcoming party are endless. Be creative and remember you are never too old to believe in faeries.

copyright Amethyst Raven

Painting “Garden at Twilight” copyright Angelique Duncan -Twilight Faerie

Digital illustration “Little Sprite” copyright Amethyst Raven and available for sale on Little Sprite.Etsy

Angelique Duncan is proprietor of Twilight Faerie Nostalgic and Capricious Objects. Check out her artist page to find links to her shops and vintage inspired traditional holiday art. Visit again next month for more traditions and folklore.

Easter Hares & Springtime Scares 2017 Art Event

 

  Time for Easter Hares & Springtime Scares!

What happens when Halloween artist create Springtime art? An eclectic and unique mix of Easter art mashed up with Halloween. Participating Halloween Artist Bazaar Artists have created special edition pieces for the 2017 Easter Hares & Springtime Scares art event. Search for HAB Easter items here! Each item for sale in the Easter Hares & Springtime Scares Art Event is featured in order of appearance in the photo gallery with a link to where to buy the item.

For HAB Halloween art on Etsy, visit HAB artist websites and find handmade Halloween, holiday art and curiosities year round through the HAB shopping catalog!

Featured Easter Hares & Springtime Scares Artist:
Tarryfails Corner
Jan’s Beads
PunkinPrims
The Felted Fey
Twilight Faerie
Potion Shoppe
Mr.Bonys Nurse
Gothbunny
A Paper Witch
Abbybelle
Art By Sarada
Jynxx

Full Worm Moon


Full Worm Moon
-By Angelique Duncan

March 12th will be the Full Worm Moon. This will be the last full moon of Winter for 2017. The March full moon is known by many names, but is most commonly known as the Full Worm Moon. This full moon will occur a week before the Spring Equinox and will be visible from March 11th-the 13th and the moon peaks on March 12th. Although not a “super moon” this years moon it is thought will be particularly bright given it’s timing and placement in the night sky.

The March Full Moon became known as the Worm Moon because it coincides with the coming of the signs of Spring. As the ground begins to warm worms began to appear under shimmering light. Robins on their migration back north descend to feast upon the squirmy delicacies as a meal in the early morning. Many in North America believe that the coming of the robins signals the official end of winter. To the Native Americans it is the worms who are the true first signal that the ground has thawed and it is time for planting.

A full moon is not the only phenomenon in which worms glow. There are naturally occurring glowworms that are found in woodland caves all over the globe and a rare species found in wetlands in the North American south particularly in the Appalachian Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau. They are also one of few species that exist in the Arctic Circle. Caves in New Zealand and Australia are touted as quite the visual spectacle of hundreds of glowing worms hanging from cave walls.

The female of the species is usually the worm that actually has the glowing ability. They glow from bioluminescence luciferin and the reaction of fluorescent proteins reacting to minerals and oxygen that is emitted from the tail end of their bodies. The most common glow is that of a yellow or green, however those found in North America glow a stunning bright blue.

It is believed that glowworms have magical powers. Before electric light and battery operated light sources were collected and put along pathways to create light and safety for foot travel at night. The worms would also be placed in lanterns for their magical light. Sometimes the worms were distilled in water to create glowing liquid for illumination. Their magical powers were also sought after for medicinal purposes.

Folklore states that if one sees a glowworm on their path while traveling they will have good fortune. However one must never step on a glowworm, otherwise the joy and laughter will be removed from their household. It is also thought that if a glowworm crosses the threshold of a house the head of that household will perish.

Sadly, varieties of glowworms are increasingly becoming extinct and are being added to many nations list of eminently endangered species. Most glowworms are falling victim to urban expansion and invasions of humans in their natural habitats. Glowworms are sensitive to noise and particularly light pollution. They also are declining in their populations due to chemical and insecticidal pollutions that have been introduced into water sources. Some species populations are fading due to warming of their environments and extreme weather changes that are causing their natural mating and birth cycles to become off kilter.

This full Worm Moon get out and enjoy the first rights of Spring. While you are looking up to the skies to witness the full bright lunar occurrence, remember to look down and see if you can spy an emerging worm. Be grateful that Spring and warmer weather is on the way bringing with it birds and flowers. If you should see a glowworm count yourself lucky as you will be bestowed with magical good fortune.

Painting “Full Worm Moon” copyright Angelique Duncan -Twilight Faerie

Angelique Duncan is proprietor of Twilight Faerie Nostalgic and Capricious Objects. Check out her artist page to find links to her shops and vintage inspired traditional holiday art. Visit again next month for more traditions and folklore.