Yuletide Un-Merriment

Yuletide Un-Merriment

By Intricate Knot

“Yule is Quite Yuling…
It’s the Most Magickal Time of the Year!
When good goats go jingle belling,
Sam Sammy goes a caroling,
Most everyone is Mel-mellowing to cheer a fine bee…


It’s the Most Magickal Time of the Year!
All hearts are gold-golden,
Parties are toast-toasting,
Ghost stories tell-telling,
It’s the Most Magickal Time of the Year!”
~Intricate Knot

His thin lips and large muddy green ears curled in displeasure at the sounds he heard. This isn’t the way things were supposed to be going.

“What happened?” Diavex shouted. His voice, irritatingly and unexpectedly high-pitched for so large a beast, reverberated throughout the cave.
Besides himself, the only one within hearing distance is Crimson the Winter Wizard. Not a welcomed guest by the stretch of anyone’s imagination (even this Storyteller’s)! He sat on a hard, ugly, dull grey bench. So entirely ugly and dull that next to it concrete looks like the finest polished silver. Remarkably the discomfort of the bench is far outweighed by the fact that it’s located in a distressingly uncomfortable fire cage[*].

Diavex turned to Crimson,

“Well?”

“And how would I know?” Crimson rasped weakly. Though he exaggerated his condition, the truth is, Winter Wizards do not care for fire cages. Winter Wizards do not care for fire period.

“What if I tell you something first?”

“Why would you do that?”
His captor smiled. What a conniving, dark-hearted smile!

“It suits me, of course.”
Crimson looked up at Diavex,

“In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m stuck in this place of despair with only you as a companion. I have no idea what is going on, nor do I even know what you’re referring to.” When Diavex opened his ill-favored mouth to speak, Crimson held up a hand, “And even if I had an inkling, you know very well that I would tell you nothing. Let’s at least have honesty.”
He shrugged then his lips curled into a disgusting smirk,

“Would you like to know how I created this fire cage?”

“I’ll take a wild guess: You used fire.”

“Yes, of course. But in this case, I used very special fire. You’ve heard of the Brightly-Burning Yuletide Candle[†]?”

Crimson’s winter heart sank though he refused to let on,

“Vaguely.”

“Excellent. Then you’ll be delighted to know that I created this particular fire cage by yanking out the white flame from your precious candle.”
Are you serious? Diavex stole the white flame[‡]! No wonder he had sway over Crimson’s personage!

“‘Delighted’ isn’t the word coming to mind.”

“Don’t be silly. Of course I know this is devastating news to you. I simply cannot wait to share these joyous tidings with your friends. Won’t they be surprised?”

Being a Wizard has advantages that arrogant lunk-headed power-mongers like Diavex wouldn’t know anything about. Creatures of the lunk-headed variety don’t seem to realize that the pitfall of believing that you already know everything is exactly what prevents you from ever learning anything. Everyone knows that Wizards can tune in to whoever they wish and see clearly whatever that person (or persons) is doing. But did you know that Wizards can also send thoughts and pictures to whomever they so choose? Just keep that in mind if you ever think about kidnapping one.

Crimson sat in his painful prison and smiled imperceptibly. This was his moment. Diavex had handed him the information he wanted to send. Of course Crimson knew what was going on in The Forest and silently (very silently, if there is such a thing!) he cheered his favored Magickal student Fiddler and his best pal Wilbur.

The Wizard’s silence gave Diavex his version of the heebie jeebies. Of course, he didn’t like this one bit. In a strangely graceful motion he stepped closer to the Wizard, whispering,

“You”

Step,

“know”

Closer.

“something.”

He leapt at the fire cage shrieking,

“Tell me!”

Shattering glass is music compared to Diavex’s shriek, which can curdle cream, start earthquakes, and crack the skull of the un-Magickal sort. Fortunately Crimson is of the Magickal sort; however, that doesn’t mean he’s immune. Without ceremony, he promptly passed out.

Elsewhere…

Mid-kitty leap, Fiddler cried out in pain and crumpled to the ground. In agony, both Wilbur and Vin Kaj dropped to their knees next to their friend. The unspeakably hideous noise passed quickly. Thank goodness!

Wilbur and Fiddler glanced at one another. They both knew something else. Just before Diavex’s shriek had reached their ears, they had received a distinct image from Crimson.

“Seems that Diavex may have discovered what we’re up to,” Wilbur puffed.

“You think?” Vin asked.

Fiddler smiled, though his ears still rung painfully,

“Guess we better hurry.”

“Look, it will be faster if you two climb on my back again,” and Vin, Autumn Pumpkin Wizard Extraordinaire, offered his viney hands to our heroes: the sleek, jet coated kitty Fiddler and the coal feathered, owly-raven Wilbur. The two friends exchanged a glance. Their last ride on Vin’s back had nearly ended in them becoming a Great Oak pancake! But the Autumn Wizard was quite right, due to his great size and the length of the viney legs that stretched out from his pumpkin body, he is simply faster.

Onboard they climbed and off they went. They arrived even quicker than anticipated! Hooray for long, viney legs!

They dropped down from Vin’s shoulders and made the buzziest-beeline for Yuletime Square. Yuletime Square is a large, but somehow cozy cobblestone courtyard where inhabitants of the Forest gather during various celebrations, particularly wintery ones. On snowy days a huge bonfire is set on one side of the courtyard, opposite a circle of particularly tall pines called The Proud Pines, and in the middle is where the tallest of these the most Fantastical, Mystical, Magickal Old Pine stands. Normally at this time of the year the cobblestoned Yuletime Square is bustling with scads of holiday decked out celebrants. Sadly, because of the unseasonably hot weather only a few woodland creatures meandered about the square, fanning themselves with large leaf fans or drinking from giant glasses of sweet iced tea. This doesn’t exactly put you in the most holidayish moods!

How would they get everyone to gather here? They need everyone, quite literally everyone in The Forest to participate to even have a chance of saving Yule. Our heroes stood in the very center of the square (and yes, squares do have centers) and made a Magickal Call[§].

The first to arrive is their good buddy Fizzy Frazelli, the Italian foxy-fox and her newly named best friend the beautiful (and frightful) Glassy Croon. In the blink of an eye (a very slow blinking eye) all the woodland creatures, faeries, and every member of the Great Holiday Making Tribe assembled. In the center of the amazing circle of towering Proud Pines, Fiddler addressed the group,

“Good friends, we have urgent news. Our Yuletide holiday plan needs to be grander, louder, merrier, and brighter than ever before. We cannot wait for the weather to change. Crimson is in trouble.”

“And so are we, dear creatures,” Wilbur added.
Vin Kaj nodded,

“All the holidays are threatened if we don’t take action[**].”

Because of the capture of Crimson the great Winter Wizard, though the calendar said it was December you wouldn’t know it by the weather! It felt like high summertime and sweat bloomed on many a brow. This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. No nip in the air! No snow on the ground! Although it certainly didn’t seem like Yule, not one gripe or even a peep of complaint was heard from squirrel, red, lavender, green, or blue faerie, frog, imp, bunny, elf, bear, chick, wolf, robin, or deer. Even the trolls, normally the grumbliest of the grumblers, immediately began hanging the fairest of faerie lights and most glittery of garlands, humming carols all the while. In their own troll-esque of ways that is, which means they were quite off key, but no one let it bother them. Who had time to be bothered? All the creatures were too busy, speed set on hyper drive! Long tables were set up, where dozens of celebrants sat stringing popcorn and deeply red berries or cutting out colored paper in various shapes of stars and circles. Others dusted glitter on the cutouts and some made paper chains. Trees were decorated with their creations, while faeries flit hither and yon hanging delicate, sparkling glass baubles and bulbs on every tree branch and bow.

In the kitchens, Fizzy took charge of the baking. For what are the holidays without cookies, candies, and cakes to dazzle and delight? The scent of the divine desserts traveled to every nook and brook, granny and cranny of The Forest. Big white canopies were put up and more grand tables were set out and piled high with a wondrous array of tempting temptations. Glittery paper stars and snowflakes were hung with ribbons up on the ceiling of the tent giving the entire space a lovely shimmering glow. Mountains of treats could now be seen by all and many found a reason (mostly a chocolate sprinkled reason) to stop by the tent. Cookies, creams, and bars, oh my!

And all the while carolers caroled, led by Glassy Croon herself. No one had ever forgotten what a sweet singing voice she possessed. Now she used her Siren’s voice for good and what is a happier sound than voices joined together harmonizing about peace and goodwill?

The great Springtime Bunny Aloysius had a theory on that and decided to put it to a test. Loy, as he is known to his good friends Fiddler and Wilbur, gathered all the young children lucky enough to live in or nearby The Forest and organized games for them to play. Their squeals and giggles could be heard throughout the Forest. Nothing sounds happier than carols, except the laughter of young children.

Of course, fear lay beneath their folly, but no one, not a one of them let the fear overcome them for that would have been playing straight into Diavex Clop’s grubby, gnarled and clawed hands. And who but a coo-coo crazy creature would give a manically mad monster what he most desired? Remember dear Reader, fear is always the most desired of commodities by the lunk-heads, lunatics, monsters, and mad men, but it always within your power to not give it to them.

Back at Diavex’s Lair…

Diavex howled in frustration. He could nearly feel the Good Cheer rising in the air around them and it bubbled and boiled his icky, poisonous, green blood. How dare they snub their noses at him in this blatant manner! It’s as if they weren’t frightened at all.

“How can that be?” He screeched.
Unable to resist, Crimson stated proudly,

“Because, you small-minded, egotistical, lunk-headed beast, the holiday must go on.”

“No, no, no!”

“Say ‘no’ all you like. It changes nothing.”
Diavex fell silent, until an evil gleam grew in his eyes.

“We’ll see about that.”

Yuletime Square…

Abruptly, all merriment ceased and a hard knot formed in every woodland creature’s stomach. Fizzy reached out grabbed Fiddler’s paw,

“What is happening?”

“Fire, Crimson,” Fiddler whispered in horror.
Vin stepped up to them, his great voice booming throughout the square,

“He’s actually trying to torch Crimson?”

“Yes,” Wilbur answered. “But not with any old fire.”

“The White Flame? But how is that possible?” Asked Fizzy.
Everyone hung on every word just now. Their entire world seemed to hang in the balance.
Vin rubbed at his pumpkin chin,

“Well, it is possible to separate the White from the Red and Gold and Green and Blue. Not easy, but possible.”

They all turned to look at the Brightly-Burning Yuletide Candle. It stood in their midst this entire time. No one had noticed it was missing white. It looked as beautiful as always, well, nearly so. If one looked closely, as everyone did right now, you could just about tell that the White Flame was indeed missing.

“You know, all we need to do is get this candle to wherever Diavex is holding it captive along with Crimson,” Wilbur began.

Fiddler clapped his paws together,

“Of course! That is what Crimson was trying to tell us. We will get the candle there, wherever ‘there’ is, and the White Flame will do the rest.”

“It will be naturally drawn back into the Brightly-Burning Yuletide Candle and away from Crimson.”

“If only we knew where ‘there’ is!” Fizzy said in frustration.

“Actually,” Vin interjected, “The Candle can lead you. You see, the flames want to be together.”

“Yes!” Fiddler turned to Wilbur. “You’ll fly us and the Candle will lead the way.”

Back at Diavex’s Lair…

Inky black smoke curled and oozed from Diavex’s fingertips. Tendrils of the sickly smoke twined around the bars of the fire cage where Crimson sat imprisoned. The White Flame and Crimson fought back pushing outwards, while Diavex’s smoke slyly coiled around each white-hot bar and pressed inward. Already the cage had begun to shrink. Worst of all, Crimson was tiring.

A Winter Wizard is simply not his best while surrounded by heat and flame.

Yuletime Square…

“What?? Me? Fly??” Wilbur sputtered.

Though his kitty-heart beat faster with nerves, he kept his voice soothing and matter-a-fact, “Yes, of course you, who else can do it?”
Fizzy and Glassy both picked up on Fiddler’s cue,
“A most excellent plan,” Glassy sang.
Fizzy clasped her paws together,

“Would you boys like a sandwich or two for the journey? Or how about some cookies?”

“Have you all lost your minds, all at once? This must be some kind of event, a Guinness Book of World Records event!” Incredulous, Wilbur seemed to pale, which is quite difficult for an owly-raven to do.

“We haven’t lost our minds, Wilbur. We need speed,” Vin said mildly.

“But you’re fast, Vin Kaj. Faster than anyone, ever,” Wilbur countered.

Fiddler laid a gentle paw on Wilbur’s shoulder,

“Yes, he is faster than anyone, except you, my friend. The longer we debate, the more we risk.”

Wilbur looked out over the sea of expectant faces. He wanted to help to help save the day. It’s what he loved to do best. And sure, he wanted to fly, didn’t he? No he didn’t! He didn’t want to fly at all. Flying entailed concentration, intense concentration. And it was lonely. He had to do it all by himself, didn’t he? Even if his pal Fiddler was with him along for the ride, he would be the one responsible. It would be up to him. And it would mean being up in the air. All the way up there! Where the air is thin and everything looked so tiny here on the ground. And he wasn’t the same up there. He felt lighter and, and untethered. Untethered. That’s without tether. Yikes. And what if his wings refused to work? It had happened before. Too long ago to even remember it what happened. Besides there wasn’t time to get into all that right now. Wilbur could actually feel the panic rising up in his throat. He wanted to scream in terror and run away. Yikes. Yikes. Yikes.

You may be wondering…how can a bird be afraid of his own wings? How is that possible? Stranger fears are made each and every day, dear Reader. Sometimes telling stories is the scariest thing I face and I’m a Storyteller, for Good Forest’s sake!

Everyone was waiting expectantly. He had to say something.
“But, I haven’t flown in years. Years, Fiddler! Decades, centuries.”
“I know, Wilbur. Believe me, I know. And please believe me that I would not ask this of you if it wasn’t the only way. He will never expect.”
“He’ll never expect it? I’ll never expect it! And where do you purpose we began this flight?”
Hmm…it is true, even the hardiest of birds cannot just take off with a rider on their back. They’re not helicopters, you know! A runway of sorts is necessary. Fiddler knew the perfect spot,
“The Cliff’s End, of course.”
“Why, yes. It’s all so obvious now. We’ll just jump off the cliff, not die, and we really need to remember that bit, because the rest of this “plan” hinges on the not dying part, fly to wherever Crimson and Diavex happen to be, hit Diavex over the head with the Brightly-Burning Yuletide Candle, save Crimson, then we’ll all come back here and eat cookies.”
Vin clapped his hands,

“Sounds good to me!”

“Okay, we’ll just go about this logically in true Wilbur fashion.” Fiddler turned to the assemblage, “Tell me everyone, what are faster: Vin Kaj’s viney pumpkin legs, or black, beating owly-raven wings?”
Wilbur grumbled,

“Well, when you put it that way.”
In unison the entire group of creatures, beasts, fairies, elves, rabbits, chipmunks, butterflies, and trolls whooped,

“Wilbur!”
Still grumbling,

“Oh sure, single me out why don’t you?”
Fiddler gave a kitty paw-pump,

“Yes, that’s exactly what we’re doing: singling you out. Now come on Wilbur, stop stalling and let’s fly.”
And with that the group gathered both Wilbur and Fiddler up onto their shoulders and carried them both to the Cliff’s End. Then everyone waited to see what would happen next.
Wilbur merely walked to the edge and looked down.

“It’s a long-”
Fiddler interrupted cheerfully,

“It surely is!”

“And you’re certain-”

“I couldn’t be more so.”

With a huge, grand sigh (a sound that only the Wilburs of the world can make with any real justice) he stood as straight as he could and stretched out his magnificent, great ebony wings.

“Climb aboard, I suppose.”

Not risking a moment more Fiddler lightly leapt up on Wilbur’s back. Vin Kaj grabbed the Brightly-Burning Yuletide Candle and handing it to Fiddler,

“Best of luck to you, lads.”

Fiddler held on tightly to the beauteous candle. It seemed to want to pull them forward and immediately pointed West.

“If we crash, I’m blaming you, you know.”
“Yes, yes, of course. Let’s go.”

I’ll admit it, they got off to a shaky start. But after dropping for a hundred feet or so (and with much gasping of the crowd standing up on the cliff above), Wilbur seemed to get back into the swing of flying.

And yes, of course they saved the day. As it turns out, the most important day of year and the crown jewel of holidays: Yule. Unfortunately, Fiddler and Wilbur didn’t get a chance to hit Diavex over the head with the Brightly-Burning Yuletide Candle. In the way of lunk-headed bullies, as soon as he saw them coming he ran away. I’m sure he’ll turn up again one day. But not today. Today is for celebrating with friends and family.

Whatever your celebration or even if it’s a day of non-celebration, one cannot completely dismiss the specialness of this time of the year. It’s a time for miracles and Magick, but most of all it is a time of joy and love. Regardless whether it’s cool and crisp or hot and humid, can’t you just feel it in the air?

A Very Merry Yule to you all and to you all a very kindly goodnight.

[*] If you’ve never experienced a fire cage, count yourself lucky. As implied by the name, fire cages are made of fire. Not just any fire, but white-hot fire: Flames so flaming hot that they reflect white, rather than gold, orange, red, or even blue.

[†] The Brightly-Burning Yuletide Candle is made up of five great flames: Red, Gold, Green, Blue, and White. Most notably the Brightly-Burning Yuletide Candle is what lights the way for the holiday. Oh, you didn’t know that? If you think on it a minute, perhaps two, it’s quite logical. Even if you celebrate the same holiday every year, you still need to find your way to it. Suppose you lose your way?

[‡] Stealing the white flame from a candle meant for good cheer and merriment, and then using it to control a Winter Wizard? How evil is that? Evil enough to be called evil by this Storyteller.

[§] Well, they don’t have cell or email service in The Forest. The woodland creatures tend toward good old fashioned face-to-face conversation; however, there are times when the Great Holiday Making Tribe must communicate with one another quickly. And this was most certainly one of those times!

[**] The way it works is that every year Yule is celebrated. After Yule comes the New Year. And after that? Well, certainly you must know the rest of the holidays! The point is: if Yule isn’t celebrated (or “You’ll” depending on how you celebrate) it doesn’t take an expert in Time to know that the New Year cannot happen. And of course without the New Year, we cannot have any of the rest of the holidays, now can we?

Intricate Knot is proprietor of Art For A Gloomy Day.Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next season for more adventures of Fiddler the cat and his best pal Wilbur.

 

Santa Rode a Goat?


Santa Rode a Goat?
-By Debbi Decker

Every year, right before Thanksgiving, my father would start the holiday decorating, bringing out his vast collection of Santa figurines. These were collectible ornaments that he would stand on his mantel over the fireplace. The figures were based upon legends about St. Nicholas and Santa Claus from all eras and from all over the world. A few of the figures were rather interesting in that they included some of the more pagan elements of the legends. There were figures with wassail bowls, Santa masks, holly crowns, and assorted animals associated with the legends.

One particular figurine that always fascinated and puzzled me was that of a Santa wearing a crown of holly leaves, holding a wassail bowl, and riding a goat. Yes, a goat. I always enjoyed seeing that one, and would make sure Daddy put it in a prominent place on the mantel so it was visible to all. It resonated with me as a Pagan, because the goat, holly, and wassail bowl are all pre-Christian references to older Pagan legends associated with the Winter Solstice season.

This year, I ran across a post by a fellow Halloween Artist Bazaar member (Chad Savage and his annual Creepmas event), that referenced the word “Joulupukki”. Curious, I googled the word, and what do you know but here lies the meaning behind that figurine of Santa riding a goat.

Joulupukki is a Finnish word which means “Christmas Goat” or “Yule Goat”. While I did not find a great deal of information, it appears that the Yule Goat is connected to Norse mythology and the goat was the animal that pulled Woden’s chariot during the Wild Hunt at the Winter Solstice. There are still areas in Finland where older men will dress up as goats and perform for food leftover from celebrations. These men are called “Nuttipukki”. I have to say that looking at the images in connection with the Nuttipukki, I can see a very close correlation with the images of Krampus that are becoming so popular now.

The Santa my father owned came in a box with an explanation on the back that focused mostly on the old English custom of Wassailing, stating that the figurine was modeled after a sketch done by Robert Seymour, an illustrator for the Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. Nothing is mentioned about the goat other than it being a beloved English custom (!) of Santa sometimes seen as riding either a goat or a donkey. While I did research the Pickwick Papers, I was not able to find the illustration, however, I did run across it in The Book of Christmas by Thomas Hervey, published in 1836 (the date shown on the base of the figurine).

So, there you have it. Santa sometimes rides a goat, and drinks wassail (mulled cider) while sporting a holly crown. I suspect he is the life of any party he attends.

Debbi Decker is proprietor of Crazed Poppet Creations Art & Assemblage Emporium. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for the telling of hauntings and ghostly tales by Debbi Decker.

Winter Holiday Give Away 2015


The Winter Holiday Give Away has concluded! A winner has been chosen!


Thank you to all here entered and left us Winter greetings!

To all our friends and followers warmest regards for a bright and happy Winter season!

How To Enter:

Step 1: Visit one of the contributing HAB artist from the list below. If the artist your spreading holiday cheer to 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 spreading holiday cheer in what ever sentiment or phrase that means to you.
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 2015 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 2015. 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.

Contributing Halloween Artist Bazaar Artists in order of photo appearance:(check back as the list grows and photo’s of the winnings are posted!)
Twilight Faerie
Jan’s Beads
Crazed Poppet Creations
Sauvage Raven Creations
Gothbunny
Art By Sarada

The Spirit of the Holiday

copyright Twilight Faerie


The Spirit of the Holiday
-By Angelique Duncan

As the holidays approach many experience that familiar feeling that is the warming of the heart and optimism for humanity, the desire for peace and goodwill towards others. That feeling is known as the holiday spirit. In Christian ideology it is thought to be the spirit of Christ that one is feeling. Others believe it to be Yuletide Spirit. Perhaps it is just the nostalgia brought on by the sights, sounds and flavors of the season that bring to light memories of simpler, happier times. Some suggest that it is inspiration roused by the hopeful song lyrics and sentiments of the season that makes us softer of heart. Or maybe, what we experience with the holiday spirit is actually the presence of spirits, holiday ghost.

In many cultures the winter holiday season is a time of reflection on the dead. In Finland as well as in some South American countries visiting the cemetery and placing a candle on the graves of the departed on Christmas Eve is an honored activity practiced every year. The Irish practice the tradition of laying a wreath or other decoration on the graves of loved ones in remembrance of their lives and to share the holiday with them. In Macedonia after the holiday feast the table is left un-cleared until the following day so that spirits in the house may have their own holiday feast. In Greece it is believed that the spirits descended from of Pan and Satyrs, and Faeries visit during the 12 days of Christ. Some in Greece say that these spirits are demons up to no good, other believe they are the spirits of the old Gods making their presence known keeping pre Christian beliefs alive despite their antiquity. Many European cultures hold that Christmas elves are actually spirits of the dead visiting the home.

In some Celtic beliefs the window of time between December 22nd ghosts of the departed come to visit and leave after the 26th of December. Another ancient Celtic tradition holds that the faerie spirits come at Winter Solstice to over see the passage of the old Sun to the new Sun and the change of the season. It is thought that the spirits come to help aid humans to be better people and be stronger in their humanity. In the belief it is said that the faerie or nature spirits travel in pairs to a home, one will occupy the hearth and fire and the other the kitchen. The spirits who occupy the hearth are there to bestow a blessing of good fortune and warmth and the spirits in the kitchen are present to bestow blessing on the food for good health and prosperity. They are there to build optimism for the coming seasons of the year.

Some say that nature spirits, faeries or animal spirits come in to the home with a live tree seeking warmth. Other legends say that holiday spirits will slip through cracks in windows or doorways. Sometimes the spirits will announce their visitation with a tap on a window or door and once opened they perceive it as an act of welcome and will come in. Superstition has it that these holiday spirits are attracted to the warmth and glow of fires, candle flames and lights.

Many believe that ghost are spirits of the departed who have unfinished business or something left undone. These spirits refuse to, or have not been allowed, to pass on to the spirit world until they are done with the task. In Christian beliefs they are not allowed into heaven because their souls were not saved or they had sinned on earth and were not deemed worthy of entry.

It is thought that some ghosts are drawn to the comfort and warmth of good people and a happy home during the holidays and will seek such a house to fulfill the memories they longed for in their earthly life. Or they may be a relative visiting to ensure those they left behind are following the right path of character and action in their lives.

There are many legends of ghost who are sent to remind humans to practice charity and goodwill. These spirits are here to seek out those who need to be tested to reinforce their humanity. In the folklore the spirits take on a human form and offer a test to the individual to give them the opportunity to redeem themselves. This notion originates from old Celtic belief that one must turn over a new leaf before the coming of the new Sun of Spring and beginning of the New Year.

In these stories the ghosts appear as a wandering stranger in need of shelter or food. The human is offered the choice to help the stranger with some form of charity. There have been many myths and legends that have appeared with this theme through out the decades and in many cultures. In modern times it may be a person whose car has broken down on the road, or is need of a phone to call home. The spirit could also come in the form of something as simple as a person carrying packages in need of a door held open, or perhaps a Salvation Army bell ringer. One never knows when or what may be the test or “who” may be the ghost.

Some need bigger tests to get them on the right path of humanity. In these cases it is believed that Draugr will appear during the holidays. Like the friendly spirits who check on loved ones and spread good will, Draugr also have unfinished business and a holiday mission.

The Draugr mythology comes from Norse, Icelandic and German folklore in it’s origin, however similar concepts appear in many cultures. They are not ghosts of the dead in spirit form, but a physical zombie like corpse. Not alive but not completely “dead”. They are said to have intelligence but are driven by revenge or malice for unfinished business or entitlement while on alive. They are the result of a life spent of greed, selfishness and mean. Some still walk the earth trying to obtain what ever it was they could not get in life and selfishly refuse to stop questing. While others are not allowed by the Gods (or God) to completely “die” as punishment due to their life spent wasted.

The Draugr who were not allowed to pass on to death, who regret their discrepancies, will seek out those they knew while living to serve a warning of what will happen if one does not live a live of kindness and charity. In Charles Dickens Christmas Carol the ghost of Marley was a Draugr sent to warn Scrooge. The three ghosts who subsequently visited Scrooge were the other kind of aforementioned friendlier holiday spirits. Unlike benevolent spirits who may take an ethereal or human form the Draugr live in a state of decay and become more ugly and vile the longer they are dead just as a corpse decays under ground. They serve as a reminder that the uglier ones spirit, the more heinous ones physical self will become in life and in death.

With the coming of winter and the holiday season, find your holiday spirit. Find your humanity and sense of charity. Hold the door open for someone passing through, donate some clothes or food to a shelter, look into the eyes and give a smile when you pass a stranger. Be that person that you always hoped you could be, that better self who acts in kindness not in greed. Whether the inspiration comes from an old favorite holiday song, a childhood memory held in an ornament or a ghost who came in to sit by the fire and enjoy your decorated tree, find the goodness of your heart and spread the holiday spirit.


Illustration “Christmas Spirits” by Angelique Duncan.

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.

The Magic of Christmas


The Magic of Christmas
-By Debbi Decker

The Christmas season is officially here. Though you would have thought it had actually arrived back in September. It seems that the stores are filling their shelves with holiday cheer earlier and earlier each year. Halloween and Thanksgiving seem to have taken a back seat to this day of all days. In my town, Halloween and Thanksgiving are given a shelf or two, while Christmas takes over the entirety of the rest of the space.

Christmas is a hard season at times for those who walk the Pagan road. Though I was raised in a religious home, Christmas does not resonate with me. The modern version of it anyway. Oh, don’t get me wrong. As a child, I did indeed embrace the belief in the Child born on this day. But I also embraced the magic of the season. Waiting for those hoof beats on the roof, hoping to get a glimpse of Santa. We had no chimney so I knew he had to use the door. And every year, we would gather round and listen to the reading of “The Night Before Christmas”. My head was full of babes in mangers, angels, elves, flying deer, sparkling snow, and Ho Ho Ho’s. Then, I grew up. And learned that there is no “real” Santa. That the Child was probably not really born on this day but rather in a warmer month earlier in the year. Christmas lost its magic for me and that is the most important word here. Magic. I lost the magic. And it made me sad. Without the magic it was just another day, though for some it is the highest of all holy days. To be honest, there were times I did envy others for the beliefs that I just could not wrap my soul around.

Years went by and as I became more grounded in my beliefs, I realized that I could indeed still find the magic of the season. So many traditions that we all follow are of ancient origin, created to honor the divinity in all of us. I began to light the candles for my ancestors. Burn a Yule log for protection and warmth. When I decorate a tree, adorn the house in greenery, and hang the new mistletoe (and burn the bunch from the prior year), it is to honor Mother Earth for gifts she gives us through all of the seasons. The ornaments are full of symbolism, creating a magical space. Stars, moons, suns, fruits and musical instruments. Just to name a few. A tiny elf or Santa will peek out among the branches to remind me of the magic of my childhood but also to symbolize the idea that we can all give something (no matter how big or small) to others. I can sign a carol and feel the joy of releasing those notes to the universe and let my voice be carried upon the wind.

I cook food for my loved ones, making sure that I stir clockwise rather than widdershins, while chanting the word “love” in whispery breaths. Make gifts to give to others, each one of a theme chosen to honor that person. I take the early darkness of the days into myself and use this energy to plant the seeds of what I want for the year to come. When my family gathers, we share our food, our memories, and our hopes and dreams. Sometimes we still read “The Night Before Christmas” to our little ones. We will nurture the idea of Santa and the magic of it all for as long as possible. And when the little ones grow up, we give them the ability to grasp the magic of another “age” and our hopes that our traditions will be carried forward.

My ways are not your ways perhaps. They may not resonate with you. We do, however, all of us have a common theme that we can all recognize and hope for…. Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All Mankind.

Bright blessings on you and yours on this day and all of the days of the year.

Debbi Decker is proprietor of Crazed Poppet Creations Art & Assemblage Emporium. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for the telling of hauntings and ghostly tales by Debbi Decker.

Winter Holiday Give Away 2014 !


The Winter Holiday Give Away has concluded!

Thank you to all who entered and spread holiday cheer. A winner has been chosen. Check back with Halloween Artist Bazaar through out the year for seasonal promotions and give aways. We appreciate your interest in Halloween Artist Bazaar and for keeping the spirit of Halloween alive!

To all a very happy Winter Holiday!

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How To Enter:

Visit one of the contributing HAB artist shops and leave them a message of sincere holiday cheer in the subject line. The message can be what ever winter greeting you prefer.
Next like the HAB Facebook page and message us with a greeting of Winter cheer on our wall.
Fill out the form below.

Official Rules

Entry deadline is Midnight on December 18th 2014. The Winner will be chosen at random. One entry per person. Winner will be notified via email. The prize will ship on December 19 2014. The winners name will be posted on the Halloween Artist Bazaar website and Facebook page. Members of Halloween Artist Bazaar are not qualified for entry. No age restrictions. 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.*

Contributing Halloween Artist Bazaar Artists:(check back as the list grows and photo’s of the winnings are posted!)
Twilight Faerie
twistedpixelstudio
Lttle Shop of Horrors
Sauvage Raven Creations
Chaos In Color
Jynxx Designs
Janis Logsdon Jewelry and Art
Art By Sarada
Odd Origins

Come to the Dark Side. We Have Yule.


Come to the Dark Side. We Have Yule. -By Debbi Decker

Although the holiday season of Yule is generally associated with birth and light, the original festival as celebrated has a much darker side. Celebrated by Germanic peoples (the most familiar will be Norse and Anglo Saxon) in pre-Christian times, Yule not only encompassed feasting, reveling, and celebrations, it also featured death, sacrifice, and ghosts.

Yule was primarily a midwinter observance during the months of December and January, which, over time, was incorporated into the Christian celebration of Christmas. Some familiar practices that have come down from this observance include the Christmas ham (the Yule boar) and caroling. Some of the not so familiar Yule customs and beliefs are as follows.

With December 21st comes the shortest day of the year and along with that comes the Wild Hunt. It is believed that the Wild Hunt comprises demons or dead fairies, ghosts of former huntsman or the undead, called Drauger (possible zombie references here), raging across the sky in search of dark secrets and souls. It was considered most unlucky to see the Wild Hunt, and many lit fires or candles to keep the Wild Hunt at bay as the light would repel the dark and the spirits that reside there.

Christmas Eve as we know it was originally celebrated in January and was known as Mōdraniht, which is old English for Mothers-Night. This celebration references “dis” or spirits of fates. Sacrifices were made on this night and many practices centered around fertility rituals to ensure a bountiful new year to come as well as to celebrate the fertility of tribes.

Aspects of modern day Christmas festivities can be traced back to the reverence of the Norse god Odin. The ham we eat is a reference to the boar with an apple in its mouth. The Yule log is burned to revere the departed souls and also to keep the darker side with its ghosts and demons and ghouls at bay. And again, another aspect of the Yule log may be phallic in nature as the ashes were sprinkled in the fields to bring fertility to the coming harvest.

So, this Yule season, light your candles and Yule logs and keep the darkness and all it encompasses away. Pay tribute to your ancestors, and most importantly, if you hear a huntsman’s horn on Christmas night, remember to stay inside. If not, you might be carried off to the darker side of Yule.

Debbi Decker is proprietor of twistedpixelstudio Art & Assemblage Emporium. Check out her artist page to find links to her shop and blog to read more of her writings. Visit again next month for the telling of hauntings and ghostly tales by Debbi Decker.

Black Friday Cyber Monday Savings!


The week of November 25th through December 2nd visit the shops of Halloween Artist Bazaar members for special holiday sales and offers. Look for participating HAB members shops using the coupon code HAB2013! Some shops hosting sales through the holiday season!

Participating Halloween Artist Bazaar Artists:
 
Twilight Faerie 15% off Etsy shop and Zibbet shop.
 
Lttle Shop Of Horrors 20% off, plus a free item to first 5 customers! Etsy shop
 
Jan’s Beads 10% with coupon code Etsy Shop and Zibbet Shop
Jan’s Supplies
 
twistedpixelstudio 20% sale during the week of Thanksgiving. Zibbet shop
 
Gothbunny 20% off sale. Etsy Shop and Zibbet Shop
 
Sauvage Raven Creations Etsy Shop and Zibbet Shop
 
Wicked Alterations Sale through Christmas Etsy Shop and Zibbet Shop
 
Cards For A Gloomy Day Etsy shop and Zibbet shop
 
Twinkleberry Cottage Etsy Shop
 
Rockerchic Boutique 20% discount with coupons. Etsy Shop
 
Jynxx Designs Eclectic Arm Candy 20% discount with coupons. Etsy Shop

Art By Sarada HAB2013 will get you 20% off. Etsy Shop

Winter Holiday Give Away 2013


The Winter Holiday Give Away has concluded!


Warm Winter Greetings!

A winner has been chosen. The winner will be contacted via email. Thank you to everyone who entered the contest and for spreading holiday cheer.

To all our friends and followers warmest regards for a bright and happy Winter season!

How To Enter:

Step 1: Visit one of the contributing HAB artist from the list below Etsy or Zibbet store or website and contact them through their shop or email. Leave them a message that that spreads Winter Holiday cheer, in the form of your own holiday salutation whatever that means to you.
Step 2: Visit our Facebook page and “Like” us and comment your salutation spreading Winter Holiday cheer on our wall.
Step 3: Fill out the official Winter Holiday entry form below.

Official Rules

Entry deadline is Midnight on December 19th 2013. The Winner will be chosen at random. One entry per person. Winner will be notified via email. The prize will ship on December 20th 2013. The winners name will be posted on the Halloween Artist Bazaar website and Facebook page. 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.* Information collected for the Winter Holiday Give Away will not be sold or shared. Phone number asked for in the event problems arise with shipping and only used for that purpose.

Contributing Halloween Artist Bazaar Artists:(check back as the list grows and photo’s of the winnings are posted!)


Art Enxebre
Chaos In Color
Jan’s Beads
twistedpixelstudio
Art By Sarada
Gothbunny
Sauvage Raven Creations
Jynxx Designs Eclectic Arm Candy
Lttle Shop of Horrors
Wicked Alterations
Cards For A Gloomy Day
ShrineMaiden
Twilight Faerie

Krampus is coming to town…


Krampus Is Coming To Town…-By Angelique Duncan

He has a cloven hoof, covered in fur, horns and an inordinately long devils tongue and pointed tail. He rattles chains, rings bells, and carries a broom switch and a dark cloth bag or basket on his back. If you’re naughty he’s coming for you! He is Krampus. Although demonic in appearance he is not evil. He is the conscience of the Winter Holiday Season. He travels with St. Nicolas, or Santa Claus as he is sometimes known, and on occasion with a winged angel.

Krampus emerged from pre Christian Germanic tradition and has held a controversial position in holiday history. He has been known by many names, Grampus, Klaubauf, Bellsnichol, Krampusz, Wubartl or Bartel. In early history during the Inquisition he was banned by the church and religion. Later Austrian Fascist and social conservatives outlawed him. In modern times religious conservatives in America have discouraged his presence and deemed him evil and glorifying to the devil. Social conservatives advocate that he is too “scary” and inappropriate in his appearance for children. Despite this Krampus has endured and is enjoying resurgence in popularity.

Legend has it in variations depending on region and era that he travels with St. Nicholas on the annual winter visit to children. St Nicholas delivers sweets and gifts to those children who have been virtuous and good. To those who have been naughty Krampus delivers switches and coal. The folklore goes on to state that if a child was particularly ill willed or a considerable brat in nature Krampus would beat them with the chains and broom switch or the worse possible punishment of all. He would scoop them up in his bag or toss them in his basket and take them away to the Black Forest. Some say he would detain the children and lash them for their offenses. Others tell that he would eat them for his Christmas supper.

Krampus serves as conscience that there are consequences for ones actions. His image instills a reminder that even if one thinks they are “getting away” with their crimes, St Nicholas and Krampus are ever present watching. Come December 24th, reward or punishment will be served.

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.