On Rauhnact eve, the time of Yule,
The longest night, of rancorous misrule.
The boughs brought in, the scent of the fresh green,
Preparing the offerings for Those seen, and unseen.
The Antlered Weaver rides with her cavalcade to hunt the ill souls,
Partaking of the food and drink, left out for them in cups and bowls.
The Midnight Spirit also walks the earth,
To test your will, and your honor’s worth.
The Bear Mother’s cubs stir with the coming year,
And rise with her, as spring draws near.
May your Yule fires shine bright,
And may you have a warm, comfortable, longest night.
Rauhnact/ Rauhnächte is the twelve nights of Yule, also called ‘Thomas Night,’ ‘Glöckelnächte,’ ‘Inner Nights,’ ‘Hairy Nights,’ (Mostly due to the furs traded and worn during the celebrations), and also ‘Smoke Nights,’ (from the incense burned in homes, stables, forges and other workshops to protect it throughout the year.)
During these twelve nights, I leave offerings outside, sing and chant long into the night, drink copious amounts of alcohol, laugh, and work many rituals on the hinge of the year. I am also going to be taking my hearth-bowl (Since we do not have a fireplace sadly due to circumstance, we have a tri-wick candle instead of the traditional log, and a hearth-bowl instead of – well, a fireplace.) and fumigating the house thoroughly. It is also the apex of the returning ancestors, during the Season of the Dead.
So tomorrow begins my cooking marathon, and the visits of family and friends. It’s going to be a full house indeed! The Gift-Giver in our home is the Antlered Weaver, and she leaves presents for those who have a tidy house and proper offerings for her hunting company. We will be offering butter, milk, fruit, and nuts to them this year.
Each day is a prognostication of the year ahead, and starting tomorrow I will be observing the weather, performing augury, playing games with family and friends, and begin my ritual marathon throughout the twelve nights with divination every night. It is a time that it is said that the animals are able to speak our language, and also of clearing out the old year; and the building of the ‘Old Man/Woman,’ of the year.
This year, was a real bastard. So, I’ll be building an ‘Old Man.’
May your festivities be bright and protect you from Those that mean you harm – and may the new year bring good things to you!