It’s coming up on the end of 2021 and the holiday season is in full swing already with loads of things coming up and to have fun with. The biggest for me this year is the release of the second edition of The Christmas Oracle deck!
The Christmas Oracle
The Christmas Oracle is a divination deck themed for Christmas. It’s a delightful nod to the fun traditions of the season without the religious implications. The deck had an limited first edition in 2017 and this year a run of 500 copies were printed. The artwork is the same as the first edition with minor adjustment for the card placement. A full color booklet was created with the card image and meanings and edges gilded in metallic red for a sparkling ornament effect. It’s packaged in a nicely decorated telescoping box.
The artwork is colorful, good for all ages, and includes diverse representation. Listen to the Gifts of the Wyrd podcast episode 53 for an interview with Ancestral Tarot’s Nancy Hendrickson about the deck and it’s creation. You can also see a video of the cards in the deck at Jennifer Ball’s Witch House and a full review by Benebell Wen.
It’s available now for your stocking stuffers, personal use, and as a special divination gift. Join in the card-a-day share as part of #christmasoracledivination which will show each of the decks cards through Christmas day. Visit Etsy Feniks Shop for a short video, details, and to order. #thechristmasoracle
Little Book of Yule
Llewellyn’s The Little Book of Yule by Jason Mankey, published by Llewellyn, is a delightful book to get you ready for your Yule/Christmas season. Compared to other books, this hardback edition may be little at 6.5 x 5 inches in size, but it has some really nice material, tidbits, and fun things to do (exercises).
Mankey includes a lot of history and background from a variety of cultures rising from the Roman celebration to Saturnalia, to the Germanic, English, and Northern European customs developed during the Christian Middle Ages, to the modern interpretation from the United States. Rather than an academic tome filled with pages upon pages of scholarly research (that would likely end up on a shelf rarely opened), he presents the material in a readable style that is accessible to everyone in the family as well as enjoyable to read.
Throughout are projects and exercises, recipes, and rituals/divination to enhance the experiences as you read along. One of the nice aspects of the book is that Mankey doesn’t present it as “this is how it must be done.” Instead, he presents the background for the traditions and customs we enjoy today and lets the reader decide which they identify with and include into their holiday celebrations.
I enjoyed the section describing Krampus and Santa Clause. It seems that Krampus has become more popular in recent years, particularly amongst pagans, so having a little background as a starting point is nice to step off to further study. Having Dutch heritage, I was very happy to see many paragraphs devoted to Sinterklaas, who I grew up with as part of my holiday experience growing up. The recipes are fun, though I chuckle at the inclusion of a bûche de Noël which is not an easy bake.
The title using “Yule” is misleading as the book is not so much about the Nordic Yule (Jul) that one might think when looking at the title. It’s more about reclaiming the pagan roots from the Christian practices and developing ways to integrate them as a vibrant and joyful part of modern pagan practices. This will be a very nice addition to the season’s activities. * #llewellyn Pick up or order from your local book shop, from Llewellyn, or online bookseller.
As of this post, the Sunwait candle custom has passed its second week. The practice is a modern introduction by Swedish Heathens who adapted it from the advent candle lighting. On Thursdays for the six weeks prior to the Winter Solstice, a candle is lit and a verse of a poem recited for each of the first six of the Futhark runes. The purpose is to bring in good luck and energy for the new year.
It’s a fun activity for the family to decorate candle holders and candles and to be part of the lighting ceremony. Although the Swedish light the candles on Thursday as part of very long traditions, they can be light on the day of the week that the solstice falls upon the five weeks prior with the sixth being lit on the 21st.
Finally, for this post, it’s coming up to Wolfenoot on 23 November. Wolfenoot (wolf-eh-noot <as in boot>) is a totally modern, fun celebration of wolves, dogs, and pets/animals of all kinds created by a young boy out of Australia. He decided that wolves should have a special day and wrote a story about Howly the wolf who returns on the 23rd and leaves gifts for people who are kind to animals.
The lad’s mom casually mentioned it on social media as a cute thing her son did and people around the world took to it. Now in its third year, wolfenoot is being joyfully celebrated by donating to animal charities and sanctuaries, sharing photos and stories of pets, and all around kindness in the world. Hear an interview with Wolfmum on episode 43 and read the blog post here. #nohateonlysnootboops #woolfenoot find the official accounts at: FB: @wolfenootmom IG: @realwolfenoot
Enjoy the season and please share how you are celebrating on Facebook (@giftsofthewyrd) and Instagram (@wyrdgifts1).
(*) I received the book from the publisher for review. Comments reflect my own opinions.