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Monday, November 30, 2015

A Piece of Wood (Making Yuletide Memories)




As a young boy in late October, my uncles managed to haul out of somewhere a huge log.  Then they would cut it into pieces.  Being the  inquisitive lad, I asked as to why the cutting into pieces.  The answer came; it was simple, "We can't burn it all at the same time, that's why."  This was the family's Yule Log and it had to be burnt in pieces (there was no facility to burn the whole log at one time, so it happened as a cut piece at a time with a partially burnt piece to start the next).  This was a tradition that the family brought with them from "the old country."  And at the end of Yule, everyone was given a burnt piece.  It is my personal misfortune that I have lost my pieces given to me from so long ago.  But tradition and folkway can still carry on.  

Depending on your personal circumstances, a Yule Log tradition for your family can be done. Whether you have a huge fireplace, a fire-pit, or a simple BBQ grill, you can burn a log.  You have the option; burn one every day for the twelve days or just one, it's up to you.  What is important is the giving of a small piece of the charcoaled wood to family members, especially the kids.  Have them keep that chard wood in a cigar box, freezer bag, etc.  Every piece adds to tradition and our ancient culture.  It's the stuff from where stories are born and how culture continues.  

Note:  This writer will not debate anyone at anytime Christmas vs. Yule/ Yule vs. Christmas.  Long ago it was found that Yule predates the creation of Christmas by many centuries.  For those that have doubts, Professor Google and University Libraries have the data that supports this.  

                                             Copyright @ 2015/2016 Terry Unger     

     

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Leaving the Ranch (or leaving the patch on Black Friday)



Today is Friday, November 25th, 2016 - Black Friday.  The madness is upon us.  Consumerists barely get enough time to digest their turkey before they are called out to part with their money by the big box stores.  If you are Heathen, there are many fine Heathen shops on the Internet with which you can purchase gifts.  Spend wisely, gift wisely.






As stated, Sandra and I Did Not leave the ranch yesterday, Black Friday, November 27th, 2015; we had no desire to look like Rocky Balboa after his first fight with Apollo Creed.  Buying stuff that you don't need to impress people who just do not care is something that we do not get involved with. And, buying stuff to gift people to impress them with supposed largess is something that we just don't give a damn about; if we have to buy your friendship, you ain't worth it.  The art of gifting has nothing to do with buying "a Friend."   

Friends give Friends gifts; the relationship already exists, there is no need to create one.  The art of gifting helps to strengthen the friendship because it demonstrates compassion and empathy between people, friends.  And these gifts should come from the heart and not the depths of one's bank account; there is no need to impress a true friend with largess.  This Yule, be wise.  Don't leave your ranch and buy to impress.  Think with your head and give from your heart what matters.  In our time, real Friends are a rare commodity.   

                                               copyright @2015/2016 Terry Unger


  

   

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Lessons of Krampus




This Krampus fellow, he is ugly.  And as ugly as he appears, so are the reasons for his existence; truth, honesty, and honor, of course, always leave an ugly footprint for those folks who seek the easy way around things.  

Half goat and half demon, Krampus bursts from German folklore as a son of Hel, the Germanic/Norse Goddess of the underworld.  Alpine tradition has it that Krampus is the counter-weight of St. Nick (not Santa Claus.  At this time, Santa does not exist). The day before 12/6, or Nikolaustag, the day that St. Nicholas rewards good kids with gifts, Krampus bags up all the rotten kids and takes them to his forest hide-a-way, to eat.  Krampus is a figure from folklore meant to scare kids into being good kids; it worked centuries ago and still works today.  So what of adults?  

Grown-ups need to understand that our behavior is what makes us what we are.  In short, we are our deeds.  As adults, there is no Krampus figure lurking around every life corner to make himself known.  As adults, we are supposed to know the difference between right an wrong.  But there are those who take the delusional path of wrong to force a distorted sense of right.  It is during this time that there are no absolutes, only gray senses of being that justify deviant behavior.  While the law of the land may or not be swift and just, wyrd and orlog are forever.  Maybe we should give Krampus a blank check to scare the hell out of all kids, always and everywhere to prevent them from going astray as adults (fear being a great motivator).  But alas, the PC police will not allow that to happen. Poor Krampus......  

                                               Copyright@ 2015/2016 Terry Unger    



   
















Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Feast of Ullr and American Thanksgiving




This 11/24/2016 in the USA we celebrate Thanksgiving, a day full of parades, food, booze, and football (as it is for most of us every year).  And in our modern age, there is no real need for us to hunt for meat; the supermarket provides everything.  It is  rather simplistic to state then, that our ancestors did not have this comfortable advantage.  To put meat on the table could have meant a death sentence and many times it was for our ancestors.  Therefore, it should not appear strange that our forbears called upon all that was holy to help them in their task.  At this time of year, they called upon a God known as Ullr to help them improve their skills.

In Old Norse, this God is the son of Sif and her husband Thor's stepson.  He is a God of winter and of the hunt.  And on the continent, it appears that he was known and worshiped as Wulthuz.  Ullr/Wulthuz is normally depicted on skies using a bow and arrow.  This fellow is so popular today that during January in Breckenridge Colorado, the folks there hold a week long festival called Ullr Fest.  But in the old days, people did not gather to ski and swill beer.

Times were tough and life was short - period.  Just venturing outside to the woodpile could be a life ending event.  Today, unless you live smack-dab in the middle of a combat zone, we face none of those life-ending events.  We have our supermarkets, our liquor stores, warmth in the winter, and coolness in the summer.  Maybe we should give thanks to Ullr for our largess.  Think about that when you are stuffing your face with turkey and surfing the channels for the latest half-time scores.

                                                     Copyright @2015/2016 Terry Unger

Monday, November 2, 2015

Pre - Holiday Sale !





My books on Amazon are on SALE!  Amazon discounted the original prices and I do not know how long my books will remain at this low prices!  Did I mention that my books make great gifts?  They do! 

The View:  One Man's Living Asatru With Help From The Havamal

                  6 x 9 softcover - $12.03/ Kindle version - $6.00

The View:  Act II 

                 6 x 9 softcover - $12.00/ Kindle version - $6.00

The Reluctant Hero Trilogy (The Last Wizard - The Story of a Reluctant Hero, Son of the Morrigan, and Ragnarok) 

                6 x 9 softcover - $20.00/ Kindle version - $7.00

A Yuletide Anthology 

               6 x 9 softcover - $7.99/ Kindle version - $4.00 

THREE TALL TALES 

              6 x 9 softcover - $6.00/ Kindle version - $2.00  

For book cover images look to your right and scroll on this blog.  

Just go to Amazon books and enter "Terry Unger"

                                              Copyright @2015 Terry Unger





Our Visit to Sutton Hoo

When walking the grounds, you can feel the specialness of this place.  It is quiet, save the wind rustling through the trees.  The ages...