It is good to be all in one place, many people rarely are.
Everyone feeling the holiday spirit? The winter season is not all hope and light, or wasn’t, and some cultures still preserve some of that lore to this very day.
Do we get into the holiday spirit or does the holiday spirit get into us? Ultimately, it gets into us, especially if you use the Voodoo point of view. It may seem strange, but Voodoo is tied to this holiday, and it isn’t the only spooky practice that is.
In the oldest African and Asian lore, the dark spirits, and those we consider more light based, were not warring factions. In fact, the being known as Krampus would be an example of a crossover. Krampus, or Grampus, is a demonic being originally from alpine folklore which is where we get the original imagery for Santa Claus as well, and they, much like the fairies, were part of a procession of sorts.
Demons are not always evil, right? Not in the most popular sense, correct. In the Chinese lore, their demons were often the administrators of justice. They were known as Oni, and although trouble makers when off duty, they could be and were moved by the mandate of heaven to act against unrighteous individuals. So does Krampus.
Did Krampus take care of the naughty kids? He did. Warning most of them, but in those special cases of an exceptionally naughty kid, he would take that kid back with him to his lair to serve as his Christmas dinner. Krampus, like the eastern Oni, was an ogre figure, much like Baba Yaga. Baba Yaga was a female crone ogre witch character who might at turns help you, eat you, or enslave you.
Is she what gave rise to witches being old and ugly? Yes, though she was said to be older than humanity, and not originally ugly.
It seems she did not age well? Ah, no. She bore a curse, as she is otherwise immortal. This is why she came to be so willing to curse others.
In the Krampus lore, if you were a good child, you were not only given presents but a gold branch to prove your good behaviour all the next year. If you were naughty without being really evil, Krampus would take your presents and leave you with a silver branch. He only ate evil children.
What if you melted down the branch and sold it? It wasn’t normal metal. The fairies were also active during the holiday season, and may have been the inspiration for much of the later holiday lore. Though the token branches looked like gold or silver, they wouldn’t retain those properties if you tried to sell them or give them away, sort of like leprechaun gold.
Bah humbug. Yes, indeed. This is why the good children received presents. The other was only a symbol, and perhaps more spiritual than anything else. I imagine it did show up in dreams sometimes. To this day, they do still sell bundles of golden or silver coloured sticks wrapped in red ribbon. They are purchased and given to kids along with the presents. I guess it’s like getting a gold star used to be in school.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.