Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
(Pablo Picasso, Weeping Woman with Handkerchief, 1937)
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Starting at 11:59 p.m.:
We must learn to trust the future…..
but for those who are curious about what the future has in store…
Augury for the 21st century (adapted by the fairytalechannel.org editorial staff)
Love augury to foretell one’s future true love during the course of the year:
Unmarried maids take four onions and place them in the corners of the room, assigning a young man’s name to each of the bulbs. Let the onions stand from Near Year’s Day until Three King’s Day (Jan. 6). Whichever onion sends out a green shoot, the person associated with that onion will become a suitor during the year; if no onion sprouts, no wedding will be celebrated during the year.
On New Year’s Eve, those persons who find themselves in a city at midnight, and who will make their way to a festive communal celebration (like fireworks at midnight), can follow this custom:
City dwellers buy a roll and divide it into three parts. As they walk down the first street, they eat the first part of the roll. In the second street they eat the second part of the roll. In the third street they eat the third part and there they shall meet their future true love.
Weather augury to foresee the New Year’s weather patterns.
The weather on December 31st forecasts the trend for the entire month of January and so on, see table below:
December 31st : Weather for month of January
January 1st : Weather for month of February
January 2nd : Weather for month of March
January 3rd : Weather for month of April
January 4th : Weather for month of May
January 5th : Weather for month of June
January 6th : Weather for month of July
January 7th : Weather for month of August
January 8th :Weather for month of September
January 9th :Weather for month of October
January 10th : Weather for month of November
January 11th : Weather for month of December
Example: If the weather on December 31st is mild most of the day but a winter storm hits an hour before midnight: expect a January with wildly fluctuating weather, but the predominate theme for January weather is mild with surges of excess.
Coin toss to predict a year of failure or success.
(If you don’t like the first outcome, you can always take the average of several tosses).
Bread under the pillow to predict one’s future true love.
Buy a perfectly shaped roll, carve out an emblem or face with a knife, place under pillow and sleep on it New Year’s Eve. In the morning, try to determine whose face the roll most closely resembles. (However, a perfectly smashed roll means there is little hope of marriage during the New Year.)
Customs to follow on January 1st and month of January:
Extend good wishes for the New Year to friends and family (a phone call, card, or personal greeting).
Make resolutions for the New Year, think about things you would like to change, self-improvement, goals, hopes or aspirations for the New Year. Think about your blessings and joys. Write all this down on a piece of paper and put it in a safe spot. (Read your list again Next New Year’s Eve.).
The custom of giving New Year’s gifts is outmoded but should be revived. This is a great time to give small tokens of appreciation, not fancy or expensive gifts. For example: a jar of home-made jam, honey from a local farmer, a loaf of freshly made bread, a small New Year’s wreath you have made yourself with fresh greens from the yard or a card you made especially for the person. If all this seems too involved, a simple E-mail message is also quite nice!
And if you dance on New Year's Eve, follow the example in the picture above only metaphorically, by severing yourself from those things that have frightened or sapped your energies in the past year, thus chopping off a head.
Translation Copyright FairyTaleChannel.org
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Friday, December 17, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Grimm’s Saga No. 270: The Tuerst, the Posterli and the Straeggele, the Wild Ghosts of Christmas
When the storm howls and rages in the woods at night, people in Lucerne say: “The Tuerst (or Thirst) is on the prowl!” In Entlebuch they know this spirit as the Posterli. He is a demon, who leads an enormous procession on the Thursday before Christmas Day, with frightful noise and loud clanging sounds. The people of Lucerne call this ghost the Straeggele, a witch, who on the Holy Wednesday Fast Night before Christmas haunts the landscape. She brings special trouble to maids who have not spun their daily portion of flax, exacting punishment in many different ways. That is why this evening is also call the Straeggele Night.
Christmas Ghosts in Switzerland: the Straeggele
On Holy Wednesday Eve before Christmas, pious folk in Switzerland keep a fast. On this eve, maids also hurry to complete their spinning; they are especially diligent in binding off the last bit of flax from their spindles because at night, the Straeggele is known to appear. She is a wild woman with depraved demeanor. Her hair is smeared and unruly; she has a savage countenance and she rubs pitch on the doorknobs while doing all kinds of mean acts. She howls and moans and roars around the corners of the house. Often you can see her leading a long procession of ghosts, hear their rattling of chains and the ringing of bells as they follow her in the darkness.
Once the Straeggele was seen in the Lucerne village of Urswil. A hard-hearted stepmother once thought to terrify her weak step-child by giving her an impossible amount of wool to spin. When at 9 o’clock her spindle was still not empty, the woman threatened the child and said she would reach the girl through the window and deliver her into the arms of the Straeggele. When the appointed time came and the child was still busy spinning, the step-mother took the screaming child and held her through the window. Suddenly the screams retreated into the darkness and were heard far above the house. The terrified woman gazed out into the dark night and into her outstretched, empty hands. The child had been ripped away. The next morning they found pieces scattered round the village and collected them as a reminder of the horrible fate that awaited those who did not believe.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Dark Nights of the Fairy Tale: The Wild Man and Wild Woman of Christmas
Storm spirits polt through the air in December. When their feet touch the ground and they arrive at the doorstep they are known as the Wild Man and Wild Woman.
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Grimm’s Saga No. 241: Bread Becomes Stone
In many places, especially Westphalia, the story is told of a hard-hearted sister, who in time of terrible famine denied her sister bread for herself and her babe with the words: “And if I had bread, I would rather that it turned to stone!” Immediately her bread supply became stone. In Leiden in Holland such stone bread is held up in St. Peter’s Church as a sign to the people that the story is true.
In the year 1579 a baker in Dortmund had purchased much corn during a time of famine and thought he would prosper as a result. But in the middle of transacting this business, all the bread in his house was turned to stone. When he grabbed a loaf and and wanted to cut it open with a knife, blood flowed out. Soon thereafter he hung himself in his chamber
In the main church of Holy St. Castulus in Landshut there hangs a round stone in silver casing in the shape of bread. There are many small indentations on its surface. The following saga has been told about it: Just before the Holy Saint Castulus died, he approached a widow in the city dressed as a pauper and begged for alms. The woman told her daughter to give the stranger the only bread they had left. The daughter did not like the idea of giving it away. She wanted to break off a few pieces, but in that moment it turned into stone and you can still see the imprint of her finger.
At a time of great famine a poor wife took her child on her arm and wandering the streets of Danzig cried out for bread. There she met a monk from Cloister Oliva, whom she begged for a bit of bread for her children. The monk replied: “I have none.” The woman said: “But I see you have concealed some near your breast.”—“That is only a stone I like to throw to the dogs,” the monk replied and walked away. After a while he wanted to reach for his bread to eat it. He found that it had actually turned to stone. He recoiled in fear, admitted his sin and relinquished the stone, which now hangs in the cloister church.