THE GODDESS PROJECT: Made in Her Image
THE SANTA GODDESS
Once I became a mother I found the demands and my own expectations for holiday gifting, decor and celebrations to be SO taxing that I quickly felt a bit of resentment toward Santa Claus for getting all of the credit. Now I tell my children that Santa Goddess is posing as homekeeping MRS. CLAUSE and that SHE and the elves do all of the work, and that “Santa” is merely their courier. Engulfed in modern society, I don’t think my young children hear me as they still dance with glee at any mention of Santa Claus.
Frau Holda Poem
Hail to Frau Holda, the beautiful and bright,
Crowned and clothed, all in glistening Winter white.
Ay seeking and searching, She sweeps o’er the land,
Scourge for the slovenly, held firmly in hand.
As Holda fares forth, with Her own Holy Host,
May She deem distaffs full, befitting a Yule boast.
For when all is cleanly, content She shall be,
Thus Her bedding she flaps, with a whirlwind flurry.
Soon crisp snowflakes, come falling feather light,
Cleverly She shakes, cloaking the clutter with white.
‘Til Earth is enclosed, by a fine fluffy down,
A bedecked beauty, in Her sparkling snow gown.
Heed well and hear, when Holda’s housework doth end,
A faint satisfied sigh, for the mess Frau did mend.
© Rhonda Turner
As children we memorized Christmas carols centered around either Santa Claus or Baby Jesus Christ. These magical male figures ushered in the BEST day of the year for us as kids. Because of Jesus’ birth a big, fat white man miraculously fit down our chimneys and brought all of the Who’s down in Whoville every toy they’d been pining for. (Is this why many tend to vote for men who look like that and baby boys are more revered?)
The only female role models mentioned around Winter Solstice at all were the poor, unworthy child-bride, the VIRGIN MARY (there is actually a lot of evidence that she was a priestess in training her entire life), a sprinkling of blonde baby angels painted on wood for lawn decor AND in the Latin community, the celebration of the Marian apparition: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Her Feast Day is December 12.
But it wasn’t always like this; the legend of Santa Claus and the timing chosen to celebrate Jesus’ birth were crafted to cover up SOMETHING ELSE.
We were told as kids that Santa et al actually came from the Pagans (Pagans I was taught were similar to Devil Worshippers but come to find out “Pagan” actually just meant “the people of the land”, those who honored the natural rhythms of the Earth and Sky.) Saint Nicholas was a monied monk a thousand years ago and they moved Jesus’ birthday to be JUST after those crazy Pagan’s WINTER SOLSTICE celebrations on purpose. 2 days before and 2 days after any of these HIGH HOLY DAYS of the year, like Winter Solstice on December 21st, is when the gravitational pull of the Earth is SO AFFECTED by Heavenly bodies that they say the PORTALS BETWEEN WORLDS OPEN. Stonehenge is one of the markers of this phenomenon.
“It is a time when the alignment between the Earth and the sun allows the veils to grow very thin, and this gives us the power to more easily contact other dimensions.” writes Tricia McCannon in RETURN OF THE DIVINE SOPHIA.
So, long before Saint Nick the monk, FRAU HOLLE (also called Holda or HOLLY), the Supreme Goddess of what archealogists call “Old Europe” reined supreme above the Earth in Winter.
“It’s Holda who flies through the night in a magical carriage on the 24th of December, the time of Yule, bringing gifts and spreading her endless joy. Holda dresses in the familiar red and white and wears a cape made of goose feathers. It’s Her job to decide who deserves gifts.” from GODDESSES FOR EVERYDAY by Julie Loar.
When it snows in Germany, there is an expression of it being Frau Holle making Her bed and the feathers floating down from Heaven turning to snow. (As in the above poem.)
“Frau Holda’s festival is in the middle of winter, the time when humans retreat indoors from the cold. It may be of significance that the Twelve Days of Christmas were originally the Zwölften (“the Twelve”), which like the same period in the Celtic calendar were an intercalary period during which the dead were thought to roam abroad.” according to Wikipedia.
There is also the Goddess Beiwe (ahem ;)) of the indigenous people of the Nordic countries Who (with Her Daughter) flies through the sky in a chariot made of reindeer antlers. And as we all know- only FEMALE REINDEER have ANTLERS in the Winter, so adhere those reindeer antlers to your cars with PRIDE this season my fearless friends!
The exquisite painting below of Saule, changed my life last year. I had no idea about these “SANTA GODDESSES”; artist and writer Judith Shaw (http://judithshawart.com) wrote in http://feminismandreligion.com about Saule:
“Saule, the Lithuanian and Latvian goddess of light and the sun, took to the skies on the Winter Solstice in a sleigh pulled by horned reindeer. She journeyed with the aide of Her smith, who forged a golden cup in which to catch Her tears which then transformed into amber. During Her flight through the heavens she threw these pebbles of amber, like little bits of sun, and apples down to the world of humans below. She was a spinning Goddess who used her skill to spin the rays of sunlight onto the world.” (FULL ARTICLE HERE: https://feminismandreligion.com/2016/12/18/the-reindeer-goddess-by-judith-shaw/ )
And there are many more versions of the Santa Goddesses.
Once I became a mother I found the demands and my own expectations for holiday gifting, decor and celebrations to be SO taxing that I quickly felt a bit of resentment toward Santa Claus and Jesus for getting all of the credit. Now I tell my children that Santa Goddess is posing as Mrs. Claus and that SHE and the elves do all of the work, and that “Santa” is merely their courier. Engulfed in modern society, I don’t think my young children hear me as they still dance with glee at any mention of Santa Claus.
Actually, BORN ON CHRISTMAS DAY, our bold and brilliant model Samantha is not new to the Free Sophia blog. You might remember her as the “Vegan Ballerina” from the article that changed the lives of myself, my family and many close friends forever. https://plus.google.com/107287050579003737566/posts/8tP6Ut5dre8
This is what she had to say about becoming our “Santa Goddess”:
“Portraying the Santa Goddess was a magical feeling! Carrying the present, standing in front of Christmas trees, and acting as the embodiment of the joy children everywhere feel this time of year really brought to life the essence of this season. Winter has always been my favorite time of year, since it is the season I was born in, and it felt surreal to be a part of this project.”
Sam says her mom almost named her “HOLLY”. 🙂 Thank you for lending your beauty and bravery to the GODDESS PROJECT, Samantha.
This stunning photo was taken by Jiyan Dai, a ballet dancer from China would plays Samantha’s love interest on and off of the stage. Gratitude and roses to you both!
Saule, Sun Goddess painting by Judith Shaw
Saule, Sun Goddess, gouache on paper
Sami children with reindeer
Photo location: Jokkmokk, Swedish Lapland. Photo by Joyce Le Mesurier/National Geographic Photo Contest
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