The Winter Book

Oh, my dears. It’s been a long week. And it is Friday night. The sky is dark, the moon is traveling past the stars, and much of the world is readying for bed. Curl up and listen to the tales I weave, until your eyes grow heavy and you slip into slumber, ready for the Dream Maker.

According to ancient Germanic folklore, during the Yule season and the celebration of the Winter Solstice, the mythic Wild Hunt would take place. The Wild Hunt was a frenzied and phantasmal group of hunters in mad pursuit across the winter skies. It was warned that should a mortal witness The Wild Hunt, or dare to follow it as it undulated and tore through the sky, then that mortal would be kidnapped to the Island of the Dead and never heard from again. Parents warned their children from watching for The Hunt, but children are children and the quickest way to get them to do something is to tell them not to do it. So, to keep their children safe and to distract them from the tempting visage of deities and their horses, parents gave their children books to scribble in, to keep the children’s eyes away from the skies and potential kidnappings by the dead.

These Winter Books, as they came to be known, grew into personal accounts of The Wild Hunt, pieced together from sidelong glances and glimpses, guesses and conjecture. Without these books, without the small artists in the snow, bent over their books and away from the frenzied hunting party of the dead, we’d not know what we do about The Wild Hunt.

Sleep tight, my pets. Dream deep.

 

 

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