So about this time of year, I get a lot of questions about what it means to live "without a moral compass" and "what do you celebrate at Christmas" and stuff. I reply kindly, that I DO have a moral compass and that I DO celebrate Christmas as a holiday of inspiration, peace, forgiveness and human warmth.
And then the conversation usually drifts uncomfortably into other topics. I have, however, recently found myself surrounded by like-minded people who follow the same or similar traditions to what I hold dear. And as we are all learning and growing together and trying to develop a modern tradition that still upholds the traditions of our ancestors... we all come together to learn from each other and tell stories and so on. We do this a lot. It is Awesome.
Recently I was asked to share a "holiday appropriate" story from my tradition (which is called Asatru but it's not the racist, bigotted version that gets all the press) and I had to apologize because I don't have a tradition based on fluffy bunnies who save the day and then drink apple juice before bed time.
No, I'm afraid my tradition is built out of hard winters and bad soil and really REALLY hard decisions.
And still, the request persisted. So I shared the story which I have now posted below. It's a brief introduction to what a holiday festival might have been like, and meant to the community. It is also an introduction to the injustice of older ways; a reminder that while traditions are important, some things (like slavery) from the old days are better left buried in the ground forever.
So here's a story of a spirit called "Nisse", which you'll likely think of as a little bearded gentleman in a red pointy cap and a smart blue coat. That is as close an image to the real thing as Mickey Mouse is to real mice. Hallmarks are there, but still, you know? Anyway, I'll tell you the story now: