Tag Archives: Modern

Modern Practices of The Winter Solstice

Informant: I researched it and made it our own, and it changes constantly every year, but that’s to be expected. I’ve always done solstice when we were out here (America) because we were otherwise going back to England for Christmas and we didn’t want to go schlepping (moving) all the presents back, so we starting celebrating this.

Interviewer: So what is it that you do for the solstice?

Informant: I go out in the late afternoon and I pick Bay Leaves, Oak Leaves, and Ivy Leaves and I wash them and then I put them out to dry in the last rays of the sun. Traditionally I’m making pork and prunes on that day, so I put that on to cook. It is the first night we light the yule log. I build a fire in the fire pit, using what remains of last year’s log. We start around the fire making wishes with the leaves I left out to dry and throwing them into the fire. When we come in to eat, we eat take a light from the fire and light a candle then carry that light to the table where we’re eating. You are bringing light into the darkness. My husband also made me a yule log table decoration with fire candles in it for the five of us in the family.

Interviewer: You mentioned wishes with leaves, what kind of wishes do you make?

Informant: I can show you, I have it written down.

[Informant returns with a red book]

Informant: This is where I record all the big events that happen to my family every solstice. Here’s the wish list.

[Written information on a standard white piece of paper]

These leaves have been washed clean and dried in the last rays of the sun. Splash them with whatever you’re drinking and drop them into the fire with a wish. This is a time of giving so your wishes should not be for yourself but for the good of others.

IVY
For friendship, fidelity, and affection

OAK
For luck, also strength, endurance and vigor

BAY LAUREL
For health and Protection
This is also a time for letting go, making amends or saying farewell.

PAPER
Write your regrets and resentments on a slip of paper and toss them into the fire.

Milennial Urban Legend

The interviewer, D, asked a group of friends what the craziest story they had heard of was, specifically regarding how two people met. His friend, C piped up with a story he heard that he acknowledged was pretty outlandish, but nevertheless told D his recollection. This story was told to him by his cousin initially.

“My cousin loves telling this story – I really doubt if it’s true but if it is, it’s really creepy. Supposedly two people, a guy and a girl, dated a bit when they were in high school or in college. I guess the age doesn’t really matter here, but the point is that it didn’t work out for them and they broke up as most young relationships tend to do. My cousin’s friend was the guy in this scenario. Apparently he had always treated this girl as the one that got away for him so he made it a personal goal to one day end back up with her.

Many years later, my cousin checks back up on his friend through facebook and finds out that they’re dating again. I guess it really isn’t that odd that some couples end up dating again but my cousin was curious because of the goal his friend had set for himself. He asked around and apparently his friend had set up some elaborate scheme where he befriended the girl’s best friend to slowly keep tabs on his ex. His friend also found out that she moved across the country and actually used his work days off to take “vacations” in the town where he knew she was living in. I guess over some time of continuing to do this he coincidentally just happens to bump [interviewer notes some sarcasm] into her seemingly out of the blue. He slowly reincorporates himself into her life and my cousin swears they’re married now and the dude never really let her get away. Kinda creepy if you ask me.”

Interviewer: “Do you think your cousin’s telling the truth, or more importantly, do you think something like this happened?”

C: “Nah, I don’t really pay much attention to what my cousin says [laughs]. Seriously though, the story is just vague enough to where it resembles a “it could happen to anyone” type of situation, so no not really.”

The interviewer attributes this story as nothing more than an urban legend of sorts. In a day and age where technology is increasingly able to pervade one’s daily life, this type of story becomes believable. Had someone thought of this story, say 20 years ago, it wouldn’t have received the traction it has now.