Sunday, January 03, 2010


Anglo Saxon Wolf Monath

It is exciting to know how people lived in ancient times, and the legends are fascinating reading IMO! I have a soft spot for the Anglo-Saxons and this legend fits for January.

The Anglo-Saxons called the first month Wolf monath because wolves came into the villages in winter in search of food. In Teutonic Europe many pagan people were devoted to the wolf, evidenced in the popularity of Wolf or Wulf in place and personal names: Beowulf, Athelwulf, Wolfram etc. The old Saxon sacred year began with Wolf-monath - Wolf month - and the wolf skin was believed to impart power and healing, while its teeth were worn as an amulet. Cults such as that of the Great Goddess Lupa and Lupa-Kali - an Oriental goddess in wolf form - had many devotees, while the Amazones who worshipped the Triple Goddess had a tribe named the Neuri who were said to turn into wolves for several days each year while a similar tale is told of an Irish tribe.

The 1st of January was a highly significant day in medieval superstitions regarding prosperity, or lack of it, in the year ahead. A flat cake was put on one of the horns of a cow in every farmyard. The farmer and his workers would then sing a song and dance around the cow until the cake was thrown to the ground. If it fell in front of the cow that signified good luck; to fall behind indicated the opposite.

Calennig is the Welsh tradition of New Year gift giving. A Calennig is an apple with three twig legs stuck with dried fruit, cloves and a spray of evergreens stuck into the top. It is a traditional Welsh decoration to give friends and families on New Years day to with them luck during the new year. Placing a calennig on the window sill or shelf will bring luck to the house. Calennig is a Welsh word meaning "New Year celebration/gift," though literally translates to "the first day of the month," deriving from the Latin word kalends. The English word "Calendar" also has its root in this word.

In the beginning of the new year is the time to make New Year resolutions:
1) ?
2) ?
3) ?

I'll think about that to-morrow like Scarlet did!

photo: gb

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