Friday, December 06, 2013

Featured Creature: The Judgement of Winter

I've been giving it some thought and I think I finally understand the reason small children are instinctively terrified of Saint Nick.  Children do not have the filters in place that we develop as we age.  They sense what we've all glossed over or forgotten: Santa Claus is a Judge.

It is not only that he sees us at all times, he passes judgement upon us as well.  In essence, he comes as the spirit of Winter, asking the questions that hard times always bring.  Are we prepared for the worst?  Are we worthy of this life?  Will we survive the cold hard days ahead?  How has our past behavior brought us to this present set of circumstances?  If we have prepared and are "good" then we will be given gifts and hope for survival, but if we have been "bad" and have wasted our resources then we get nothing save a lump of coal and a bunch of twigs.  Enough to start a fire.

If you strip away all the glittering commercial decoration of Santa Claus, you find the old myth of Saturn hiding beneath.  Saturn's ancient festival, Saturnalia was celebrated around the Winter solstice, this same time of year.  One of the core elements of the Saturn myth involves him eating his children.

{8x5.33,  Digital Images created in Adobe Photoshop}

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