The Celebration of Winter’s Death

By Phoenix the Elder – The three moons of Winter each year, has many meanings in its cultural celebrations, in food traditions and gatherings. It also has its songs, poetry and folklore equally to the harshness of winter and the symbol of death.

Winter is no stranger to death, as a complex myth and symbol, from the mundane to the spiritual to the religious meanings. In the Illustration below, death plays the role of the jester, the magician, the sorcerer, clown and trickster who takes off his mask and points to death’s mask… which shows no illusions, no falseness nor trickery.

This symbolism from our suffering experiences in our life is difficult and to be authentic, we must learn to wear our true face in hardship as this Illustration De Kapelle der Dooden by Abraham Sancta Clara, show us from 1741.


The jester or trickster holds out his hand to accept that responsibility. And death points down as the masks he has worn and ready to take off. That is a great symbolism when we want to change or make changes in our life.

Skeleton symbolism has always represented the core bones of who we are, its symbolized what is left of us after we pass on and it also represents humanities condition in the world. Suggesting where we are left abandoned and the hardships of starving, longing desperately for union with a nourishment from heaven and earth.

1741 Death as a TricksterFor most that is hard to imagine in the golden age (1900 to the present) around the world in all countries. But what if that changed, then we would truly understand what it meant from experience. For some who live in Syria or eastern Ukraine right now, war and power cause great hardship for everyone, or in places where starvation is, shows the meaning of this direct symbol.

Winter moons are the cycle of the trickster and maybe a reason why family is sometimes difficult to deal with during the holiday celebrations. Maybe the result of the conflict or struggle during the holiday season is why Carnival follows soon after in February, when the last moon and the 13th moon descend upon us before our rebirth in Spring, completing the winter moons and our contemplation of our life and what makes us unhappy or hopeless.

As the Winter Solstice and Season of Celebration comes, remember to be grateful and thankful for your life as it is right now, even if its difficult and for your family, friends and your community. Living in a small village, its important for me to keep healthy and strong, and connected with those of like mind, and being positive to stay connected and feel blessed.

I wish the same for you in your life right now. Happy Winter Solstice, Yule and Religious Holidays to everyone… Phoenix

Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind
As human’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship if feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

Freeze, freeze thou bitter sky,
That does not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:

Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As a friend remembered not.

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship if feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

~ William Shakespeare

Art source: artwork found on Dansk Jävlarna’s page on tumblr.

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