friday fantasy folio 1, december 23, 2021
In this first Friday Fantasy Folio letter, I share my research on the Nameless Day in Celtic mythology and its association with mistletoe. (You can read the letter in its letter form here.)
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the nameless day
December 23rd is the “Nameless Day” or the “Feast of Potentials” in Celtic astrology, the day that stands outside the lunar year, full of possibility and potential.
If you’d like to learn more about the Celtic astrological calendar—and find your own tree-sign, I’ve put together an overview of my favorite resources and tree personality descriptions here. (Mine is Rowan, in case you were curious 🌿)
The symbol for this Nameless Day is mistletoe, which the druids used in protective magic and to ward off evil. Mistletoe was an especially powerful symbol when found in the boughs of an oak tree, together representing strength and protection as well as rebirth and renewal. (Mistletoe is poisonous, so be very cautious and don’t injest it or apply it to your skin.)
In my Nameless Day research, one of my favorite write-ups expanded upon the rebirth symbolism of mistletoe.
Imagine with me, for a moment, the bare limbs of an oak tree, stretching wide across a gray winter sky. But curled along its branches, you find a tuft of green with tiny white berries.
Mistletoe is hemi-parasitic, which means that it feeds off of its host plant though it can also photosynthesize on its own. But while mistletoe may eventually kills its host plant, it also serves as an important food source for forest animals in the winter when food is scarce.
Learn more about mistletoe and its characteristics as well as its folkloric associations here.
a period of reflection and rebirth
In this brief period before we begin a new year, I hope you’ll take a moment with me to pause and contemplate this image of life in the midst of death, of something budding and growing while something else withdraws and rests.
I write this during Yule, on the solstice in 2021. The past two years have brought about a great deal of change, of loss, for so many of us. But I hope that you, like me, have found new growth, new possibilities in the midst of that loss.
What would you like to be possible for you in this new year? What adventure has been dormant but now buds on the limbs of a tree? (We’ll set aside the parasitic part for these questions.)
I know for me, 2022 is bringing with it a new phase in my writing and storytelling. It means projects brought to fruition, like the compiled and printed Land of Vampires duet D&D campaign. And it means the start of a new series, Feather & Flame.
And I hope that it means a flourishing of magical stories and storytelling for all of us!
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Wishing you many magical adventures and tales,
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