Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter Solstice and Yule: A Time for Restoring Order

Marduk

If you're feeling the urge to get organized at this time of year, there's some ancient tradition behind that, as I just discovered.
The Babylonians believed that Marduk had created the world, and made it one of order, beauty, and peace. It hadn't been an easy task, however - first he'd had to fight a grueling battle and defeat the monsters of chaos.

Each year, everything went along splendidly until the cooler weather brought winter; then the monsters regained their strength and once again challenged Marduk's reign. The battle was on and lasted for twelve days, but Marduk could no longer defeat the monsters by Himself. He needed the help of the people. It was their job to cheer Him on and help Him win the war. Only then could order be restored, and beauty and peace on Earth be renewed.

The Zagmuk festival began five days before Winter Solstice and lasted six days after, with the peak of the festival falling on the Solstice itself. On the seventh day, the Sun stayed in the sky longer - a sure sign that Marduk was well on his way to victory.
-- Yule, by Dorothy Morrison

[picture of Marduk from rootsweb]

5 comments:

Cynthia Friedlob said...

I love this! -- the history, the mythology, the theme of defeating the "monsters of chaos" to create "order, beauty and peace."

I noticed that this season's Discardia holiday starts on December 21st and I'm certainly a fan of Dinah Sanders' creation.

But Discardia will come around again in the spring, so in December I'm going to celebrate Zagmuk!

Laurie said...

What a perfect post for this time of year! This one is a keeper!!

Rachel said...

Hello Jeni,

i'm Brazil! I don't speak English, but i love your blog! Congratulation!

Perfet post!!!

kisses

Rachel

Jeri Dansky said...

Rachel, you speak much better English than I speak Portuguese! Thank you so much for commenting.

Cynthia and Laurie, I'm so glad this resonated with you. I'm always pleased when I stumble on something like this - and it's even better when others enjoy it as much as I do.

Louise said...

I wonder if winter is traditionally a time of chaos and clutter because people were stockpiling food and supplies? Cramming it all indoors for safekeeping?

I know our home on wheels gets more crowded in the winter months as coats come out of closets and pile up on the furniture...

Interesting!