The Invisible Web

Your Trip Into the Chapel Perilous

Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

YuleTide: The Twelve Deities of Solstice #9 – BERTHA (PERCHTA)

Posted by invizweb on December 28, 2008

(C) Wikimedia Commons

(C) Wikimedia Commons

” There were beautiful Perchten with colorful clothes and glittering ornaments, and the Schiachperchten – bold forms, ghostly apparitions with masks of wood or bark, enveloped in furs, moss, lichen…demons represented by the inhabitants. ” (Michael Moynihan and Kadmon, Lords of Chaos New Edition, “Oskoriei,” 382)

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Posted in Mythology, Neo Paganism, Philosophy & Religion & Spirituality, Urban Legends | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

YuleTide: Santa Klaus and His Companions #6 – La BEFANA (and STRENUA?)

Posted by invizweb on December 25, 2008

There is a story about a woman.  On one night each year she goes searching for her lost child. Sounds like La Llarona? It isn’t. It is the tradition gift giver of rural Italian winter holiday celebrations: La Befana. La Befana is described as a frightening crone whom “is as kind as she is ugly.” She wears a scarf and has a large mole on her nose. On Epiphany, January 6th, in Urbania (of Central Italy) and other towns in Southern Italy, she flies into homes on her broom stick (through keyholes where there are no chimneys) giving “good” children a “bag of goodies,” which include but is not limited to candy. She also gives children coal (and perhaps a bop with her broom). In return, families leave her a stocking filled with fruit (oranges, again?) and a glass of vino.

The name La Befana first appeared in a poem in 1594.  Legends of La Befana place the woman to the Biblical Era. In one tale, the three magi who were searching for the soon-to-be born Jesus receive shelter and food from her when she cannot provide directions to Bethlehem, or her accompaniment on the journey due to the need of sweeping. She realizes her mistake too late, and thus wanders the world searching for Jesus to this day. In another variation she continually searches for Jesus due to sadness in losing her own child. Yet in another version, she is a widowed Princess who retreats to the wilderness and becomes a witch. In this telling, Jesus searches and finds her and offers her the role of “the Mother of All Children,” which she accepts.

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Posted in Mythology, Neo Paganism, Urban Legends | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

YuleTide: Santa Klaus and His Companions #5 – REINDEER(and the YULE GOAT)

Posted by invizweb on December 24, 2008

The Santa Klaus’ most renowned companions are the reindeer who make up his team. This was not always the case as the official animal mascot of the Winter Solstice in most of the Euro-Western world was the Yule Goat. Originally two goat whom were named Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjostr were the mounts of Thunder God, Thor and his hammer Mjonir. It is theorized that these two are the origins of the Yule Goat (note I do not claim Santa is Thor). The function of the goat is to signify the coming feast when a goat (suprise~!) would be sacrificed to diners via roasting. The iconography of the goat lost its prominence since supposedly the tradition of men dressed as a goat for the Yule celebration, knocking on doors to sing carols, spooked small children. Thus the goat is mostly an ornament or a straw effigy to be burned nowadays.

And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:
“Now! Dasher, now! Dancer, now! Prancer and Vixen,
“On! Comet, on! Cupid, on! Dunder and Blixem;
“To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
“Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

excerpt from “A Visit from Santa Klaus (aka, Twas the Night Before Christmas),” Anonymous (1823)

The above poem marked the rise in the reindeer as Santa’s steed of choice in popular culture. As stated yesterday, as there are no reindeer to be found in the North Pole, in Europe, many traditions hold that Santa’s reindeer reside in Lapland, Finland.  In Australia, the traditional story is that Santa unreins the reindeer for  a team of kangaroo as reindeer would overheat in sub equatorial running.

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Posted in Comics/ Graphical Prose, Neo Paganism, Philosophy & Religion & Spirituality, Urban Legends | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

YuleTide: Santa Klaus and His Companions #4 – FATHER WHIP (PERE FOUETTARD)

Posted by invizweb on December 23, 2008

There are legends of a man long ago who lead lost children into his meat shop in France. Even though it is not explicitly stated in all versions of the tale, it needn’t be said of how these kids ended up the Christmas dinner of Pere Fouettard.

In one modern version of the story, Fouettard and his wife lead three children they believed to be rich enrollments to the local seminary into their shop where the boys were drugged, had their throats slit, stripped naked, put in the camel clutch (OK I made that part up), seasoned, and stewed. The wife would soon answer a knocking on the door which revealed itself to be the workings of Father Christmas. Enraged, he resurrected the three lads whole, and chained the Butcher. Hence that day Pere Fouettard was a servant to Papa Noel, and became analogous to the Boogeyman in France.

In a Medieval variation to the story the three kids were hungry, poverty-stricken, and lost in a field until they were attracted by the single Pere’s house lights. In this version, he cooked them because pork meat was scarce and in demand (whereas he and his wife were cannibals in the other version). Apparently this version took place recently after Saint Nicholas’ death as he was scared shitless when the old man forced his way into his home shortly after the kids were salted and thrown into the brine. After resurrecting the three whole in this version, Pere Fouettard throws himself at Santa for repentance, which the Jolly One offered as “God allows all to redeem themselves.” From that point on, he assisted Santa in dispensing spankings to the “weak of spirit.”

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YuleTide: Santa Klaus and His Companions #2 – KRAMPUS

Posted by invizweb on December 21, 2008

The picture below was found by Jacob Sloan, blogger on Disinfo.



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Posted in Anamolous Phenomena/ Forteana, Current Events, Philosophy & Religion & Spirituality | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

YuleTide: Santa Klaus and His Companions #1 – BLACK PETE(s)

Posted by invizweb on December 20, 2008

For the next 6 days the Invisible Web will unveil the cast of characters, some of which are very abstract, who play different roles on Christmas (companions for the Jolly Old Saint and then Klaus himself, flanked by his Knight), and then 13 more for Winter holiday celebrations of varying cultures worldwide. Together they tell a story like no other. Today’s player…

Centuries ago in the Germanic lands, Sinterklaus (Santa Klaus) was a originally a bishop based in Turkey who traveled the world delivering goods to well-behaved children on Christmas day.  He was originally accompanied either by a Devil he conquered and chained to his side or the character from tomorrow’s story Krampus.  However, in the 19th Century, Saint Nicholas’ story was retconned in Holland and the region of Flanders so that he saved a Moorish “slave” from Spanish servitude and thus in gratitude he is under the bishop’s employ as “Zwarte Piet” (Black Pete).  There has been theories throughout history that Santa Klaus is actually a new incarnation of Odin –  if this was so then Pete is actually one of his ravens, either Hugin or Munin, whom are the constant companions of the one-eyed Highfather of the Aesir House of Norse Gods.

(C) Detroit Metro Times

(C) Detroit Metro Times

Pete’s function was to help the Saint distribute candy and goods to amiable children (Santa Klaus is not as healthy anymore due to his old age supposedly; he is actually rather gaunt in his Germanic incarnations) .  However, little hooligans were warned that misbehavior may earn them a lashing from a birch switch or a kidnapping to Spain via Santa and Pete’s mystic burlap sack.  Nowadays, he just feigns to kick kids (I wonder if IWA MidSouth wrestler Chuck Taylor will disguise as Pete or Krampus just to have an excuse to beat up kids).

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State of Site Address

Posted by invizweb on December 16, 2008


I am currently working on various things of which include the following:

  • Last week I interview Austin Gandy of the Disinfo World News and Karl Stern of the Figure 4 Weekly Empire as part of our special Winter Carnival Espectacular.  I hope you guys enjoy the show.  I will do my best to make it entertaining.  I am considering adding a third segment to it.
  • For those viewers who visited the site in the last two days, you may have seen a preview my “YuleTide: The Twelve Deities”  project I am working.  Originally I was going to release it now but then I learned the 12 Days of Christmas/Solstice is between Christmas and January 6th, which is also known as Three Kings Day.  However my profiles will begin on the Solstice, which is December 20th EST, so it will be the Twelve Deities plus five.
  • I am still in the middle of working on my review of Jodorowsky’s work.  I will also do a quick retrospective on the life of Shigeru Miyamoto who celebrated his birthday last month, and two posts listing the best foods I have dined in Queens and Manhattan, and best podcasts I have listened to this year.
  • Recently I have purchased Alterna Comics- Morbid Myths Vol.1: the Collection, Steve Ditko’s The Hero, Grant Morrison’s Doctor Who#1, Classic Graphics: H.P. Lovecraft, and DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore.  I have not decided whether or not I will review them as of yet.

Updates have slowed down not due to the Holiday Season but because of my taking the GMAT.  Those who know me personal realize that I am a proponent of education reform and the abolition of standardized testing.  At $250 a pop, the GMAT is definitely one that I highly advocate the concluding of.

I really want Persona 4 but I am still unemployed so it is not just a money issue, it is also a time issue.  Once I find a job, I will have time to purchase and play it.  I will set that tentatively by Lunar New Year I hope.  In the meantime, i will settle for watching Persona: Trinity, Sarah Jane Adventures Series 2, Doctor Who classics, and One Piece.  I will of course earch for work about two-three hours a day also.

By the way, yesterday while I was taking out the garbage I stepped over on an orgy of a dozen garden slugs killing most of them.  I know slugs repulse me due to the slime they generate.  I wonder if that is why most other people are afraid of them or is it their prejudice against those who a re sexually different; slugs have mail and female reproductive organs.

Thank you for your time.  I look forward to your feedback.


Alan Lee

Posted in Anamolous Phenomena/ Forteana, The Invisible Web Podcast | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »