The Invisible Web

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Posts Tagged ‘Santa Claus’

YuleTide One Shot: Of SANTA and ODIN (KNIGHT RUPERT and BELSNICKEL too)

Posted by invizweb on December 25, 2008

With 86% of Americans having a belief in Santa Klaus until age 8 (AP-AOL, 2006), Jolly Saint Nick is perhaps one of the most recognizable figures in the USA. The story goes that from the North Pole, Santa emerges from his House each year to dispense gifts to children who are obedient to their parents each year. His house according to North American lore is located in the North Pole, where he lives with his wife “Mrs. Klaus.” In workshop hidden from the world, meek elves in his employ make toys and other presents to the believing, which are delivered to Jolly Old Sat Nick some time before Christmas. When Christmas Eve arrives, Santa and his team of eight reindeer fly across the world. Santa enters home through chimneys and eats cookies left by children.

As written in the past few days, this tradition is not universal; i.e. reindeer do not live in the North Pole, factually, so many European traditions locate the Reindeer of Santa in Lapland, Finland. Originally, the figure celebrated for bringing holiday cheer for the British whom would colonize the US, was traditionally Father Christmas, whose origin was the 17th Century when The Protestant ban on Christmas feasts was lifted. He was a man draped regally as if he was royalty. The modern interpretation of Santa Klaus, a large jolly man full of spirit was only popularized in the mid 19th Century, but was iconized by the drawings of former Playboy illustrator Haddon “Sunny” Sundblom as ads for the Coca Cola Company in the 1930s. This was after Father Christmas and the legendary Bishop of Lycia, Turkey, Saint Nicholas of Myra were syncretized. Nicholas was a holy man reputed to have resurrected three children butchered and paid for the dowry of three women, thus preventing them from entering a life of slavery.

Knight Rupert, or Knecht Ruprecht, as he was named originally in German folklore, protects Santa Klaus with staves. He also uses his rod to discipline “misbehaving children.” Contrasting with Santa, Rupert wars dark colored clothes and has generally uncouth hair and facial hair. Due to his strong resemblance to Odin, he is believed to be a modernization of the Highfather so much to the extent that the NAZIs attempted to replace Santa with Rupert believing him to be a corrupted form of the ancient deity. In some traditions, Rupert and Santa have been merged (something like the fusions in Dragon Ball Z and the combining in Transformers I guess) into one entity: Ru Klaus (Eng: Rough Nicholas), who is both the giver of gifts and the dispenser of punishment. Knight Rupert is also linked with Saint Rupert in Switzerland.

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Posted in Magic(k), Mythology, Philosophy & Religion & Spirituality, Urban Legends | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Devil On The Chimney: A tale of Lovecraftian horror and psycho-archeology

Posted by invizweb on July 23, 2008

wrote the following article for gettingit on December 27, 1999.

Nine years ago in Burlington, North Carolina, a group of decent, Christian, hard-working folks who called themselves the Truth Tabernacle Church held a trial featuring the well-known elf Santa Claus as defendant.

They charged Mr. Claus, represented in court by a stuffed dummy, with all sorts of high crimes and misdemeanors. They charged him with paganism. They charged him with perjury for claiming to be Saint Nicholas. They even charged him with encouraging child abuse by appearing in whiskey ads. Worse yet, they found him guilty on all counts, for basically being a jolly old elf — i.e., a pagan god trying to steal Christmas from Christ.

It wasn’t the first time Mr. Claus got the boot from a Christian congregation. Pope John XXIII threw the suspiciously merry old clown out of the Roman Catholic church back in the late 1960s. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have always denounced Santa for his unsavory pagan past. (They also recognized Christmas trees as phallic symbols long before Freud.) Many fundamentalists believe that all pagan gods are basically one false god — the same demon in different disguises — and they think the disguise is thin in the case of this particular elf. It only takes a minor letter switch, they point out, to reveal Santa Claus as SATAN Claus.

I sort of think the fundies have it right for once. Santa not only has an unsavory pagan ancestry but a rather criminal family history all around. Let me Illuminize you…

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