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December 19, 2012    

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Whew! What a relief. Thank goddess my annual holiday card is done, finished, and in the can. (Or to be more accurate, it's on the computer screen. (See above)

When I set up the paints to get started with the card a vision of reindeer kept coming to mind. Tall ones, short ones, fat ones, skinny ones, plain ones and gorgeous ones clumped together, all waiting to try out for Santa's team.  Reindeer humble, reindeer proud, and even mean, snooty reindeer who thought themselves superior to all the rest soon showed up as I began to draw.

Yippee! I had a subject for the card. I'd title it 'The Audition' [to pull Santa's sleigh].

 

Soon my inner critic reared her ugly head. In the middle of the second draft of the painting she was whispering in my ear, "Ewww, the second reindeer on the right has a fox-face and what's that one supposed to be, a sheep?"

I squinted. Sure enough, she was right! Somehow a veritable Noah's ark full of non-reindeer were stowing away on my card. Foxes, cows, a grizzly bear, and even a camel and a llama came onstage at onetime or another.

(Which reindeer wanna-be's can you find in the card?)

But hey, whose painting was this anyway? If other animals want to help pull Santa's sleigh, it's OK by me. Bring 'em on . . . the more the merrier, I say!
 

Sarah agreed. "It's the story of Olive, The Other Reindeer" she volunteered, "a children's book about a dog named Olive who keeps hearing the song 'Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer" and thinks they're saying 'Olive, the other reindeer' when they sing 'All Of the other reindeer". So, thinking she's a reindeer, Olive treks to the North Pole to help Santa with the sleigh. . . and good thing she did, too, because it was one of those years where a catastrophe was underway and it just wasn't going to happen if she hadn't come along.

By the way, are you aware that female reindeer have antlers (often ones even larger than the males') and that there is a 'Reindeer Goddess'? She may not be as well known as Cerunnos, the Horned One, but in Scotland she was known as Elen, Lady of the Ways. She is also called the Lady of the Dreamways since she is a bridge between reality and the world of sleep and dreaming. In the Welsh epic poem the Mabinogion it is told that she would call the king to her side in his dreams.

What a fitting goddess for the Winter Solstice, when we are called to dream. For a look at how the ancient god and goddess myths have shaped our modern holiday traditions, visit our article on the Winter Solstice, Christmas Traditions and the Goddess.

In closing,
   a reminder to   . . .

Celebrate life
and all that is good in it.

Dream and heal.

Happy Holidays,

Sharon , Liz and Sarah

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