Song of Cerannon - Yule: The culling of Acorns
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This is the poetic script of an epic cycle (based on the Wiccan Wheel of the Year) to be performed aloud. It is formatted as a play to allow several characters to perform together, but would normally be performed as narrative verse by a Bard. It can be read as a story. This element is Yule - concerning life, death and rebirth, where we see the Horned God reborn and the Cailleach, the old hag of Winter, renew herself and begin aging in reverse, back to Bridget/Bride, the young woman of Spring. It concerns the nature of sacrifice, and the importance of oath-keeping. It promotes the personal responsibility of the individual to honour their gods and the traditions of their ancestors. It is intended to bring poetry, poignancy and gravitas to the somewhat bald narrative of the Wheel of the Year as the cycle of the Goddess, who waxes older and younger through the seasons: and the God who is re-born at Yule (xmas), grows, marries the Goddess at Beltain (Mayday), and is sacrificed at Lammas (August grain harvest), descending to the underworld at Samhain (Halloween). So this segment of the poem tells the story of Yule, the lowest point on the wheel of the year. The sun has died. Can it be reborn? Be warned! This is a very dark poem, yet not without hope. It begins with the harshest of winters, a winter so bad, that perhaps it might be the very fimbulwinter that presages the end of the world. Everything that man has built is at stake- his agriculture, his society and his way of life. It reminds us that despite our mastery of grains, the benfits we reap from the fruits of the field and the blood harvest of Samhain: we too are part of the great wheels of life. Into this terrible story of the wider seasonal problems and the consequent collapse of civilisation, comes the story of a woman. She's no one special in her own society, just someone who has had to live on the fringe and learn how to fight. Now she's pregnant. Will her child survive? She doesn't know, but she's doing her small bit to welcome back the spring. She's invited to a bargain that seems strange to us, but was widely practiced by the local lords and nobles of her society- mutual adoption, or Fosterage. Like an arranged marriage, it helped to create wider kinship ties, and cement peoples together. Is this an opportunity? How should she decide? And how does keeping your promises and fulfilling your obligations affect the future of the world?