Yule Spirits

In this scene we see the three spirits of the Yuletide season—Odin, Frau Holle, and Krampus—discussing the blessing of the town behind them that clearly has obeyed the old ways of erecting a proper Yule Goat.

 

It has been theorized that Odin evolved into Santa Claus. During Yule, Odin rode a white horse through town at night and put treats in the shoes of good boys and girls. Additionally, Every year for the 12 nights of Yule, the Wild Hunt rides throughout the land each night. In Christian times, this was depicted as evil spirits going through the land, but in earlier times it was thought of a joyous time when the land was blessed and renewed for the new year—a time when the spirits of the land and our ancestors returned to feast and make merry with the living. Odin was said to ride at the head of the Wild Hunt, and in other stories so was Frau Holle.

Of course, Krampus the Christmas demon has received a lot of press in recent years. I for one think it’s very cool to see his legend spread again. I love the idea of a connection between Krampus and the Yule Goat.

The main thing I wanted to emphasize with my painting is the blending of the old with the new. As a culture we have been celebrating Yule/Christmas/Winter Holidays for a very long time. Things change and evolve as our culture changes and evolves. Our stories grow with us. I know oftentimes the Yuletide Season can be difficult. I encourage everyone to remember that the season is the reason. It is a time for family and friends, both alive and dead.

The original painting was done in oil and measures 18" x 24".

Copyright © 2013 Sam Flegal, All Rights Reserved

Copyright © 2013 Sam Flegal, All Rights Reserved