So you can read my books

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Elu here.

I am blood brother to Dyami, he whom you call Samuel McCord.

The Yule log is burning down to its last embers.  The shadows are gathering closer.  There are portents breathed on the midnight wind. 

Man in his smug civilized arrogance is ignorant of so much.

Did you know that a Yule log must NOT be bought and it must be kept burning all night, or that a dog that howls on Christmas Eve will go mad before Year's End?

Because I care for you, my friends, I will tell you of all the portents surrounding New Year's Eve like a shroud:

Empty pockets or empty cupboards on New Years
Eve portend a year of poverty.
If the first person to cross the threshold
of a house after midnight on New Years is a
dark-haired man, and he carries a shovel full of coal,
 then a year of good luck will follow.
It is bad luck to let a fire go out
on New Year's Eve.
You could insure yourself good fortune by
draining the last dregs from a bottle of drink
 on New Years!
The Weather:
If the wind blows from the south,
there will be fine weather and
prosperous times in the year ahead.

If it comes from the north,
it will be a year of bad weather.

The wind blowing from the east
brings famine and calamities.

If the wind blows from the west,
the year will witness plentiful supplies
 of milk and fish but will also see
 the death of a very important person.

If there's no wind at all,
a joyful and prosperous year may
be expected by all.

Loud Noise:
Make as much noise as possible at midnight
to scare away evil spirits.
Letting the Old Year Out:
At midnight, all the doors of a house
must be opened to let the old year
escape unimpeded.

He must leave before the New Year can
come in, says popular wisdom,
so doors are flung open to assist him
in finding his way out.

To dance in the open air, especially round a tree,
 on New Year's Day is declared
to insure luck in love and prosperity
 and freedom from ill health
during the coming twelve months.
Children born on New Year's Day
bring great fortune and prosperity
 to all the household.
On New Year's Day if, on rising,
a girl should look out of her
bedroom window and see a man passing by,
she may reckon to be married before the year
is finished.
Clocks should be wound up immediately
the New Year begins in order to endow
the house with good fortune,

while all daily cleaning and dusting
should be completed early in the day
of December 31 in order to avoid
the danger of sweeping good luck
from the house.


Avoid breaking things on that first day
lest wreckage be part of your year.

Also, avoid crying on the first day
of the year lest that activity set
the tone for the next twelve months

Do not pay back loans or lend money
or other precious items on New Year's Day.
To do so is to guarantee you'll be
paying out all year.

New Clothes:
Wear something new on January 1st
to increase the likelihood of your
receiving more new garments
during the year to follow.

Make sure to do -- and be successful at --
something related to your work
n the first day of the year,
even if you don't go near
your place of employment that day.

Limit your activity to a token amount,
though, because to engage in a serious
work project on that day is very unlucky.

Black-Eyes Peas:
A tradition common to the Southern part
of the United States says that the eating
of black-eyed peas on New Year's Day
will attract both general good luck
and money in particular to
the one doing the dining

A person who lives alone might
place a lucky item or two in a basket
that has a string tied to it,
and then place the basket
just outside the front door before midnight.

After midnight, the lone celebrant
hauls in his catch, being careful
to bring the item across the doorjamb
by pulling the string
rather than by reaching out to retrieve it
and thus breaking the plane of the threshold.

Nothing Goes Out: Nothing --

absolutely nothing, not even garbage --
is to leave the house on the first day of the year.

If you have presents to deliver on New Year's Day,
leave them in the car overnight.

Don't so much as shake out a rug or
take the empties to the recycle bin.
Some people soften this rule by saying
it's okay to remove things
from the home on New Year's Day,
provided that something else
has been brought in first.

Just as the clock strikes twelve
the head of the house should open the door
in order to allow the Old Year
to pass out and the New Year to come in.
Kissing at midnight:
To ensure that those affections and ties
will continue throughout the next twelve months.
To not do this would be
to set the stage for a year of coldness.

Stocking Up:
The New Year must not be seen
 in with bare cupboards,
lest that be the way of things for the year.
Larders must be topped up
and plenty of money must be placed
in every wallet in the place
o guarantee a prosperous year.

Paying Off Bills:
The new year should not be begun
with the household in debt,
so checks should be written and mailed off
prior to January 1st.

Likewise, personal debts should be
settled before the New Year arrives.

First Footing:
The first person to enter your home
after the stroke of midnight will influence the year
 you're about to have.

Ideally, he should be dark-haired, tall,
and good-looking, and
it would be even better if he came
bearing certain small gifts
uch as a lump of coal, a silver coin,
a bit of bread, a sprig of evergreen,
and some salt.

Blonde and redhead first footers bring bad luck,
 and female first footers should be
shooed away before they bring
disaster down on the household.

First Footing:
The first footer should knock
and be let in rather than just using a key.

After greeting those in the house
and dropping off whatever small tokens
 of luck he has brought with him,
he should make his way through the house
and leave by a different door
than the one through which he entered.

No one should leave the premises
before the first footer arrives --
he first traffic across the threshold
must be headed in rather than striking out.

First footers must not be cross-eyed
or have flat feet or eyebrows
that meet in the middle.
Squint-eyed, flat-footed,
or red-haired men bring bad luck.
If they are first-footers,
and so does a woman.

But a man with a high instep,
or one who comes on a horse,
is considered particularly lucky.

Excuse me, children, Cate Blanchett has
 just entered Meilori's,
and I intend to dance round the Yule tree
 with her to tweak the nose of Roland.

Be sure to read for FREE CHAPTER 5



  1. One lady I know, in her family, each New Year's Eve they sew new pillow cases because they believe it means they will not be poor for the year.

    She told me about it when I worked at the fabric shoppe.

    Then there are things that people will eat on New Year's. Around here they eat sour kraut and kielbasa. I never had kielbasa before but found it on sale for 89 cents today. So I bought some.

    Anyway, Happy 2013 :-) Whatever you believe.

  2. The Happy Whisk:
    Ah, Kielbasa. The name brings back memories and tastes. I was raised in Detroit and ate lots of that. Mother was a fine cook of that dish.

    I believe we make our luck much of the time, but sometimes lightning strikes! May the lightning of great fortune hit us both! :-)

  3. Hi Roland .. gosh that is a full list of things - really interesting to have so many myths set down ...

    Lightning is around now .. is it too early .. and you have lightning and storms in the States too .. I sincerely hope we have a happy successful and peaceful year ahead ..

    I must now look up kielbasa .. cheers Hilary

  4. Hoping for the best new year for you and everyone here! I'll definitely empty the bottle I open on New Years, but I'll probably be in bed before. (^;

  5. Hilary:
    Yes, you could wear yourself out trying to do all those things, couldn't you? I hope that lightning left you alone. Only the happiest of surprises for you this New Year!

    As with all the holidays, I will be out as a rare blood courier, hoping to stay out of the way of foolish drivers who drained their bottles and still got behind the wheel! Have a wonderful New Year!

  6. Sorry haven't been around Roland, but my laptop has been giving me grief.

    I see you (ahem-Elu?) mentioned the blackeye peas for New Year's for luck, a tradition I continued when I moved to Canada. Our trad was blackeye peas and pork (ham or roast). Since hubs likes southern food, he has no problem with that.

    Hope you had a nice Christmas (or were you awake for it?)

  7. D.G.:
    Sorry to hear about your laptop. I've been where you are, and it is no fun!

    Yes, Elu and I made sure to mention the blackeye peas for luck. I like them no matter the season. Have a great New Year. I worked Christmas and will work New Year's, too, with no days off in-between! Whew!

  8. That's a lot of traditions and superstitions. I guess I'll have a year of abundance since my cupboards are overflowing. I'll make sure not to take out the garbage--besides it might mess up my new clothes that I'll be wearing that day.

    Have a great New Years.

    Tossing It Out