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Season's Greetings!

Finally!  Something to look forward to in 2020. Holiday celebrations will look a bit different this year, but the spirit is the same. Virtual hugs to all and may you find a good book under your tree.

Celts and Druids at Christmas

      Though Christmas is a Christian celebration, many of its traditions are adopted from ancient Celtic observances of Winter Solstice.

      Consider the Christmas tree. It plays a major role in Christmas festivities. But the tradition was likely adapted from the Celts, who saw evergreens as important in warding off evil spirits. They would decorate them with sun symbols and gifts to the Celtic gods. 

      The story behind mistletoe is even more interesting. Sneaking a kiss beneath it has been a Christmas tradition for centuries. But its first connections to love are said to have originated in Norse mythology, when Frigg, the Goddess of Love was so grateful to have her son, Baldaur brought back to life after being mortally wounded with a mistletoe arrow that she declared mistletoe the symbol of love and vowed to kiss all those who passed under it. (I wonder if the Norsemen in The Druid and the Dragon brought mistletoe with them when they invaded King Redmond's kingdom.) At any rate, the ancient Celts also revered mistletoe. Because the plant was able to survive and bloom even in the most bitter winter weather, they saw it as a symbol of vivacity, and it was given to people and animals as a fertility enhancement. (Knowing that, you might want to think twice about being caught beneath a sprig in the future!)

      Who doesn't love a good yuletide fire! It is a cozy place to sing carols and drink eggnog. The Celts believed that during the darkest days of winter, the sun stood still for twelve days, So they burned yule logs to counter the long winter nights and bring good luck.

      The Druids celebrated the Winter Solstice with the festival of Alban Arthan, also known as Yule. These were the shortest days of the year, and it was believed a great ritual was needed to turn things around and encourage the sun to stay longer each day. So great stone circles and burial mounds such as Newgrange were constructed and positioned in such a way as to focus the sunlight like a laser, an act the Druids believed would alter the sun's journey and start the move to spring.

     And now you know.

We Have Trilogy Cards!

Trilogy cards for The Druid and the Dragon are now available -- a perfect accompaniment to the novel for readers who enjoy a story with visuals. There are 52 image cards, 52 story clue cards, and instructions for 2 games. Great for classroom use, at home play, or just to collect.

Contact me to order.
In The Druid and the Dragon, who said ...
  • "Must you shriek? You are hurting my ears."
    • "We have been working on our defence. My informant tells me the Norsemen are on their way."

    • "You watch as if you truly believe they will come."

    • "Well, don't stand there like a fence post waiting for a pigeon."

    • "We must always strive for balance."

    Character of the Month

    Declan is the wingman in Maeve's adventures. Seldom far from her side, he's a few years older, cool-headed, and loyal to the end. Even so, he and Maeve don't always see eye to eye. But Declan has a way with words -- he is the bard's apprentice for a reason -- and it is difficult for Maeve to stay angry with him for long.

    Reviews (even bad ones) sell books. There are several reviews on my website and readers have begun posting their ratings and reviews on Goodreads as well -- I'd love if you added yours.

    A beta-reader shares her Druid and the Dragon experience. Have a listen ...
    Did you know ...
    • the word solstice roughly translated means 'sun stands still
    • Newgrange in Ireland is aligned with the rising sun, while Stonehenge in England is aligned with the setting sun
    • the solstice happens at the same moment for everyone in the world. In 2020 the winter solstice will occur on December 21st at 2:02 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

    The Seer Trilogy - Books ll & lll Update
    • The first round of revisions for The Bridge of Whispers is complete and back with my publisher. I think (hope) that means the bulk of the substantive edit is behind me. Still lots of work to do, but the hardest part is done.
    • The Sorcerer's Revenge (working title) is now underway. I have all the story pieces in my head. All I have to do now is figure out how they fit. If I can hobble together an outline by the end of December, I should be able to start writing in January. 

    And that's it for 2020. See you all in the new year. Until then, Happy Reading and ...

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    The Seer Trilogy

    Kristin Butcher

    Campbell River, BC

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