This fascinating post by gathervictoria.com was reblogged to me, In the spirit of the season I’ll pass it on since I’ve never even questioned why reindeer belong in Christmas.
In the ancient nature religions (in which the divine was often perceived as feminine) it was the female horned reindeer who reigned as the great goddess of the north – and she was much associated with winter solstice. It was when we “Christianized” the pagan traditions of winter, that the white bearded man i.e. “Father Christmas” was born.
Today he chariots Rudolph and his steed of flying reindeer across our mythical skies and we have forgotten the power of the Deer Mother, the female horned Reindeer. Stronger and larger than the buck, it is she who leads the herds.
And it is her beloved image that adorns the Christmas cards and Yule decorations we are so familiar with today. Because, unlike the male who sheds his antlers in winter, it is the Deer Mother, who flies through winter’s longest darkest night with life-giving light of the sun in her horns.
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