The Art of the Omen Days

Light From the Midwinter's Heart
By Caitlin Mathews

EVERY YEAR as Midwinter brings the holidays, we have the wonderful opportunity to enter the still-point of the fading year and emerge with fresh focus for the coming year. In some households the Omen Days are kept, which the rest of the world knows as ‘the Twelve Days of Christmas.’ Most people remember the carol about these days: ‘On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me,’ where a successive number of gifts arrive for each of the twelve days, with a multiplicity of birds, rings and people with their own special aptitudes

These special days have a long history which stems from a time before they were adopted by the Christian world. In Brittany and Wales, the Twelve Days of Christmas which mark the intercalary days of the year are called the ‘Omen Days,’ and have a special purpose. ‘Intercalary days’ are really the days left over from reckoning up the solar year and in calendars throughout the world and at different times, they are special because they are considered to be ‘the days out of time.’ It is usually in this magical interval that Gods are born or conceived in many different mythologies, including the Irish divinity Oengus Og, who is conceived, grown and born at Brúg na Boinne (Newgrange in the Boyne Valley, Ireland) all in one day by the skilful workings of the Dagda.

The full article can be found on page 36 of The Witches' Almanac Spring 2018-2019: The Magic of Plants