Apologia

The holidays discussed on this site are primarily Northern European in origin, many of them associated with the British Isles (Britain and Ireland). This emphasis reflects my interests and celebratory practices, inspired by my ethnic background and self-identification as a person of English-Scottish-Irish (and German) descent. This cultural appropriation is largely a work of imagination, motivated by my longing for belonging and the impulse to feel rooted in time and space. Hardly any of the traditions discussed here were passed on to me by my parents and grandparents, and I doubt that my great-grandparents observed any of them except Christmas.

My reasons for identifying with the widely diverse historical cultures of the British Isles could stretch into dusty volumes to fill neglected shelves. The essential point of such ramblings would be this: it is not always dishonest or misguided to seek personal inspiration in a (somewhat) mythical past; in fact, imaginatively reconstructing our myths of origin is a sane way to engage our culturally disorienting milieu. Whether we acknowledge it our not, each of us is guided by some kind of mythology. Myth-making is an essential human endeavor; it may be an edifying pastime when pursued mindfully.

For more along these lines, visit the Mythopoet section of this site.

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