The mythology of Cinderbiter

Halloween or old hallows fall once represented the end of the year, where the villagers would burn crops and other offerings to ward off spirits that were more likely to appear as the veil thinned, to appease them perhaps and to signify the end of the year – a death as such, before the rebirth of nature in the new year.

The mythology of Cinderbiter

…. and the inwardness of the fall

Up until what is now Christmas, the season seems to pull us inwards, whispering for us to hibernate, to cosy up around the hearth and fire with a good book and warm cup of tea… Much that our physiology tells us unfortunately doesn’t have room to be heard in the hustle and bustle of the modern day rat race… perhaps we loose something important by not having this time of inwardness, rest and reflection as it was *supposed* to be?

I am also reminded of the legend of Cinderbiter! An old myth from Scot / Hebridean ancestry. In this story – a young farm boy, who is seemingly of no use to his hardened family working the harsh land. He refuses to move and slumber wrapped around the family fire place, dreaming and muttering, coloured by ash and cinders from the fire (thus his name).

As the myth progresses a terrible threat in the form of a dragon awakens and only Cinderbiter, driven by learning gained from his deep and seemingly perpetual slumber has the courage to act and ultimately face down this foe.

I am reminded with our students of myself at a similar age…. of perhaps the need to slumber around the fire – for my skin to be ingrained with ash and speckled by cinders… perhaps in the slowing down for some in teenage years is representative of the caterpillar going into its cocoon before transformation in adulthood.

I miss and yearn for a society that gives room for less cognitive but more earthly and bodily wisdoms to be given breathing room.

My invitation if you are reading this – allow your self time to rest in these grey months, to allow a later re-emergence, more energised once again to face the world as the seasons start to change.


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