The Yule log

Our English ancestors’ Christmases involved bringing in a Yule log, as in the illustration above, (by Alan Wright and Vernon Stokes). The Yule log is one of the traditions that appear not to have survived in this country, though many English traditions were observed for some time in both New England and the Southern colonies.

The New England colonies, of course, did not observe Christmas for some time, starting in the 17th century, because the Puritans objected to the ‘worldliness’ of many of the Christmas customs, and wanted to keep Christmas as more of a religious observance.

I’ve written on my first blog about the lavishness of the Southern Christmas observance, at least in, say, Colonial, antebellum days. I’m referring to the aristocracy, but I would think that even the less prosperous could get plenty to eat because of a hospitable climate and the plentiful game that was available. But many of the English customs were observed in the array of foods that were served. Some favored Southern Christmas dishes may not have been customarily eaten at Christmas, such as oysters, for example. Not all the traditional English foods were available in the New World, nor did the people in England eat some of the foods that originated here, due to lack of availability, or the (then) unfamiliarity with some of the foods that were native to this continent.

In the old South, the Christmas observance went on until January 6, which was the original date of Christmas before the change from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar. Southrons tended to see the change as a pretext for simply lengthening the Christmas festivities. There are traditional Southron tunes titled ‘Old Christmas’ and ‘Breaking Up Christmas’, which commemorate the former practices of celebrating during the days between the Gregorian calendar Christmas day and ‘old’ Christmas. ‘Breaking up Christmas’ parties, which involved music and good food, were mostly an Appalachian custom.

For another slant on Christmas, English vs. American, this BBC writer seems to find more differences than commonalities. I don’t know how much time he spends, or has spent in this country but I think he underestimates many Americans’ familiarity with British or English customs. More and more people travel widely today than in the past; more people watch British TV and movies, and more British or English expats live here. The world, (sadly, in most ways) has become smaller, and we’re all somewhat less insular, though in a way, the poorer for it. Why make insularity a bad word, anyway? Let’s each keep our customs intact. We would be foolish to discard customs that are centuries old, the things that tie us to our fathers — for what? To feel more cosmopolitan? We shouldn’t sell our birthright for a mess of multicultural pottage.

Is there a place for our religious heritage…

In a restored West? If we are able to successfully stop the globalist juggernaut and if we can secure the continued existence of our people and a future for our children, is there a place for our Christian heritage and traditions?

There are a number of persistent voices which answer a vehement ‘no!’ to that question. As blogger “Hengest” at Faith and Heritage writes, Christianity is, according to some, a debilitating thing which has sapped our strength and our will.

In another thought-provoking post, Hengest answers those charges in his piece, titled Alfred Against the Vikings: Then and Now. 

Hengest quotes from G.K. Chesterton’s poem, Ballad of the White Horse, which Hengest describes as an allegory of the conflict between Christianity and nihilism, a conflict which he perceives as with us still today — on which I agree with him. Those on the right who oppose Christianity and the Christian heritage of Europe seem to want to jettison our heritage as being so much baggage, and as being a feminizing influence, a failed belief system. In its place they would put — what? Any number of post-modern belief systems, political ‘isms’, non-Christian religions-of-convenience, (seen as mere means to an end; some say we ‘need a new religion’ and they seem to believe we can cook one up to order, preferably one that is appropriately martial). But as I’ve written before, religion cannot be created out of whole cloth, to order. A religious tradition can’t be conjured up overnight. It took millennia to create the civilization that was Europe, or Christendom.

England was, up until the mid-20th century at least, still a country with a strong Christian heritage. The two World Wars, in which Christendom bore the brunt of the destruction, seem to have produced a loss of faith amongst many of the European people, including the English. It would not be impossible to revive the ‘faith of our fathers’ in Europe; it is not completely extinct, though it is obviously quiescent. But once that faith was at the heart of European civilization; now that it is all but gone, the heart seems to have gone out of Europe.

“We are told that if we Christians would just let go of our Savior and King, we could make our way unencumbered toward the New Right utopia of a race-conscious, agnostic white superman. This is a difference only in degree from the Christless, traditionless, monochromatic, mocha-skinned utopia promised to us by the globalists and liberals. If we would just let go of any meaningful attachment to our people and religion, we would have world peace. Both of these utopias are based on wholesome, but warped, values and flattery of different sorts of pride”

Hengest points out the importance of a living, intact culture to the health of a people:

“There are very few, if any, historical examples of one people resisting another without an intact culture, which always includes religion. The fork in the road appearing in America and the rest of the West is between an organic cultural revival for our various peoples, and an artificial utopian vision touted as a cure by cosmopolitans quite understandably disaffected with what our civilization has become.”

The ‘proposition nation’ for White people, championed by the secular right, seems just as unnatural as the ‘global community’ which is being forced upon us. Hengest points out that the secular right, many of whom have wholeheartedly embraced Nietzsche, have plenty of zeal for their cause, but lack a real connection to the people they claim to represent. This is something that is seldom addressed.

Not only is an organic, living culture necessary to the continued existence of a healthy folk but in order for this to exist, there has to be a core of people connected by a bond of kinship and loyalty. I don’t see much of this sense of loyalty. We often hear the phrase ‘no enemies to the right’ (which should be ‘no enemies to your right’, I think) meaning that there should be a willingness to tolerate differences in the name of loyalty to a cause or a political belief system — but what about loyalty to blood and to kin and kind? There’s not much of that out there.

Much of the division amongst us is based on political, religious, and generational animosity. If we could reclaim the faith and the outlook that sustained many generations of our fathers, this situation would not exist. If we were united by faith and once again regained a sense of brotherhood and loyalty amongst our own, and a common purpose and goal, we would not be easy prey as we are now.

Interestingly, there was also a recent piece at Faith and Heritage, written by Adi, in which he reports that there is an upsurge in ‘British nationalism’ which is tied to a ‘revival of Christianity’ in Britain. While that sounds like welcome news, I will take it with a grain of salt until there are more visible signs of it. Adi writes that it is supposedly the younger generation which is receptive to ‘British nationalism’ and Christianity. But which Christianity? The liberal, politically correct kind we have here in the U.S.? Or the real Christianity? And does British nationalism mean civic nationalism? It almost has to; the term ‘British’ includes not just English, but Scots, Welsh, Cornish, and Northern Irish (Ulster) folk. The Welsh, Scots, and Cornish have their own particularistic nationalisms whose interests are often in conflict with those of the English. Also there are probably millions of immigrants from many countries who hold British passports, as well as their children born in Britain, and they can legally claim to be ‘British’. England needs a true English nationalism. I am hoping for a day when the English can be a nation as  it once was, with its own identity. Christianity prescribes that a people choose their leaders from amongst their own people; Britain has had a succession of Scots and others as Prime Ministers, with few Englishmen in that role in recent years.

And are the ‘young’ in Britain (which age group?) more receptive to ethnonationalism? The only true English nationalists I’m aware of are men of middle age or so, people who remember a time before the madness set in. I am not aware of many young people who are so inclined; they have no experience of it. However I would be more than glad to be proven wrong on that score.

The legacy of our forebears

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This quote from Peter Hitchens resonated with me. I’ve contemplated those great cathedrals and thought of the skill and art that went into conceiving and constructing them. It should impress us with what our forbears were capable of. Where are the modern equivalents? The very fact that these buildings took generations to build and that they were ‘built for the ages’ impresses me with the builders’ belief in something transcendent and eternal; they saw their  place in this unbroken chain of folk and faith.

Something worth saving

At Albion Awakening, Bruce Charlton offers some musings on Brexit Day in Britain, and considers why it seemed so important to the EU establishment to prevent Britain’s exit from that benighted union.

He says that the past nine months, that is, the time between the Brexit vote and the eventual beginning of the exit process, have shown the main reason for the EU’s reluctance to let Britain leave.

“It is what the Eurocrats call ‘the free movement of people’ but which in practice means that the UK is valued primarily as the major dumping-group for people that the rest of the EU does not want…”

Apparently the UK is the desired destination for a lot of the ‘refugees’ and immigrants, legal or otherwise, who enter the EU. Whether this is because of an organized effort to encourage these unwanteds to move on to the UK — by telling them that there are better benefits and handouts to be had there, or whether they learn from relatives or countrymen that Britain is a ‘soft touch’, many seem to end up there.

“We need to ask why it is so very important to the EU rulers that Britain specifically should get more unwanted people sent to us (passing through Europe, in preference to the rest of Europe) than anywhere else, year after year, decade after decade…”

Charlton concludes that the global powers-that-be consider the destruction of the British nation a high priority. I’ve long believed that, and this includes the Anglosphere in general, to a greater or lesser extent. Obviously all White countries, or countries with a dominant (or once-dominant) White majority are in the cross-hairs. But the Anglosphere has been especially besieged. Our country is in a way an easier target because of our tradition of the ‘melting pot’ and early mass immigration, which softened us up for the later onslaught.

I do agree with Bruce Charlton that a spiritual reawakening is the only thing that can truly save not only Britain but the West in general. However the term ‘spiritual’ has been so misused by many post-moderns; most ”progressive” people claim to be ‘spiritual’ but their spirituality is not the kind that is compatible with Western society/Christendom-as-was.  Given the composition of most Western populations these days, with ethnic/cultural/racial divides and major generational rifts, I don’t know how we might ever reach any agreement as to how to save  our societies.

I think Tiberge at GalliaWatch, writing about the situation in France, is on the right track. She cites Marion Maréchal Le Pen‘s recent article in Le Figaro on the need for cultural preservation and revival. This idea is important to all Western nations whose cultures and historic heritage are being undermined and outright destroyed through mass immigration and the damage done by the left’s loathing of our past and our traditions.

The realms of politics is important, but the political represents mainly the material aspect of life mostly; money, power. It is the material and physical side of our world, while culture and tradition and history are the non-material — I’ve thought a good deal about how the culture of a people is its spirit, its soul. That, too, is ‘spiritual’, and it’s essential to our retaining or restoring our essence as a people.

Men — or nations — do not live by ‘bread’ alone.