I stumbled upon something a few days ago that has made me happy stim every time I think about it. I wasn’t even aware that I was happy stimming until one of my closest friends pointed it out today at lunch, saying she had never seen me do that before. A little taken aback, but I also realized that this information I’ve discovered is so exciting to me, of course I would happy stim with it!
Okay, now on to this super exciting information.
As I’ve written before, a large part of my heritage is Irish. I know which county in Ireland my ancestors came from, and I am the namesake of the goddess Medb or Maeve as is the modern day spelling of her name. Hence the current name of this writing space – Medb of Tara – Tara is the hill of sovereignty and seat of power from which she ruled. And the Hill of Tara is seated in county Meath in Ireland…the very county two different sides of my family’s Irish ancestors came from.
Anyway, it’s the little things I get fixated on because I feel that I have so little when it comes to my current extended family because of all of them choosing my abusers, that I reach for the distant past to find grounding and connection for myself. And one of those things I reach for, are making sure I am not culturally appropriating any culture besides the Irish connections I have, and I find great delight in the rituals I have now. I have been practicing the Wheel of the Year days for several years now, and throughout this past year, I have been a lot more selective about which days I practice and celebrate and which ones I have let pass without more than just a nod.
I have realized that there are only maybe half of the magic days that really resonated with me, so while I still find small ways to honor the days I do not resonate as much with, I put a lot more effort into the ones I do. One of my favorites though is Yule, which starts in half a week away now! Celebrating Yule has given me a way to reclaim Christmas and it’s delight that was stolen and destroyed many times by my ex-parents and my partner’s parents too. I love what my little family does each year now, but also, there is so much beauty and freedom in still creating and forming rituals and traditions that fit us.
But what about the strange out of time days between Christmas on December 25th, to the first handful of days in January? Well, this is what I recently discovered. Those days, in Irish traditions, are called The Omen Days. The days that are out of time, the intercalary days, the days during which divination is focused on what the new year brings. I received an email from one of the many metaphysical newsletters I receive, and it mentioned something about “Celtic Omen Days,” of which I was immediately deeply intrigued.
Through my usual rabbit trail of reading through links and letters and online research, I found several resources, and will continue to dig. Basically, it appears that as with many rituals and traditions that have been passed down through several/many generations, there are several different interpretations of what those 12 omen days stand for. Caitlin Matthew’s article appears to be one of the root sources from the few things I’ve read today. She talks about how these few days are the days during which gods are born or created; these days out of time, the ones that are “leftover” after a solar return has completed. The 12 days of Christmas, or the omen days, are said to correspond each month of the coming new year. Example, December 26th is for the month of January, January 6th lines up with the month of December.
I believe the reason they’re called “omen” days is that with each day, part of the divination is waiting for and looking for a natural omen. Example, a murder of crows may mean something special for you specifically for which ever month you are divining for that day. I’m hesitant to say much else since I’m still reading and still looking through things. And as with anything, I have to choose which parts I resonate and identify with, and how much I don’t or what doesn’t feel comfortable for me to participate with. I’m happy I found out about this before those days have already passed so I have time to prepare before the days out of time are upon us!