Rev. Warlock DRACONIS BLACKTHORNE (dblackthorne) wrote,

  • Location:
  • Mood:
  • Music:

The Dark Side of Xmas

Beware The Krampus!
"He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake. He knows when you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness' sake!"

So society is familiar with the gift-giving Santa Claus who rewards "good" children with toys, and "bad" misbehaving children with coal, or... nothing? But this was not always so. Before the jolly depictions of Santa Claus with rosy cheeks and smiles, before the typical elves roaming about, there was actually an accompanying demon known as the "Krampus", sometimes displayed with Santa in the sleigh holding a switch, or a collection of reeds with which to smite and thrash naughty boys and girls.

On December 5th / 6th, known as Krampusnacht, these veritable demons would be let forth to discover and report the activities of children, and whether or not they were saying their prayers, or committing mischief. This fearsome and furry bogeyman appears with long curving horns and extended tongue, intended to scare children into line. An obvious religious manipulation.

As traditions transformed, the Krampus was modified into a relatively innocuous elf, merely helping St. Nickolas on his annual unloading of presents down chimneys, which was originally the responsibility of one "Knecht Ruprecht", often depicted as a hooded phantom with a sooty countenance - another variation of The Krampus {Winter Devil/Satan} archetype.

Many European villages still hold parades wherein fearsome horned Krampii and/or hooded reaper-like forms appear to terrify, finally followed by Sinter Klaas resembling a bishop to reward the devout with greedy dispensation.

The Yule Goat, Gryla, The Yule Cat

Yule Goat: Of Scandinavian origin, this legend stems from Thor's two mighty goats "Tanngrisnir" and "Tanngnjóstr" who pulled his great chariot across the sky. At yuletime, he slays, cooks, & eats the goats, at which time they are resurrected by his Hammer mjollnir the next day. The Finnish variation known as the "Joulupukki" features a bit more of an anthropomorphized Krampus figure.

Celebrations would be later held by townsfolk where a male in the family would assume the role by dressing as a yule goat, at which point was symbolically 'slain', only to resurrect and dance about joyfully.

Subsequent folklore relates yule goats assuming a frightening visage appearing at homes to be fed, motivating proper seasonal preparations. It was later watered down, transformed into benevolent specters carrying gifts, sometimes portrayed with the tomte / nisse {see below} mushing one on.

Current uses include the construction of a huge wooden edifice erected in Gavle Sweden in the town square, preserved until the common era new year, but which has been the subject of vandalism & arson since its premiere in Year One; and its ubiquitous use as a straw household decoration, sometimes depicted with bells, as well as an ornament for yule trees, wrapped in red ribbon.

Gryla: Along with the subsequent Krampus, the Icelandic Gryla is an odoriferous bogey creature created to frighten children into behaving for yuletide observances. A giant female mountain troll / ogre who snatches naughty children into her bag, particularly those who venture too far from home and after dark, to later consume them in a stew in her pot. She lives in a cave with one of her three husbands, is mother to nine - thirteen children known as the "yule lads" {giant dwarf-like spawn later incorporated into "xmas elves"}, & a big black cat known as the "Jólakötturinn", or the "yule cat"...

Yule Cat: A monstrous feline belonging to Gryla said to eat those who had not received new clothing for the season. An obvious incentive against laziness to properly clothe children for the winter, and motivated wool labor during the Autumn to provide warm accoutrement.

Variations on The Krampus

Belsnickel: A decrepit, hunched old man with a long white beard who, instead of swatting naughty children with a switchel, left them in stockings, and otherwise rewarded "good" children with presents.

Le Père Fouettard {trans: "The whipping Father"; A.K.A., "Father Flog", "Spanky"}: The French present this Rasputin-like character who accompanies "St. Nick" while wrapped in a chain, carrying a stick & a bag of coal for misbehaving children. Folklore relates that this character once actually robbed & ate children at one point, whom, after 'repenting', became Nikolas' henchman.

Namahage: On New Year's Eve, a red-faced, fanged Japanese Krampus figure meant to scare children into behaving, appears to cull the lazy into making resolutions to be productive in the coming year. They are appeased with hospitality and rice cakes by parents, at which point, once frightened, or "scared straight", children are returned.

Black Peter

In the Moor tradition, "Zwarte Piet", AKA "Black Peter", became another accompanying character, resembling images from a foppish negro to a "black devil" who carried a whip or scourge, a freed slave who was kind or mean according to the character of the child he encountered on xmas night, where he would either reward with candy, or kidnap the child for Spain, which became a political influence of the time, wherein christians were at war with Muslims, and so this connection became an anti-muslim religious statement propagated by the Catholic church; again, manipulating myth and legendry among the peasantry to keep them afraid and devout.

In some areas of Northern Europe, Black Peter is still depicted by an actor in black face, which could be either male or female. In some accounts of the appearance of The Devil at Witch's Sabbaths, he was depicted to be a black man, which seems to be a direct correlation with Zwarte Piet.

Sinister Claus

Despite some attempts by church revisionists to depict "Saint Nicholas" as a benign character originating from a kindly man with a propensity to dispense gifts to poor children, just like most everything else in their traditions, this legend was lifted from tales of the thunder god Thor who rode the skies on his chariot. Thor was often depicted with a long beard carrying the mjollnor hammer, whereas in later depictions of "Sinterklaas", he is depicted with a pine tree in hand upon a sleigh, somewhat likened a white-bearded Paul Bunyon - the ubiquitous depictions of deities transforming to suit the subsequent culture and suit the purposes of the prevailing religion by demonizing the previous culture's icons, while preserving some desirable elements in order to ease the herd into change, continues to prove evident.

Tomte / Nisse: Its aesthetic attributes were obviously influenced by a little gnome-like character somewhat resembling a leprechaun, complete with a white beard & red pointed hat, known as the Norwegian & Danish "tomte", & later the "nisse" {prevalent throughout the Netherlands} whose proposed diminutive size allowed it to descend down chimneys with ease, where it would dispense with gifts from its sack into stockings to those deserving. Treats were left for it to consume. Otherwise, its disposition may mischievously transform rather "pwcca"-like, leaving coal instead.

Old {Saint?} Nick...

In this transitional period, the Santa aesthetic resembled an old rotund elf, complete with faeries buzzing around, elves at his feet, and smoking a corn-cob pipe. In this mythical depiction, he was probably developed to soothe the miseries of the impoverished by providing a hopeful magical being, and the fearsome element was slowly removed to adapt to more benign characterizations.

He became known as Old Nick, until that nomenclature was eventually attributed to The Prince of Darkness, as associated with The Krampus, that Mr. Pitch, with "saint" added to establish a distinction between the "good/evil" duality, and their respective roles.

In The United States {United Satanic America}, the legend was capitalized upon by the entrepreneurial Coca-Cola company who commissioned an artist named Haddon Sunblom to develop a more friendly depiction to bring sales to the product, and came up with what is seen to this day, remaining primarily in childhood fane, as that was Coke's major demographic. The Krampus was excised, and Santa assumed both roles.

Originally, it seems that Santa Claus and his devilish companion were seen as another depiction of the Yahweh/Satan myth complimenting each other in kind, until its evolution into a secularized icon for indulgence and opulence, as well as a welcomed alternative to the baby jesus myth.

* Also see: El Caganer & Caga Tio. Catalonian traditions.

The Seven Deadly Sins

Since then, Santa Claus has veritably come to represent the 'seven deadly sins', in all of their indulgent balances:

  • Gluttony {Beelzebub}: Sumptuous feasts are a major focus all through the Autumn and Winter months, from the trick or treat candy of Halloween, the Feast of The Beast on Fangsgiving, to xmas dinner.
  • Pride {Lucifer}: It is wise to maintain a reasonable exercise repertoire in this gluttonous time, where one may take full advantage of the propitious nutrients, while still partaking in the 'feastivities', maintaining an attractive appearance as well as a robust healthy state of being. Conducting oneself with deportment.
  • Lust {Asmodeus}: Thus, with these considerations, shall you preserve your desirability to indulge in the erotic pleasures of the flesh with whomsoever you wish for mutual gratification. The hunt continues at parties and gatherings, with mating signals projected and received.
  • Sloth {Belphegor}: The blissful relaxation concluding the events, in opulent contemplation, ecstatic repose, enjoying the environment to the fullest.
  • Greed {Mammon}: Materialistic acquisition, exchanging valuable items either of monetary and/or sentimental worth. Experiencing the joyful sensation of receiving a desired object, and/or the thrill of others appreciating your efforts and thoughtfulness.
  • Wrath {Satan}: Always reserved for those who truly deserve it. The psychic vampire, the rotten, the antagonist, pests, the obnoxious, the stupid, the misdirected masochists who would deem to disturb one's peace of mind, one should not suffer, and attention should not be afforded these petty sum. If any become a genuine threat, by essentially 'going out of their way' to aggravate a situation, they should be dealt with legally, Magically, physically if necessary, with any and all appropriate action taken for self-defense, to ensure one's continued enjoyment of life.
  • Envy {Leviathan}: Merely observing what someone else possesses, and desiring a similar object for oneself or someone else one cares for. Sometimes inspiring a similar idea which one can personalize to taste.

Solstice/Yule Tree decorations
As an interesting idea for the Yule/Solstice tree*, to add ornaments which represent each of the so-called "Seven Deadly Sins" {"...which all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!", of course}. For instance:
  • Lust: The fascinus, or fascinum. The Winged phallus of Roman derivation. There are genitalia shaped ornaments including the phallus, womb, breasts and nude figurines. Obelisks and pillars offer a bit more of a subtle representation.
  • Gluttony: I have seen comical "bacon ornaments", along with various other food-shaped items, not to mention various candy {'candy canes', for example}. Cornucopias are ideal.
  • Greed: Italian horns, currency symbols, or coins would be appropriate {even preserved in 'piggy banks' and/or bowls nearby}, as well as cornucopias.
  • Sloth: ? {perhaps a "sloth" ornament?}
  • Wrath: Weapons, warriors, fearsome faces, masks. The Krampus.
  • Envy: Images as wishes towards what one desires and will obtain for the next year.
  • Pride: Tokens of the year's accomplishments, as well as a personal seal, or family crest.

Another option would be to preserve a shelf or small table display with a Sigil of Baphomet or Sabbatic Goat statuette thereon, either surrounded by, or situated with these elements before it, along with a candle. ∞

* An artificial one is recommended for indoors, otherwise a living tree nearby, if possible.

Satan Claus?

Considering a Third-Side perspective, and acknowledging both potentials in one whole, a proposed 'Satan Claus' would embody the totality of being, and dispense tricks or treats according to merit. Satan Claus would be an honest representation of the carnal propensities of the humanimal beast in this yuletide season, providing the delights of the flesh and the pleasures of the world, enjoyed without guilt. A combination of The Krampus and Sinterklaas holding both a switchel/whip/rod in the right hand, and a bagful/cornucopia of materialistic enjoyment in the left hand.

Merry Krampus!

As Satanists, we celebrate the Winter Solstice, recognizing Nature's seasonal shift to the coldest months. Any blindlight-derived dualistic limitations the herd adhere to is irrelevant, save for their exploitation, and certain aesthetic uses. Still, because of cultural, secular, and sometimes evocative family considerations, xmas may still be a factor some may have to deal with, yet to retain perspective, terminology is an important tool to focus on the core of being.

Some Satanists still find value in the secular traditions associated with this holiday, sans the judeo-christian connection.Therefore, the term "Merry Krampus!" would be more preferable to the ubiquitous "merry xmas", where it may replace every mention of such in one's vocabulary, again, to retain perspective and focus on the source. And it need not necessarily refer the one day on December 25th, or December 5th, but the entire season, especially inclusive of the Winter Solstice, with aesthetic adherence of same. Personally, I vote to integrate the "Solstice Devil" depictions into Winter Solstice celebrations, modified to preference.

The Krampus Tree

For instance, the Krampus Tree. Not a corpse tree in the living room, but an artificial one crowned by a Krampus head within a pentagram, or the entire form thereon, likened what others use an "angel" for, but this "dark angel" instead, with the presents at its base, if desired, perhaps accompanied with ornaments as directly pertinent to The Self and family, hand-made items, devoid of the typically tacky remnants of herd xmas, or "herdmas", but a darkly elegant presentation instead.

Another option: The Witch Tree. Being that Halloween seems to be the preferred helliday throughout the Autumn and Winter months, I propose a combination, in the 'spirit' of 'The Nightmare Before Xmas'. Consider the conical shape of the tree - very much like a witch hat - so, either topping a tree with a witch hat or even the witch hat itself, could serve as a foreseeable Yuletide tree, with material ready to accept decoration, such as a Baphomet for instance, serving as 'The Star', perhaps complete with a serpentine garland, and/or otherwise configured as an Oroborous wreath. I have personally 'dressed' up a tree in such a manner in the past, and find it rather complimentary.

Black Tree: Should be an artificial tree either acquired already black {"pine"}, or spraypainted preferably 'matte' black, upon which various skulls, bats, pumpkins, Krampii, inverse crosses, pentagrams, with a serpentine garland, topped with a Sabbatic Baphomet. An overall impressive Satanic Gothic presentation. [Upsidown & bloodred versions now available! Which may be construed as The Demon Krampus's tail pointing to Hell!]

Candy Cain

The curled horns of Krampus {and the Yule Goat}, turned outwards. The white stripes represent Winter snow {Belial-Earth/Lucifer-Air/Leviathan-Water}. The red stripes represent carnality, indulgence, passion, and the Yule flames of Hell {Satan-Fire}. If green is included, it represents the fertile rejuvenating earth. ∞


An option to acquire a black-candled menorah for the purpose of immolating slips of parchment paper listing one Satanic Sin* each either leading up to, or all burned on Solstice, as a memorable gesture to remember to not commit these throughout the year. May be followed by a reading of The 9 Satanic Statements. May also be considered for The New Year.

[* option 2. ...and otherwise The 9 Satanic Statements as a meditative gesture of remembrance.]

Satanalia Carols
O Tidings Of Strength Through Joy!

In the 'spirit' of The Nightmare Before Xmas, these Carols are alternatives to common herd canticles, while still experiencing the evocative value, and preserving perspective.

These have been modified to suit those with a darker sensibility, and can also be further modified to suit Halloween celebrations, if so desired.

Until more suitable compositions are arranged {musicians please feel free to contribute}, the works of 'Mannheim Steamroller' is recommended accompaniment, various classical pieces, and otherwise those which are pleasing to the ear.

Supplications to 'Satan Claus'

Written wishes {perhaps inclusive of images} burned in the Yule flame at midnight on Krampus Eve, either upon candle flame or in the fireplace, which may be fulfilled at any time of year, or otherwise gifts opened on Krampus. Remember to Hail Mammon as well as Krampus.

* * *

Film Recommendations

To those so inclined, following is a list of film recommendations I have found to be sources of black humor amusement:


  • Santa Claus [1959]: Rising up from Hell, Old Scratch attempts to thwart Old St. Nick, who derives his powers from Merlin the Magician. Pentagrams abound & a flying saucer helps $anta Claus along the way.
  • Santa's Slay: A burly, demonic St. Nick derives his power from Hell and brutalizes his way across a small town, cutting down who ever gets in his way.
  • Christmas Evil: A traumatized boy grows up to be $anta Claus punishing naughty boys and girls, and a few adolts as well.
  • Silent Night, Bloody Night: A serial killer dons a santa suit and begins killing residents of a mental institution and anyone who comes near.
  • Don't Open Until Christmas: A psychotic man roams the streets of London killing $antas.
  • Black Christmas: A traumatized boy is institutionalized, grows up and returns to his childhood home turned Sorority house. He incrementally gains revenge against guilty relatives and others who try to stop him.
  • And All Through The House {Tales From The Crypt}: A lunatic escapes from the asylum and dons a santa suit, terrorizing a local woman.
  • Silent Night, Deadly Night: A troubled, orphaned teenager dressed as $anta goes on a bloody rampage.
  • Jack Frost: A serial killer destined for execution mutates into a snowman during an accident, and returns to wreak vengeance on the sheriff who captured him.
  • The Gingerdead Man: An electrocuted killer comes back to life in the form of a mutant gingerbread man to take revenge on the girl who convicted him.

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: Searching for adventure and excitement for Halloweentown, The Pumpkin King Jack Skellington has $anta Claus kidnapped, assumes the role, & proceeds to experiment with xmas.
  • Edward Scissorhands: Descending from his mansion, the scissor-handed Edward attempts to intermingle with the conformist herd, only to reveal their rotten natures.
  • The Addams Family [film]: Begins with the Addamses pouring boiling oil on a group of trespassing carolers.
  • The Munsters' Scary Little Xmas: When Grandpa's sorcery summons Santa Claus from the North Pole near xmas, The Munsters make the best of it while a counter-spell can be concocted. In the meantime, party-seeking elves inadvertently turn Old St. Nick into a fruitcake, Lily excels in a holiday decorating contest, and Marilyn falls in love with a biker, whose fellow cyclists help Santa on his journey.
  • The Year Without A Santa Claus: A disgusted $anta decides to cancel xmas. Features demonic elemental creatures "Heat Miser" & "Snow Miser".
  • The Great Santa Switch: Morphing into $anta Claus, a subterranean villain also happens to be a Sorcerer, who, with the help of his demonic creatures, decides to steal all the presents in the world while keeping $anta captive.
  • Gremlins: A boy receives a 'mogwai' creature for xmas, which multiply if wet, & transform into little demons if fed after midnight.
  • The Christmas That Almost Wasn't: Threatened with eviction from his toy shop, Santa must raise funds with the help of his elves and the children of the world.

Some amusing & enchanting musical releases with a xmas theme {& otherwise whatever piques your fancy}:

  • Nox Arcana: Winter's Knight, Winter's Eve, Winter's Majesty.
  • Antonio Vivaldi: Winter {The Four Seasons}.
  • Windham Hill Artists: A Winter Solstice I-V.
  • Enya: And Winter Came.
  • A Very Scary Solstice, An Even Scarier Solstice, A Shoggoth On The Roof [H.P.L.H.S.]
  • Haunted Mansion Holiday. Disney's The Haunted Mansion attraction decorated for ghoultide celebrations.
  • Have Yourself A Scary Little xmas. Tales From The Crypt.
  • The Dark Side of the xmas tree [various artists].
  • Mannheim Steamroller.
  • King Diamond: The Puppet Master.
  • King Diamond: No Presents For xmas [single].
  • Venom: Black xmas [single].
  • Metal Xmas [various artists].
  • A Brutal Xmas [various artists].
  • A Death Metal Christmas – Have Yourself a Merry Little Black Mass [various artists].
  • Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: Everything You Want For xmas.
  • A Heavy Metal xmas [Twisted Sister].
  • We Wish You A Hairy xmas [various]
  • Steel Panther: Sexy Santa [single]

* Sabbaths.
* The 8th Statement.
Tags: essays, krampus, krampusnacht, solstice, winter, xmas

Posts from This Journal “krampusnacht” Tag

  • Seasons In Hell paperback edition now available!

    B LACKTHORNE P RODUCTIONS SEASONS IN HELL CODEX MUNDI: Paperback edition also now available! Whether you prefer the hardback edition…

  • Unholy Sinful Solstice Sabbath

  • Krampusnacht

  • Satanic Serenades/Malefic Musick

    Bandcamp waiving revenue share on all sales next Friday, December 4, 2020, Krampusnacht Evil, from midnight to midnight Pacific Time. Possess…

  • Krampusfyre!

    S ATANIC S ERENADES Howling Winds, through Hellmouth rise Icicle fangs, hearth glowing eyes Melting snow, a whip of flame Hoofbeats from…

  • Krampusnacht harvest

    By howling demon winds, with hellfire torches burning fiercely through the night, hooves quake earth and rattling chains, so emerged brother…



  • Krampus Helloyule tree

    I enjoy the scent of Bosque Cashmere {perhaps reminiscient of the Basque} & Apple SinAmon*, whether spray or oil. Very woodsy and…

  • Satanic Winter Celebrations

    S EASONS I N H ELL DECEMBER 5/6: Krampusnacht [decorations begin] 8: Cagatio, Caganer placed about the Solstice Tree. 17-23: Saturnalia…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.