The Truth of the Ugly Sweater

The “simple people” who inspired ugly sweaters…

Kansans are among the “country folk” who inspired the ugly sweaters. Among the die-hard traditions across the fields and plains has been to celebrate the season of the harvest with a carefully-crafted sweater with a hand-stitched pumpkin or vine.

The ugly sweater tradition is a mockery of the style that didn’t go along with the latest trends. I looked, but couldn’t find a single photo online that reflected the ways that used to be. You’d “have to be here” to see one the way they used to be.

On the Medicine Path, winter was the time for handwork to “walk the year ahead.” The circle of the Medicine Wheel was divided into 12 sections. Beginning in the top Northeast (position January), time was given to imagine the story of the year ahead one month at a time. We were instructed by the Elders to spend time in quiet reflection to receive the inspiration for the choice of color, an element, or a totem. When the fabric was chosen, all the materials were smudged off to begin the work as a ritual and sacred ceremony of prayers for the future.

In the end the quilt was a symbol of all the dreams that were stitched into it. The quilt was used as a Spiritual Tool of initiation to wrap around the shoulders of someone new who stepped onto the Medicine Wheel path… as well as a “real comforter” through the cold “dreamtime” of Winter.


I never finished mine. What was started is still in a craft-box somewhere. A whole quilt was a project beyond the limits of my patience in 2002.

There’s still time before the winter holidays to do something simple that could mean just as much, carried out in the sacred way. I’m dreaming of a pretty Christmas sweater and/or a simple white prayer shawl from a single piece of fabric, frayed on the edges. The sweater would  be something I could wear for the holidays, and the shawl could be saved for personal rituals of initiation.

Creation is Time spent in communion with the Source of Divine inspiration. We forget about our Self when we’re engaged in works of art. Thoughts rise to the realm of our Divine Imagination.

Creation begets creation. I still hold to the theory that every dream can start with a mud pie, if we invest some time and love into the work.

The perception of Beauty has been debated as a mystery by the masters of philosophy and the arts down through time.

“Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder” is the latest version, though Shakespeare should get some credit for the thought.

The Chinese are among the masters at the tradition of white-on-white silk embroidery. For all the time that is invested in the result, it would be hard to find a creation that mocks the beauty of that.


I invite you to follow a Divine Source of inspiration as a celebration of a Season of White and the promise of longer days of the Sun’s Light that heralds the New Spring and a Divine Seed of a Dream that will be planted in the Spring. See it, behold the Divine Meaning, and imagine proudly wearing it or using it on the darkest days of Winter.

Go for the quilt, if you know you will finish it. I KNOW I can finish something small and it will be just as special to me, and beautiful enough to me that I won’t care what anyone else may think about it.

much love, in lak’ech,


Chinese white-on-white silk embroidery



11 Star/LAMAT (Cherokee, Rabbit/NOQUI’SEGWA)

The 7th Uinal of BalanceCORE DAYS:  The 7th Uinal in the Center of the Tzolk’in is compared to our own axis mundi, the center of our own universe where we are always perfectly positioned at the center of the 4 directions. The axis is the “line around which any body rotates.” Like a spinning gyroscope, we find our balance in a relationship shared between the Above and the Below. Holding a focus within the center of our Self, we reside in the place of perfect balance.

Galactic Tone 11: Resolution; 11 assists every new thing to find its place in the universe in the process of ‘fitting in.’ some modifications must occur. Eleven is the energy of dynamic actions facilitating change, simplification and improvement.

Star/LAMAT: Star energy is multiplication of all things to abundance. Star has been associated with the fertility of rabbits for its ability to multiply. As each sun in the sky, Star persons shine equally in all directions. This natural tendency of harmony and balance can become compulsion, motivating Star to be too agreeable and too generous, rejected gifts cause fear and resentment. When a Star believes it has been given too much, they are weakened or may even collapse. In this “Black Hole” state, Stars are prone to verbal jousting and arguing to force their point of view on everyone.

Cherokee, Rabbit/NOQUI’SEGWA: Symbol-Venus, The Morning Star cycle of 260 days and Evening Star cycle of another 260 days, inspired the 13 numbers, 20 Day sign Sacred Calendar. Rabbit is the Trickster of Cherokee culture, matching the Coyote in other nations. The personification of Light and New Life, Sunrise, the scion (a first-generation descendant) of the Moon-Father of earth children, the Rabbit is fertility, be fruitful and multiply. Represents softness, gentleness and vulnerability. LAMAT– Totem Rabbit. Energies of re-birth, regeneration, ripening, harvest and abundance. This person is overflowing with love energy in all areas of life. Spiritual growth is natural and with ease due to the unconditional love energy that flows.

[Text in italics was the primary source of inspiration for my journal. These are the sources that started my journey and they are the reference for interpretation each day. By providing the original text, I hope to offer a way to see what inspired my thoughts and by including all the aspects – allow for something more to inspire you. Mayan descriptions are those written by Ian Lungold. Cherokee descriptions came from multiple sources. Links to sources and other resources of study are offered on the Daykeeper Resources Page. ~Debra]

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