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The great holiday of MOOSEMAS -- also known as Moosnassad, Candlemoos, or Yulmoos -- comes from the old Saxon word mooz, meaning 'to lounge about, chatting idly and munching on Fritos.' Sometimes called the Vernautumnal Solstice, it is considered a 'moveable feast' -- which is to say that it is celebrated on different dates each year, and often several times a month as needed. This day is sacred to the Horned God in His aspect of Bullwinkle the Moose. It is a holiday for taking: taking time, taking stock, taking five, taking hot pizza from the oven in a primitive symbolic birth ritual older than the Frisbee.

Moosemas was created in 1984 to fill a void. Modern Paganism is well stocked with holidays; but while they may be celebrated with great joy, they do lack something essential to the human spirit: the opportunity to dress up in funny costumes and be silly. Further, they can be very strenuous affairs, what with dancing and magick and carefully executed rituals: there are few chances to relax and loaf until the end of the evening, when you're too tired to really enjoy it. Thus Moosemas was born, an Erisian sabbat where people can relax, have fun, and 'moose out' in congenial company.

Why a moose? Mainly because the name sounds funny. No disrespect to the Moose Spirit is intended. In fact, if your Moosemas celebration makes a few bucks, why not send a donation to the National Wildlife Federation in thanks to the true Moose Spirit -- a proud and free one -- for the use of the pretend moose spirit, which is funny and mellow.

BullwinklePicture of Bullwinkle from 'Bullwinkle's Home Page' which looks like it was started with a burst of enthusiasm & then unable to carry on. I wasn't able to reach the person by email to ask, so I hope they don't mind my borrowing this picture.

From the book Animal Energies, by Gary Buffalo Horn Man and Sherry Firedancer: "The quality Moose teaches us is unpredictability... If you find you are in a boring pattern that drains your energy, you might seek to connect with the energies of Moose to add spontaneity to your life."

Our inspiration for Moosemas comes from a booklet put together by the coveners of Our Lady of the Woods, who organized the first Moosemas celebration. The booklet contains the description above, as well as:

Many ways to celebrate Moosemas, all incorrect

The Culture of the Moosian Age

Moossery of terms

The Great Moosemas Ritual which begins with Casting the Oblong, ends with the Moose Hop, and in the middle has this wonderful initiation into the Sacred Moosteries:

Tell the legend of the origin of the Moosteries, when Tammuz, the God of Dying Vegetation, came to the people of Siam (today called Thailand) and told them to praise Father Bullwinkle through His Messenger Tammuz, and they would be safe from drought, flood, pestilence, and tv commercials with singing cats. 'Chant as follows,' He said, 'until enlightenment comes upon you. Then stop.'

The chant: Oowa ('praise')... Tammuz ('God')... Siam ('people of this land')

Have all chant 'Oowa Tammuz Siam' in unison, faster and faster. Those who are enlightened and understand the Inner Meaning of these sacred words may stop.

But alas, although the coveners have many delightfully funny ideas, they have not done their homework. They left out his poetry, they drew his feet incorrectly (moose have cloven hoofs), they missed a reference to the Ruby Yacht of Omar Khayyam... in short, they did not go direct to Bullwinkle! Here at Neskaya we have done our best to remedy this unfortunate situation. We have a collection of Rocky and Bullwinkle videos for the serious student, and have spent a number of hours perusing them in search of authentic material.

The first Moosemas to be celebrated at Neskaya was on November 28, 1998, and was announced thusly:

Our celebration of Moosemas will contain ample opportunity for watching Rocky & Bullwinkle videos. We decided that the true spirit of Moosemas requires that we refuse to participate in the Great American Festival of Shopping, which takes place on the Friday & Saturday after Thanksgiving. After due consideration, we, the All-Day Dancers of November 14, declare Saturday, the 28th of November to be Moosemas. You are invited to spend it at Neskaya, from noon until 8PM or so. No activities are required. We expect to be eating snack food, writing silly poetry, telling stories, watching videos (only funny ones please) and occasionally getting up for a round of "Mooserlou"...

Among the rites performed at Neskaya in Celebration of Moosemas are:

Moose For those who would like to know more factual information about moose, or send their friends funny cards, try (This lovely stained-glass moose is from GoMoose) The following information comes from: The Complete Discordian Moosemas Celebration Handbook, by Andalusia the heretic, from Moonstone Publications. The "Discordians" were worshippers of Eris, Goddess of discord and chaos, so of course the group fell apart long ago, leaving only the memory of Moosemas to mark their passage thru the world.

Many thanks are due to the coveners of Our Lady of the Woods, who organized the first Moosemas celebration.

There are many ways to celebrate Moosemas, all incorrect. Actually sleeping or even hibernation are most favored of the Gods, but other possibilities are: