Moosemas+ A Moveable Feast +
“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.”
From the book Animal Energies, by Gary Buffalo Horn Man and Sherry Firedancer
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.
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
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
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:
- Reading “The Hunting of the Snark”
- Singing “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” to the tune of “Hernando’s Hide-a-way”
- Reciting the Story of “Ladle Rat Rotten Hut” (disk ladle gull mitten anomalous woof inner lodge dock florist…)
- Singing “Jabberwocky” to the tune of “Greensleeves”
- Listening to “Grunt”, Pigorian Chant from Snouto Domoinko de Silo (discovered, translated, notated & illuminated by Sandra Boynton.)
- Singing “Deck us all with Boston Charlie”
For those who would like to know more factual information about moose, or send their friends funny cards, try www.gomoose.com (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.
WAYS TO CELEBRATE MOOSEMAS
There are many ways to celebrate Moosemas, all incorrect. Actually sleeping or even hibernation are most favored of the Gods, but other possibilities are:
- Loafing, lounging, napping, ‘veging out’, pretending to meditate, drifting in and out of light trances, hanging out, viewing TV (on or off), and low-energy partying with very mellow friends.
- Disconnecting the telephone and doorbell.
- Playing cards or board games while making love in a tub filled with fragrant warm oils (if you don’t move too fast).
- Burning distasteful letters from utility companies without opening them.
- Feasting on ritual foods, such as a fresh loaf of bread in Bullwinkle’s image… fruit juice… roast goose… and of course, chocolate mousse.
- Avoiding taboo activities such as shaving, worrying, weeding the lawn, housework, and thinking.
- Decorating the altar with snack foods, several goblets of wine, furry hand puppets, long rubber objects, and love sonnets to yourself.
- Dressing in brown, fuzzy robes and loafers, and invoking the Gods in a hoarse, bugling voice, as rarely as possible, from a horizontal position.
So let us all honor the old ways on this day of holy days: with minimal exertion, go forth and MOOSE OUT!
THE CULTURE OF THE MOOSIAN AGE
You may wish to encourage a poetry reading, with such classics as
‘THE RUBY YACHT OF MOOSE KHAYYAM’
A jug of wine, a loafing moose,
And thou, bugling beside me in the wilderness. . .
Ah, Moosemas were wilderness enow!
. . . or. . .
‘MEESE’ BY JOYCE UNGULATE
I think that I shall never goose
A creature lovely as a moose. . .
Perms are set by Sue and Bruce,
But only a moose can make a moose.
. . . And others equally lovely: any treasury of classic poems can easily be adapted for use at a Moosemas celebration. But let us not forget the joys of song! How about an old-fashioned sing-along, accompanied by records or kazoos and nose flutes? You can easily reclaim the lyrics of old favorites, and transform them into such Moosemas carols as:
- Silent Moose, Holy Moose
- Deck the Moose and Catch a Trolley Arrest those Merry Gentlemeese
- Good King Wencesmoose, Look Out!
. . . and of course the ever-popular. . .
BULLWINKLE IS COMING TO TOWN
You better moose out, you better not shout,
You better moose out, I’m telling you why:
Bullwinkle is coming to town!
He knows if you’ve been loafing,
He knows if you’re a flake,
He knows if you’ve been working
So lie down for Moose’s sake!
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MOOSSARY OF TERMS
MOOSTERY – Puzzle, enigma, or a drama in which a hairy brown detective with horns investigates a murder.
THE NINE MOOSES – The spirits of inspiration and the arts. In traditional Discordian lore, the Nine Mooses lived on Mount Pelican, and were named:
- Mnemoosynee – Memory of oversights forgotten until it’s too late to do anything about them.
- Kralia – Moozak played over elevator sound systems.
- Cleeno – History, revised or made up to emphasize the glorious achievements of moosekind.
- Cloppity – Heroic poetry about mooses, especially limericks, especially bawdy.
- Terpsychiatry – Dancing Freudian therapists.
- Melpom-pom – Tragedies about high-school-aged mooses who tried out for Varsity Cheerleading and were rejected because of their species.
- Eroto – Erratic poetry about mooses in love and one dies during organism.
- Eustace – Flute moozak, or any kind of rhythmic noises through hollow objects with holes in the end.
- Polypropylene – Sacred songs about Bullwinkle, which there aren’t any but you could make one up. Like “Nearer, My Moose, to Thee” or maybe “Good King Mooseslas.”
MOOSELTOV! – A traditional cry of blessing and congratulation, called out to anyone seen in public with a moose.
DISMOOSE – To remove one’s moose, or send one away without one’s moose. See Mooserable.
MOOSWICH – Velveeta, mayonnaise and a moose between two slices of Wonder Bread; also any Witch initiated into the Moosteries of Bullwinkle. MOOSEMESS — What’s left after Moosemas.
MOOSERABLE – An emotional state where one is desperately unhappy because a relationship with a moose is on the rocks. One may suffer guilt and remoose, and spend a lot of time remimoosing about happier times together. MOOSINFORMED — Having knowledge and wisdom which could not have come through the normal four senses, but was “channeled” from Bullwinkle himself.
VAMOOSE – One of the Undead mooses, which may suck on you in the night; or, to leave town late at night, long before the posse is organized.