The Festival of the Hypogeum

Participants will need:
  • 16 decorated sticks (8 magicians, 8 monsters). If they can acquire sticks from the actual plants mentioned, that would be great. If not, nbd. The sticks should be easily recognizable as corresponding to either a magician or a monster. Users of the Oracle of The Hypogeum may also choose to use the Magicians and Monsters cards from the deck. 
  • A bag into which the sticks/cards can be tossed.
12/21: The day before the Solstice, the house is cleaned and decorated with pictures of caves, underground temples, etc., and a new green, living plant of some kind. The sticks are placed in the bag in an dark place, and a brief telling of the story of Anthuor and the Magicians is told before bed. Those who don’t have a copy of the story can use the following:

And in those days, the beast-headed monsters roamed the earth, poisoning the waters and causing the birds to fall from the sky and the fish to drift onto the land. The skies filled with Smoke and Stench, and Strife invited itself into the homes of the People, who shuddered in fear. Then, with the coming of the First Light after the Darkest Night, ANTHUOR emerged from the Hypogeum. He cast open the door to the antechamber and raised his antlers into the air above the People. With a bow of his head, he summoned his Magicians from the Buorth, chanting their names that the People might recognize them.

“Come Yan, come Tan, Come Tether and Mether!

On Pip, on Azer, on Sezar and Akker!”
From out of the depths, the Eight Magicians flew forth astride shimmering steeds and dispersed in the Eight Directions. Taking up their thorns and vines, they roamed the land, capturing the beast-headed ones. When all had been captured, they were assembled in the center of Quatria, and a in a grand procession, the Monsters were led back into the Hypogeum from when they came.Finally, Anthuor turned back to the People, and gave them eight Charms to speak against the Monsters, should their influence be felt over the common year. Anthuor then gave a Great Feast to the People, miraculously fresh in spite of the winter cold, and repeated his promise to always return when the People needed to Withstand.

12/22: The first “Draw.” During the evening meal, two sticks are drawn representing the “Magician” and the “Monster” for that day. If the first stick drawn is a Monster, continue drawing until a Magician is pulled. Once a Magician has been established, pull until a Monster comes out. The first Monster drawn indicates the least potent “Negative” influence to expect in the coming year. The first Magician drawn indicates the least potent “Positive” influence to expect in the coming year. These Magicians and Monsters are now set aside and cannot be drawn again.
12/23: A charm or aphorism of no more than one line related to the Magician and Monster is composed. This can be used by the celebrants throughout the year.
12/24 – 1/5: The same procedure is followed: a Magician is drawn, followed by a Monster, and the next day a charm is composed celebrating the defeat of that Monster by that Magician. On the LAST day, the Magician pulled represents the celebrants’ most potent ally during the year, and the Monster represents the celebrants’ most potent opponent.
By the end, the celebrants will have created eight charms for using in situations during the year when they need to call upon the Magicians, or ward off the Monsters. 
The final night, 1/5 or 1/6 depending on which is easier, the celebrants conclude the Festival with a home-cooked meal of comfort food, whatever each likes best. They then conclude by exchanging gifts made with found objects from the natural world: cool rocks, pretty feathers, weird branches, jams, etc.