An Earth-honoring religious path rooted in science

Introducing SLOGG: The Winter Demi-Sabbath

January is a hard damned month for me.

There, I said it.

After the colorful lights and parties and presents and many festivities of Yule comes a dark, cold time when we all go back to work. No fun for us now: just trudging through the snow or freezing rain, in the dark, to and from our obligations. It’s the longest, most miserable month of the year.

Here where I live, in the wine country north of San Francisco, January is a time when the hills are green from whatever rain we’ve had thus far (not much yet, this year), and rain is typically common. We’ve had flooding in January in big rain years. This year, we have to worry about mudslides after the wildfires of 2017, too.

When it’s not raining, temperatures drop to freezing at night. Gardens and outdoor pipes must be protected; roads are slick and dangerous, and Californians don’t, by and large, know how to drive on them.

Elsewhere, of course, it’s one hell of a lot colder than that.

Up in the morning…in darkness, working the day, and then off home again…in darkness.

It’s demoralizing, to say the least. Unlike the run-up to Yule, which is similarly dark, the temperatures are lower and there’s not a bright, happy, sugar-and-alcohol fueled festivity waiting at the end. Just…well, February, and more dark and cold. And wet.

It is because of this that I have decided to declare (for myself, anyway) a “demi-sabbath” in January, which I am naming¬†SLOGG. I’m celebrating Slogg on the third Saturday in January (or July, in the Southern Hemisphere), but if February is worse for you than January, by all means, have Slogg in February. It’s a moveable feast!

Slogg is the Feast of Forgetting: a time to put away all despair and gather with friends to play games, enjoy company, and drink glogg,¬†or Swedish spiced wine*. It is also a good time for declaring New Year intentions, which are better than resolutions because an intention can’t be “broken”, merely fallen short of. And then attempted again.

Slogg is also a time for the Wearing of Festive Hats, the sillier the better.

I will be holding Slogg this year for the first time, and I encourage you to try it out. We need to keep our spirits up in times like these! If you have other ideas for Slogg, please list them in the comments.


*I figure that if anyone knows how to get through January, it’s probably the Swedes (I couldn’t find an Inuit recipe). If people are going to drink irresponsibly, be sure to have somewhere they can sleep over. If you’d prefer an alcohol-free event, hot apple cider with cinnamon and clove and nutmeg is warming and festive.


  1. This is my worst month too! It just drags and is almost unbearable. My goal is to stay healthy because that is when it really sends me over the edge; having a miserable cold or flu added to it. Slogg sounds like a wonderful idea! We really enjoyed our winter solstice night of no lights, candles, reflections, and games! I think we will do this for Slogg and add some hats, something hot to drink, and play our favorite new game, Dragonwood!! Happy New Year! ~Anne

  2. Yep. The weather situation sounds like here in the UK: lots of rain, ice and darkness. And having to go back to work too! A festival sounds like just the thing: happy Slogg to you and yours!

  3. Love this! I’m in! I am sending my invitations tonight. I never manage to wear my so awesome mardi gras hat bc Tuesday is hard, but this will be the perfect time for it. I think I’ll add some beads and moonpies into the mix too! And a parade of hat wearing celebrants.

  4. If ever there was a time when some festivity was needed! There is also Imbolc on 1st Feb and the Christian Candlemas on 2nd Feb. I have long felt that Imbolc deserved to be marked with some serious partying because by then you can really see the light returning. I’m lucky enough to have control of the date of my works Christmas party so I’ve shifted it to Imbolc; your idea is great, I think maybe this year hats will be required at the works do – Happy New Year!

  5. Our friend Jeni came up with one of the best winter warming beverages ever, and she calls it a Boggy Delight. It’s hot cranberry juice, with a squeeze of lemon (I usually throw the peel in along with the juice while it all heats) and a big slug of gin. Warms you all the way down to the toes.

  6. For me this time, starting on January 2nd, is the Season of Waiting. Waiting for spring (and baseball), of course. Waiting for the buds on the trees, and the first shoots emerging from the soggy ground. Waiting for the days to become noticeably longer- waiting. Waiting for the damned winter to be over, already, so I can sit in my backyard again.
    At the same time, I try to fight that mind set. I’m 81 years old, and it’s downright foolish for me to write off a single day of my life, much less two or three months, so I try to remind myself to use the time constructively, somehow, to not waste the time. It’s a struggle, though. It is, as you say, dark and (for us) cold, and the party’s over, and really all I want to do is bingewatch something and drink a little too much.
    So, I like the funny hats and spiced wine idea, but I think what I have to do is consciously ask myself, daily, “What can I do today to give it come meaning?”- after which, of course, I can bingewatch and have a tipple or two. Let’s see if bringing some consciousness to it helps.
    Gotta seize the moment, and all that, no matter how dark and damp- or, at least, try.

  7. I was just saying how January is the most difficult month. The most depressing stretch of the year. It’s clinically proven! Did I mention I was born in January? Also, I lived in northern Sweden for a year. And I’m already wearing a funny hat. So I can relate!

    1. My birthday is Jan. 3, so I’m well familiar with people being sick of parties and presents and sweets by the time my day rolls around. It’s usually the day people have to go back to work or school, or the day after.

      Still, by late January, dark and cold and wet have done their thing, and it’s time for a celebration!

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