12 rough nights for your stress-less life

Legends, customs and myths

Sibylle Chaudhuri

22nd December 2022


Picture of Vasilijus Bortnikas from Piyabay
Picture of Vasilijus Bortnikas from Piyabay

I think this time of the year is perfect for fairy tales. Hence, I want to tell you some of the customs and myths surrounding the 12 rough nights – the time between Christmas Eve and Epiphany – and, how you supposedly can prepare for them to get the most out of it. Of course, you can still do everything during the rough nights as well. I will give you hints and tips to do so every day.


Preparing for the rough nights

Smoke cleansing with dried herbs

Cleansing your home with smoke is one of the most powerful rituals we can use to prepare for the rough nights. It cleanses, meshes, and energises our home. You could use some of the following herbs:

  • frankincense – for blessing and increased energy
  • myrrh – fumigates, cleanses and gives you peace
  • juniper – destroys negative energies
  • sage – has strong cleansing power

You can mix different herbs, buy mixtures, or just use a sandalwood incense stick. Sandalwood is supposed to have strong cleansing powers and to eliminate negative energies. 


Tidy up and clean your home

Tidying up and cleaning your home and office is an important task ahead of and during the rough nights. It helps us to transform chaos into order and clarity, on the outside as well as on the inside. Bad luck has no place anymore, moves out and makes space and opportunity for good luck.


ATTENTION: However, to declutter or clear out anything during the rough nights is believed to bring bad luck. To be on the safe side ;-) you could make a list of everything that has to go and take care of it after the rough nights.


Image by Sibylle Chaudhuri
Image by Sibylle Chaudhuri

Seeking peace and relaxation

It is said that the rough nights are full of magic. You can use them to get insights and guidance. Therefore, you need to find some peace and quiet e.g., while meditating or going for a long walk through nature.


What else to take care of

Repay your debts

Return borrowed things

Take care of unfinished business

Clean up and update the contacts on your phone

Clean up the hard drive of your computer


Customs and myths

Extraordinary energy and magical power

The rough nights are a time of great magic power. They are some kind of in-between time, 12 nights added between the years to match the moon and the sun calendar. They carry special energy similar to the twilight, neither night nor day. Summer and winter solstice are in-between times as well.


The rough nights are not only kind of added in-between time but also the longest in-between time which additionally takes place at the time of winter solstice - again an in-between time … and who knows what the twilight of those rough nights holds ready for you…


Rumour has it that during those in-between times the doors to the other world are wide open. This enabling us to contact our ancestors and also angels, fairies, and all beings of light and even gods. We can access their wisdom and knowledge and use it to create our destiny.


The Wild Hunt and other demons

Picture of Stefan Keller from Piyabay
Picture of Stefan Keller from Piyabay

Odin-Wodan and mother Hulda are leading the wild hunt of the witches. They ride their brooms through the skies of the rough nights. This is where the tradition arises from to build or buy a new broom during the rough nights.


The Wild Hunt makes all sorts of trouble during the rough nights. They create storms while chasing through the skies. Word has it not to hang white washings outside during the rough nights because the Wild Hunt and other demons could get caught in it. Even worse, Odin might take one piece of cloth with him and use it as your own shroud in the future.


And there are other demons and forces being up to no good. They get stuck on disorder and refuse. Therefore the tip to tidy up and clean our homes, including everything attached e.g. stables and garden shed, garden, and office.


They steal our animals. Hence, the custom to smoke clean and guard the stables and barns.


We are well advised to soothe those evil spirits. We can make immolate food by putting it in front of our doors or underneath fruit trees in the garden. This is also supposed to help the trees to bear more fruit next year.


We can keep the demons at bay with steam cleaning and small controlled fires in the garden, and lighting candles in the house and putting them in the windows.


In the past regular tolling of bells between dusk and midnight mass was used as protection from evil witches and spirits.


Firework on New Year’s Eve is also done to chase off evil spirits.


More legends und myths

The rough nights are also said to be a happy, jolly and abundant time. In order to spend the New Year in abundance and happiness we give each other presents.


The decorated Christmas tree is a fertility symbol. Already our ancestors brought a Christmas tree into the house and decorated it with apples, nuts, ginger bread, gold and candles.


Best not to fight and slam doors during the rough nights. To surround us with positive spirits and beings of light it is important to create this time peaceful, calm and contemplative.


Children born in one of the rough nights are said to have paranormal abilities like being clairvoyant or being able to communicate with the souls of the deceased. In western Europe they are said to have good luck in life and to bring good luck to others.


According to the celts and Germanic tribes we walk in silence to a road junction during the rough nights and let the atmosphere sink in and listen to signs of nature. This way we can gain insights and clues for the New Year.


Pouring lead can help us to tell the fortunes for the new year.


What you believe in and what not is up to you. I definitely wish you happiness, good health and success here and now, and in the future.


I am sending you love and light.


Be well and take good care of you. 






inner works for you


sibylle chaudhuri | consulting | coaching | training | mediation

email: info@sibylle-chaudhuri.com





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