Happy Thor’s Day. Happy Midsummer.
Blot is actually, as I understand it, pronounced as ‘bloat’. But this is a pagan holiday celebrated by nearly every European pagan tradition. It has many names and none of them are purely pagan in origin as Christianity has gotten ahold of a lot of it. But mostly it is a celebration of the longest day of the year. The high day of summer and then it begins to decline back into darkness.
There are a lot of god and goddesses celebrated and having a part in this festival. Balder as the god of light who was killed by Loki’s treachery. Freya and Freyr are both honored as nature and fertility gods on this day. Sif for her golden hair remembering the golden grain of wheat. Njord for fishing. Etc. In short, all the wondrous activities of summer are represented and are honored. For the Vikings, this is the time of raiding too. For all pagans, it is the second most honored day of the year second only to the 12th day of Yuletide.
Lots of things happen on this holiday from feasting and rituals to honor the gods this day. Lots of fruits, vegetables, and beer are consumed. Flowers are used everywhere and the maypole makes another appearance reminding us that this is a fertility festival – so sex is also an undoubtedly part of this too. Think life and living it fully and you got the spirit of this festival.
Time to Look Through the Eye:
This festival has a lot of ways to celebrate it. From a faith standpoint, the seasons are one thing that seems to always be there for us in the northern climates. They would definitely be something to trust in and this celebration reminds me of that a lot. Faith in the planet to provide is something that is most sure but also a little bit of belief at times.
It is these holidays that push paganism to the edge of being a religion. Asatru is a recognized religion in certain countries. For me, it is not the religious aspects of Asatru that draw me to it but the virtues. That said, I know the power of having a community around you as you work out your faith to both support you and your life. Every holiday reminds me how much I am alone in this at least in my immediate family and other folks. Once I have more certainty about where I am going to live and work it might be time to seek out a community for both learning purposes and that sense of community.
I don’t know if the natural forces of this world are guided by nothing or some divine force keeps them balanced and going forward. What I do know is that there is something to be said for stopping and smelling the flowers and enjoying the moment’s life gives you and Midsummer Blot is a good time to do that and pause and meditate on how good life can be at times like this. That as dark and cold as winter can be, summer is bright and warm.
There is a lot of spirituality to be drawn from life and Midsummer Blot is a festival that focuses on that. It is a time to reflect on life and living it fully. It is a nice reminder of the life part of the cycle of life and death. The fragile nature of life doesn’t seem as fragile on this one. I can resonate in my soul the nice wonder of life and its fruits and joys. It does minister to me in a way I can’t describe and it is these holidays that cause me to have points where I reflect on the spirituality of life.
So have a beer. Eat strawberries, apples and the fruits and vegetables that are ready. Wonder at the crops that still grow. Make love to your lover and remind yourself that life can be very good at times. That is ultimately what this time of year is about. It is the high point fo the sun and every day will get darker from now on, but the positive is the long night is still far away. Enjoy the sun and the world around you.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.