Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.
This holiday actually was celebrated a few days ago. Haustblot or Fallfest is associated with the end of the harvest season. Perhaps it would be better to say it celebrates the beginnings of the end of the harvest season which will continue right up to Winternights. This is a minor blot or festival and so it is not given a lot of fanfare per se. But it does mark the beginning fo the fall season.
A lot of gods and goddesses are honored at this point and reflected on. Anyone of them that is associated with the harvest or fertility is on the list. Being the beginning of fall in the northern hemisphere it is celebrated as we are starting the journey to Winternights and ultimately Yuletide.
If there is any hold out to how this holiday is celebrated it is the idea of a bonfire usually made from the lighting of the hearth in each home and then each family bringing a torch from that to light the common fire for the community. Pretty rich in symbolism.
Time to Look Through the Eye:
“To see the truth, change one eye for another”
I think that faith that nature will continue to provide is a key element of this beginning harvest festival. Of being thankful for the powers that be or nature for providing what is needed ot sustain life through the winter. Those in four-season climates understand the importance of the harvest more powerfully than most as it means the difference between life and death. Whether this is faith or simply a trust in the cycle of life is a good question.
I think a lot of this festival begins a time when the virtue of industriousness is on the one hand needed to bring in the harvest and the other hand celebrated because the rewards of this harvest are coming in. The fruit of one’s labor leading to the continued survival of yourself and your family and community is celebrated. Important things indeed.
I suppose there is a lot of spiritual things connected with the harvest that our world of modern science has explained and allowed us to do even more and be even more fruitful. The spiritual side of this seems to be important to remember as well. To be grateful to those that do grow and harvest for the rest of us is something to be considered. There is a connection between everyone at some point and it is often not noted because we never see one another. But in then I can eat because someone else took the time to grow and harvest the food I pay for is central. Human connection is a theological concept.
I am continually humbled by the world I live in. Life is both strong and fragile. I am reminded not only of life but death. Things harvested are in the end dead but the give life to others as they are consumed. There is s simple truth to this that is embraced.
While not a great blot or festival – Haustblot is a good moment to pause and reflect. it a good moment to take a deep breath as fall begins and then get about the business of doing what needs to be done to prepare for winter.
This completes the first time I have gone through the cycle of pagan holidays. focusing on the Vikings as much as possible. I am going to continue doing this as each year I feel my opinions of these things will of course change. It has been very interesting this first time though and I plan on getting deeper into things each time I go through it.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.