Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.
I think it is no secret that what is celebrated as Christmas these days was originally a pagan holiday known as Yule. Yule differs from Christmas in that it has twelve days of celebration whereas Christmas centers on Dec. 25th. In contrast, the twelve days of Yule were all about celebrating the end of the year and the welcoming of spring although it will take some time to fully materialize. The Winter solstice is the focus of Yuletide along with a lot of drinking.
Considering that in Viking lands, this time of year is basically hunkering down and waiting out the winter. One did have to keep oneself both alive with stored food and firewood but also entertained and safe from the Wild Hunt. Yuletide is a twelve-day long party and the Vikings loved to party.
The 12 Days of Yuletide are:
- Mothers Night – Dec 20
- Night of the Wild Hunt – Dec 21
- Manni – Dec 22
- Freyr and Nord – Dec 23
- Feast of Community – Dec 24
- Eir – Dec 25
- Thor = Dec 26
- Skaldi and Ullr – Dec 27
- Odin – Dec 28
- Sunna – Dec 29
- Valkeries – Dec 30
- Oath Night – Dec 31
All of these days either have a feast associated with an event or gods/goddesses. A lot of the traditions we see at Christmas are still associated with Yule – the yule log, mistletoe, decorating trees, etc.
Time to Look Through the Eye:
“To see the truth, change one eye for another”
Year’s End seems to have significance for all of us in a more meditative level. For me, 2019 has been a ‘meh’ year for the most part. It has had its high moments but there have also been some downtimes. Mostly though it was just the dull drudgery of existence that I don’t like thinking about as it depresses me, Mostly through meditation I am thinking about what my oath should be for 2020 which I will give on Dec 31st. It is not wise to make oaths and not complete them. Even ones given to yourself.
There is a mystery to my future that hits me at this time of year. I have less and less connected to my past career and life and that is both wonderfully freeing and at the same time frightening as I don’t really know what I am going to be other than being a writer. The mystery of the future seems more prominent at a year’s end.
If there is anything that hits me as far as spirituality, it is a sense of community. Introvert though I am, I fully conscious that people affect my life for good or ill and that means working hard to be true to those who have been true to me. I guess in that sense as well, communion with my fellow man is important as well.
Yuletide will probably grow more important to me as time goes by. It does provide a platform to celebrate various holidays with people and that is a good thing. For me, the reflective moments of the past and future are far more significant. For me, this year is about Oath Night. last year I did a very minor and safe oath, I need to take it up a notch this year.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.