A Twelfth Night Prayer

Hail Mundilfari the time-turner
for another year’s ending,
and another’s beginning
has come upon us again.

In the spirit of the season
we have braved the dark nights and cold,
traversed snow and ice,
to visit and make merry
with our family and friends,
our neighbors and community.

When we have seen those in need
we gave generously of ourselves
to brighten and warm their days,
for the health and well-being of all.

Mundilfari we hail your Children,
through whom we measure the passage of time:
Sunna, the Ever-shining one,
Goddess of the dancing Sun in the sky
Mani, the silver-gleaming,
God of the waxing and waning Moon
Sinthgunt, fair twinkling
Star Goddess of sparkling grace

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Their guiding light
reminds us in the darkest of times
that there are paths yet to travel
and hope yet at hand,
and that You are with us always,
as constant as the passage of time.

Hail to Night and Her Daughters,
and Day and His Sons!
May we know no ill-tidings in the days
of promise that lie ahead.
May this new year be ripe
with blessings for us to harvest.
So we hail!

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Joyful Yule

For those of you who celebrate it, have a Joyful Yuletide!

imageCarl Larsson’s Midwinter Blot

  • May Saga bring to you the stories of your ancestors.
  • May Weyland reward your industriousness.
  • May Frigga grant you insights into how to strengthen bonds.
  • May Bragi bring music to lighten your feet and heart.
  • May Idunna bestow vitality.
  • May Odin grant not the gifts you want, but the blessings you need.
  • May Loki give you the dancing kiss of flames in your hearth to chase away the winter’s chill.
  • May the lightbringers guide you: May Mani’s moon-glow and Sinthgunt’s star-twinkle lead you in the greatest darkness to the path where blessings may be found in overabundance.
  • May you find beauty in Nott’s raiment, as you enjoy the good company of family, friends and neighbors.
  • May Njord grant you peace as you navigate the seas of life, especially during times and places of transition.

imageI could be writing these forever, but this year, these seem to be the Deities most wanting to be invoked.

The Holy Tides – Mother’s Night and the Yule Log

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Happy Modraniht!

Tonight we honor our Mothers, who through joy and suffering endured so that their children, and their children’s children might not just survive, but thrive.

I call to our mothers, the light and the life bringers who have guided us from darkness onto the paths our ancestors have traveled, and now the paths we walk down.

All-mother Frigga I hail thee, and I thank thee. For the immeasurable blessings, your guidance and your wisdom. You see all things, even if I may not know them. May your counsel follow me into the year ahead and be the compass from which I navigate.

May the blessings of the disir be upon you all.

For those curious about how to potentially have a rite around this night, or how the Yule log connects, keep reading.

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The Holy Tides – The 12 Days of Yule

Just as our pagan cousins celebrate the eight major sabbats that comprise the Wheel of the Year, for those of us in the Northern Tradition we too have somewhat similar key celebrations that we call holy tides (from the Old Norsehátíðir). Some of these celebrations are more significant and special than others, and these especially important holy-days are known as high holy tides: such as Ostara, Winter Nights, and Yule which is now upon us.
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Holy Tides – The Animals of Yule

The Yule Goat, Yule Boar and Yule Cat

Today, one of Sweden’s most traditional Yule symbols, is that of the yule buck or yule goat, which features prominently in the tale of Jultomten. In antiquity the common animal sacrifices included horses, cattle, boar, and goats. In Sweden in particular we see goats sacrificed. Once Christianity had taken over, many laws were passed that forbade the sacrificing of animals for ‘pagan rituals’. From this void, we see the real animal, begin to be replaced by a person in a goat costume that becomes a symbolic ritual offering and slaying. The use of costumes or masks for ritual, is not alone, as we also see it in another yuletide festival as previously mentioned with the Goddess Perchta.

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Walking the Worlds – Issue #3 Update

Issue number 3 of Walking The Worlds is right around the corner, and I’m proud to have an article included which will have some interesting insights on Old One-Eyed Himself: Odin. I’m honored to have been selected, and among such good company.

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Want to learn more, check out Galina Krasskova ‘ s post Walking the Worlds Journal Update here:  http://wp.me/p59Y9v-wQ

Exploring Our Gods and Goddesses – Loki, at the Hearth Fire

Fire, is in and of itself an embodiment of polarity: creation and destruction, chaos and order. Fire can burn snuffing out life, destroying both homes and crops. Fire can be used to cook and prepare food, warm one against the cold of winter, used to craft the finest and delicate objects from handspun and blown glass, and used at the blacksmith’s forge in the creation of farming implements, cooking instruments, and weapons for the luck, well-being and good-fortune of the community.

In the archaeological record, there are a scant handful of depictions of Loki. One of these is known as the Snaptun Stone. The stone found in 1950 on a Danish beach, is believed to bare a depiction of Loki featuring the sewn lips described in a story found in the Skáldskaparmál. Scientists have dated the stone to the end of the Viking Age, around the year 1000 CE. As precious as any depiction of Loki is, this stone was not just decorative, but was a functioning hearthstone as well. Beneath the depiction of Loki on the stone there is a hole, through which a bellows would be placed and used to stoke the hearth fire. The hearthstone not only protected people from the intensity of the flames, but also acted as a shield protecting the bellows from catching fire as well.

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The Holy Tides – Yule & The Santa Claus Mythos

Most Pagans are quite familiar with the fact that many of the so-called ‘Christmas’ traditions have their origins from ancient polytheistic cultures and their festivities such as Saturnalia, Yule etc. This even includes Santa Claus.

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