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.
Most folks have heard of bonfires as part of solstice celebrations, in the Northern Tradition we also have traditions concerning the yule log, as well as the ashen faggot which was a collection of bundled branches that were burned instead. We see in the Christian practice of Saint Lucy’s Day, what I feel is a pre-Christian practice of bringing light on the darkest and longest of nights.
Among English sources, we know that remnants of the previous years yule log, was used to help light the next year. By doing so we have a tradition that has the light (while now extinguished) ‘kept’ throughout the year. In part this becomes something like a folk amulet of good luck, but also a means to ‘restart the light’ on the coldest, darkest, and longest night of the year when it roles around again.
Based on this, here is how I like to celebrate Módraniht.
Extinguish all light (electrical, fire, candles, etc.). Set the yule log (in a hearth, or firepit, or bonfire) alight.
Have candles nearby, and everyone in attendance gets one. The host or gythia, then will light each candle from the yule log.
Collectively everyone can recite the prayer above, or the host/gythia can lead the prayer but prompt everyone into a ‘Hail the Mothers’. Then one by one each person can add their own words and what they may wish to say.
Then offerings are set afire on the yule log. Traditionally someone should sit vigil the whole night through, only extinguishing the fire when dawn breaks.
If you’re rite is attended by others outside of those who live under the same roof with you, ask them to turn off all lights in their homes before they come to the rite you’re hosting.
In olden days, fire would be carried from the yule log to restart the hearth fires throughout the community. That’s not practical today (unless you’re in walking distance), so the candles lit by the yule log are extinguished, and each individual takes the candle home with them. When people return home, they can set the first fire in their home (be it a candle or at the hearth) from the candle lit by the yule log.